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Monday, August 31, 2009

LAWYER GETS SLAP FOR PUNCH

A Toronto lawyer has been handed a 10-month suspension after punching a client in the nose and pushing her.

The Law Society of Upper Canada found Julia Ranieri, who was called to the bar in 2001, guilty of professional misconduct for “failing to act with integrity and failing to be courteous, civil, and act in good faith, in that she assaulted her client by punching her in the nose and pushing her. . . .”

She also was reprimanded for not telling the law society she had been charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Ranieri’s 10-month suspension will continue until the law society is satisfied “she is fit to practise law and able to serve clients, that she presents no danger to clients, and that she is able to exercise self-governance so that members of the public are not endangered.”

She must also pay $5,000 in costs.

PRIVACY COMMISSIONER SLAMS SIMCOE COUNTY

Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian’s office has ordered the County of Simcoe to “take all steps, including legal action if necessary” to get hydrogeological data on a controversial landfill site in Tiny Township.

The commission says the county failed to comply with an order it issued in May. It had forced the county to compel an engineering company, Jagger Hims Ltd., to deliver records regarding the landfill project.

It was then up to the county to decide whether it must release the records to an individual who had filed a freedom of information request.

The commission said in a release that the county has told it that it will not take further steps to get the data from the firm.

“This is completely unacceptable,” said Cavoukian.

The information request relates to the controversial “Site 41” landfill, which has been strongly opposed by many residents in Simcoe County.

They fear that leachate will contaminate groundwater beneath the site, and hope to get details of a hydrogeological model and input data compiled by Jagger Hims, which simulates groundwater flow at the site.

The groundwater is said to be some of the purest water on earth.

In an order, IPC adjudicator Colin Bhattacharjee said: “The county is continuing an unacceptable pattern of conduct in which it is deliberately disassociating itself from key records relating to the environmental integrity of Site 41, despite the fact that these records were created by Jagger Hims with taxpayers’ money.”

ACTL NAMES ESSAY WINNERS

A Université de Sherbrooke law student has netted a $10,000 prize through the American College of Trial Lawyers’ essay contest for Canadian students.

The college asked students from across the country to explore the topic, “accommodating freedom of religion in a multicultural society.”

Emilie Fortin came out on top, with Toni Lynne Eckes of the University of Saskatchewan law school taking second place and a $5,000 prize.

An impressive list of Canadian judges - including Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Eleanore Cronk - determined the winners.

Contest chairman John Barry, of Barry Spalding in Saint John, N.B., says the competition aimed to “make a valuable contribution to Canadian legal research in relation to a unique Canadian law - the recognition of a citizen’s culture of origin - while still adhering to Canada’s democratic principles in the context of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is emblematic of Canadian social and legal principles.”

CBA UNVEILS BOOK WINNERS

Toronto lawyer Bradley Crawford of McCarthy Tétrault LLP has claimed the Canadian Bar Association’s 2009 Walter Owen Book Prize for his volume on banking law.

Also receiving the award is McGill law professor William Tetley, who also is counsel to Langlois Kronström Desjardins LLP in Montreal and Quebec City. He is being honoured for Marine Cargo Claims, 4th Edition.

The prize recognizes “outstanding new contributions to Canadian legal literature,” said the CBA in announcing the honourees.

Crawford is counsel to McCarthy’s financial services group. He has 35 years of experience in the area of banking law, and receives the award for The Law of Banking and Payment in Canada.

Tetley is a member of the Order of Canada. He was a minister in Quebec premier Robert Bourassa’s cabinet from 1970-76.

His other contributions include introducing the first Consumer Protection Act, revising the Insurance Act, the Companies Act, the Trust Companies Act, and over 50 other commercial and civil statutes and codes, said the CBA.

The prize is awarded by the Foundation for Legal Research. Recipients get a $10,000 cash prize.

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