Monday, May 24, 2010

A law society tribunal has dismissed a motion by Angelina Marie Codina to set aside the deemed abandonment of her appeal of her disbarment.

Codina was disbarred in 2002 after being found guilty in 1997 of defrauding the Ontario legal aid plan of $20,000.

She appealed the disbarment, but it was deemed abandoned because of her failure to perfect the appeal in a timely way.

In 2004, while in custody in the United States, she had the deemed abandonment set aside, but by 2005 it was again deemed abandoned because of the passage of time.

When she was released from U.S. custody in 2009, Codina asked for the appeal to be scheduled, but Mark Sandler, chairman of the appeal panel, said the deemed abandonment couldn’t be set aside because Codina hadn’t shown the appeal was arguable.

Sandler said the disbarment related directly to her conviction, and after failed appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal, “there is currently no basis to believe that her criminal conviction will be set aside.

Should Ms. Codina ever be successful in setting aside her criminal conviction, then her discipline appeal will be differently situated.”

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association has named Richard Halpern, a partner at Thomson Rogers, as the 2010 recipient of the John A. McLeish Award.

Halpern, a former president of the OTLA, practises exclusively in civil litigation with particular emphasis on medical malpractice cases. He won the award for his contribution to the goals of a fair trial and access to justice.

Halpern will receive the award at the OTLA’s spring conference this Thursday at the Westin Prince Hotel.

Mark Edwards, a partner with Beard Winter LLP in Toronto, has been appointed a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Newmarket.

His main areas of practice are civil litigation, tort and insurance law, criminal law, family law, and corporate and commercial litigation.

Edwards replaces Justice H. O’Connell, who was transferred to Durham effective March 21.
Also joining the Superior Court is Kevin Whitaker, chairman of the Ontario Labour Relations Board in Toronto.

Whitaker has held his current position since 2001 and since 2008 has also been a special adviser to Ontario’s minister of training, colleges and universities. He will replace Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, who was appointed to the Court of Appeal on March 26.

The province of Ontario has recognized Michael Trebilcock, a professor with the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, for his work on the economics of law.

Last week, Premier Dalton McGuinty presented Trebilcock with the 2010 Premier’s Discovery Award for social sciences at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

“I’m delighted to receive the award on behalf of the law and economics program and the faculty of law,” Trebilcock said of the award, which comes with a $250,000 prize. “It’s wonderful to see the government of Ontario recognize the importance of research in the social sciences, such as law and economics.”

Trebilcock, who also founded the Canadian Law and Economics Association, won for an approach to legal scholarship that has “helped shape public policy and law reform in Ontario and internationally.”

Organized by the Ministry of Research and Innovation, the awards, now in their fourth year, celebrate Ontario’s most accomplished researchers.

The senate of the University of Ottawa has approved the change in designation of its common law degree from bachelor of laws to juris doctor.

Students graduating this year will receive an LLB, but graduates, as well as alumni of the school, will have the option of changing their designation to JD once the procedure for doing so has been established. 

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