Monday, October 31, 2011

A new donation has allowed Ontario justices of the peace to double their education bursary award, which this year went to high school student Arathi Angel Ajit.

“The bursary recipients are not the only beneficiaries of the program,” said justice of the peace Lynne Stethem in an announcement of the award by the Association of Justices of the Peace of Ontario (AJPO).

“It is, in fact, an activity that is proving to be amongst the most rewarding for the AJPO members who participate in it.”

The association launched the award four years ago to support post-secondary students interested in studying law. The program also complements other activities led by the association, including mock-trial competitions, careers-day seminars, and the court experience program.

A donation by a retiring justice of the peace allowed the association to double its award at the ceremony last week.

The Ontario Securities Commission has announced new efforts to deal with breaches of Ontario securities laws.

“These new tools will have a direct impact on our ability to take decisive enforcement action in order to protect the public interest,” said Tom Atkinson, OSC director of enforcement.

“They will allow us to effectively deliver on our commitments to investors and the marketplace in a timely manner.”

The changes include a new program for no-enforcement action agreements for parties that self-report breaches of Ontario securities law or matters not considered in the public interest and co-operate in investigations.

In addition, under the new no-contest settlement program, the OSC can make a protective order whether or not a person has specifically admitted to breaching the Securities Act.

Former attorney general Howard Hampton has joined Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP after retiring from the Ontario legislature earlier this year.

“We are very pleased to have Howard Hampton join our team at Fasken Martineau,” said Martin Denyes, Faskens’ managing partner for Ontario.

“He has served the people of northern Ontario with distinction. His expertise and commitment to sustainable use of our natural resources along with his understanding of the North will add significant value to our firm and most importantly to our clients.”

Hampton served in Ontario’s cabinet from 1990 to 1995 as attorney general and later as minister of Natural Resources. He was also leader of the Ontario NDP from 1996 to 2009.

Hampton will work with the firm’s corporate social responsibility and aboriginal affairs groups.

“Fasken Martineau is an outstanding law firm and I am delighted that they are giving me the opportunity to return to the law while allowing me to use my experience in northern Ontario to continue the work that I have done over the past 20 years,” said Hampton.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has extended the Justicia project by two years.

The program, aimed at attracting and advancing women in the legal profession, has so far involved more than 55 medium and large firms across the province. Activities include developing resources such as guides for parental leave and policies on flexible work arrangements.

“The Justicia project is a catalyst for innovative, systemic change in the legal profession,” said LSUC Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza.

“We are very pleased with the success of the project over the past three years and now that it is extended, participating law firms can complete their important, ongoing work.”

Law society benchers approved the extension last week. They also voted in favour of continuing the parental leave assistance program to Dec. 31, 2012. It helps sole practitioners and small-firm lawyers who become new parents with $750 per week for up to 12 weeks.

The law society said the extension gives it time to determine how to proceed with the program given recent changes to employment insurance.

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