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Monday, May 7, 2012

NEW CRIMINAL RULES INTRODUCED

The Ontario Court of Justice is implementing new criminal rules as of July 1.

“The Ontario Court of Justice hears the vast majority of all criminal matters in Ontario,” said Ontario Court Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo.

“The court constantly looks for ways to be more responsive to the needs of our modern society and to increase accessibility and demystify the criminal justice process.

These new criminal rules will clarify the court’s criminal procedures and provide clear, simple, consistent, and relevant direction to everyone involved in criminal proceedings in our court across the province.”

The existing rules date back to 1997. There are a total of five new rules and three new forms. For more details on the new rules, see ontariocourts.ca/ocj/criminal-rules.

LAWTECHCAMP THIS WEEK

LawTechCamp will take place at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law this week.

The event on May 12 will include several speakers who will discuss topics ranging from digital legacy to knowledge management in law firms and the role of technology in the legal workforce.

For more information, see lawtechcamp.com.

LOCAL LAWYER BECOMES CHAIRMAN OF NORTON ROSE GROUP

Norton Rose Canada LLP chairman Norman Steinberg is the new group chairman of the Norton Rose Group.

Steinberg's new role is part of the global management of the Norton Rose Group.

“Having a Canadian group chairman is a reflection of the globalization of the practice.

With his significant management and client relationship experience, Norman is a natural choice for this position,” said Peter Martyr, the Norton Rose Group’s group chief executive.

“He will continue to build our international practice as his predecessor, Stephen Parish, did. I would like to thank Stephen, who has significantly contributed to our success in becoming a truly international legal practice.”

Steinberg will continue in his current role with Norton Rose Canada.

AURORA LAWYER SUSPENDED

The Law Society of Upper Canada has suspended Aurora, Ont., lawyer David Peirce for acting in a conflict of interest and failing to account for money held in trust.

According to the law society’s disposition, the lawyer acted for a client on his 1998 and 1999 investments in a company that Peirce had an interest in and failed to make sure his client’s interests were protected through adequate disclosure and independent legal representation.

Peirce also personally guaranteed a loan and couldn’t account for $6,500 of his client’s money that was being held in trust, a hearing panel found.

The LSUC has suspended Peirce for four months. He must also pay $8,000 to complainant V.D. and $20,000 in costs to the law society.

NEW BILL TARGETS GANG RECRUITMENT

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is publicly backing MP Parm Gill’s proposed criminal organization recruitment act.

The private member’s bill, which would create a new indictable Criminal Code offence prohibiting recruiting or encouraging a person to join a criminal organization, would come with a maximum sentence of five years in jail and carry a mandatory minimum penalty of six months if the person recruited is less than 18 years old.

“Our government is committed to keeping our streets and communities safe, which is why our government will vote in support of this private member’s bill,” said Nicholson.

“I applaud Parm Gill for his efforts to help protect youth from the threat posed by organized crime groups.”

The bill follows a number of reforms to the criminal justice system, including the hotly contested Safe Streets and Communities Act and the Tackling Violent Crime Act.

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