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Monday, May 20, 2013

NEW REGIONAL SENIOR JUDGE APPOINTED

Justice Hugh Lloyd Fraser will become the new regional senior judge for the east region of the Ontario Court of Justice this summer, the province announced last week.

Fraser replaces Justice Lise Maisonneuve in the role. He starts his new position on July 25, according to the Ministry of the Attorney General. That’s the same day Maisonneuve becomes the court’s associate chief justice.

Fraser became a judge in 1993. As a regional senior judge of the Ontario Court of Justice, Fraser will exercise the power of the chief justice in his assigned region. These duties include scheduling court hearings and assigning cases to judges.

TORYS INVESTS IN BB10

Torys LLP lawyers will be brandishing BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones by this summer as the firm announced it has invested in the newest models of the Canadian brand.

Torys, a long-standing BlackBerry customer, announced last week it’s looking forward to rolling out the new smartphones.

“Torys is excited to adopt the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones. BlackBerry is a true leader in its field and a technology partner we have trusted for many years. They consistently deliver innovations that keep pace with our own drive to continuously improve our high level of client service,” said Les Viner, the firm’s managing partner.

BlackBerry’s Andrew MacLeod said the smartphone company wants to stay the No. 1 choice for “top-enterprise customers like Torys.”

“BlackBerry is committed to remaining the gold standard for mobile security, management, and control. We understand the complex technological requirements Torys employees face. BlackBerry is thrilled with Torys’ commitment to deploying BlackBerry Q10 and BlackBerry Z10 smartphones to their workforce.”

GOUDGE TO RECEIVE GUTHRIE AWARD

Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Stephen Goudge will receive the Law Foundation of Ontario’s 2013 Guthrie award.

“Justice Goudge is one of Canada’s most respected appellate judges. He is also an inspirational champion of access to justice through his activities outside the courtroom, the reason for his selection as this year’s Guthrie award recipient,” the law foundation said.

Goudge has worked with many legal organizations, including Pro Bono Law Ontario, the Law Commission of Ontario, and the Law Society of Upper Canada. He’s also well known for his work as commissioner of the inquiry into pediatric forensic pathology in Ontario.

Law foundation board chairman Mark Sandler called Goudge “a stellar jurist.”

“There is simply no judge in Canada more engaged in advancing the public interest outside the courtroom while also constantly striving to lift the professional bar for the benefit of Ontarians and Canadians,” he said.

Goudge joined the Court of Appeal in 1996. He had previously been litigation counsel with what is now Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.

MONTREAL LITIGATOR BECOMES MERITAS CHAIRMAN

Montreal commercial litigator André Ryan is now chairman of the global law firm alliance Meritas.

Ryan, a partner with BCF LLP in Montreal, officially took on the role at a recent Meritas annual meeting in Vancouver.

In his new position, Ryan will lead a board representing more than 7,000 lawyers from 75 countries and 235 markets around the world.

“André has been a leader in numerous capacities within Meritas for over 11 years,” said Tanna Moore, president and CEO of Meritas. “His passion, knowledge, and broad perspective will serve our organization well. He will be an outstanding advocate for Meritas around the globe.”

For his part, Andre said it’s “truly an honour” to take on the role.

“I look forward to continuing to expand Meritas’ reach into new global areas, as well as building awareness in the business community of the high-quality legal service and unmatched quality assurance program Meritas offers to clients and members,” he said.

POLL RESULTS

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

According to the poll, 61 per cent of participants don’t believe the allocation of an additional $30 million for legal aid in this year’s Ontario budget will make a difference to the justice system.

The majority view is in line with comments Criminal Lawyers’ Association president Norm Boxall made in a recent article. Boxall said the increase was welcome but said it wouldn’t do much for a system “strained to a breaking point.”

LAWYER RAPPED FOR ACTING FOR CONFLICTING PARTIES

As he finally won his long battle with the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2011 in relation to sexual harassment allegations, Toronto personal injury lawyer Gary Neinstein found himself in more hot water as the regulatory initiated an additional disciplinary matter against him. Last month, a hearing panel ruled on that case with a finding that Neinstein engaged in professional misconduct when he acted for several parties with conflicting interests.

In 2003, Neinstein acted in the matter of Mike DeMichino, who suffered catastrophic injuries in a car accident. The lawyer, the law society argued, acted for DeMichino, his wife Bessie Banushefski, and other members of his family when he knew there was a long-standing conflict between them.

“The lawyer was well aware that there had been estrangement and ongoing conflict between Bessie and Mike together, and Mike’s family, for many years,” wrote hearing panel chairwoman Susan McGrath in the April 12 decision.

“He was aware that conflict continued after Mike’s accident.”

After Neinstein stopped representing DeMichino’s family, he filed a court application to make Bessie her husband’s guardian given his estrangement from the rest of his family. He knew this wasn’t true, the hearing panel found. A penalty hearing has yet to take place.

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