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Monday, February 24, 2014

CCLA GETS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Lawyer Sukanya Pillay is the new general counsel and executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Pillay, who was interim general counsel and acting executive director of the CCLA since August 2013, “brings to the position a tremendous skill set and a breadth of experience in the not-for-profit, academic, and private sectors,” the organization said in a press release.

Pillay has served as program director of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in New York and director of the law and human rights program of the International Television Trust for the Environment. She also taught law at the University of Windsor for five years.

“Sukanya has a proven track record of leadership at CCLA and in similar organizations, a thorough understanding of the civil liberties challenges facing Canada today, knowledge of the civil liberties community in Canada and internationally, and a deep commitment to the values, ideals, and objectives of CCLA,” the CCLA said.

EX-HEYDARY LAWYER JOINS NEW FIRM

Former Heydary Green PC co-director Michael Cochrane has joined litigation and corporate boutique Brauti Thorning Zibarras LLP.

Cochrane practised family law at Heydary Green prior to the firm’s trusteeship by the Law Society of Upper Canada after lawyer Javad Heydary disappeared amid questions over missing client funds amounting to $3.6 million. The law society later confirmed Heydary had died.

The missing funds related to Heydary Hamilton PC and not the other Heydary firms.

Brauti Thorning Zibarras said Cochrane’s practice at the firm would focus on family law, estates, mediation, civil litigation, and public policy matters.

For more, see "Lawyer 'surprised' after LSUC takes control of Heydary firms."

LAO LAUNCHES FAMILY MEDIATION PILOT

Legal Aid Ontario has launched a pilot project that will make legal assistance available for family law mediation clients.

The project will assist unrepresented parties, who make up about 70 per cent of all family law litigants.

Services include advice about the process, assistance in preparing for mediation, and guidance to better understand their options. Lawyers will also be able to assist clients in obtaining a court order or a binding agreement to enforce the terms of a mediation agreement.

Clients could get up to six hours with a lawyer, LAO noted. The program is available at several Greater Toronto Area courthouses as well as in Kingston, Sudbury, Simcoe, Owen Sound, Milton, Muskoka, London, Kitchener, and Hamilton, Ont.

OSGOODE FACULTY SPEAK OUT ON TWU

Osgoode Hall Law School’s faculty council has unanimously passed a motion calling on Trinity Western University to remove a clause in its policy dealing with lesbian and gay students, faculty, and staff.

“The Osgoode motion reaffirms the school’s commitment to promoting diversity and equality in the learning environment and its ongoing efforts to achieve improvements on these goals in the professional community,” said Mary Jane Mossman, the professor who moved the motion, in a press release.

“In the past, the legal profession has excluded individuals based on gender, race, religion or ableness. In 2014, it would be profoundly regressive to institutionalize such exclusion in a law school’s policy.”

The Osgoode council is one of many organizations that have expressed concern about the language used in the mandate of the Christian university that plans to open a law school in 2016.

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