Monday, August 26, 2013

The Law Society of Upper Canada has presented prominent criminal defence lawyer Austin Cooper with an honorary doctor of laws.

Cooper, a partner at Cooper Sandler Shime & Bergman LLP, received the honour for an exemplary career that began with his call to the bar in 1953.

“The law society is extremely pleased to recognize Mr. Cooper for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the legal profession and the rule of law,” said LSUC Treasurer Thomas Conway.

“Throughout his career, he has garnered the greatest respect of the legal profession and public.”

A major advocate for legal aid, Cooper has also defended high-profile cases on a pro bono basis. Cooper, a founding member of The Advocates’ Society, has lectured and written on criminal law, evidence, procedure, advocacy, and ethics. In addition, he’s a former law society bencher who has also served as chair of the civil liberties subsection of the Canadian Bar Association for several years.

After presenting Cooper with an honorary degree, Conway touted him as “the dean of criminal law” on his blog.

“Austin has defended a number of the leading cases in criminal law, both at trial and at the appellate level,” he wrote. “Throughout, he has exhibited impeccable judgment, the highest level of forensic skill, integrity, and civility.”
Former Miller Thomson LLP corporate lawyer Jack Tannerya has joined Dickinson Wright LLP.

Tannerya is the second Miller Thomson lawyer to leave the firm and join Dickinson Wright in recent weeks. Alan Litwack, also a corporate lawyer, recently migrated to Dickinson Wright as well.

Tannerya’s practice areas include mergers and acquisition, divestitures, and reorganizations. He’ll be joining the Toronto office as a partner.

“In business succession planning matters, Mr. Tannerya often acts as a trusted adviser to the owners who rely upon him to assist them throughout the entire exit process starting with organizing an appropriate team of consultants including valuators, investment bankers, and accountants and concluding with introductions to appropriate wealth management teams,” the firm said.

Tannerya also helps a number of high net-worth families from China establish their businesses in Canada, according to Dickinson Wright.
Legal Aid Ontario says it has started funding refugee appeal transcripts as part of a pilot project.

Lawyers could get up to $500 to cover costs related to refugee appeal division transcripts, LAO announced last week.

LAO’s refugee appeal committee grants coverage after it reviews an application and “assesses legal merit and the likelihood of success,” according to a press release.

“If the committee approves the request, LAO will add the disbursement to the certificate and fund the transcription cost up to $3.20 per page or $2.13 per minute to a maximum of $500,” LAO announced.

In unique cases, the organization may approve transcription costs exceeding $500. But LAO is already asking lawyers to use this option sparingly.
Torys LLP counsel and chairman emeritus James M. Tory died last week.

The firm’s managing partner, Les Viner, told The Globe and Mail last week that the 83-year-old lawyer had died suddenly while vacationing in Nova Scotia.

“Jim was remarkably smart but modest; he was remarkably generous but humble; and he was remarkably successful but down to earth and warm,” wrote Viner in an announcement on the firm’s web site.

“He loved people; and he loved the practice of law, which for him meant helping people find fair and mutually beneficial solutions to legal and business problems.”

Tory especially valued the notion of professionalism and encouraged “an atmosphere of tolerance, friendship, trust, and goodwill,” added Viner.

Despite his deep commitment to the firm and his career, Tory always put his family first, said Viner.

“Jim was special and unique, and he will be greatly missed.”

University of Ottawa professor Elizabeth Sheehy was among the recipients of the Canadian Bar Association awards in Saskatoon last week.

The CBA honoured Sheehy with the Ramon John Hnatyshyn award for law. “When one thinks about criminal law and feminism in Canada, one of the first names that come to mind is professor Elizabeth Sheehy,” said University of Windsor law professor David Tanovich.

Sheehy, a professor at the university since 1984, designed the first course on woman and the legal profession taught in Canadian law schools. She’s an advocate for women’s rights in Canada and abroad, according to a press release from the university.

Other CBA award recipients include Eric Rice (President’s award); Gaylene Schellenberg (Jack Innes achievement award); Louise Mailhot (Cecilia I. Johnstone award); Paul Webster, Joe Schlesinger, and Bonnie Brown (Stephen Hanson awards); Teresa Scassa and Michael Deturbide (Walter Owen book prize); Katherine Fraser (Edward K. Rowan-Legg award); Emma Halpern (SOGIC ally award); Milé Komlen (SOGIC hero award); Malcolm Mercer (Louis St-Laurent award for law); Douglas Moen (John Tait award of excellence); Alberta Chief Justice Catherine Fraser (Touchstone award); Stephanie Yang (young lawyers pro bono award); and Benjamin Perryman (Viscount Bennett fellowship).

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