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Monday, April 23, 2012

RELICENSING APPLICATION DENIED

A Law Society of Upper Canada panel has determined disbarred Thorold, Ont., lawyer Dennis Gross isn’t of good character and has dismissed his application to practise once again.

Gross’ licence was revoked more than 10 years ago following his conviction on five counts of defrauding various members of the public and was disbarred for misappropriating funds from multiple clients.

During his hearing before the LSUC panel last year, Gross admitted to taking the home he and his mother co-owned and live in through a series of mortgage transactions.

He used the money he took to feed the expensive tastes of his younger girlfriend, the hearing panel heard.

“With great respect to Mr. Gross and his very helpful presentation to the panel, and while recognizing the strides he has made in leaving behind the serious misconduct he committed more than a decade ago, we have concluded for the reasons outlined above that he has not satisfied this panel of his good character as of the time of this proceeding,” a three-member hearing panel wrote in the reasons for its decision.

The panel found Gross’ efforts at rehabilitation weren’t strong enough to warrant reinstatement.

FACL GALA NEXT MONTH

The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers will hold its gala at the Hart House Great Hall in Toronto on May 8 to celebrate the achievements of the Asian-Canadian legal community.

“It is the biggest night for the Asian legal community,” said Julia Shin Doi, general counsel at Ryerson University and FACL president.

“We look forward to celebrating FACL’s fifth anniversary and recognizing the many achievements of Asian-Canadian lawyers.”

For more information, see facl.ca.

NEW JUDGE APPOINTED

The provincial government named a new judge to the Ontario Court of Justice last week.

Alain Perron will become the court’s newest judge on April 25 and will hold a bilingual position in Parry Sound, Ont.

Perron was called to the bar in 1994 and began serving as a deputy judge in the Small Claims Court in 2004.

He also worked as managing partner at Wallace Carr Klein & Trenker. During his time at the firm, he focused on criminal and family law.

Perron has also acted as a standing federal Crown for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and has been a part-time prosecutor for the Ministry of Transportation in the district of Nipissing.

IMMIGRATION CHANGES ANNOUNCED

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced several changes to the temporary foreign worker category last week as part of a series of sweeping reforms to Canada’s immigration policy.

Under the changes, temporary foreign workers applying for permanent residence will see their work experience requirements significantly reduced.

Currently, temporary foreign workers seeking status under the Canadian experience class must have 24 months of full-time work experience within the last 36 months of their application for permanent residence.

Under the proposed changes, that requirement would shrink to 12 months of experience.

“Thousands of highly skilled foreign nationals are working successfully in Canada on a temporary basis,” said Kenney.

“Expediting their transition to permanent residence would help Canada retain bright and talented people who already have Canadian work experience and the ability to communicate in English or French. In many cases, they already have a job lined up. Such newcomers are set for

success.”

Last year, about 6,000 people immigrated to Canada under the Canadian experience class, an increase of more than 50 per cent from 2010.

This year, the government expects 7,000 permanent residents to come in through that category.

IN-HOUSE COUNSEL FEEL VALUED: SURVEY

In-house counsel feel they’re highly respected and valued but would like to devote more time to big-picture ideas, a survey by the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP revealed last week.

According to the survey, almost 97 per cent of in-house counsel in Canada were likely to recommend corporate practice as a career path to friends or colleagues.

Many cited a better work-life balance.

Similarly, 93 per cent of in-house counsel surveyed reported feeling their organizations value their work.

The 2012 In-House Counsel Barometer Survey focused on the attitudes and opinions of Canadian corporate counsel throughout Canada.

“The survey provides a unique and valuable window into the in-house counsel experience in this country,” said CCCA chairman Geoff Creighton.

“It is noteworthy that respondents ranked the most important challenge facing in-house counsel as ‘the day-to-day workload leaves little time for big-picture thinking or the development of initiatives which would benefit the organization as a whole.’

The survey is of immense importance for CCCA in developing products and services that assist our members with keeping the ‘big picture’ in mind, while they address their day-to-day responsibilities.”

The CCCA released the survey results during its spring conference last week in Montreal.

UPCOMING DIVERSITY CONFERENCE

A Call to Action Canada will host its fourth annual conference on May 8 at the Sheraton Hotel on Queen Street West in Toronto.

Conference speakers include Joseph West, president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and former prime minister Paul Martin.

For more information, see acalltoactioncanada.com.

CCCA AWARD ANNOUNCED

Halifax general counsel Robert Patzelt is the recipient of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association’s 2012 Robert V.A. Jones Award.

“Robert Patzelt has been a member of the Canadian Bar Association since his first week of law school, and a member of the CCCA since its founding in 1988, the same year he took on his first job as in-house counsel,” said Geoff Creighton, CCCA chairman.

“Over the past decades, Robert has volunteered in a multitude of capacities within the CBA and CCCA — including as head of CCCA — always giving 100 per cent for the benefit of the organization and the in-house counsel community.

It is particularly fitting that Robert is awarded the Robert V.A. Jones Award since, in his early years as chair of the corporate counsel chapter in Nova Scotia, he worked closely with (Robert) Bob Jones.”

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