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Monday, January 27, 2014

LAWYER DISBARRED OVER MORTGAGE TRANSACTIONS

A Toronto lawyer has lost his licence to practise law due to professional misconduct related to mortgage transactions.

A Law Society of Upper Canada hearing panel found lawyer Mitchell Lewis Wolfe had engaged in professional misconduct for“participating in or knowingly assisting in dishonest or fraudulent conduct by his borrower client to obtain mortgage or investment funds under false pretenses in connection with the . . . mortgage transactions.”

Wolfe also acted for multiple parties in the mortgage transactions without adequate disclosure to or consent from his lending clients, the hearing panel found. In addition to revoking his licence, the panel ordered Wolfe to pay $55,000 in costs.

POLL RESULTS

The results of the latest Law Times online poll are in.

According to the poll, almost 60 per cent of participants don’t think Ontario should adopt a no-cost rule for class actions. The poll follows a new discussion document released by the Law Commission of Ontario as part of its review of the Class Proceedings Act that raises the potential of having a no-costs rule in Ontario. But for themajority of poll participants, having costs follow the event should remain a bedrock principle for all matters.

SECURITIES LAWYER LEAVES TORYS FOR BLG

Securities litigator Laura Paglia has left Torys LLP to join Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

Paglia joins David Di Paolo as regional co-leader of the securities litigation group at BLG’s Toronto office.

“Laura contributes to our team’s in-depth expertise in the Canadian securities market. She has been a leader in Canadian securities litigation and regulatory matters and has been involved in representing numerous market participants including investment dealers, mutual fund, and futures dealers,” said Jim Douglas, national leader of BLG’s securities litigation and regulatory group. “She is a tremendous asset to our clients as they respond to the many reforms taking place in the regulation of the Canadian financial market.”

FAMILY LAWYER JOINS THE BENCH

The province has appointed family lawyer Lynda Ross as a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Ross began presiding in Windsor, Ont., as of Jan. 20.

Ross worked in all areas of family law. She practised collaborative family law and has been a child protection mediator providing services to children’s aid societies and courts in various regions.

OSC SEEKS MORE WOMEN ON BOARDS

The Ontario Securities Commission has issued proposed amendments and is asking for comment on changes that would demand greater transparency regarding the representation of women on corporate boards and in senior management.

If adopted, the proposed amendments would require issuers reporting in Ontario to include the following disclosure annually in their proxy circulars:

Director term limits or an explanation for their absence.

The number and proportion of women on the board and in executive positions.

An issuer’s policies on the representation of women on the board (including for identifying and nominating female directors) or an explanation for their absence.

If they’ve adopted a policy, disclosure of its objectives and key provisions, the measures taken to ensure its implementation, the progress made on achieving the goals, and whether and how they measure the effectiveness of the policy.

The board’s consideration of the representation of women in the director identification and selection process, including whether it considers the level of female representation on boards in identifying and nominating candidates, and, if not, why not.

The consideration given to the representation of women in executive positions when making appointments.

Targets voluntarily adopted regarding female representation on the board or in executive positions and, if none, an explanation for their absence.

LAO LAWYER TO ATTEND TORONTO AREA COURTS

Legal Aid Ontario will start sending a staff lawyer to the Superior Court in Toronto and Brampton, Ont., on a regular basis to assist litigants and the courts.

A staff lawyer will attend the Toronto court every Wednesday and visit Brampton every second Friday, according to LAO.

“The LAO lawyer’s participation in these superior courts is part of a pilot project to enhance access to justice for LAO’s clients and to assist the administration of justice,” said LAO.

During the visits, the LAO lawyer will provide updates on the status of legal aid applications and let the court know the exact days of future attendance in order to schedule issues requiring an LAO lawyer on those dates.

The pilot project will start on Jan. 29 in Toronto and Feb. 7 in Brampton.    

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