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Monday, August 4, 2014

TWO NEW JUDGES NAMED

The Ontario government has appointed two new judges to the Ontario Court of Justice.

Mary Misener and David Rose will preside in Newmarket, Ont. Prior to her appointment, Misener was an assistant Crown attorney for the Ministry of the Attorney General’s guns and gangs initiative. She has also taught criminal law at the University of Toronto and served on the board of directors of the John Howard Society.

Rose was a founding partner at Neuberger Rose LLP before managing his own criminal law practice more recently. As a lawyer, he has appeared at all levels of court. He has also worked pro bono for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and serves as a board member for the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre and George Herman House.

The appointments are effective Aug. 6.

FAMILY LAW SERVICES BOOSTED

Legal Aid Ontario says it will offer free family law advice at four more courthouses in northwestern Ontario this summer.

“Clients in Sioux Lookout, Fort Frances, Red Lake, and Dryden who are either new to the family court system or who don’t have a lawyer can receive free assistance at the [family law information centre], which is located in the courthouse,” LAO announced.

Lawyers will be available to provide brief advice on how the court process works and refer people to other sources of assistance, LAO said. For financially eligible clients, case-specific services such as document review and preparation will be available. The added services began in July with other dates set for August at the various courthouses.

SETTLEMENT IN OVERTIME CASE

The Bank of Nova Scotia has reached a settlement in one of the overtime class actions.

On July 24, Scotiabank announced it had reached an agreement with representative plaintiff Cindy Fulawka to settle the Fulawka v. The Bank of Nova Scotia overtime case.

According to the bank, a hearing for approval of the proposed settlement will take place on Aug. 12. The case, which dates back to December 2007, involved some full-time retail branch employees who held positions such as personal banking officer, senior personal banking officer, financial adviser, and account manager for small business.

The settlement includes a claims process, according to the bank. If the court approves it, class members will be able to make claims for any overtime they worked for which they didn’t receive compensation during the claim period.

The case is one of a series of class actions over unpaid overtime. They include the ongoing case launched by Dara Fresco against the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

POLL RESULTS

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

According to the poll, just over 75 per cent of respondents are in favour of the federal government’s changes to the temporary foreign worker program.

The majority of respondents agreed with a statement that the program had gotten out of control and is in need of an overhaul.

In the face of controversy, the Canadian government is reforming the program to ensure employers put Canadian workers first before bringing in labour from foreign countries. But changes to curtail the program in the fast-food sector have been particularly controversial among small businesses that argue it’s too difficult to find Canadians willing to do the work. In the poll, almost 25 per cent of respondents felt the changes will be unfair to employers and suggested the government should address the problems through enforcement.

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