ADR Chambers has merged with Dispute Resolution Services LP to create a larger firm with locations in both downtown Toronto and North York.
The new firm will retain the name ADR Chambers with Allan Stitt remaining as president. DRS president Cliff Hendler will assist in national and international growth of the company.
“Together we will shape the industry for years to come,” Stitt said.
The new ADR Chambers will offer expedited arbitration and e-video mediation in addition to mediation, arbitration, and neutral evaluation.
FEDS APPOINT THREE NEW JUDGES
Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has announced three new judicial appointments to the Ontario Superior Court.
Justice R. John Harper moves from London, Ont., to become a senior judge of the Family Court branch in Toronto.
Justice Gregory Ellies is appointed to the bench in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., after 24 years of practising civil litigation and criminal law. In addition, Justice John Johnston will sit in Brockville, Ont., after 14 years as a sole practitioner.
Before that, he was a partner at two local firms and was president of the Leeds-Grenville Law Association.
LEAF LAUNCHES EQUALITY SITE
The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund has launched a new web site to monitor developments in equality law.
Equalityrightscentral.com builds on LEAF’s 25 years of expertise in advancing policy and law related to equality rights in Canada and will monitor human rights and discrimination issues primarily in lower courts and tribunals.
“It has been very exciting to see this project come together, and this is just the beginning, as equality rights advocates use it and contribute to it,” said LEAF staff lawyer Tamar Witelson.
WLAO OTTAWA CHAPTER HONOURS THREE LEADING LAWYERS
The Ottawa chapter of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario is holding its President Awards evening on Oct. 20.
Lucy van Oldenbarneveld of the CBC in Ottawa will host proceedings at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier as the WLAO honours three of its leading Ottawa members: Carole Brown, former president of the Ontario Bar Association; Allyne Thomson, a retired partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and noted community volunteer; and Heather Williams, a leading civil litigation lawyer.
For more information, see wlao.on.ca.
THREE NEW PARTNERS AT GOWLINGS
Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP has announced the arrival of three new partners to its Toronto and Ottawa offices.
Arthur Renaud becomes a partner in the Ottawa office and joins its life sciences industry group and intellectual property litigation national practice group.
Merie-Anne Beavis joins the Toronto office as a member of the firm’s energy, infrastructure, and mining industry group.
Finally, Jenny Chu Steinberg is the newest addition to Gowlings’ corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions group in Toronto.
LSUC TO CONSULT ON UNBUNDLING OF LEGAL SERVICES
The Law Society of Upper Canada wants to hear from lawyers and paralegals on the unbundling of legal services.
Convocation approved a call for input on Sept. 29 to get the professions’ view on limited legal representation. The current rules of professional conduct are silent on the issue, neither prohibiting the practice nor providing any guidelines to lawyers and paralegals.
The law society has set up a working group to study it and propose amendments to the rules. Lawyers have until Nov. 30 to let them know what they think by submitting written responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
EYEWEAR STORE OWNER JAILED FOR CIVIL CONTEMPT
The owner of a chain of eyewear stores will serve a year in jail for civil contempt of court.
On Oct. 1, Superior Court Justice James Turnbull told Bruce Bergez he had “made a mockery of the justice system” by ignoring orders to stop dispensing eyewear without prescriptions from optometrists or physicians and failing to pay fines totaling $17 million.
Bergez operated Great Glasses stores in the Hamilton, Ont., area and received his first order to comply with the law in 2003. He was suspended as a licensed optician in 2006.
When he’s released from jail on Oct. 7, 2011, he’ll return to court to be sentenced for criminal contempt of court.
The Ontario Association of Optometrists is welcoming the sentencing. “Ontarians expect businesses, like optical retailers, to obey the law,” said association president John Mastronardi.
“For too long, Mr. Bergez took advantage of his customers’ lack of awareness on what is needed to protect their eye health.”
LAWPRO SHAKES UP CLAIMS GROUP
LawPRO has shaken up its claims group with two new departments overseeing the claims process.
Jerzy Adamowicz takes over as vice president of the new specialty claims department, which is responsible for TitlePLUS, Excess Insurance claims, and claims involving coverage issues. Jack Daiter becomes vice president of the new primary professional liability claims department.
In addition, executive vice president Duncan Gosnell becomes responsible for the claims and underwriting and customer service departments at LawPRO.