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Monday, December 17, 2012

NEW MASTER, JUDGE, JPS APPOINTED

The provincial government has appointed a new judge, a new master, and a slew of new justices of the peace.

The new master is Charles Wiebe, who has practised construction law at Glaholt LLP since 1996. He joins the Superior Court as master this Wednesday.

In Woodstock, Ont., lawyer Matthew Graham is the newest judge of the Ontario Court of Justice. A certified specialist in criminal litigation, Graham has been a part-time assistant Crown attorney, standing agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, and a deputy judge of the Small Claims Court.

In addition, the province has appointed 11 new justices of the peace: defence lawyer Melanie Bremner, probation officer Lurdes Marchao Cruz, sole practitioner Esther Daniel, former cabinet minister Leona Dombrowsky, Ministry of the Attorney General Justice on Target lead Serge Legault, duty counsel Mathilda Lewis, French Language Education Network legal counsel Monique Mechefske, Economic Development and Employability Network of Ontario manager Karine Morin, lawyer Christopher Peltzer, criminal defence counsel Catherine Shoniker, and City of Toronto prosecutor Marie-Christine Smythe.

OSGOODE LAUNCHES DISABILITY LAW PROGRAM

Osgoode Hall Law School is set to launch a new disability law intensive program that would see second- and third-year students take a training program to help them better understand issues experienced by people with disabilities.

According to Osgoode, the program is the first of its kind in Canada. Starting next September, up to 12 students will practise disability law through client and systemic policy-based advocacy throughout the 2013-14 academic year.

“The disability law intensive program is a wonderful opportunity for Osgoode and its students to make a positive difference within the disability community,” said Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin.

Osgoode’s Marian MacGregor, who has practiced extensively in the area of poverty law, took a leave of eight months to prepare the new program. “The impact of disability, often combined with poverty, can create serious access to justice barriers,” she said.

“This new program will produce lawyers who are better equipped to meet the distinct needs of clients with disabilities, as well as involve students in the systemic change that needs to take place.”

NEW PARTNER AT KELLY SANTINIBusiness lawyer Robert Ford has joined Ottawa law firm Kelly Santini LLP as partner.

A former partner with Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Ford is taking his legal background in the technology and life sciences industries to Kelly Santini.

He has advised clients in a variety of commercial industries, including medical devices, semi-conductors, networking systems, hardware, software, and web-based businesses.

FIELD LAW PARTNER ELECTED TO PROMINENT ROLEField Law partner Kevin Feth has been elected to serve as president of the Law Society of Alberta for 2014. Feth will serve a one-year term as president-elect starting February 2013.

The University of Alberta Faculty of Law graduate first became a bencher in 2008. He won re-election in 2011 and currently serves as chairman of the law society’s conduct committee.

“I am honoured and excited to serve as president during a period of unprecedented change in the legal profession, when the law society is increasingly focused on the protection of the public, enhancing the quality of legal services, and promoting access to the legal system,” said Feth.

Feth, who’s based in Edmonton, will serve as the board’s chairman and senior officer of the law society during his presidency.

TWO BLAKES LAWYERS HONOUREDBlake Cassels & Graydon LLP tax lawyers Ed Kroft and Scott Wilkie have received the Queen’s diamond jubilee medal in recognition of their contributions to the Canadian Tax Foundation.

Kroft and Wilkie, both tax lawyers, received the medals in Calgary last month at the start of the annual Canadian Tax Foundation conference. Kroft has written several scholarly articles on taxation and made frequent presentations at various tax foundation conferences throughout Canada. Wilkie has also been involved with the foundation and has authored many books on taxation.

PRIVATE SPONSORSHIPS SOUGHTThe Canadian Centre for Court Technology has begun looking to the private sector for development funding as it accepts sponsorships from individuals, companies, and law firms.

A recent forum on court technology confirmed that private sector executives want to help bridge the gap between the private sector and Canada’s courts, said the centre’s chief executive officer Patrick Cormier.

“This desire naturally fits within our mandate because it is an essential part of our mission to help courts and tribunals better understand what technology has to offer,” he said.

The partnership, Cormier added, will also help private sector companies succeed in selling their products and services to the courts.

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