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Monday, January 25, 2010

WEB SITES SETTLE DEFAMATION CASE
Two web sites battling over comments posted online have reached a settlement.
The case stems from the publishing last March of “potentially defamatory statements” about advicescene.com and its founder, Nancy Kinney, according to a statement on lawbuzz.ca
The comments, allegedly made by four registered users on Lawbuzz’ web site, “may have discouraged Canadian lawyers from visiting advicescene.com, thus potentially hurting the business of Ms. Kinney, which depends on lawyer memberships.”
As part of the settlement, Lawbuzz has agreed to provide the IP and e-mail addresses of the four anonymous posters.
The comments dealt with the legitimacy of AdviceScene’s services. In its statement, Lawbuzz rejected the allegedly defamatory postings. “Lawbuzz is advised that advicescene.com is ‘a legitimate Canadian legal site that provides a useful service to the public, free of charge,’” it said.
For her part, Kinney said she was pleased with the outcome given that “people need to take responsibility for what they say, especially if their comments are harmful to others. The online world needs to be included in that social and legal agreement. Lawyers, above all others, should know this.”
BLAKES LANDS ANOTHER STIKEMANS LAWYER
A second Stikeman Elliott LLP competition lawyer has joined Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP.
Deborah Salzberger is moving to the competition, antitrust, and foreign investment group at Blakes, the firm announced last week. “We are delighted to add Debbie to our partnership,” said Blakes partner Brian Facey.
“She is very highly regarded by the business community and her peers and adds further bench strength to our growing competition group, particularly in the area of strategic mergers.”
Earlier this month, Blakes announced that Randall Hofley, also formerly at Stikemans, had joined its competition group.
AG GETS NEW DUTIES
Attorney General Chris Bentley, already busy handling a massive government ministry, received new duties in last week’s cabinet shuffle.
Bentley now becomes minister of aboriginal affairs, a role in which he’ll be “making new efforts to build new economic opportunities for aboriginal people in Ontario,” the government said. 
The move was a controversial one, however, given that the aboriginal affairs portfolio had previously been a stand-alone job. Now, Bentley will have to balance the new position with his existing role overseeing Ontario’s justice system.
The cabinet shuffle saw 12 ministers take on new responsibilities. In taking over the aboriginal affairs role, Bentley replaces Brad Duguid, who now becomes minister of energy and infrastructure.
OGILVY GOES WEST
Ogilvy Renault LLP is expanding with the opening of a Calgary office.
The move gives the firm its fifth office in Canada in addition to its location in London, England. Heading up the Calgary operation is managing partner Rusty Miller, formerly a corporate counsel in the energy sector. 
Four lawyers will join him to form a team with a significant background in energy law. Areas of practice will include regulatory, environmental, and corporate commercial law along with various types of business services.
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