Monday, July 11, 2011

Catherine Cummings is the new executive director of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association.

Cummings takes over from Canadian Bar Association CEO John Hoyles. He had been doing the job on an interim basis since January’s cull at the CBA’s in-house wing, which resulted in the removal of the CCCA’s entire board of directors following a dispute over funding.

“Cathy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position,” said Robert Patzelt, chairman of the CCCA’s executive committee. “She is a skilled leader, strong communicator, and well-versed in change management and process improvement.”

Cummings spent the last four months as interim associate executive director. Before that, she was vice president of certification at the Canadian Payroll Association.

“I look forward to close and effective collaboration with my CBA colleagues in order to deliver the best programs and services to our 10,000-member-strong association,” she said.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP has launched a national network for its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender personnel at offices across Canada.

McCarthys claims the McCarthy Tétrault Pride Network is the first such effort at a national law firm in Canada.

The move aims to increase awareness of lesbian and gay issues, promote professional development and mentoring, and encourage networking and business development.

“We are proud to be taking this important step to support our current and future LGBT personnel,” said Paul Boniferro, McCarthys’ national leader for practices and people.

“Promoting diversity is a key priority at McCarthy Tétrault, and we are pleased to be taking a leadership role among Canadian law firms on LGBT issues.

Our LGBT personnel are, and will continue to be, an important part of our team, and we want to ensure that we attract and retain the best talent so that we can continue to deliver excellent results for our clients.”

Orysia Semotiuk, a partner in the firm’s business law group in Toronto, will chair the pride network.

Earlier this year, McCarthys also became the second law firm in Canada to join Pride at Work Canada, an organization that promotes inclusiveness at workplaces across the country.

Macleod Dixon LLP was named law firm of the year at the World National Oil Companies Congress.

The event took place over five days at the Grange St. Paul’s Hotel in London, England.  
The World National Oil Companies Congress brings together the senior executives from national oil companies and their partners.

Lawyer band Just Some Guys will perform at the Blue Moon Pub in Toronto on July 16 to raise money for breast cancer research at the Canadian Cancer Society.

Guitarists Bill Evans and Jon O’Brien, as well as bassist Leonard Wilgus and Richard Dakin on the drums, are all card-carrying members of the Law Society of Upper Canada. For $5 at the door, you can see them strut their stuff on stage. The Blue Moon Pub is at 725 Queen St. E. in Toronto.

The Ontario Bar Association is donating $10,000 towards a new legal ethics fellowship.

The Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Research aims to encourage scholarship and the development of Canadian materials in the field of legal ethics.

Brothers Brian and Edward Greenspan have pledged $5,000 for a companion study fellowship.

“The OBA is pleased to support this initiative, which will provide important insight and advice on how we can continue to promote the highest level of ethics and professionalism in Ontario’s justice system,” said OBA president Lee Akazaki.

The fellowship is accepting applications for 2011-12 until Aug. 15.

Thunder Bay, Ont., lawyer David Shannon is among 50 new appointees to the Order of Canada.

Shannon received the honour for his advocacy on behalf of Canadians with disabilities. He made history in 2009 when he became the first quadriplegic to reach the North Pole.

Shannon made the trip with fellow lawyer Christopher Watkins. They followed that achievement the same year with a high-altitude skydive.

Other appointments from the legal community to the order include Edra Ferguson for her pioneering achievements as a woman in law and politics as well as her advocacy for women’s rights.

In addition, Maureen Sabia becomes an officer of the order for supporting the advancement of women in the corporate sector and strengthening corporate governance.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has added two new associates at its Toronto office.

Timothy Bailey joins the firm’s intellectual property group from Bennett Jones LLP’s Calgary office. David Faye is coming from even further away.

He returns to BLG following a stint at the Competition Bureau and after doing a research fellowship in competition law at the University of Cambridge.

The Canadian Judicial Council said last week it would be conducting a public inquiry into Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas.

The CJC launched a full investigation into a sexual harassment and discrimination complaint against Douglas in January.

A review panel of five judges has now concluded that the matter may be serious enough to warrant the judge’s removal from office and has decided that an inquiry committee should investigate the matter.

In accordance with the council’s inquiries and investigations bylaws, the inquiry committee will have an uneven number of members with the majority being CJC members.

The minister of justice will appoint one or more members, who must be lawyers with at least 10 years of experience.

The CJC says an independent lawyer will present the evidence at the inquiry. More details about the panel will be coming down the road.

Douglas stepped aside from her courtroom role last summer after the complaint arrived at the CJC. The allegations come from Alex Chapman, who was a client of the judge’s husband, Winnipeg lawyer Jack King.

Chapman claims King pressured him to have sex with Douglas and showed him naked pictures posted online of the judge performing sex acts. King said Douglas was unaware of both the photos being posted online and his actions with Chapman.

Earlier this year, King pleaded guilty to professional misconduct and received a reprimand. He admitted to sharing photos with Chapman, but his lawyer said his client was acting without his wife’s knowledge.

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