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Monday, October 13, 2014

LSUC improving French language services

The Law Society of Upper Canada, in partnership with Ontario’s Office of the French Language Services Commissioner, is establishing new procedures to address complaints about the LSUC’s French-language services.

“This is an important confirmation of the rights of Ontarians, as well as a confirmation of the Law Society’s continuing commitment to access to justice in French,” said Janet Minor, the law society’s treasurer, in a release.

Under the new protocol, the FLSC will forward any complaints to the LSUC, which will then open a file and investigate every complaint.

While the procedures guarantee communication between the LSUC and the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner, the law society alone will determine what actions should be taken to resolve the complaint.

The law society and the commissioner will also meet at least once a year in order to discuss how the LSUC has been handling complaints.

New LAO family law partnership in Durham

In a new access to justice initiative, Legal Aid Ontario will be partnering with a Durham Region organization for women who have suffered domestic violence.

LAO will invest $600,000 over three years in the new partnership with Luke’s Place, an Oshawa, Ont., centre devoted to helping abused women and their children navigate the family law system.

LAO opened a new family law service centre in Oshawa in September.

“Women will receive holistic, wrap-around services based on Luke’s Place successful clinic model of lawyer/legal support worker team approach,” said Carol Barkwell, the executive director of Luke’s Place, in a release.

The new initiative will provide women who have experienced domestic violence with a variety of services. Staff lawyers will give legal advice and help drafting any documents needed for family court. Women will also have access to support workers, group support sessions and safety planning sessions.

The partnership is part of LAO’s broader family law strategy, which it announced in March.

Feldberg named managing partner at Faskens

Calgary energy lawyer Peter Feldberg will become the new firm managing partner of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP next Feb. 1.

Feldberg, who is currently chairman of the firm's partnership board, succeeds David Corbett who has served three terms in the position since 2006.

“I look forward to maintaining Fasken Martineau's strong client-service focus,” said Feldberg in a statement. “Our clients come first, and we understand that our success depends on their success.”

Ex-privacy commissioner joins Dentons

Chantal Bernier, the former interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada, will be joining Dentons Canada LLP’s privacy and security practice as counsel in Ottawa.

Bernier served as interim privacy commissioner from December 2013 to June 2014 and had worked as assistant commissioner for the five years proceeding her appointment.

During her brief tenure at the helm of the agency, Bernier made waves by criticizing the government for monitoring and collecting data from Canadians’ social media profiles.

Before working in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Bernier served in a number of government agencies and ministries including Public Safety Canada, the Privy Council Office, the Department of Justice, and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

 “In the digital age, when privacy risks and concerns are on the rise, Ms. Bernier’s perspective and insight as a seasoned regulator and senior executive will be a tremendous asset to our clients, in Canada and around the world,” said Chris Pinnington, Dentons Canada’s chief executive officer.

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The Law Society of Upper Canada’s governing body has approved a proposal to create a new licence for paralegals that would train them in some aspects of family law such as form completion, uncontested divorces and motions to change. Do you agree with this move?
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