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Monday, February 27, 2012

NEW LEADERS AT NORTON ROSE

Norton Rose Canada LLP has appointed five new members to its leadership team in Calgary.

Bob Engbloom was named deputy chair of Norton Rose Canada and has been with the firm for more than 13 years practising in mergers and acquisitions and corporate and securities law. He’s also a member of the firm’s management committee.

Jack MacGillivray, who previously served as a member of Macleod Dixon LLP’s executive committee before its merger with Norton Rose OR LLP last year, has also been with the firm for more than 13 years practising corporate and commercial law. MacGillivray will now serve as managing partner at the firm’s Calgary office.

“It is an honour and privilege to begin this new role at such an exciting time. With the recent Macleod Dixon and Norton Rose OR merger to form Norton Rose Canada, our newly strengthened firm has remarkable prospects for our clients, lawyers, and staff,” said MacGillivray.

“I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and to working closely with the other managing partners and leaders around the world at Norton Rose Group."

Jennifer Kennedy, who joined Norton Rose Canada nearly 20 years ago, will become the firm’s new Alberta business law practice group leader.

Randal Van de Mosselaer, who will become the Alberta litigation practice group leader, practises primarily in insolvency, restructuring, and commercial litigation.

In addition, former Macleod Dixon managing partner Bill Tuer becomes a member of the Norton Rose Group’s global executive committee.

STUDENTS COMPETE IN FIRST TWITTER MOOT

West Coast Environmental Law has held a moot competition that allows students to argue their cases entirely through Twitter.

Billed as the world’s first Twitter moot court, the competition featured five teams from law schools across Canada that argued a mock appeal of a recent precedent-setting environmental case, West Moberly First Nations v. British Columbia (Chief Inspector of Mines).

The case focuses on the survival of an endangered caribou herd threatened by coal mining and ongoing industrial development.

The teams included two students from Dalhousie University, the University of Ottawa, the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, and York University.

Osgoode Hall Law School students Nikki Petersen and Emelia Baack represented West Moberly First Nations in the appeal and argued that the treaty right to hunt should extend to protecting a particular herd of caribou from the effects of coal mining.

“Twitter is a great way to let many people share their views,” said Petersen. “I see the moot as a spark to get a discussion going about environmental law issues in Canada. The response to team Osgoode has been very positive.”

The competition took place on Feb. 21 and featured judges William Deverell, Omar Ha-Redeye, and Kathleen Mahoney. The Osgoode team won first place in the competition.

“140 characters is a great way to focus legal arguments and ideas,” said Osgoode dean Lorne Sossin.

“This is a novel and timely initiative. Congratulations to West Coast Environmental Law for initiating the project and good luck to the mooters, especially team Osgoode.

We’ll be following this groundbreaking moot with great interest.”

For more information, see twitter.com/#!/twtmoot.

TRUDEAU FOUNDATION APPOINTS 10 NEW MENTORS

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation has selected 10 community members, including two lawyers, to mentor a group of doctoral students identified by the organization as future leaders.

The lawyers include Ontario’s John Sims, a former deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general of Canada.

The other lawyer named is Bernard Richard, who previously served as New Brunswick’s minister of intergovernmental affairs and education, opposition leader, and ombudsman. Richard is a strong advocate of children’s rights, the foundation noted in announcing his selection.

“The transfer of knowledge and experience from current leaders to future leaders has never been more important than it is now, and the Trudeau mentorship program addresses this need by creating remarkable pairings that collaborate for up to three years,” said Pierre-Gerlier Forest, president of the foundation.

“By connecting Trudeau scholars with highly accomplished Trudeau mentors, we aim to nurture, test, and activate concrete solutions to issues of major societal importance to Canadians.”

CBA SPEAKS OUT ON JUDICIAL COMPENSATION

The Canadian Bar Association has found a “disturbing” trend in the federal government’s response times to Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission reports.

Created under the Judges Act, the commission makes recommendations every four years to the federal minister of justice about the salaries and benefits paid to the federal judiciary.

The law requires the minister to respond to the commission within six months.

But the CBA claims responses to both the 2004 and 2008 commission reports went well beyond the statutory time frame of six months, according to a CBA press release.  

The result, according to the release, could affect the judiciary’s independence.

“Canadians need to know that when they appear in court, the judge is going to be impartial,” said CBA president Trinda Ernst in her remarks to the 2012 Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission.

“Individuals must have confidence that when their case is decided, judges have no financial incentive in the outcome.

This means not only that judges have no personal or financial interest in the case but also that they are not worried about whether the outcome of the case will please or displease the government that provides their remuneration.”

Unexplained delays are not only disrespectful but they also undermine the integrity of the process, according to Ernst.

“The judicial compensation review process only succeeds if all parties respect and comply with the statutory time requirements. Unexplained delays by one party are disrespectful of the other parties and undermine the integrity of the process.”

Ernst appeared before the commission last week.

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