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Monday, November 18, 2013

NEW ONTARIO JUDGES APPOINTED

The provincial government has appointed a criminal lawyer as an Ontario Court of Justice judge.

Patrice Band will preside at the courthouse in Brampton, Ont., as of Nov. 20. Called to the bar in 1999, Band most recently worked as a sole practitioner focusing on criminal defence, regulatory, and professional discipline work. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant Crown attorney as well as counsel for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

In addition, justices Gladys Pardu and Mary Lou Benotto are the newest judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal as the federal government recently made several appointments across Canada this month.

Pardu replaces Justice Robert Sharpe, who moved to supernumerary status in June. She has been a judge since 1991. Benotto replaces Justice Robert Blair, who also became a supernumerary judge earlier this year. She has been on the bench since 1996.

OBA CAMPAIGN LAUDED

The ad agency behind the Ontario Bar Association’s “Why I Went to Law School” campaign has won an award for best campaign work.

The campaign featured personal stories of lawyers about why they decided to join the profession in an effort to improve its image among the public.

The ad agency, Agency59, won a gold MarCom Award from the Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals, the OBA said.

The award had more than 6,500 entries this year from corporate marketing and communications departments, ad agencies, public relations firms, design shops, and production companies.

CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO LIMIT JUDGES’ TENURE

Supreme Court of Canada judges should have their terms fixed at 12 years, a campaign launched last week is urging.

The Canadian Constitution Foundation’s campaign comes as the Supreme Court is debating whether to impose fixed terms on senators.

“We thought it would be a good time to launch the campaign because the question of term limits is being decided by the Supreme Court of Canada itself,” said Chris Schafer, the foundation’s executive director.

Schafer practised constitutional and regulatory law at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP before joining the foundation in 2010.

The campaign stems largely from the concern that Supreme Court of Canada judges can remain in their posts long after the prime minister who chose them has left office.

“This is just another extension of the [prime minister’s office’s] power. That’s a concern for democracy,” said Schafer.

MCMURTRY HONOURED FOR ADR

The Ontario Bar Association honoured former Ontario chief justice Roy McMurtry for his contributions to alternative dispute resolution last week.

McMurtry, counsel at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, helped establish and promote alternative dispute resolution in Ontario, according to the OBA.

The award recognizes exceptional practice, writing, and teaching on dispute resolution issues as well as participation in continuing legal education related to the topic.

McMurtry received his award at a dinner gala at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto last week.

LAO SEEKING FUNDING APPLICATIONS

Legal Aid Ontario is inviting legal aid clinics to apply for two new funding programs.

A new $1-million fund will support clinic transformation and another $2-million fund will help strengthen the capacity of legal clinics.

The deadline for submitting an application to the funds is Jan. 15, 2014, according to LAO.

POLL RESULTS

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

The vast majority of respondents say Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is wrong to say he can’t talk about the allegations against him because the matter is before the courts.

According to the poll, 81 per cent of participants said Ford was wrong to point to the courts as the reason for his silence on the controversies surrounding him.

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It's unknown how widely police in Ontario utilize controversial surveillance techniques that can capture private data from non-targets in criminal investigations. Do you think there should be formal requirements to release this information?
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