Monday, April 4, 2011

A copyright action involving a Toronto lawyer and the Aga Khan has resulted in a $30,000 costs order in favour of the spiritual leader after a Federal Court judge granted summary judgment in the case.

Federal Court Justice Sean Harrington found Alnaz Jiwa and his co-defendant Nagib Tajdin, a Kenya-based Canadian businessman, infringed the Aga Khan’s copyright when they published a book that collected his religious teachings over a period of more than 50 years.

The two men, both Ismaili Muslims who recognize the Aga Khan as their spiritual leader, argued he couldn’t be behind the action because he had given his blessing to Tajdin to continue his work on the book during a ceremony in Montreal in 1992.

A personal meeting with the Aga Khan failed to resolve the matter when Tajdin and Jiwa didn’t ask him any questions during a 15-minute examination ordered by the court before Harrington made his ruling in January 2011. The costs decision in March also ordered Tajdin and Jiwa to hand over all remaining copies of the book.

A court-appointed monitor will determine the damages and profits owing to the Aga Khan, which the court said would go to his Aga Khan Development Network or “such other non-profit organization or purpose as he may see fit.”

For more on this story, see "Lawyer sued by Aga Khan keeping the faith."

Stikeman Elliott LLP is mourning the sudden death of Toronto partner Gary Nachshen.

The 51-year-old died while on holiday with his wife and two young children in the Turks and Caicos.
Nachshen became a partner at the firm’s Montreal office in 1996 but relocated to Toronto a year later, where he became head of Stikeman Elliott’s pensions and benefits group.

Just last month, British publisher Chambers Global named him one of Canada’s top pensions and benefits lawyers. During his career, Nachshen also established himself as a prolific writer on the subject.

“Gary was an incredible contributor to the firm on many levels and he led by example. His understanding of partnership was inclusive and     collaborative — he was always eager to share credit with the lawyers on his team. He will be deeply missed at Stikeman Elliott,” the firm said in a statement on its web site.

The Law Society of Upper Canada and the Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic have launched a web site dedicated to raising awareness of historical injustices imposed on Chinese people by Canadian governments.

The site,, is available in English, French, and Chinese. It showcases legislation and policies that discriminated against people of Chinese descent as well as key court decisions that curbed injustices.

There are also profiles of pioneering figures, including Kew Dock Yip, who became the first Chinese-Canadian lawyer in 1946 after his call to the bar in Ontario. A year later, he was a key player during the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

A Winnipeg lawyer caught up in a scandal over naked pictures of his wife has received a reprimand over allegations that he pressured a client to have sex with her.

Jack King pleaded guilty to three counts of misconduct related to events in 2003, when he tried to convince his client, Alex Chapman, to have sex with his wife, Lori Douglas, who’s now a judge at the Court of Queen’s Bench. At the time, she was a lawyer.  

“To my wife, I can never apologize enough,” King told the Law Society of Manitoba panel.
Chapman told the Winnipeg Free Press he was disappointed he didn’t receive an apology of his own. “He should be disbarred,” Chapman said.

In September 2010, Chapman accused King of sending him nude pictures of Douglas in a $67-million action against them and their former law firm. That matter has since been dismissed.
The Canadian Judicial Council is still investigating a complaint by Chapman against Douglas.

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