Monday, May 26, 2014

The County & District Law Presidents’ Association has announced Kenora, Ont., lawyer Cheryl Siran will be its next chairwoman.

Siran, called to the bar in 2006, is a litigator practising primarily in civil matters, construction liens, and family law. After joining Hook Seller & Lundin LLP in 2006, she became a partner in 2010.

“As a lawyer practising in a small, northern community, I will be particularly focused on the challenges facing lawyers in sole and small practice and particularly those in rural and remote communities,” said Siran.

“But I will also be seeking in my term to increase CDLPA’s presence and voice on a wide range of issues such as the future of legal aid, adequate judicial resources, and the future of legal education — all issues that cut across the entire province and impact lawyers everywhere. I’m excited to be taking over leadership of this great organization at this time.”

Siran succeeds outgoing chairwoman Janet Whitehead in the role. “She will make a great leader of our organization and continue to provide a strong voice in matters impacting the practising bar,” said Whitehead of Siran.

With few fully accredited Tamil interpreters in Ontario, Ryerson University has released a new English-Tamil legal glossary.

The glossary includes 700 concepts in English and Tamil and is available online for free through the web site of the department of languages, literatures, and cultures at Ryerson. “This online resource is the first step in ensuring that the Tamil community, as well as organizations and interpreters who work with the community, use standardized, commonly accepted terminology,” said Marco Fiola, chairman of the department.

In announcing the glossary, Ryerson noted the gaps in legal services for the fast-growing Tamil community. It pointed to a 2010 provincial government report that found there were only a few fully accredited court interpreters in certain languages, including Tamil. The glossary, then, will help interpreters better prepare themselves for their courtroom duties, according to Ryerson.

The Law Society of Upper Canada handed out its annual awards at a ceremony last week.

The recipients of the law society medal were Frank Bowman, Clare Lewis, Derry Millar, Sandra Stephenson, and William Trudell. The law society also awarded the Lincoln Alexander award to Nigel Gilby, the Laura Legge award to Susan Opler, and the law society distinguished paralegal award to Paula Stamp.

The ceremony took place last Wednesday at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.

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

According to the poll, 69 per cent of respondents said they wouldn’t take on Rob Ford as a client with the remaining participants saying they’d willingly represent the embattled Toronto mayor.

The poll follows a recent Law Times profile of Ford’s counsel, Dennis Morris. In the profile, colleagues noted Morris’ low-key approach despite having high-profile clients like Ford. In the criminal law bar, Morris has a reputation as an “exceptional negotiator” also known for his subtleties and his ability to keep things under the radar, according to Greg Lafontaine, who worked in an office next to Morris’ for several years.

“Dennis is a lawyer who is never really worried about capturing the limelight. It’s not as though he’s somebody who is involved with Mayor Ford because of a desire to get attention,” said Lafontaine.

Morris, of course, has had his hands full representing Ford, who took a temporary leave of absence recently following more video revelations of homophobic and sexist comments and alleged use of crack cocaine.   

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