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Monday, January 26, 2015

HONORARY DEGREE FOR APPEAL COURT JUDGE

The Law Society of Upper Canada awarded Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Karen Weiler an honorary doctor of laws at its call to the bar ceremony last week.

The LSUC said it was recognizing Weiler for “her initiatives to improve access to justice for litigants in need and for her equity work to combat racism and discrimination.”

Law society Treasurer Janet Minor awarded the honorary degree to Weiler at a ceremony that saw 183 new lawyers called to the bar on Jan. 23.

After her call to bar in Ontario in 1969, Weiler became the first woman to practise law in northwestern Ontario when she moved to Thunder Bay, Ont., for work. Before becoming a judge, Weiler served as policy counsel at the Ministry of the Attorney General, where the law society says her work led to reforms in family law with the enactment of the Family Law Reform Act, the Children’s Law Reform Act, and the Succession Law Reform Act.

PAUL CARENZA JOINS GOWLINGS

Former Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP tax lawyer Paul Carenza has joined Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.

Carenza, whose practice focuses on domestic and cross-border corporate acquisitions, reorganizations, and financings, joins the Toronto office of the firm as a partner.

“Paul is a highly skilled tax professional who delivers creative solutions to meet the business needs of his clients,” said Scott Jolliffe, chairman and chief executive officer of Gowlings.

“His particular expertise in executive compensation matters, including plan design and drafting, adds further depth to Gowlings’ award-winning practice. We are thrilled to welcome him to the firm.”

NEW REGIONAL SENIOR JP FOR CENTRAL WEST

The province has appointed justice of the peace Brett Kelly as the regional senior justice of the peace for the centralwest region of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Kelly first became a justice of the peace in 2009. In his new role, he replaces regional senior justice of the peace John Creelman.

FORMER JUDGE TO MEDIATE FAMILY LAW MATTERS

Former Superior Court justice MaryJo Nolan has taken up a new post-retirement gig as a family law mediator in Windsor, Ont.

Nolan, who retired from the court in July 2014, took the job after Legal Aid Ontario’s director general for the Essex, Lambton, and Kent district asked her if she’d like to mediate family law settlements.

“I often say that part of my job as a mediator is to turn the kaleidoscope,” said Nolan.

“I use that analogy because you see a pattern in a kaleidoscope. If you turn it, all the pieces are still the same but it looks different. In mediation, the facts are the same but you look at them differently. Learning settlement skills has been emphasized at judges’ seminars lately. I think being a mediator is an important role for a judge in this day and age.”

POLL RESULTS

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

According to the poll, it’s a fairly even split on the issue of allowing cameras in courtrooms. The poll found 51 per cent of respondents felt the justice system should get with the times and loosen the rules against cameras and other electronic devices in court. The remaining participants felt that allowing them in court would be disruptive and unhelpful.

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Law Times reports that the Correctional Service Canada has been found to be negligent in the severe beating of an inmate. Do you think inmate safety at jails and prisons needs significant improvement?
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