Monday, July 19, 2010

The Law Society of Upper Canada has given Richmond Hill, Ont., lawyer Alan Joel Luftspring 30 days to surrender his licence after a panel found him guilty of professional misconduct.

Luftspring failed to be on guard against being duped by unscrupulous clients related to 11 real estate deals, according to the LSUC panel’s order.

He then failed to act honestly and candidly with his lender clients in the transactions, including one in which he acted for multiple parties without adequate disclosure.
The panel also awarded $5,000 in costs against Luftspring.

After fighting four years to have his case thrown out, a former Quebec lawyer who represented several members of the Hells Angels has pleaded guilty to two of four charges of cocaine trafficking.

“It’s time to move on to other things,” Roger Bellemare, 50, was quoted in Le Journal de Montréal as telling a judge in Quebec City on July 6, when he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to traffic and another count of conspiracy to traffic. “I’m relieved.”

The charges stemmed from a provincewide police investigation called Operation Fusion that netted 33 people in 2006.

Bellemare and five others were charged with conspiring to sell 50 kilograms of cocaine. One of them was convicted and sentenced to a four-year prison term in 2008. Two others pleaded guilty earlier this year and, like Bellemare, are now awaiting sentencing, likely in September. The other two were acquitted.

According to a story in the Montreal Gazette, Bellemare, who practised law in Trois-Rivières, Que., until his arrest, succeeded in having his trial moved to the provincial capital after convincing a judge that it would be difficult to find 12 jurors in Trois-Rivières who had not heard about him or his case.

However, he failed in his efforts to have the charges dropped.
Temporarily disbarred twice - first in 2008 and again in 2009 - when he violated a condition of his release, Bellemare may apply to be reinstated in 2013.

Bellemare told the judge he wanted to end the case to spare his two teenage boys any more hardship.
Crown attorney Nicolas Poulin said he was satisfied with the plea. “This is a very satisfying day for the prosecution,” he told reporters.

Both the Crown and Bellemare’s attorney have agreed on a 42-month prison sentence they have proposed to the judge.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has announced the arrival of three new associates at its Toronto office.

Deirdre Harrington, former counsel for the Cornwall and Ipperwash inquiries, practises in the areas of construction, engineering, surety, and fidelity. Imran Ahmad has joined the corporate commercial division after leaving Bennett Jones LLP, while Sonia Molodecky moves from Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP to work in financial services.

Aird & Berlis LLP has hired two new partners for its technology and communications group.

John Andrew is a corporate lawyer who has advised international technology companies. Ariane Siegel is a business lawyer with specialized expertise in telecommunications, privacy, and e-commerce, according to the firm.

Judy Goldring wants lawyers to get on their bikes and register for the Ride for Diabetes legal challenge.

“Building on the momentum of the 2009 ride, where 14 legal firms raised over $80,000, we want to encourage even more participants and pledges in this year’s legal challenge,” said Goldring, general counsel for AGF Management Ltd. and co-chairwoman of the 2010 event.

The ride, which aims to raise $2.75 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation from 1,500 corporate teams, takes place on Oct. 1 this year. Interested participants can visit to register a team or sponsor a colleague.

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