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Glenn Kauth is the former editor of Law Times.
In a lesson about using “flimsy grounds” for stopping people on suspicion of texting while driving, an Ontario Superior Court judge has thrown out an alcohol-related conviction after a cop stopped a driver he thought had a cellphone in his hand while at a red light.
The officer “clearly operated on a hunch,” says Richard Litkowski, an associate at Hicks Adams LLP who represented Imran Mughal on the appeal of his conviction in R. v. Mughal.
Mughal’s troubles began in February 2013 when an Ontario Provincial Police officer at the Collingwood, Ont., detachment was working on a zero-tolerance effort to enforce Ontario’s distracted-driving law. The officer believed Mughal was texting but never actually saw him doing that nor did he see a cellphone in his hands.
The results of the law firm challenge for the Daily Bread Food Bank are in with Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP coming out on top.
Blakes was among 29 Toronto law firms that raised $243,000 in cash and food donations for the food bank during the three-week competition.
Blakes raised $39,500, followed closely by Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP at $38,062, and McCarthy Tétrault LLP at $36,702.
Golam Kibria is a retired engineer with a mortgage-free home and 20 acres of farmland leased out to tenants. He’s obviously financially comfortable, but is he a dependant of his family when it comes to accident benefits under Ontario’s Insurance Act?
That was the question in Security National Insurance Co. v. The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. Kibria, who came to Canada from Bangladesh in 2006 on a visitor’s visa, is seeking benefits under the Insurance Act after a car struck him on March 29, 2008. According to the act, if he’s a dependant of his family members in Canada, their insurer must pay; if he’s not, the driver’s insurance company is on the hook.
As Superior Court Justice Edward Morgan noted in his ruling last week: “An uninsured victim can claim accident benefits from the insurer of the driver that struck him, whereas a victim who is a ‘dependent’ of an insured person must claim accident benefits from that person’s insurer.”
Just as Law Times reports on the Ministry of the Attorney General’s failure to get its various court technology efforts off the ground, some judges and lawyers are having success on a local level by introducing devices such as iPads into trial proceedings.
One lawyer in London, Ont., in fact, feels the tablet was helpful in securing a noteworthy award for a personal injury client last week.
“I’ve been looking for the opportunity to try it out,” says Daniel Mailer, of Cram & Associates.
An Ontario paralegal is hoping to help creditors enforce judgments in their favour through an aptly named web site, publicexecutions.ca, that allows them to name and shame those who owe them money.
“That’s part of what it’s about is to name and shame,” says Dougall Grange, founder of Public Executions Inc. in Newmarket, Ont.
The focus of the site is on unenforced monetary judgments. For a fee of up to $100, creditors or their legal representatives can sign on to the web site and provide information about their case.
A Federal Court judge has recommended a further review of the conduct of a Quebec Superior Court judge mentioned at the Quebec corruption inquiry.
According to the Canadian Judicial Council, a panel of three judges will undertake a further review of the conduct of Superior Court Justice Michel Déziel after allegations against him surfaced at the inquiry this spring. Since then, Federal Court Justice and Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada Chief Justice Edmond Blanchard, vice chairman of the judicial conduct committee, has reviewed the allegations and “has decided that this matter would benefit from further consideration by a panel of three judges,” the Canadian Judicial Council announced on Friday.
The panel will include three judges, two of whom are members of the Canadian Judicial Council, who will look into the case and decide whether the federal body should close the file or take other measures.
A Toronto law firm is aiming to give dismissed employees a quick peek at their potential severance entitlement through a new iPhone application it’s billing as the first of its kind in Canada.
The Severance Calculator, from Toronto law firm Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, aims to help both employers and employees. Companies will be able to get a quick idea of how much they might have to pay a laid-off worker. Employees can use it find out how much they might get as severance payment after answering a few questions such as age, position, and years worked.
The firm says the Severance Calculator is suitable for use across Canada.
In a slew of appointments across the country, the federal government has appointed or promoted seven women as it named six new judges and elevated five members of the bench to various appeal courts.
With B.C. Court of Appeal Justice Christopher Hinkson’s appointment as chief justice of the B.C. Supreme Court on Friday, the government has elevated Justice Richard Goepel to the appeal court. Goepel had been a Supreme Court judge since 2001. Hinkson moves to the B.C. Supreme Court after his predecessor, Justice Robert Bauman, became chief justice of British Columbia in June.
In Saskatchewan, the government has elevated Court of Queen’s Bench family law division Justice Jacelyn Ryan-Froslie to the appeal court. She replaces Justice G.A. Smith following her retirement last year.
In a case demonstrating the challenges of addressing aboriginal representation on Ontario juries, the Ontario Superior Court has rejected an application to have a sheriff found guilty of fraud, partiality or wilful misconduct over the lack of First Nations members on the panel.
In R. v. Kennedy, Justice Andrew Goodman ruled on the application in a case involving a First Nations member charged with sexual interference and sexual assault. While Gregory Kennedy eventually abandoned the application over the lack of aboriginals on the jury after conceding he couldn’t meet the threshold for challenging the array in Form 40, Goodman went ahead and ruled on the issue anyway given the issue’s “significant import to the administration of justice.”
Ontario has been considering the issue of aboriginal issues on jury panels in recent years given a number of high-profile cases that indicated the provincial government’s lax approach to the matter. Earlier this year, former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci wrote a report that noted the justice system as it relates to First Nations was in crisis. In its ruling on the issue this year in R. v. Kokopenace, the Ontario Court of Appeal highlighted the government’s duty to make reasonable efforts to include First Nations members on jury rolls.
[span style="text-decoration: underline;"][strong]Canada
Five years after Goudge inquiry, Ontario makes strides in forensic pathology, Toronto Star
Human rights issues a stumbling block in Canada-EU trade deal, Huffington Post
Officers plead not guilty over lawyer's arrest during G20, CTV
[strong][span style="text-decoration: underline;"]United States
Michael Jackson's doctor released from jail, Los Angeles Times
[a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/28/us-usa-jail-shower-idUSBRE99R0KP20131028" target="_blank"]
Group of Oklahoma inmates escape through shower[/a], Reuters
[span style="text-decoration: underline;"][strong]International
British phone-hacking trial begins, CBC
[a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/world/asia/with-snap-of-group-photo-3-members-of-advocacy-group-face-trial-in-china.html?ref=asia" target="_blank"]
Trial over group photo a test of China's willingness to crush new movement[/a], New York Times