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Monday, December 7, 2009

BAIL DENIED FOR ACCUSED WITCH

A Toronto woman charged with posing as a lawyer and practising witchcraft remains in custody after a justice of the peace denied her bail.

On Nov. 27, a justice of the peace refused to release Vishwantee Persaud, who faces two counts of fraud over $5,000 as well as a charge of “pretending to exercise witchcraft.”

Det.-Const. Corey Jones says “the reputation of justice at large was at risk should she be released again.”

In relation to previous fraud convictions, Persaud had been sentenced to house arrest with strict conditions that she not possess a cellphone or a computer.

Police say Persaud was in violation of those conditions while allegedly perpetrating further frauds.

Persaud is accused of scamming a Toronto lawyer out of more than $100,000. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Noel Daley, a veteran criminal lawyer, claims he agreed to mentor Persaud after she convinced him she was a promising law student.

He also alleges the accused gave him a tarot card reading and convinced him she was the embodiment of his dead sister who was intent on guiding him to prosperity.

Daley claims he was soon making large payments to Persaud for various business proposals.

At the same time, Persaud allegedly accepted payments from other unsuspecting individuals for legal services she never delivered, according to police.

To get the full story from last week, click here:

ADDARIO TAKES ON HUMANE SOCIETY CASE

The Toronto Humane Society has retained Frank Addario, fresh off his tenure as president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, to contest animal cruelty charges.

Addario is representing some of the shelter’s directors, who face non-criminal provincial charges of cruelty to animals.

Last month, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raided the shelter over allegations that animals were neglected and mistreated.

Five senior staff members, including president Tim Trow, face a variety of criminal charges, including cruelty and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

SABA HONOURS ITS BEST

The stars of the South Asian legal community in Toronto were honoured last month at an annual awards ceremony.

The fourth annual gala of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto featured speeches by Frank Iacobucci, former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and Attorney General Chris Bentley.

Malliha Wilson, assistant deputy attorney general, was given the Distinguished Career Award; Jasmine Akbarali, partner at Lerners LLP, was named Female Lawyer of the Year; Subrata Bhattacharjee, partner at Heenan Blaikie LLP, was named Male Lawyer of the Year; and Aaron Dhir, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, was the recipient of the Young Practitioner of the Year award.

MCCARTHY LAWYERS CRACK TOP 100

Two McCarthy Tétrault LLP partners are among the country’s most powerful women, according to a list published annually by the Women’s Executive Network.

Barbara Boake and Gabrielle Richards both received the honour, which recognizes women in eight categories: corporate executives, entrepreneurs, public sector, trailblazers and trendsetters, champions, professionals, future leaders, and arts and communication.

Both lawyers won in the professionals category.

Boake is a partner in the firm’s bankruptcy and restructuring group in Toronto and is the first woman to serve on the firm’s four-member senior leadership team, setting policy for lawyers across Canada.

Richards is a partner in the Toronto office focusing on the tax implications of mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, and corporate finance.

ROUNDTABLE  TODAY AT YORK

York University is holding a policy roundtable on corporate social reporting and disclosure today in Toronto.

The Jay and Barbara Hennick Centre for Business and Law at York University and Jantzi-Sustainalytics Inc. will host the consultation, which is expected to draw dozens of representatives from government, business, and the non-profit sector.

The sessions will cover labour rights, local community development, and product safety.

The event was organized in response to a call by provincial cabinet minister Laurel Broten for the Ontario Securities Commission to examine corporate social responsibility and environmental, social, and governance reporting standards.

ON THE MOVE

Joseph Nuss, a former judge with the Quebec Court of Appeal, has joined Woods LLP as senior counsel.

Nuss recently retired from the court, where he sat for more than 14 years. He will focus his practice on domestic and international arbitration and mediation.

Meanwhile, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP has appointed Mike Kaplan as managing partner of the Toronto office.

Kaplan has been with the firm for almost 30 years and specializes in corporate and commercial law with a focus on private mergers and acquisitions. 

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