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Monday, March 11, 2013

NEW GC AT SOCAN

The Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada has named Gilles Daigle its new general counsel and head of legal services.

Daigle has already been working with SOCAN for 23 years as an external legal counsel at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP. He’ll now continue to guide SOCAN in protecting the rights of Canada’s musicians and publishers as its in-house lawyer.

“Working so closely with SOCAN for so many years means that becoming an employee will be seamless,” said Daigle.

Daigle succeeds Paul Spurgeon, who’s retiring after 35 years of representing SOCAN.

SOCAN is a non-profit organization representing more than three million Canadian and international musicians and publishers. CEO Eric Baptiste said Daigle “will be a key player in SOCAN’s plans to be a global trailblazer.”

His appointment to the position comes at a time when SOCAN is facing some high-profile legal challenges, including those posed by the new Copyright Modernization Act that came into effect last November.

For example, online music services that go beyond iTunes are creating new questions about artists’ compensation and royalties, particularly from streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. “There’s been a lot of talk, too, about YouTube and the difficulties around the world with it and Google reaching agreements with performing rights societies,” said Daigle.

REAL ESTATE DECLARATION APPROVED

In an attempt to deal with the high number of mortgage and real estate fraud claims, the Law Society of Upper Canada will now require lawyers in real estate transactions to sign a yearly declaration that they know how to avoid fraud.

Real estate matters accounted for 20 per cent of all complaints between 2006 and 2011, according to the law society’s professional regulation committee.

The declaration, approved Feb. 28th, is a list of fraud-proof practices lawyers are expected to know and exercise. Lawyers involved in real estate and mortgage cases have previously said they weren’t aware of their responsibilities.

The declaration requires lawyers to prohibit staff from using their Teranet diskette and keep the password private. Lawyers must also confirm their duty to supervise all non-lawyers they work with.

In addition, lawyers must check off a statement that they know they can’t work for both a borrower and a lender in the transfer of title property with some limited exceptions.

GOWLINGS LAWYERS HONOURED

Five professionals at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP have received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for outstanding contributions to their communities.

The award honoured Todd Burke for his years of community service, notably his fundraising for the Ottawa Mission and the Ottawa school breakfast program along with his work on the boards of Habitat for Humanity and the Hospice at May Court.

Gary Graham received his medal for building a more competitive manufacturing sector in Ontario and Canada.

In addition, the award recognized Frank Lamie for his military service and dedication to local charities; E. Patrick Shea for his support of the Canadian Forces and the air cadet gliding program as well as his legal scholarship and volunteer work in law reform; and Jacques Shore for his professional and community contributions, such as his work with the Canadian Coalition Against Terror on human rights and legal issues and his contributions to the Air India inquiry.

CLINIC MOVES TO NORTH TORONTO HUB

Toronto’s Downsview Community Legal Services is on the move.

According to Legal Aid Ontario, the clinic has moved to the newly built Bathurst-Finch Community Hub.

The legal clinic will focus on providing assistance in landlord and tenant disputes, social assistance and disability, employment insurance, Canada Pension Plan matters, and employment.

The clinic will assist clients in partnership with the community and medical services provided at the hub at 540 Finch Ave. W. next to Northview Heights Secondary School.

The move means Downsview Community Legal Services Clinic can provide its legal services alongside other community services in one convenient space, according to LAO. The community hub features counselling, youth and seniors’ groups, as well as medical services ranging from family doctors to dieticians.

POLL RESULTS

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

According to the poll, most respondents don’t agree with the Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that allows police to search suspects’ cell phones under certain conditions.

Last month, the appeal court found police could search cellphones not protected by a password without a warrant. In doing so, the court dismissed the appeal of Kevin Fearon over the police search of his device.

“While I appreciate the highly personal and sensitive nature of the contents of a cellphone and the high expectation of privacy that they may attract, I am of the view that it is difficult to generalize and create an exception based on the facts of this case,” wrote Armstrong.

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