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Monday, July 20, 2009

BIG AWARD FOR FIBROMYALGIA

A woman has been awarded nearly $4 million by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for chronic pain and fibromyalgia syndrome.

“This latest judgment will set a precedent as it demonstrates powerfully and convincingly the importance and severity of fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndrome as disabilities,” said a release from law firm Singer Kwinter, which represented Diane Degennaro.

“This will demonstrate to the insurers, the public, and the legal system the severity of this disability and its implication on future judgments.”

According to the law firm, Degennaro was 30 years old when her son was admitted to a hospital. The woman was told she could sleep on a bed in the boy’s room, but when she sat on the end of it, it collapsed.

She fractured her tailbone and later developed fibromyalgia, which has caused chronic pain throughout her body.

She has been unable to return to work and doctors say she won’t be able to work in the future.

OSC’S RITCHIE SECONDED

Ontario Securities Commission vice chairman Lawrence Ritchie has been seconded to the new Canadian Securities Transition Office, taking a lead role in putting together the infrastructure of a countrywide securities regulator.

“I look forward to working closely with Larry Ritchie and welcome the expertise and enthusiasm he will bring to the project,” said Doug Hyndman, who has been named chairman and CEO of the transition office.

Before joining the OSC, Ritchie was a partner at Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

KUDOS TO LAWPRO

LawPROro has been recognized by the Ontario Bar Association for its work on behalf of the province’s real estate lawyers through a series of public education campaigns, recently receiving an award at the OBA’s gala evening in Toronto.

“LawPROro has for several years gone out of its way to support the real estate bar,” said OBA real property section chairman Jeffrey Schwartz, in a release.

“Its promotion and advertising efforts ensure that consumers, financial institutions, even government, who are affected by or involved in the real estate transaction, better understand what we do and the importance of our role.”

According to LawPROro, in 2008 alone its media campaigns - aimed at raising showing how lawyers protect consumer interests in a real estate deal - reached over 3.5 million consumers in Canada.

“It’s a tremendous honour to be recognized by the OBA for something we so passionately believe in,” said LawPROro president and CEO Kathleen Waters, in a release.

“When people discuss access to justice, they often focus on access to the courts. For most Canadians, access to justice and the law comes more commonly in the form of advice from lawyers on real estate deals, wills and estates, and family issues.

Supporting the work of the real estate Bbar is crucial to maintaining local access to legal advice throughout Ontario.”

BATTLE OF THE BIKES

Lawyers have been issued a challenge from AGF Management Ltd. general counsel Judy Goldring, chairwoman of the 2009 Toronto JDRF Ride for Diabetes Research: get involved in the Toronto ride to help raise $2.5 million.

"We are raising money to help find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research and we need your help," said Goldring, in a release. "Last year, 15 legal firms raised over $80,000 and this year, we're hoping that the Legal Challenge will be even bigger and better."

David Wiseman, of Goodmans LLP, and Geoffrey Turner, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, co-chairman of the 2009 JDRF Legal Challenge, also urge lawyers to participate.

"“We'd like to step up the level of participants and the money raised by the legal community and start to challenge the other business sectors,”" said Turner.

He noted that eight mutual fund companies raised nearly $150,000 last year.

The ride is set for Friday, Sept. 25 at Nathan Phillips Square. Go to www.jdrf.ca/ride to register a team or support a colleague.

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