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Monday, November 23, 2015

CDLPA GETS NEW NAME

The County & District Law Presidents’ Association is rebranding itself as the Federation of Ontario Law Associations.

Earlier this month, the presidents of the 46 local law associations voted to change the name. The change reflects a feeling by the association’s executive that the CDLPA name was “cumbersome and did not reflect the full scope of what the organization meant to its membership,” according to a news release.

“It is our intent that this mandate will remain, but with the new name and ‘rebranding,’ we think it will become more clear to members and to key stakeholders that we represent frontline, practising lawyers across Ontario who are members of their local law associations,” said Eldon Horner, the incoming chairman of the organization.

“While we respect the history and tradition of the association and all those who served it as volunteers in the past, it was clear to the presidents and leadership of the association that the name needed to change.”

DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR FEDERAL PANEL

As lawyers eagerly await the federal government’s response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on assisted suicide, new Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has modified the mandate and extended the deadline for a panel appointed to look at the issue.

On Nov. 14, Wilson-Raybould and Health Minister Jane Philpott announced the panel, led by chairman Harvey Max Chochinov, would have a one-month extension until Dec. 15 to complete its report. The government has also modified the panel’s mandate to focus on the results of its consultations rather than on the development of legislative options to respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General).

The clock, of course, has been ticking as the government faces a one-year timeline to fill the legislative void created by the Feb. 6 ruling. Since the Liberals took power this month, there has been speculation that the government will seek an extension of the deadline.

LAWYER ORDERED TO PAY WAL-MART $50K

Earlier this fall, the Legal Feeds blog reported on Toronto lawyer Miguna Miguna’s copyright dispute with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Miguna lost his claim, and now the Ontario Superior Court has ordered him to pay a combined $120,000 in costs to two defendants.

In September, Justice Graeme Mew granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment after considering Miguna’s claim of a copyright breach in relation to his book, Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest for Justice in Kenya. Miguna claimed he didn’t consent to any publication, production or release of the book by the defendants, Mew noted.

Miguna has appealed the decision, suggesting Mew had failed to fully appreciate all of the evidence before him. In the meantime, Mew has rejected Miguna’s arguments that he shouldn’t have to pay costs to Wal-Mart and Consortium Book Sales and Distribution LLC, a company identified on walmart.com as the publisher of the book. Mew found that “as an experienced lawyer, the plaintiff knew full well that by bringing this action he was exposing himself to the possibility of a significant award of costs.”

As a result, Mew ordered Miguna to pay $50,000 to Wal-Mart and $70,000 to Consortium.

POLL RESULTS

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

According to the poll, respondents have significant doubts about the feasibility of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of the year. More than 66 per cent of participants felt the plan isn’t realistic and suggested the government should take its time to ramp up its response.   

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