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Monday, December 2, 2013

TORYS PARTNERS NAMED MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN

Two Torys LLP lawyers are among this year’s top 25 women of influence in Canada.

The rankings by Women of Influence selected partners Sharon Geraghty and Cheryl Reicin for their professional leadership roles over the last year, according to Torys.

The ranking “counts both partners as among the most influential professional women in Canada today,” the law firm said in a press release. “The firm could not be more proud of Ms. Geraghty and Ms. Reicin for this well-deserved recognition.”

Geraghty practises mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and securities law. She also regularly advises companies on governance and securities issues. Reicin is head of the technology and life sciences practice groups at the firm.

Women of Influence says the honourees “have not only made a significant difference in their chosen fields but they are exceptionally influential. This is an important criterion because such women also serve as important role models for Canadian women and girls.”

MACKENZIE TO SPEAK ON CIVILITY

Former Law Society of Upper Canada treasurer Gavin MacKenzie will speak about lawyers’ ethics and civility at an event in December.

The event, organized by the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, will cover the “most intractable ethical issues lawyers, judges, and tribunal members must deal with in practice.”

MacKenzie, partner at Davis LLP and author of Lawyers and Ethics: Professional Responsibility and Discipline, will chair the discussion taking place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 13 at the law society.

MCCARTHYS HONOURED AS TOP EMPLOYER

McCarthy Tétrault LLP is among the Greater Toronto Area’s top employers for 2014.

The firm, which made the Mediacorp Canada Inc. list for the ninth year, says the designation speaks to its dedication to its employees and clients.

“This recognition is another testament to our dedication to investing in our people and providing our clients with a better experience,” said Paul Boniferro, the firm’s national leader for practices and people.

“Through our collective efforts, we remain focused on improving our culture, growing our people, and always striving to offer exceptional client service, a task we never consider complete.”

GOOD CHARACTER STANDARD DEBATED

Benchers of the Law Society of Upper Canada are calling for more concrete guidance on good character assessments of lawyers and paralegals.

Before joining the Ontario bar, lawyers and paralegals must demonstrate they’re of good character.

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada asked the LSUC for its take on changing the way law societies across Canada approach good character inquiries in order to create consistent and well-defined rules across the country. In response, law society benchers approved a motion calling for new rules to replace the current “open-ended” ones at Convocation on Nov. 21.

“While some flexibility is important . . . the current open-ended approach to the good character inquiry could lead to subjective analyses that provide little concrete guidance to applicants and adjudicators on the standard to be met,” the LSUC said in a written response to a consultation paper.

“It can also lead to [an] inconsistent and potentially non-transparent licensing decision, which is particularly problematic with national mobility.”

The federation suggested changing the name of the inquiry from “good character” to “suitable to practise,” which it said is a more concrete definition for the process. But the law society disagreed, preferring to stick with the existing term instead.

POLL RESULTS

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

According to the survey, 45 per cent of participants think Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has a slim chance of stopping city council’s bid to strip him of his budget and powers through legal action.

Another 30 per cent of respondents said Ford has a good chance in court and agreed with criticism that city council is overstepping its authority. Another 29 per cent said they were unsure aboutFord’s chances as it’s hard to predict anything in the saga plaguing Toronto politics right now.

Ford has threatened legal action after council transferred many of Ford’s non-statutory powers and part of his budget to deputy mayor Norm Kelly in the wake of the scandal over his use of crack cocaine.

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The Law Society of Upper Canada’s governing body has approved a proposal to create a new licence for paralegals that would train them in some aspects of family law such as form completion, uncontested divorces and motions to change. Do you agree with this move?
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