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This Week's Issue

Two lawyers battle for PC crown

Yamri Taddese - Monday, March 30, 2015

There’s a good chance Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party will once again have a lawyer at its helm with frontrunners Christine Elliott and Patrick Brown both touting their legal backgrounds as an edge in the race.
MPP Christine Elliott (Whitby-Oshawa) says her current job and the one she’s applying for aren’t all that different from being a lawyer.

“In your legal profession, people pay you to solve their legal problems, but I see my role as an MPP in a very similar manner. The public pays my salary, so I owe the same duty to my constituents certainly as I owed my clients,” says Elliott, who practised real estate, corporate, and estates law at Flaherty Dow Elliott & McCarthy LLP (now Flaherty McCarthy LLP) prior to assuming political office.

Federal MP Pat...

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Business groups decry ‘laxity’ in certifying class actions

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is lamenting what it calls a “laxity” in certifying class actions in Canada, an issue it says is so significant that it threatens Canadian businesses.

Lawyers help restore painting of judge with storied background

BARRIE, Ont. — For decades, a massive portrait of Sir James Gowan hung in relative obscurity glancing a wary eye over what local lawyers affectionately call “settlement corner” at the Barrie courthouse.

Editorial: Another immigration blunder

As the federal government continues to toy with the immigration system, it seems the landscape never stops shifting for those who hope to settle in Canada.

Social Justice: Province should make Tarion more accountable, transparent

Ontario has various laws that go a long way in the attempt to provide an element of transparency and accountability from the government.

Speaker's Corner: Quebec judge’s ban on hijab in courtroom a judicial fiasco

On Feb. 24, a Canadian citizen attended a courthouse in Montreal seeking to have her impounded vehicle released. What should have been a routine hearing on a mundane issue turned into a judicial fiasco that has brought the administration of justice into disrepute.

Personal Injury Law: Westerhof a welcome decision that will reduce litigation costs

While litigation experts hired by a party to a lawsuit must comply with the comprehensive expert report rules set out in Rule 53.03 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure, participant experts such as treating health practitioners and non-party experts such as those hired by a non-party insurer don’t need to comply with the rule in order to provide expert opinion evidence at trial, according to the Ontario Court of Appeal in its pragmatic and much-anticipated decision in Westerhof v. Gee last week.

Bencher election: Candidates stake their position on LPP

Among the key issues in this year's Law Society of Upper Canada bencher election is the future of the Law Practice Program. To hear some candidates' thoughts on the issue, visit our bencher election web site: "Should LSUC press ahead with Law Practice Program?"

Focus: Medical marijuana continues to be source of litigation

There has been one constant since the Ontario Court of Appeal struck down the prohibition against possession of marijuana for medical reasons in 2000: the subsequent rules imposed by the federal government have been subject to repeated court challenges.

Inside Story

Monday, March 30, 2015

There’s now a boardroom at the Ontario Court of Appeal dedicated to the current and former associate chief justices.

The court invited retired associate chief justices John Morden, Coulter Osborne, and Dennis O’Connor to the opening of the newly dedicated boardroom on March 20.

The dedication honours “the substantial contribution these individuals have made and continue to make to the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the administration of justice in Ontario,” said Jacob Bakan, special counsel for the office of the chief justice.

There have been five associate chief justices in Ontario, according to Bakan. “In establishing this position, the governments of Canada and Ontario recognized the need for an associate chief justice to assist with the considerable administrative responsibilities associated with operating Canada’s busiest appellate court. Ontario remains the only province in Canada to have an associate chief justice at the appellate level.”


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Have class actions in Canada gotten out of control?
Yes, they're costing businesses too much as judges are too willing to certify.
No, the courts are appropriately applying the law in a way that provides access to justice.