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SUGGESTED SEDONA COMES TO CANADA

Canadian lawyers recently had a rare chance to gain insight into best practices for e-discovery at the 1st Annual Sedona Canada Program on Getting Ahead of the e-Discovery Curve.

“I was very pleased and surprised” with the turnout, says Ken Withers, director of judicial education and content for the U.S.-based think tank, who also was a faculty member at the two-day event at the Boulevard Club in Toronto. Withers says the group expected only 75 attendees, but had to make special accommodation when 125 showed up.

“I had to apologize to some of the people who arrived late without prior registration,” he says. “We ran out of materials and seats, so it was standing room only.”

Members of the Sedona Conference Canadian Working Group on Electronic Document Retention & Production - the group that developed the Sedona Canada Principles Addressing Electronic Discovery - presented the conference. Ogilvy Renault LLP lawyer Kelly Friedman and Susan Wortzman of Wortzman Nickle Professional Corporation were the co-chairwoman of the event.

Panel discussions focused on issues such as the Sedona Canada Principles, management of electronic information, and new roles and teams to manage e-discovery successfully, to name a few.

Withers says what set this conference apart was the high level of audience participation.

“A lot of people brought their own problems, and we were able to have quite a bit of dialogue,” he says. “It was not a traditional continuing legal education conference with a series of talking heads who lectured the audience.”

Withers says it became clear as the conference wrapped up that there is a need for similar conferences in the future. While no concrete plans have been made, it looks like the Sedona Conference Institute will hold one next year in Vancouver, he says.

LAO RECOGNIZES BARBARA JACKMAN

Legal Aid Ontario last week presented Toronto lawyer Barbara Jackman the Sidney B. Linden Award, an honour bestowed each year to “exceptional individuals who demonstrate a commitment to ensuring access to justice for low-income people,” according to LAO.

“Barbara Jackman’s reputation of being one of Canada’s most effective advocates for immigration and refugee rights makes her the ideal candidate for the 2008 Sidney B. Linden Award,” said selection committee chairman Aly Alibhai in a release.

“She embodies the spirit of this award through her tireless work ensuring access to justice for disadvantaged people across the province.”

Jackman has practisced law for some 30 years, during which time she has been dedicated to initiatives aiding people in low-income brackets by promoting immigration and refugee rights.

“Ms. Jackman is dedicated to public service and to her community,” said LAO. “She works tirelessly taking on groundbreaking cases to bring about changes in the law to protect the rights of immigrants and refugees. She continues to take legal aid cases, is a mentor, as well as a leader and a member of various community associations.”

Jackman has been an instructor in the bar admission program and a lecturer at law faculties at Queen’s University, the University of Toronto, and Osgoode Hall. She also has lectured at continuing education sessions for the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association, and has written extensively.

She received an honourary doctor of law degree in 2007 from the LSUC.

LEX MUNDI UNVEILS PRO BONO GUIDE

Lex Mundi’s pro bono committee has launched a guide it hopes will, among other things, give member firms a framework for developing pro bono work, programs, and culture.

“‘The Guide for Pro Bono Services of Lex Mundi Member Firms’ is the first step in the Lex Mundi pro bono committee’s overall mission, which is to encourage and enhance the delivery of pro bono legal services by Lex Mundi member firms, both individually and together, by providing strategic guidance, advice, and resources to firms in developing and implementing pro bono policies and programs of the highest quality as well as providing a liaison between the member firms and the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation,” said committee chairman Paul Schabas, whose firm Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP is Lex Mundi’s member firm for Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.

A free copy of the guide is available at: http://www.lexmundi.com/images/lexmundi/PDF/ProBono/ProBono_Guide.pdf.

AG TAKES AIM AT JUSTICE SPEED

The Ministry of the Attorney General has picked Ontario Courts of Justice in Newmarket, North York, and London as “action sites” to speed the wheels of justice.

“Our expert teams will be working closely with all justice participants in these three courthouses initially - but the goal is to identify, test, and implement approaches that will make criminal justice faster province-wide,” said Attorney General Chris Bentley in a release.

“We’re committed to making the justice system more effective for everyone - victims, witnesses, and the public who pay for it.”

Regional Senior Justice Bruce Durno and Senior Crown Attorney Ken Anthony will lead teams working on the initiative, which is the next step in the government’s Justice on Target program, according to the ministry.

NEW HIRES FOR FMC

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP has beefed up its commercial practice in Montreal by appointing two new lawyers, Kiriakos Vanikiotis and Benoit Pepin.

“The addition of Mr. Pepin and Mr. Vanikiotis to FMC’s commercial practice comes at a most appropriate time given the volatile economic situation around the world,” says FMC Montreal managing partner Claude Morency.

“Their extensive experience in this area will complement our energy, financial, and commercial practices in Montreal and further position FMC as a leader in providing sound counsel to Canadian and foreign multinationals as well as local small and mid-sized companies.”

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