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Monday, June 19, 2017

CHIEF JUSTICE MCLACHLIN TO RETIRE

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverley McLachlin has announced that she will retire effective Dec. 15.

McLachlin, who was selected as a “Top 25 Most Influential Lawyer” by Canadian Lawyer multiple times, is widely respected in the legal profession for her leadership on the court as well as her outspokenness on issues such as access to justice, free speech, diversity and inclusive leadership.

Her judicial career began in 1981 when McLachlin was appointed to the Vancouver County Court. In 2000, she was appointed Chief Justice of Canada. McLachlin is the first woman to hold this position.

She is also Canada’s longest-serving chief justice, having held the position for nearly 18 years.

LAWYER ORDERED TO PAY $100,000

A lawyer who was heavily criticized by a Superior Court of Justice judge for her role in a custody battle involving the Children’s Aid Society has been ordered to personally pay $100,000.

The custody battle gained widespread attention earlier this year after Justice Grant Campbell ruled that two lawyers retained through Legal Aid, Brigitte Gratl and Jane McKenzie, provided incompetent counsel to their clients, the mother and father of a daughter who had been removed by authorities.

The removal came after a Motherisk drug test on the mother, which has since been disproved, and led Campbell to decry the child welfare system in the province as “broken.”

In the latest ruling on the case, C.A.S. of the R.M. of W. v. C.T. and J.B., 2017 ONSC 3188, Campbell ordered Gratl to personally pay $100,000, with $50,000 going to the Ontario Legal Aid Plan and $50,000 to the lawyer acting for the child’s mother, Julie Kirkpatrick.

BAKER MCKENZIE LAUNCHES COLLAB

Baker McKenzie LLP is taking an “R&D” approach to how it will deliver legal services in the future with the opening of its Whitespace Legal Collaboration lab last week in Toronto.

The collab, located on the 27th floor of the firm’s offices on Bay Street, is the first of its kind in the firm.

The idea is to bring in academics from nearby universities, as well as business and technology professionals and those involved in design thinking to work together on addressing challenges related to technology, business and law.

IBM Canada will be one of the first Whitespace collab partners along with several academic institutions such as the University of Toronto iSchool, University of Waterloo Problem Lab and York University’s Schulich School of Business.

LAW TIMES POLL

Law Times reports that technology lawyers say recent regulatory decisions have set Canada and the U.S. on diverging tracks when it comes to net neutrality.

We asked readers if they support the elimination of data caps for home and mobile Internet use for Canadians. About 78 per cent said this will mean better long-term results for consumers, while about 22 per cent said no, this hurts innovation in the market.

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The Canadian Bar Association’s decision to protest the federal government’s planned changes to private incorporation tax rules has some lawyers revoking their membership. Do you agree with the CBA’s position?
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