Monday, June 15, 2015

The Law Society Tribunal has disbarred a Hamilton, Ont., lawyer found to be ungovernable.

On June 2, the hearing division ordered the revocation of James William Scott’s licence after finding he had failed to co-operate with an investigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada; failed to serve a client by not filing an application of appointment of estate trustee with a will or not obtaining one; failing to maintain himself in a way that maintains the integrity of the profession by misleading a client; misappropriating funds given to him in trust; failing to account for money given to him in trust to prepare a statement of defence; and failing to file a compliance report within 30 days of the start of his suspension.

Besides revoking Scott’s licence, the tribunal ordered him to pay costs of $13,167.

The province has appointed a new associate chief justice of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Justice Peter DeFreitas replaces new Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve in the role. A judge since 2008, DeFreitas has presided in Oshawa, Ont., where, according to the provincial government, he distinguished himself with various efforts related to court modernization and streamlining judicial administration.

Before becoming a judge, DeFreitas was a prosecutor working for the federal government. His new appointment was effective as of June 3.

The federal government has introduced new legislation aimed at preventing discrimination based on genetic test results and information.

Last week, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced the introduction of legislation that would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act, and the Privacy Act in order to offer more clarity on the law around genetic tests.

The proposed amendment to the human rights legislation, for example, would make it clear the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic tests, according to the government. The privacy law changes, meanwhile, would limit the collection, use, and disclosure of such information.

“We commend the government for taking an important step forward and raising the urgent need to combat genetic discrimination in Canada,” said Bev Heim-Myers, chief executive officer of the Huntington Society of Canada.

“Moving forward, it is imperative that provincial and territorial governments across Canada quickly pass complementary legislation to ensure genetic discrimination is prevented and genetic test information is protected for all Canadians across all jurisdictions.”

The results of the latest Law Times online poll are in.

The poll suggests strong support for Omar Khadr in his legal battles with the federal government. Almost 78 per cent of participants felt the government shouldn’t proceed with its appeal of Khadr’s release on bail.

Khadr, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, has been living in Edmonton since his release last month. Federal politicians expressed disappointment at his release and the government has vowed to fight it in court.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has announced the appointment of two new executives at the firm.

Taking on the role of chief operating officer is Rob Morris, who during his career has worked around the world and was most recently at Baker & McKenzie LLP.

Also joining the firm as chief talent officer is Phil Donnelly. Donnelly previously served as global chief people officer at White & Case LLP.   

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