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Monday, November 10, 2008

RYERSON HOSTS LEGAL EDUCATION SYMPSOIUM

Leaders will gather on Nov. 25 at Ryerson University for a symposium on legal education.

“We are at a crucial point in the evolution of legal education in Canada,” said Julia Hanigsberg, Ryerson’s general counsel and secretary of the university’s board of governors, and interim dean of The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.

“We are seeing a rapid rise in the number of unrepresented litigants in court and many Canadians who experience a legal problem have no idea where to turn.”

The full day event includes panellists and speakers from several fields. The law deans of Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law will be participating, along with the Toronto managing Ppartner of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, members of the judiciary, and other leading figures in the field of legal education.

Several key issues will be examined, including the role of law schools, recent developments in the licensing and accreditation of law schools, new legal education models, and opportunities to learn from examples south of the border.

“As an urban, career-focused university that prides itself on innovation in professional education and that has integrated law into many of its degree programs, Ryerson is uniquely positioned to engage leading thinkers in a discussion of how new models of legal education can help address these issues in the future,” said Hanigsberg.

The symposium - Innovation in Legal Education: Ideas for the 21st Century - was organized following the recent release of two task force reports on the state of legal education in Canada.

The event is scheduled to take place at the Ted Rogers School of Management.

HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE WORKPLACE

Employers looking for guidance on how to effectively manage human rights issues in the workplace have an updated resource, with the publication of the third edition of Human Rights at Work by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

“Almost three-quarters of human rights complaints in Ontario are about a problem in the workplace,” said chief commissioner Barbara Hall, in a release.

“Human Rights at Work outlines some of the more common human rights issues and provides explanations and examples to help employers and employees understand their obligations and responsibilities.”

In the guide, employers will find a plain-language text that gives examples of common human rights issues in the workplace, best practices they can put to use, sample forms to ensure compliance with regulations, and several other resources that will aid in avoiding human rights complaints.

The commission reminds employers that along with promoting a better workplace environment, dealing with human rights issues promptly and effectively by implementing best practice measures can help to save the company time and money.

The guide has been endorsed by the Human Resources Professionals Association as a valuable resource in helping to protect employee rights. It is available for purchase via the Ontario Human Rights Commission web site.

BLG HIRE ADDS TAX EXPERTISE

Laura White, named in the 2008 and 2009 Best Lawyers in Canada for tax, has joined the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

“Laura is widely recognized for her tax knowledge, especially as it relates to investment-management industry issues. She will enhance BLG’s ability to continue as a leader in this area,” said the firm’s national managing partner, Sean Weir, in a release. “Having Laura join us represents a real coup of our firm and clients.”

The move marks White’s return to the firm. She had been with BLG 10ten years ago, before she left to join Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP/Wilson & Partners LLP as partner, where she led its investment -management practice.

Along with her recognition in Best Lawyers in Canada, White has also been recommended by Lexpert as a pre-eminent tax practitioner in the area of investment funds and asset management.

White will work with the securities and capital markets practice at BLG, where she joins as partner.

NEW COUNSEL FOR TRADE LAW BUREAU

Scott Little has been named to serve as counsel to Canada’s Trade Law Bureau.

Little is with the U.S. firm of Thompson Hine LLP, and practises out of their Washington, D.C., office.

Little was selected as part of the Interchange Canada program, which was established for the temporary assignment of employees from one sector to another.

Ideally, Little’s experiences in the private sector will help foster expertise and best practices in his public sector role. The assignment is for a two-year period.

“Scott is a very capable lawyer. We are happy to offer our services through his participation in this program.

I look forward to strengthening Thompson Hine’s relationship with Canada as a result of Scott’s involvement,” said Julia M. McCalmon, a partner with Thompson leader of their international trade & customs practice group, in a release.

Little’s role will involve serving as counsel to the Canadian government in several trade -law disputes. He will represent the government in claims under the investor-state arbitration provisions of NAFTA and in the negotiation of free trade agreements and trade law obligations.

Little has previously served as resident trade consultant to the rules division of the World Trade Organization Ssecretariat, where he assisted dispute settlement panels in their proceedings and in the preparation of panel reports.

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