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Monday, April 22, 2013

SOSSIN WINS MUNDELL MEDAL

Osgoode Hall Law School dean Lorne Sossin is the recipient of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s 2012 David Walter Mundell medal.

The medal “celebrates great legal writing and recognizes that the artful use of language in the right style has the power to give life to ideas,” according to the ministry.

Sossin has written extensively in areas such as administrative law, access to justice, and democratic governance.

“Dean Sossin is one of the most influential and respected legal scholars in Canada,” said Attorney General John Gerretsen.

“Through innovative thinking, prodigious scholarship, and a multijurisdictional and interdisciplinary approach, he has had a profound impact on the development of law in Canada.”

Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler also attested to Sossin’s accomplishments.

“The breadth and depth of dean Sossin’s scholarship is impressive and his selection for the Mundell medal brings credit to the award,” said Winkler.

CHIEF ADJUDICATOR SOUGHT

The Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat is looking for a new chief adjudicator for residential school abuse claims.

The successful candidate would replace Daniel Ish, who has announced his wish to step down. Ish adjudicated individual claims of abuse as part of the independent assessment process for the past few years.

“We are very fortunate to have had someone as dedicated as Daniel to guide the IAP through its first five years,” said Mayo Moran, chairwoman of the oversight committee that monitors the implementation of the independent assessment process.

An oversight committee will select the new adjudicator who must have a law degree and at least 15 years at the bar. The right candidate will also have experience as a member of the judiciary or in the adjudication of claims and be knowledgeable about the history, culture, and current issues of aboriginals. Proposals are due by May 24.

POLL RESULTS

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

According to the poll, more than half of respondents believe the Ontario Divisional Court was right in not awarding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford costs in his conflict of interest case.

About 56 per cent of respondents agree with the court’s decision to leave Ford on the hook for his own legal tab even though he was victorious in his battle against citizen Paul Magder.

RISK MANAGEMENT KEY FOR IN-HOUSE

Canadian in-house counsel find they provide the most value to their organizations when managing or reducing risk but often feel weighed down by the daily grind, according to this year’s in-house counsel barometer survey.

When it comes to how in-house counsel feel they provide value, the majority of respondents (72 per cent) cited risk management followed by helping to achieve strategic and operating objectives (45 per cent) and providing strategic advice (43 per cent).

Created in conjunction with Vision Critical, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, the 2013 in-house counsel barometer survey polled 236 members of the CCCA. The annual survey looks at current attitudes and issues for Canadian in-house counsel.

About one-third of those surveyed believe their department has grown over the past year and the same number feel their staff will increase over the next three years. That’s a distinct shift from views presented in 2008-09 when in-house were more pessimistic about future growth. The positive outlook is partially due to necessity with half of the respondents reporting their legal department lacks adequate staff.

CERTIFICATION PROGRAM FOR IN-HOUSE COUNSEL

The Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and the Rotman School of Management are teaming up to launch a certification program for Canadian in-house counsel that will in many ways mirror an executive MBA.

At its annual spring conference held in Toronto last week, the CCCA unveiled the certified in-house counsel Canada program.

The CCCA has worked with the Rotman for the last year to develop the program aimed at new to mid-level in-house lawyers who ultimately want to become general counsel or a member of the executive team of a company. It’s also targeting those who are the only legal officers in their companies andwant to grow their management and leadership skills as well as in-house lawyers who are specialists in large legal departments and want broader skills.

“When we first started looking at this two years ago, we realized that while law school and continuing education programs do a fantastic job of teaching lawyers substantive law, what it doesn’t do is prepare you to be an in-house counsel,” said Grant Borbridge, chairman of the CCCA.

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