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Monday, November 4, 2013

OSGOODE LAW PROF REMEMBERED

Osgoode Hall Law School professor Michael Mandel has died.

Mandel died on Oct. 27, the law school announced. He was 65.

Mandel taught law at Osgoode for 39 years. He lectured in areas including international criminal law, the law of war, and legal politics.

Mandel, a graduate of Osgoode himself, also taught at the University of Saskatchewan, McMaster University, the University of Toronto, and several Italian institutions.

“Michael was a passionate individual; a dedicated teacher and a valued member of the faculty,” the law school said in a press release. “He will truly be missed.”

One student described him as “witty and knowledgeable” on an online tribute.

“Prof Mandel was undoubtedly the best instructor I had at law school,” the student wrote. “His enthusiasm was contagious.”

The Toronto Star reported that Mandel died of a rare heart disease.

LSUC FEES TO INCREASE BY $15

The Law Society of Upper Canada’s 2014 budget outline shows lawyers will see their annual fees go up by $15 in the coming year.

The increase will bring their annual fee to a total of $1,866. The law society will keep paralegals’ annual fee unchanged at $996. Convocation approved the fees along with other budget changes for 2014.

As part of its budget, the law society plans to spend about $8 million to revitalize its information systems over the next three years. Another significant item in the budget was a $500,000 allocation to build the new law practice program, a three-year pilot project that will serve as an alternative to articling.

CHANGES TO CONDUCT RULES

Convocation has adopted some tweaks to the Rules of Professional Conduct proposed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.

The proposals are an attempt to create more consistent rules across the country as the recently signed mobility agreement, once implemented, will allow lawyers to practise anywhere in Canada. The changes will come into effect in October 2014.

The following are the more significant changes noted in a report prepared for Convocation:

•    There will be a new sentence added to the definition of conflict of interest. The addition, which is in line with the Supreme Court’s decision in Canadian

National Railway Co. v. McKercher LLP, says the risk of conflict “must be more than a mere possibility; there must be a genuine, serious risk to the duty of loyalty or to client representation arising from the retainer.”

•    Lawyers can no longer accept testamentary gifts from clients whose will they’re drafting unless they’re also a family member.

•    If lawyers know or are ought to know that someone sent a piece of information regarding their work to them by mistake, the new rules require them to notify the sender.

•    Retired appellate judges who want to go back to law practice will have to wait three years before they can represent a client at the court on which they served. The current rules restrict retired judges from appearing before the very bench they sat on without prior approval but didn’t include a set cooling-off period.

POLL RESULTS

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

The majority of respondents think the Supreme Court of Canada got it right in its recent Cuthbertson v. Rasouli ruling.

The court decided in that case that consent from family members is necessary in order to withdraw life-support treatment even when doctors believe continuing it is ultimately futile.

About 76 per cent of respondents to the poll agreed.

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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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