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Monday, August 8, 2011

LAWYER DISBARRED OVER FRAUD

Mississauga, Ont., lawyer Akbar Ali has had his licence revoked after a Law Society of Upper Canada panel found him guilty of professional misconduct for his part in a mortgage fraud scheme.

The panel found he had knowingly helped both vendor and purchaser clients obtain fraudulent mortgages in suspect deals involving 22 different properties. It also ruled Ali had failed to be honest with his lender clients and that he didn’t disclose material facts in connection with the deals.

In addition, the order revoking Ali’s licence, dated July 26, demanded that he pay the law society’s costs of $50,000 by April 2013.

SIX NEW JPS APPOINTED

The province has appointed two new regional senior justices of the peace to the Ontario Court of Justice.

Justice of the peace Linda Kay takes charge in the central east region effective Oct. 22 as she marks 25 years since her appointment in 1986. She replaces Jack Wiley.

In the west region, justice of the peace Bridget Forster took over from Stewart Taylor on July 19. Forster was originally appointed in 1995.

Meanwhile, the province has also appointed six brand new justices of the peace to the Ontario Court.

Five of them go to the Toronto region, including Carol Ann May Allison, a lawyer for more than 12 years.

She spent nine years as a sole practitioner before joining Legal Aid Ontario, where she worked for the last four years as criminal duty counsel.  

D. Wayne Buchanan, another LAO duty counsel in Newmarket, Ont., joins Allison in the Toronto area along with former Women’s Habitat executive director Rhonda Roffey.

Mohammed Brihmi, who has 25 years of public service experience, and Leslie Ann Kirke, a former adjudicator for the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board of Ontario, were also appointed to the Toronto region.

In the central west region, Cristina Almeida Santos was appointed after 25 years of working in victim and social services in the Toronto area. Most recently, she served as executive director at the Abrigo Centre, where she played a key role in the development of its partner assault response program.

All of the new positions were effective July 29.

EVENT SEEKS LEGAL SUPPORT

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada has officially kicked off its annual Toronto Ride for Diabetes Research campaign.

The focus this year is on families living with Type 1 diabetes, and organizers have set a $3.1-million target this year for Toronto while issuing a challenge to corporate teams, including legal firms, to raise funds for research to find a cure.

“Not only is JDRF’s ride a fun and unique team building opportunity, but fundraisers should feel good about the fact that 80 per cent of funds JDRF expends directly support research and research-related education,” said Toronto ride co-chairwoman Judy Goldring, who is also general counsel and chief operating officer of AGF Management Ltd.

The 2011 ride takes place on Friday, Sept. 9, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. See jdrf.ca/ride for further information on registering or pledging.

BLAKES PARTNER TOPS PIANO CONTEST

Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP’s Toronto tax partner Kathleen Penny was up against a diverse field of professionals to place third at the annual Washington International Piano Artists Competition.

The event, in its ninth year, takes place at the French Embassy in the U.S. capital and is open to amateur pianists over the age of 31.

According to the Washington Post, Penny’s “skillfully weighted” version of a Chopin nocturne helped her seal the podium finish behind a statistical contractor and a freelance tenor.

The field of 24 included physicians, graphic designers, and writers from places as far away as Singapore and Moldova.

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