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Monday, April 7, 2014

GROIA COST AWARD REDUCED
Given the partial success of lawyer Joe Groia’s appeal of his misconduct finding, the Law Society Tribunal’s appeal division has ordered no costs on the appeal and decided to reduce the costs a hearing panel had originally ordered him to pay.

An appeal panel reduced Groia’s suspension to one month from two months last year after finding faults with a hearing panel decision that found him guilty of misconduct related to incivility in 2012.

“In its submission, the law society concedes that, since success on the appeal was divided, it is reasonable that no costs should be ordered,” wrote appeal panel chairwoman Linda Rothstein.

“Mr. Groia does not seek costs of the appeal and agrees that the appropriate disposition is that no costs of the appeal be ordered.”

Groia also challenged the $245,000 cost award made by the hearing panel. He argued the law society’s claim of abuse of process had unnecessarily lengthened the hearing. In the alternative, he asked for a 40-per-cent cost reduction.

In the end, the appeal panel decided to reduce the cost award against Groia to $200,000.

BERESKIN INDUCTED TO IP HALL OF FAME
Bereskin & Parr LLP co-founding partner Daniel Bereskin has been inducted into Intellectual Asset Management magazine’s intellectual property hall of fame, the law firm announced.

Bereskin is the first inductee from a Canadian law firm or organization, according to Bereskin & Parr.

“Isaac Newton, one of the most influential scientists in history, humbly observed: ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ Likewise, we IP practitioners benefit immensely from the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of others, such as the distinguished members of the IP Hall of Fame, of whom I feel deeply honoured now to be a small part,” said Bereskin.

FIVE PARALEGALS ELECTED TO CONVOCATION
Five paralegals will join Convocation following elections that wrapped up last week.

The five new benchers are Robert Burd, Cathy Corsetti, Brian Lawrie, Michelle Haigh, and Marian Lippa.
“Convocation is pleased to welcome the five elected paralegal benchers,” said Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer Thomas Conway.

“Their participation at Convocation will enhance the governance of the profession.”

This was the second paralegal election in Ontario since the law society started regulating paralegals in 2007.

DIVERSITY EVENT SET FOR MAY
A Call to Action Canada is hosting a conference on diversity in the legal profession in May.

The conference will feature keynote speaker Clint Davis, vice president of aboriginal banking at TD Bank Group.

Other speakers include Anita Anand, a professor of law at the University of Toronto, and Cognition LLP director of client services Jacqueline Dinsmore.

The conference will take place on May 13 at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto.

POLL RESULTS
The results of the latest Law Times online poll are in.

According to the poll, 86 per cent of respondents feel the federal government shouldn’t attempt to reappoint Federal Court of Appeal Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In a historic decision, the Supreme Court found Nadon didn’t meet the eligibility criteria to fill one of the three seats on the bench reserved for judges from Quebec. At one point, the government hedged on what it would do in response. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper later said the government would respect the spirit of the court’s ruling.

NEW STUDENT COALITION FORMED
The culmination of a number of issues currently affecting Ontario law students has led to a new coalition of law school student governments from across the province.

Student leaders met on March 15 at Queen’s University to ratify the new organization, the Law Students’ Society of Ontario.

“There are a number of issues coming to a head right now that touch on student issues within the profession and within legal education that require us to concert our efforts with a little bit more organization and develop a more unified position,” says Douglas Judson, president of the new organization and a third-year Osgoode Hall Law School student. “Speaking in our different silos, we aren’t being heard with the same consistency and with the same impact that we could be if we work together on some of these common-interest issues.”

The organization identified the following priorities at its recent inaugural meeting:
• Raise awareness about the consequences of rising tuition costs.
• Lobby for changes to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s recent licensing fee increase for new law school graduates.
• Monitor the LSUC’s new law practice program.
• Advocate for inclusive, representative law schools.
 
NEW PARTNERS AT NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT
Four lawyers have joined the partnership at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP’s Toronto office.

They four are among 14 new partners at the firm’s offices in Canada and Latin America.

Michael Bunn, Madeleine Loewenberg, Louisa Pontrelli, and Kristin Wall are the new partners in Toronto.

“Congratulations to our new partners and our new counsel. We are very proud of them and the tremendous job they do for our clients,” said John Coleman, Norton Rose Fulbright’s managing partner for Canada.

“They are outstanding lawyers who demonstrate once again our ability to hire and retain the best and brightest legal talent. Welcome to the partnership.”

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