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Notice Connect, a website for estate trustees in Canada to post legal notices to creditors upon someone’s death, has been recognized by the Ontario Superior Court on July 7, in a court order, as satisfying requirements of the Trustee Act for the estate trustee’s duty to advertise for creditors.

The decision is significant because it confirms that is an accepted platform for advertising to creditors, something that has traditionally been done in newspapers. 

“To get a court to sign off on it like that is very special for us because we really feel that we’ve created a new convention under the common law. That’s pretty exciting,” says the website’s co-founder, Patrick Hartford, business partner of Ori Barbut.

The Trustee Act has never specified which methods are acceptable for advertising to creditors, but under common law, it has now been confirmed that using Notice Connect as a means to post these notices is allowed in the eyes of the law.

A well-known criminal defence lawyer has avoided a contempt finding after he skipped out on a sentencing hearing to attend a television interview.

Ari Goldkind faced a rare contempt of court hearing after he missed a sentencing for a client on June 8.

The former long-shot mayoral candidate and prolific media commenter had agreed to appear on CP24 to talk about a separate case, drawing the ire of Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Dambrot.

The judge initiated contempt proceedings against Goldkind, but he ended them July 17 after the lawyer apologized in court and said he would not repeat such conduct.

The sentencing on June 8 concerned the trial of four men accused in R. v. Triolo.

Goldkind represented Emanuel Lozada, one of the co-accused in a fatal stabbing at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche festival in 2013.

Goldkind did not show up that day, leaving the judge, co-accused and their lawyers waiting, but appeared on CP24.

He had contacted the Crown the night before to try to reschedule the proceeding, but that was not possible.

Alex Van Kralingen and Megan Keenberg have formed a new law firm known as Van Kralingen & Keenberg LLP, alongside lawyers Mark Repath and Katherine Chau.

The law firm launched on June 19.

Lawyers will specialize in commercial litigation, civil litigation, regulatory proceedings and employment law.

Keenberg also has experience as a mediator, with specialized training in dispute resolution.

Law Times reports that lawyers need to improve their social media skills to properly represent their clients as litigation involving evidence from social media platforms surges.

We asked readers if they have used evidence from social media platforms in their practices.

About 73 per cent said yes, they had used evidence from social media platforms in their practices.

About 27 per cent said no, this is not something that affects their practice at all.
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Alex Van Kralingen and Megan Keenberg have formed a new law firm known as Van Kralingen & Keenberg LLP, alongside lawyers Mark Repath and Katherine Chau.

The law firm launched on June 19, and lawyers will specialize in commercial litigation, civil litigation, regulatory proceedings, and employment law. Keenberg also has experience as a mediator, with specialized training in dispute resolution.

The Toronto Lawyers Association invites lawyers to go to the Oasis Rooftop Patio at Wayne Gretzky’s Restaurant, on Wednesday August 2, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a summer event. The cost of the event is $30 for TLA non-members, and free for TLA members.

The Canadian Association of Black Lawyers has launched a new website at The website publicizes events going on in the community, including the National Bar Association’s conference from July 29 to August 4, 2017. The conference in Toronto will be the first time the event is held outside the continental U.S.A.

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled there is no discretion for lower court judges to avoid imposing mandatory victim surcharges on offenders, regardless of their ability to pay the fines.
Readers were asked if  they agreed with imposing surcharges on all offenders.

About 39 per cent said yes, all offenders should have to pay mandatory victim surcharges.

About 61 per cent said no, lower court judges should have some discretion in this area.

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The Law Society of Upper Canada has reignited the debate over alternative business structures as it considers a new measure that looks to facilitate access to justice for vulnerable people.

Facing calls for more consultation, benchers withdrew a motion set to go to Convocation that would have allowed non-profits, charities and trade unions to offer legal services directly to clients. The law society has been exploring alternative business structures since 2012. When word got out that the motion was coming before Convocation, letters came in from organizations such as the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and the Federation of Ontario Law Associations expressing concern that more consultation was needed.

“This motion came as a surprise to our organization, as we were never approached as a stakeholder to offer submissions regarding this issue or to engage in any consultations,” says OTLA president Claire Wilkinson. Among the OTLA’s preliminary concerns was that potential complications could arise from relationships between charities and law firms. Wilkinson says the OTLA is pleased the law society chose to defer a vote to allow wider consultation with lawyers. The law society is now looking to get feedback from the profession over the summer, and it will likely consider the proposal in September.

Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould has announced another round of judicial appointments to Federal Courts and for Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta.

In Ontario courts, five appointments were made: Justice Andras Schreck, Markus Koehnen, Darlene Summers, Cynthia Petersen and Sally Gomery.

Schreck, a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice, is now an appointed judge of the Superior Court of Justice and for the Province of Ontario in Toronto. Koehnen, who practised complex commercial litigation at McMillan LLP for 29 years, will be a Superior Court of Justice judge and for the Province of Ontario in Toronto.

Summers, a sole practitioner with Thompson Summers Family Law, has been appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice, the Province of Ontario as well as a member of the Ottawa Family Court.

Petersen, a partner at Goldblatt Partners LLP, has been appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice and for the Province of Ontario in Brampton. Gomery, a senior partner at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, has been appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice and for the province in Ottawa.

Law Times reported recently that Legal Aid Ontario officials say the agency may have to suspend all immigration and refugee services if the federal government does not provide additional funding. Readers were asked if they thought additional funding should be provided. About 87 per cent said yes, providing additional funding would help address increases in demand for these services.

About 13 per cent said no, Legal Aid Ontario has been plagued with budgeting issues and other alternatives should be identified.
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Federal Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould has announced judicial advisory committees for Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nunavut and Saskatchewan.

She also named the JAC for Ontario — West and South. For the Ontario — West and South committee, this includes Chief Justice Lynne Leitch and lawyer Kuljit Bhamra of London, lawyer Beverley Jacobs of Ohsweken, lawyer Allen Wynperle of Hamilton, Lynn Macaulay of Waterloo, Jessica Sartori of Windsor and Betty-Lou Souter of St. Catharines.

“The quality and diversity on the Judicial Advisory Committees are unprecedented and better reflect the make-up of this great country,” said Wilson-Raybould in a news release.

“I hope that exceptional candidates from diverse backgrounds will feel encouraged and inspired to put their names forward for judicial appointment. Judges with varied life experiences have an important contribution to make to our justice system.”
Legal Leaders for Diversity released its sixth annual report at a June 27 event in Toronto. The report covers a variety of initiatives on which LLD is working, including a partnership with non-profit Canadian Business SenseAbility to create an online site for recruiters to connect with potential employees with disabilities.   

“Though there is still work to be done, we believe that LLD has been and will continue to be a positive and influential voice in creating a more inclusive legal profession in Canada,” said the report.

Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin has been chosen by the Criminal Lawyers’ Association as the winner of this year’s G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal for lifetime achievement in criminal law.  

“Chief Justice McLachlin has been at the forefront of the development of Canadian criminal law for over three decades. Throughout it all, the hallmarks of her approach have been balanace, compassion and a commitment to individual rights,” according to the CLA.

The medal will be presented at the CLA’s annual convention in October.
Recently, Law Times reported that lawyers were decrying a proposed change to the federal Income Tax Act that could affect lawyers’ cash flow. Readers were asked if their firm was currently planning to  redo its accounting methods following the proposal to remove billed-basis accounting.

About 33 per cent said yes, change was in the works, though it was expected to be burdensome for the firm.

Another 67 per cent said no, there have been no plans for shifting accounting practices yet.
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Thomas G. Conway has been selected to receive a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the Law Society of Upper Canada, at a Call to the Bar ceremony in Ottawa on June 23. 

Called to the bar in 1989, Conway was first elected as a bencher of the LSUC in 2007. 

He went on to become the law society’s 64th treasurer in 2012. 

“I am very grateful to the
benchers for granting me this
honorary doctorate, but am more
grateful still for the confidence
that they showed in me when they gave me the singular opportunity of leading the law society during a memorable time in its history,” Conway told Law Times in an email. 

LSUC Treasurer Paul Schabas will award the honorary LLD to Conway, who will then deliver the keynote address to the 256 new lawyers attending the ceremony. 


The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that a class action lawsuit against personal injury law firm Neinstein LLP can proceed.

In a recent decision, the court upheld almost every part of a Divisional Court ruling certifying the suit, which alleged the firm’s contingency fee agree- ment with clients did not comply with the Solicitors Act.

The plaintiff, Cassie Hodge, retained Gary Neinstein and his personal injury firm after she suffered injuries in a car accident in 2002.

After her claims were settled, she brought her application alleging the contingency fee agreement she signed was improper and that the firm took unauthorized fees without the permission of a judge.

From an “all-in” $150,000 settlement that was reached in 2010, Hodge received just $41,906. The firm took $20,325 in legal fees, $30,000 for a “party- and-party costs portion” and $48,924 for disbursements.

Hodge contended that the agreement was in violation of s. 28.1(8) of the Solicitors Act, which holds that lawyers cannot take fees from costs.

While the firm argued that the application fails to disclose a cause of action, the Court of Appeal found that “it is not plain and obvious that a cause of action relying on s. 28.1 has no reasonable prospect of success.”

Seventy-one per cent of Canadian law firms surveyed by Robert Half Legal say finding skilled professionals such as lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants is challenging.
Of the survey’s 150 respondents, 32 per cent will be expanding or adding new positions and 44 per cent are worried about losing staff in the coming months to other jobs.
A Law Times columnist says that, given the responsibility to uphold the Charter of Rights and its associated values, Cana- dian lawyers should respect and defend press freedom. We asked readers if they thought press freedom in Canada was under threat.
Thirty-eight per cent said yes, there are ongoing criminal cases involving journalists doing their jobs that concern them.
Another 62 per cent said no, considering the international climate, Canada is a free, fair and open place when it comes to press freedom.
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Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverley McLachlin has announced that she will retire effective Dec. 15.

McLachlin, who was selected as a “Top 25 Most Influential Lawyer” by Canadian Lawyer multiple times, is widely respected in the legal profession for her leadership on the court as well as her outspokenness on issues such as access to justice, free speech, diversity and inclusive leadership.

Her judicial career began in 1981 when McLachlin was appointed to the Vancouver County Court. In 2000, she was appointed Chief Justice of Canada. McLachlin is the first woman to hold this position.

She is also Canada’s longest-serving chief justice, having held the position for nearly 18 years.

A lawyer who was heavily criticized by a Superior Court of Justice judge for her role in a custody battle involving the Children’s Aid Society has been ordered to personally pay $100,000.

The custody battle gained widespread attention earlier this year after Justice Grant Campbell ruled that two lawyers retained through Legal Aid, Brigitte Gratl and Jane McKenzie, provided incompetent counsel to their clients, the mother and father of a daughter who had been removed by authorities.

The removal came after a Motherisk drug test on the mother, which has since been disproved, and led Campbell to decry the child welfare system in the province as “broken.”

In the latest ruling on the case, C.A.S. of the R.M. of W. v. C.T. and J.B., 2017 ONSC 3188, Campbell ordered Gratl to personally pay $100,000, with $50,000 going to the Ontario Legal Aid Plan and $50,000 to the lawyer acting for the child’s mother, Julie Kirkpatrick.

Baker McKenzie LLP is taking an “R&D” approach to how it will deliver legal services in the future with the opening of its Whitespace Legal Collaboration lab last week in Toronto.

The collab, located on the 27th floor of the firm’s offices on Bay Street, is the first of its kind in the firm.

The idea is to bring in academics from nearby universities, as well as business and technology professionals and those involved in design thinking to work together on addressing challenges related to technology, business and law.

IBM Canada will be one of the first Whitespace collab partners along with several academic institutions such as the University of Toronto iSchool, University of Waterloo Problem Lab and York University’s Schulich School of Business.

Law Times reports that technology lawyers say recent regulatory decisions have set Canada and the U.S. on diverging tracks when it comes to net neutrality.

We asked readers if they support the elimination of data caps for home and mobile Internet use for Canadians. About 78 per cent said this will mean better long-term results for consumers, while about 22 per cent said no, this hurts innovation in the market.
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The Law Society of Upper Canada must produce up to 10 documents and/or video footage to a black member of the society who alleges he was discriminated against by a security guard when he attempted to enter the LSUC building last July, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled.

In an interim decision in Pieters v. Law Society of Upper Canada, Michael Gottheil, executive chairman of the HRTO, agreed with the appellant, Toronto lawyer Selwyn Pieters, that a variety of documentation should be produced to him by Ontario’s Law Society pertaining to his apprehension by a security guard when Pieters entered the Law Society building that day, the seizing of his membership card and Pieters’ subsequent experience in the Law Society building.

In emailed comments, Pieters indicated that he was pleased with the interim decision.

“The orders simply reflect that in cases of personal and systemic anti-black racism, the request for similar fact and other evidence in the possession of the respondents are appropriate given the obstacles inherent in proving racial discrimination,” Pieters said.

In a written statement to Legal Feeds, Law Society CEO Robert Lapper said, “The Law Society does not comment upon matters which are before the Courts or administrative tribunals, as in this case. That said, the Law Society does not believe that there was any conscious or unconscious bias or discrimination by any employee of the Law Society, as suggested by the applicant.”

The hearing in the case is set to begin on July 20 in Toronto, with continuation on July 21.

An organization led by a Toronto lawyer has received special recognition from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Dr. Fiona Sampson, CEO of the equality effect, is a lawyer and PhD with expertise in human rights law and women’s equality law, whose experience has guided the development of the organization. The equality effect is a Canadian non‑governmental organization based in Toronto. The UN recognition for best practices relates to the 160 Girls project, which works to achieve social justice for oppressed women and girls in Africa through use of the rule of law.

Jay Swartz has been awarded the Ontario Bar Association’s 2017 Murray Klein Award for Excellence in Insolvency Law.

Swartz, of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, was honoured June 5 at a reception in Toronto.

A Law Times columnist says artificial intelligence is expected to have a profound impact on society, and it requires immediate discussion about its use. We asked readers if they expect AI to be used in their practices in the next five years.

Forty-five per cent said yes, technological innovation is moving faster than ever before, while 55 per cent said no, they can’t see it factoring into their work that quickly.
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Ontario legal professionals were recently recognized for their exceptional achievements by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

The 2017 Law Society Awards were presented May 24 during a ceremony at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.

Among the winners, Breese Davies, of Toronto, received the Laura Legge Award.

“I am so delighted to have been selected the recipient of the 2017 Laura Legge Award. It is a real honour to be recognized by my colleagues for my small contribution to promoting and protecting the place of women in our profession and in the criminal defence bar,” Davies told Law Times in an email.  

“Although significant progress has been made over the last 20 years, there is still lots of work to be done to ensure true equity in the profession and to address the unique challenges faced by women lawyers.”  

Award winners also included: Thora H. Espinet, of Toronto, who received the Lincoln Alexander Award; Dena D. Castro, of Hamilton, who picked up the William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award; and Grace Alcaide Janicas, of Sault Ste. Marie, who received the J. Shirley Denison Award.

Law Society Medal recipients were: Patrick Case, of Guelph; Larry Chartrand, of Ottawa; Sarah E. Colquhoun, of Thunder Bay; Michael Eizenga, of Toronto; Marie Henein, of Toronto; Joanna Radbord, of Toronto; and Gary Yee, of Toronto.

Enzo Rondinelli, a lawyer with Lafontaine & Associates in Toronto, has been named the winner of the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Criminal Justice.

He will be honoured June 7 at a reception in Toronto.

“Receiving this award from such a distinguished organization is a truly humbling experience,” Rondinelli told Law Times in an email. “The OBA has been a big part of my professional career since day one, so this award is particularly special to me.”

Goldblatt Partners LLP welcomes three leading pension lawyers to the firm.

Susan Philpott, Simon Archer and Clio Godkewitsch will join Doug Lefaive in the Toronto office and, together with Fiona Campbell in Ottawa, will significantly expand the pension practice, said the firm in a press release.

Darrell Brown will round out the team as tax and corporate law counsel.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to contribute to the growth of a vibrant, trade union-focused pension and benefits practice,” Philpott told Law Times in an email.

A recent Law Times column examined whether the Law Society of Upper Canada should change its name to the Law Society of Ontario, in light of different social changes, such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

We asked readers if the LSUC should change its name.

Fifty per cent said yes, it’s time for the LSUC to catch up with the times and update its name, while 50 per cent said no, the name of the LSUC is appropriate and changing it would not accomplish much.
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Ranjan Agarwal, a partner at Bennett Jones LLP in Toronto, is the recipient of the 2017 Canadian Bar Association Young Lawyers Pro Bono Award.

The annual award recognizes outstanding pro bono legal services to the community by a young lawyer in Canada.

Agarwal’s dedication to pro bono legal work includes “putting in countless hours on some of Canada’s most high-profile public interest litigation, as well as working on cases that will never make the headlines,” said the CBA in a press release.

Agarwal, who is also adjunct professor at the University of Toronto and president of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto, donated the $500 Pro Bono Award prize to Pro Bono Ontario and has made a matching donation.

“I am slightly embarrassed to win an award for pro bono, when so many members of our bar, like those at Pro Bono Ontario and the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, have devoted themselves full time to the cause of access to justice,” Agarwal told Law Times in an email. “But I am so pleased that the CBA National Young Lawyers Forum has chosen to recognize pro bono and access to justice when making their annual award — we all must do more to meet unmet legal needs, and I hope this award can encourage other lawyers to do so.”

Elizabeth M. Brown of Hicks Morley LLP is the winner of the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Pensions and Benefits Law.

Brown’s contributions specifically to pension and benefits issues in the context of corporate insolvencies, human rights issues relating to pension and benefits plans, emerging plan designs and alternate funding models are widely recognized by all industry stakeholders including employers, lawyers and actuaries, said the OBA in a press release.

Brown will be honoured at an award dinner on June 14 in Toronto.

The Ontario Bar Association Foundation has begun accepting applications for two fellowships for the 2017-18 year.

The Fellowship in Research is open to full-time faculty teaching at a Canadian university or college, and the Fellowship in Studies is open to all OBA members who do not otherwise qualify for the fellowship open to full-time faculty.

The deadline for applications is July 3.

Applications are to be submitted by email, in PDF or Word format, simultaneously to Anton Katz at and Valerie Dallas at

A recent Court of Appeal decision acknowledged a “new reality” of civil litigation in which courts are seeing a significant number of self-represented litigants.

This week, readers were asked if the courts are doing a good job of addressing the needs of self-represented litigants.

About 39 per cent of respondents said yes, judges are doing a good job of ensuring trial fairness. But 61 per cent said no, courts have only just begun to consider the many issues surrounding self-represented litigants.
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Former Superior Court of Justice Maurice Cullity is the winner of the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Trust and Estates Law.

“I feel greatly honoured to receive the award,” Cullity told Law Times in an email.

In 1979, Cullity joined the law firm of Davies Ward & Beck and was a partner there until 1997, when he was then appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division), now the Superior Court of Justice, according to the OBA.

After Cullity left the court, he returned to private practice writing opinions on estates matters until his eventual retirement at the end of 2014.

“Maurice has left a legacy of multiple achievements in the development of the law in the areas of estate planning, tax, estate and trusts, and this OBA award of excellence represents a small token of respect and appreciation from those he touched,” said Archie Rabinowitz, partner at Gowlings WLG, in a press release.  

Cullity will be honoured at an award dinner on May 31 in Toronto.
Erin Dann has received the Dan Soberman Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Queen’s University.

This is not the first award for Dann, who graduated from Queen’s Law, where Dann won the Medal in Law for achieving the highest cumulative average in the class of 2007, according to a press release from Queen’s University.

“Since entering private practice in 2010,” said dean Bill Flanagan in presenting the award, “Erin Dann has quickly emerged as one of Canada’s brightest young criminal defence lawyers.”

As well as working on high-profile cases, including several appearances before the Supreme Court of Canada, Dann is a session co-ordinator for the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, speaks regularly at continuing legal education seminars and lectures at Osgoode Hall Law School.

“Any measure of early success in my career is due in large part to my experience at Queen’s Law and to the many members of the faculty and staff who took a personal interest in my development as a law student,” said Dann in the press release. “They continue to offer me support and guidance.”

Allen & Co. LLP and Berkeley Counsel announce the merger of their law practices to form Ingenuity LLP in Toronto.

Since 2010, the firms have approached every client relationship with the same goal — to provide top-tier legal advice at a small-firm cost, Ingenuity said in a press release.  

Beyond its experience in traditional areas of corporate law practice, Ingenuity said it has particular expertise in drafting shareholder agreements, advising restaurateurs and retailers in establishing new venues, establishing and selling solar power generating facilities in Ontario, representing issuers and agents in the areas of mining finance and M&A, advising technology start-ups and advising employers on wrongful dismissal, workplace human rights and sexual harassment issues.

A Law Times column states that privacy may be a quasi-constitutional right but it does not receive the protection that it deserves. We asked readers if they think there is a need to overhaul the Privacy Act.

Sixty-nine per cent said yes, there are legitimate reasons for Canadians to be concerned about the protection of personal privacy, while 31 per cent said no, the laws are fine as they exist now.
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Law Times reports the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that a foster mother can be named a party in a child protection case, if it’s in the child’s best interests. Do you think recognizing foster parents will serve the best interests of children?
Yes, recognizing foster parents as parties in child protection cases will help improve the well-being of children.
No, this decision could cause implications resulting in the permanent abolishment of the child-parent relationship.