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This Week's Issue

Canada’s prison paradox

Yamri Taddese - Monday, August 18, 2014

Last month, Statistics Canada reported that between 2012 and 2013, the index that measures crime rates and the severity of offences went down by almost 10 per cent.
The report follows a steady decline in crime rates in the last decade that also saw a 36-per-cent drop in the severity of offences.

Yet discussions about overcrowded prisons continue as governments build new or expanded facilities to manage the overflow.

According to lawyers and prison experts, everyone from the federal government to criminal defence counsel have played a role in creating the paradox.

A major part of the issue lies with police, Crown prosecutors, and even...

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New duty counsel not public defenders: LAO

Legal Aid Ontario is vigorously denying that a spate of hiring new duty counsel who are reportedly handling minor trial matters is a move towards a public-defender system.

Dramatic changes’ on tap as CBA report touts outside ownership

ST. JOHN’S — A sustainable legal profession will involve the ability to sell law firm shares to non-lawyers and lawyers rubbing shoulders with other professionals at work, according to the final report of the Canadian Bar Association’s Legal Futures initiative that looked at ways the industry must change to remain relevant.

Editorial: Bold move by CBA

The Canadian Bar Association came out with a bold set of recommendations with its Legal Futures report last week.

A Criminal Mind: Do harms of criminalization outweigh the benefits?

In my experience, criminal lawyers tend to have an ambivalent attitude to the criminal law. This probably distinguishes us from how architects feel about architecture and how dentists feel about teeth. We find the legal doctrine intellectually engaging, the human drama compelling, and the rights of the accused worth protecting.
But most of us still think that, as a society, we should have less of it with fewer crimes, charges, arrests, people populating our jails, and prisons.

Will lawsuit deter target-benefit plans?

As weak markets following the credit crisis of 2007-08 created huge pension deficits relating to future liabilities, both governments and employers began seeking alternatives to volatile defined-benefit pension obligations.

Inside Story

Monday, August 18, 2014

Canada’s legal community is mourning the death of the “dean emeritus of Canada’s corporate bar.”

“He just got it into his mind that the way to build the firm was to build other people — grow a lot of big trees instead of a lot of little trees,” said Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP vice chairman Brian Levitt of Purdy Crawford.

Crawford, who began his career at Oslers, died after an illness in Toronto last week at age 82. A leader in corporate and securities law at the firm, he moved to the corporate world in 1985 as head of Imasco Ltd. “This was the beginning of an illustrious career in business, during which Purdy led corporations, sat on the boards of some of Canada’s most significant public companies, advised on high-profile matters, chaired committees and important government panels, lectured as a law school professor, and gave freely of his time and expertise to philanthropic causes of importance to him,”...

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The Law Times Daily is out! Stories via @CDLawyers @MEKowalski @jordan_law21
RT @JoelSandaluk: Justice of the peace suspended for dismissing 68 cases at once via @torontostar
RT @LegalFeedsblog: New blog post: Canadian lawyer being held unlawfully in U.S. jail
The Law Times Daily is out! Stories via @McCarthy_ca @LawTimes @andrewfeldstein
For background on Alfred Johnston case, see

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Law Times poll

Do you agree with the Canadian Bar Association Legal Futures report's recommendations to liberalize the ownership of law firms?
Yes, the profession needs to move quickly on innovation.
No, the risks are too great.