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Monday, July 27, 2015

IMMIGRATION LAWYER CHARGED WITH SEX ASSAULT

The Toronto Police Service has laid three charges of sexual assault against a Toronto immigration lawyer.

On July 15, police arrested lawyer Richard Odeleye, 60, amid allegations that, on three separate occasions, he had sexually assaulted a 35-year-old woman who had visited his office in the Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue area several times. The woman had retained an immigration lawyer from December 2013 to March 2014, police said in a news release.

None of the allegations have been proven in court, and Odeleye was to appear on the charges on Thursday. In the news release, police said there may be more victims.

LFO FELLOWSHIP AWARDED

The Law Foundation of Ontario has awarded a Community Leadership in Justice fellowship to Bruce Campbell of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Campbell, executive director of the think-tank, will use the fellowship to look into the issue of regulatory failure associated with public disasters, specifically the train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Que., in 2013.

The foundation established the fellowship in 2006 to allow public-sector leaders and those dedicated to law reform or legal advocacy to spend all or part of an academic year at an Ontario law school, university or college.

In Campbell’s case, the University of Ottawa’s common and civil law sections will host him during the coming year.

“Research into regulatory negligence at this level and in such depth is rare,” said Paul Schabas, chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees.

“Mr. Campbell’s relationship with community members in Lac-Mégantic affords him a unique opportunity to bring the voices of those affected by such disasters to the forefront and is extremely important to the furthering of access to justice and its intersection with policy work.”

EX-LAWYER’S LICENSING APPLICATION REJECTED

The Law Society Tribunal has rejected former lawyer Roland William Paskar’s application to practise law again.

In a good-character decision on July 15, the hearing division dismissed Paskar’s application for a licence to practise after the Law Society of Upper Canada allowed him to resign in 2000.

At the time, the discipline committee of Convocation found he had allowed himself to be a dupe of several individuals, practised law while suspended, and failed to produce books and records requested by the law society.

The case also included allegations of misleading a client and the court; acting without instructions; and failing to account to a client for trust funds.

In applying to practise again, Paskar said he planned to work as an employee or associate at a law firm.

Despite several character witnesses who made submissions in Paskar’s favour, the panel, chaired by Bencher Raj Anand, rejected his application. Among other things, it found he had continued to practise law in several instances despite his earlier resignation.

“Mr. Paskar’s conduct has been impeached,” wrote Bencher Barbara Murchie for the panel.

“He has not established by evidence of trustworthy persons, especially members of the profession and persons with whom he has been associated since 2000, that he is man of integrity and good character. He provided several letters of reference and three witnesses. The evidence showed that he has helped several people and is well-regarded by them, but this must be weighed against the overwhelming evidence we have heard that establishes unauthorized practice, lack of candour and integrity, and inappropriate behaviour.”

E-FILING FOR LANDLORDS, TENANTS

Applicants at the Landlord and Tenant Board can now file their cases online.

The new tool allows landlords and tenants to file the four most common applications online. They include applications about tenant rights; tenant applications about maintenance; applications to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent and to collect rent; and applications to end a tenancy. The tool guides users through a series of steps and then generates an application.

The board, which receives more than 80,000 applications a year, says users can still file paper applications.

POLL RESULTS

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

According to the poll, 53 per cent of respondents want to find a fair way to regulate ride-booking services such as Uber. A further 33 per cent say governments should do nothing and instead let market forces decide what happens to new entrants and the taxi industry. Just 13 per cent of participants felt authorities should crack down on violations under the current rules.

The poll follows vigorous debate in several cities about what to do about ride-booking services. The taxi industry has pushed for a crackdown as municipalities grapple with how to respond to new services.

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