Monday, October 26, 2015



The Ontario Bar Association bestowed its annual award for excellence in civil litigation on Torys LLP’s Patricia Jackson last week.

A litigator for more than 35 years, Jackson “has earned a reputation as a trailblazer, educator, and devoted lawyer,” the OBA said in announcing the award.


“Trisha is an eminent member of the Ontario bar whose distinguished career underscores the very purpose of the OBA award for excellence in civil litigation. We are pleased to celebrate her outstanding contributions to the practice and advancement of civil litigation,” said Barry Weintraub, a partner at Rueters LLP and chairman of the OBA’s civil litigation section.

Jackson, a past recipient of the law society medal, received the award at an event at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Toronto on Thursday. The event also featured guest speaker Louise Arbour, a former judge of the Supreme Court of Canada. The award for excellence in civil litigation honours achievements in relation to outstanding advocacy skills; professionalism; integrity and civility; teaching of civil litigation and practice; enhancement of the practice of civil litigation; and leadership in the civil litigation bar. Last year’s recipient was Bennett Jones LLP’s Jeffrey Leon.




The Law Society Tribunal has disbarred a Toronto lawyer for failing to serve several clients.

On Oct. 8, the tribunal revoked the licence of Cherif Rafik Ghobrial for, among other things, failing to protect a client’s confidential information and property by leaving her file unattended outside his office. The tribunal also found he effectively withdrew from representing 10 clients in the absence of good cause, reasonable notice or accounting to them. In addition, Ghobrial mishandled money given to him by several clients as retainers and, in one instance, charged a fee that wasn’t fair or reasonable, the tribunal found.

Besides disbarring Ghobrial, the tribunal ordered him to pay $25,000 in costs.



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

According to the poll, respondents were largely on board with last week’s federal election that returned the Liberals to power for the first time in almost a decade. Almost 51 per cent of participants said they planned to vote for the Liberal party, while the Conservatives came in second at 31 per cent.

The NDP, meanwhile, came in at 11 per cent, while the Green party scored just three per cent.

The poll reflected a higher preference for the Liberals than that shown by voters in last week’s election. The party scored almost 40 per cent, while the Conservatives took 32 per cent, and the NDP just under 20 per cent. Voters, of course, handed the Liberals a majority government with 184 seats compared to 99 for the Conservatives and 44 for the NDP. Incoming prime minister Justin Trudeau is planning to unveil his new cabinet on Nov. 4.




Legal Aid Ontario is boosting its duty counsel services at the courthouse in Milton, Ont.

As of Oct. 16, LAO began offering an appointment-based service in Milton where people can meet with a lawyer to get help with their criminal matters. If they need more time and meet the financial eligibility criteria for duty counsel services, they can also get legal advice specific to their case.

LAO says the new offering is an enhancement to its existing duty counsel service and is separate from the certificate program.

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