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Monday, May 2, 2011

U OF O TOPS AT VIENNA MOOT

A mooting team from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law has won the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna after prevailing over teams from nearly 280 universities from around the world.

Team members included students Marc McLaren-Caux, Diane Laranja, Johnathan O’Hara, Etai Hilzenrat, and Sherif Foda.

The team joined more than 1,000 students from around the world at the University of Vienna to argue a problem they had been working on since last October. This year’s problem concerned an international sales contract for the sale of squid as fishing bait that went wrong.

“This is obviously a great honour for our students and our coaches but it is also a glowing testament to the excellence of Canadian legal education on the global stage,” said Bruce Feldthusen, dean of the faculty’s common law section.

VAUGHAN LAWYER DISBARRED

The Law Society of Upper Canada has disbarred Vaughan, Ont., lawyer Francesco Puchiele after finding him guilty of professional misconduct.

The findings relate to a number of real estate transactions. According to the LSUC, Puchiele knowingly assisted fraudulent or dishonest conduct by his vendor and purchaser clients or others.

He also failed to be honest and candid with his lender clients by not making full, frank, and timely disclosure of all material facts, including a significant price escalation within a short period of time.

At the same time, Puchiele acted for multiple parties in the transactions with conflicting interests in addition to several other misdeeds. Besides disbarring him, the law society also ordered him to pay $15,000 in costs within two years.

PAWLITZA HONOURED BY WLAO

The Women’s Law Association of Ontario has awarded its 2011 President’s Award to Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza.

In announcing the award, the association noted Pawlitza’s contributions to the legal profession and her role in promoting the interests of women lawyers in Ontario. She’s to receive the award on June 7 at the National Club in Toronto.

PARTY TO CELEBRATE HUMAN RIGHTS WORK

Ontario Securities Commission chairman Howard Wetston is the guest speaker at Canadian Lawyers Abroad’s upcoming spring cocktail party.

The event takes place on June 1 from 6-9 p.m. at 48 Yonge St. in Toronto. A celebration of the organization’s work on the rule of law, good governance, and human rights around the world, the event will feature Wetston’s comments on the importance of promoting the rule of law.

LAWYERS ROCK THE COURTHOUSE

Five lawyer bands are taking the stage this week to raise money for the Lawyers Feed the Hungry program.

The event will feature several classic songs as well as new music. The five lawyer bands, Hung Jury, the Loopholes, the Margins, the Soul Practitioner, and Tortious Conduct, will play in addition to showcase group Motion Denied.

The show takes place May 6 at the Courthouse at 57 Adelaide St. E. in Toronto. Tickets are $30 at the door or $25 in advance. For more information, contact event organizer John McMillan at johnmcmillan@bellnet.ca.

INSURANCE LITIGATORS HONOURED

Two insurance litigators are the recipients of the Ontario Bar Association’s 2011 Award for Excellence in Insurance Law.

Toronto lawyer Paul Lee and Sudbury, Ont., practitioner James Simmons are both receiving the honour. “The OBA insurance law section is very pleased to celebrate with our colleagues the careers of two lawyers from the insurance bar that have successfully represented both our profession and industry with such professionalism, energy, and character,” said section chairwoman Aleksandra Zivanovic.

Simmons has practised in Sudbury since his call to the bar in 1970 and is an active member of the community. He receives his award on May 3 in Sudbury.

Lee, a leading expert in personal injury, motor vehicle, and property and casualty claims, was to be honoured last Thursday.

GOV’T DISCRIMINATED, HRTO FINDS

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is on the hook for a $20,000 award after it discriminated against an aboriginal woman, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled.

According to the ruling, Bonnie Couchie lost her contract to deliver programming on aboriginal relations to several government ministries following the first of six sessions.

Couchie, an aboriginal woman, and her co-presenter, a non-aboriginal person, both received mixed reviews for their work. But only Couchie lost her contract.

In response, HRTO vice chairwoman Jennifer Scott concluded that Couchie was subject to “heightened scrutiny, disproportionate blame, and overreaction when compared to her co-presenter.”

As a result, the government must now pay Couchie $20,000 in general damages.

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