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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DATES FOR MORDEN REVIEW

John Morden’s G20 review will hold three public hearings in Toronto on June 1, 6, and 13.

The former Ontario associate chief justice’s independent civilian review into matters relating to the G20 summit will travel to civic centres across the city to hear submissions from individual members of the public, organizations, and other stakeholders about their views on the role of civilian oversight in the policing of major events.

The first hearing on June 1 is at Metro Hall; the second on June 6 at the Etobicoke Civic Centre; and the final one on June 13 at the Scarborough Civic Centre. All three run from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

The Toronto Police Services Board launched the Morden review in September. It has the task of judging the adequacy of the board’s planning for the summit last June.

LAWYER JUMPS TO SHIBLEY RIGHTON FROM HEENAN BLAIKIE

Shibley Righton LLP has landed real estate and immigration practitioner Andrea White from Heenan Blaikie LLP.

White, who has represented clients ranging from large landlords to individual tenants on commercial leases, will work out of the firm’s Toronto office.

“Andrea is a truly talented lawyer, and just as important to us, she is a fine person who has added her warmth and enthusiasm to the Shibley Righton team,” said Sandra Dawe, managing partner at the firm. “We are delighted that she has joined us.”

In her immigration practice, White has represented many multinational companies with their international mobility programs and has also acted for entertainment companies to help actors, producers, directors, and film crews with admissibility issues.

SETTLEMENT IN COPYRIGHT CASE

A group of freelance writers has won a $7.9-million settlement after alleging infringement of their copyright when their articles were published in online databases without their permission.

The Ontario Superior Court approved the settlement in the eight-year-old case with defendants Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., Rogers Publishing Ltd., Canwest Publishing Inc., and their affiliates.

Canwest settled the action separately last year.

“This is a tremendous result for Canadian freelance writers,” said Kirk Baert, a partner at Koskie Minsky LLP and lead lawyer for the plaintiffs.

“Class members saw their articles appearing in online databases without their express permission. This settlement provides compensation for that unexpected use.”

In the next few weeks, there will be an official notice appearing in certain newspapers and magazines explaining how freelance writers can make claims from the settlement funds. The notice will also be available on Koskie Minsky’s web site at kmlaw.ca/freelanceclassaction.

TAX LAWYER JOINS BAKER & MCKENZIE

Baker & McKenzie LLP has brought tax lawyer Jacques Bernier from Bennett Jones LLP to its Toronto office as a partner.

Bernier’s practice focuses on tax controversy and litigation, and he has acted for a wide variety of taxpayers, including resource companies, oil and gas businesses, financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, as well as individuals. He’s also a contributing editor of the journal Tax Litigation.

“We are truly excited to have Jacques join the firm’s tax practice,” said Leonard Terr, head of the firm’s North American tax practice group.

“He will add real profile and depth to our Canadian tax practice and will make an excellent addition to our world-class tax controversy and litigation practice in North America.”

“We recognize the importance of tax to our clients and are enthusiastic about adding a lawyer of Jacques’ calibre and character,” added Jim Holloway, Baker & McKenzie’s managing partner in Toronto.

PRACTISING WHILE SUSPENDED SPARKS DISBARMENT RULING

Richmond Hill, Ont., lawyer Gordon Ernest Watkin has been disbarred after ignoring previous suspension orders by Law Society of Upper Canada panels.

The LSUC suspended Watkin’s licence in June 2008 and again in October of that year, but a panel found he had continued to practise for virtually all of the period between July 2008 and September 2009.

In addition, the panel found that during the same period, he had misled the court in a matrimonial case about his suspension, failed to co-operate with law society investigations into his conduct, and failed to serve a client by not disbursing $12,000 in settlement funds received in trust.

Watkin didn’t attend his hearing. His licence was revoked on May 5 by a panel that also ordered him to pay law society costs of $12,900 within 90 days.

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