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Monday, December 7, 2015

WESTERN LAW HOCKEY STUDENTS OFFSIDE

The dean of Western Law School says he was “disappointed” to learn a group of law students were playing intramural hockey under an offensive name and has called an end to the existence of “Dixon Cider” and issued disciplinary measures to those involved.

Western Law dean Iain Scott said the hockey team’s name was brought to his attention Nov. 19 when a law student contacted him with concerns about it and the sweaters worn by male and female players of “Dixon Cider.”

“I was dismayed,” says Scott. “Once I had the name explained — you have to say it to get it and obviously it’s totally unacceptable and doesn’t reflect our values and what we’re trying to instill in what we expect in our students.”

As reported in the London Free Press, the team had been using the name for at least two years. The sweaters featured a picture of a man carrying a box.

“This was out of the blue — these intramural games are played late at night in empty arenas somewhere and I’ve never been to one,” says Scott.

He adds the team was contacted the same day he was notified by the student and informed their hockey sweaters with the Dixon Cider name on them should not be worn. The team name has since been changed to the Crash Test Domi’s.

Scott says he’s dealt with the issue as a code of conduct matter and it is being addressed in terms of “how we should treat and regard one another.”

Citing privacy reasons, the dean would not speak to the specifics of the discipline being handed out to the 12 players on the team.

“This is something the university has a process to deal with and it’s within that context I’ve dealt with it,” he says. Law Society of Upper Canada spokesperson Susan Tonkin told Law Times that under the Law Society Act and By-law 4, recipients of lawyer or paralegal licences are required to be of good character. Licensing applicants are therefore required to disclose matters in their past or present circumstances that may place their character in issue.

However, that doesn’t mean only the students can report the activity to the law society. “Like in all matters, the Law Society receives and can act on information from a number of sources,” said Tonkin.

LEGAL ROLLER-COASTER

Maybe the Law Society of Upper Canada is right to go slow when it comes to approving alternative business structures. The darling of ABS, Australian-based plaintiff litigation firm Slater & Gordon, took it on the chin in the latter part of November, with its share price dropping a whopping 69 per cent after the U.K. shocked the legal market with an announcement that it would seek to limit lawsuits from car accidents.

OUCH, THAT HURTS

Lawyer Miguna Miguna has been stuck with a $120,000 legal bid over his failed attempt to sue Consortium Book Sales and Distribution, LLC, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for copyright breach.

That’s less than the $155,000 in costs they sought after they successfully obtained a summary judgment order in his copyright case against them. Miguna, who is qualified in Kenya and Canada, is author of Peeling Back The Mask – A Quest for Justice in Kenya. It’s an autobiography of Miguna, who once served as a senior adviser on legal and constitutional affairs to the prime minister of Kenya.

Miguna claimed the defendants breached his copyright, but the Ontario Supreme Court disagreed.

LAW TIMES POLL

There’s a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to the country’s efforts on battling climate change, according to our last poll.

More than 44 per cent of readers said governments are merely “engaging in platitudes” when it comes to taking effective action on climate change. The poll found 55 per cent felt that there was a consensus building in Canada that it is time to act.   

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