Monday, November 28, 2011

Former Ontario Superior Court justice Norman Coo died at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto on Nov. 13.

As part of his judicial duties, Coo was the former senior judge of the District Court of Ontario in York County.

He also served as a member of the Ontario Review Board and the Ontario Consent and Capacity Board until his death. In addition, he worked as an arbitrator and mediator at ADR Chambers in Toronto.
At Coo’s request, there will be no funeral service.

Toronto and Windsor, Ont., are the biggest legal spenders among municipalities even as cities across the province have shown considerable restraint in their budgets, a new report shows.

The report for 2010 by the Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative analyzes several major municipalities’ track records in a number of areas, including legal services.

The survey of 12 municipalities shows that the median legal cost per $1,000 in municipal operating and capital expenditures decreased to $2.79 in 2010 from $3.05 in 2008.

Toronto, however, was regularly above its counterparts with a cost of $7.24 on that basis in 2008, a number that dropped to $4.21 in 2010. Windsor, meanwhile, spent $4.83 in 2008 but towered over all of the other municipalities measured in 2009 at $8.29.

The number fell back to $4.90 in 2010. Barrie, Ont., Durham Region, Niagara Region, and Waterloo Region all came in well under the median.

The benchmarking report notes cities have restrained their in-house legal budgets since 2008. It found that the median legal operating costs per in-house lawyer hour fell to $127 last year from $141 in 2008.

Toronto, in general, had the highest costs at $222 in 2008 and $146 in 2009, although data for 2010 for that city wasn’t available. The most frugal in-house legal spender last year was Waterloo at $113.

But as for external legal budgets, cities weren’t able to cut costs despite efforts like the Value Challenge. The study put the median legal cost per external lawyer hour at $370 in 2010.

That’s up from $346 in 2008. Again, Toronto topped the list at $556 in 2008, a number that rose to $615 in 2009. (That city didn’t have data for 2010.)

Despite being one of the province’s biggest cities, Ottawa came out lowest on that score at $247.

Armand Conant has moved to Shibley Righton LLP to join the firm’s condominium law department in Toronto.

In his new position, Conant will serve as head of the firm’s condo law department.
“Armand is a wonderful addition to Shibley Righton,” said Sandra Dawe, managing partner of Shibley Righton.

“His energy is extraordinary, and he has immediately integrated himself. That is so important to us because we are a very close-knit firm.

With this energy and Armand’s expertise in condominium law, I am looking forward to watching him and his condo team flourish at Shibley Righton.”

Conant represents condominium corporations throughout central Ontario and has experience in condominium, real estate, litigation, and business law.

Currently, Conant serves on the board of directors for the Canadian Condominium Institute’s Toronto and area chapter and is also the first lawyer in Ontario to be a court-appointed full administrator under the Condominium Act.

Lakehead University is looking for the founding dean of its new law school.

According to the posting, the university wants someone to start as soon as possible and no later than next summer.

The posting notes the school is looking for someone with experience relevant to aboriginal, northern, and rural issues. For more information, visit

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