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Monday, April 20, 2015

STAY GRANTED IN HEYDARY CASE

The Ontario Court of Appeal has stayed an order to pay the former clients of the late lawyer Javad Heydary from his LawPRO insurance pending an appeal by his former colleagues.

The former clients, Samira and Hasan Abuzour, lost $3.6 million after Heydary, who was to hold the funds in trust for them, disappeared amid an investigation into the missing money before being declared dead.

Last year, Superior Court Justice Michael Penny awarded the Abuzours the amount remaining in Heydary’s $1-million coverage under LawPRO’s innocent party insurance.

But Heydary’s former colleagues — Jeff Landmann, Yan Wang, and Darren Smith — brought a motion to vary that order on the basis that they hadn’t received enough notice on an issue that interests them as non-parties. The lawyers claimed the LawPRO policy applied to them as well as Heydary and the garnishment of the insurance, with a limit of $1 million, would leave them without coverage should they face a lawsuit.

While the court heard and denied that motion, the lawyers are appealing the decision. Recently, LawPRO brought a motion to stay the garnishment order pending the appeal. Last week, appeal court Justice Grant Huscroft granted the stay.

“The strongest argument in favour of granting a stay is one of basic fairness,” wrote Huscroft.

“The problem at the heart of these proceedings results from the failure of the Abuzours to provide proper notice to Landmann, Wang, and Smith of the first motion before Penny J. Had notice been provided, they would have been able to appeal the October 28 order and that order would have been stayed automatically pursuant to rule 63.01(1).”

For more, see "LawPRO ordered to indemnify Heydary's victims."

MCCARTHYS PARTNER GIVEN HONORARY JOB

McCarthy Tétrault LLP partner Chia-yi Chua has been appointed an honorary consul general of Singapore.

The appointment comes as Philip Eng, Singapore’s high commissioner to Canada, formally opened the Singapore consulate general at McCarthys’ Toronto office.

“We are extremely proud of Chia-yi and we welcome the opening of the consulate general in our offices,” said Marc-André Blanchard, chairman and chief executive officer of McCarthys.

“This appointment celebrates Chia-yi’s ability to cultivate significant relationships and his capacity to provide strategic advice as it relates to the Asian marketplace. In my view, this new responsibility speaks to his birth country’s confidence in his sharp judgment and professional expertise.”

Chua acts as counsel for sectors including the financial services, telecommunications, resource, and retail industries.

“Canada and Singapore are gateway economies, both major players in their respective parts of the world,” said Jean Charest, a partner at McCarthys and a former premier of Quebec.

“Chia-yi is a superb choice and will continue to nurture this significant relationship between our nations. My hearty congratulations to him on this esteemed appointment.”

TED CITROME JOINS DICKINSON WRIGHT

Former Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP lawyer Ted Citrome has joined Dickinson Wright LLP as of counsel in the firm’s taxation practice.

Citrome will focus on all aspects of Canadian tax law with an emphasis on the taxation of acquisitions, reorganizations, and corporate finance, the firm said.

“I look forward to leveraging my wide industry and legal experience, to provide Dickinson Wright’s clients with the tax advice they need to develop, strengthen, and grow their businesses in Canada,” said Citrome.   

POLL RESULTS

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

An overwhelming majority of respondents say the Ontario government should bring Tarion Warranty Corp. under the ambit of the provincial ombudsman, the auditor general, and the sunshine list.

About 92 per cent of respondents agree with proposed changes affecting the private non-profit corporation that administers and enforces the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act.

NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh has tabled a private member’s bill to address the issue. If passed, bill 60 would bring Tarion under the jurisdiction of both the Ontario ombudsman and the auditor general as well the public sector salary disclosure legislation. More recently, Law Times columnist Alan Shanoff wrote a column advocating for changes he said would bring more accountability and transparency at Tarion.

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It's unknown how widely police in Ontario utilize controversial surveillance techniques that can capture private data from non-targets in criminal investigations. Do you think there should be formal requirements to release this information?
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