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Monday, January 18, 2010

BLAKES LANDS FORMER STIKEMANS LAWYER

Litigator Randall Hofley has joined Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, filling a gap in the firm’s competition group left by the departure of Neil Finkelstein last summer.

The Ottawa-based competition law and litigation practitioner comes to Blakes from Stikeman Elliott LLP.

Hofley was formerly special counsel to the commissioner of competition and successfully acted on behalf of the Competition Bureau in the Canada Pipe Company Ltd. antitrust case.

He was also active in legislative and policy reform related to mergers, cartels, and abuse of dominance.

In addition to litigating before Canada’s top courts, Hofley has also represented clients before the Competition Tribunal, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and the Copyright Board of Canada.

In the early days of his career, Hofley served as law clerk to Beverley McLachlin, now chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

PROVINCE REJECTS COMPENSATION

Two men sent to prison after being wrongfully convicted will not be entitled to receive compensation from the provincial government.

The Ministry of the Attorney General announced last week that it’s “notappropriate” to compensate Robert Baltovich and Anthony Hanemaayer, whoboth served time in prison on convictions that were later overturned.

Ateach stage in both cases, “the Crown and police acted with integrityand in the best interests of the administration of justice,” thegovernment said.

Baltovich was convicted of second-degree murder in 1992 for the killing of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Bain.

Hespent eight years in prison before a new trial was ordered. As thesecond trial was set to begin, the Crown elected to call no evidencefor lack of a reasonable prospect of conviction, after which Baltovichwas acquitted.

On the advice of his lawyer, Hanemaayer pleaded guilty in 1989 to sexual assault and was sentenced to two years. Serial killer Paul Bernardo later confessed to the crime.

The province said that each case was not sufficiently “rare and unusual” to warrant financial redress.

GROIA LAUNCHES CHALLENGE

Joe Groia is challenging the validity of his upcoming disciplinary hearing for professional misconduct by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Last November, the LSUC commenced proceedings against Groia for his courtroom behaviour in defending John Felderhof, who faced insider-trading charges in the Bre-X Minerals Ltd. gold-dusting scandal.

Now, the securities litigator is seeking to have the charges quashed, calling the law society investigation “a shocking departure from the rules of natural justice.”

In an affidavit, Groia alleged the LSUC had failed to review the transcripts of the Felderhof trial and is not in a position to determine if the security litigator’s actions violated the rules of professional conduct.

The allegations included in the LSUC’s notice of application are “so vague, general, and devoid of details as to be impossible to respond to,” the affidavit said.

Groia also questioned the law society’s jurisdiction to regulate conduct in open court.

“The charges, in the circumstance of the case, violate the principle of the independence of the bar and the obligation of a defence counsel to vigorously defend his or her client from the oppression of the state,” he said.

ARBITRATION ‘FREE ZONE’ LAUNCHES

Ottawa-based arbitration lawyer Barry Leon was in attendance in Bahrain last week for the launch of the world’s first arbitration “free zone,” a joint endeavour by the Bahrain government and the American Arbitration Association.

Leon, a partner with Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP, was the sole Canadian in attendance for opening of the Bahrain Chamber of Dispute Resolution, an independent entity aimed at resolving commercial disputes.

The centre will provide binding resolutions to international disputes and guaranteed awards not subject to challenge 

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