October 15, 2012

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has announced the appointment of two Ontario Crown prosecutors as judges of the Superior Court.

Former Progressive Conservative MPP Tony Skarica takes a position on the Superior Court bench in Brampton, Ont. He replaces Justice D.L. Corbett, who transferred to Toronto following Justice Sarah Pepall’s move to the Ontario Court of Appeal in April.

Besides his stint in politics, Skarica has had a long career in criminal law. A permanent duty counsel for three years beginning in 1979, he worked as a sole practitioner from 1982 to 1983. He then served as an assistant Crown attorney in the Hamilton, Ont., and central south regions at various points thereafter.

Also appointed to the Superior Court bench in Brampton is Toronto Crown attorney Ria Tzimas. Tzimas became counsel with the Crown law office following a five-year stint in private practice from 1993 to 1998. She replaces Justice M.H Tulloch, who joined the Court of Appeal in June.

McCarthy Tétrault LLP is hailing its success in landing a spot on Mediacorp Canada Inc.’s list of the top 100 employers in Canada for 2013.

“With the support of our CEO, we continue to work hard to develop and implement programs, practices, policies, and initiatives that are among the very best offered by employers in Canada,” said Paul Boniferro, the firm’s national leader for practices and people.

“We still have work to do, but as a leading law firm, we believe this hard work is never done.”

Also on the list from the legal community was Bennett Jones LLP. In addition, legal publisher Carswell, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd., made the list for the fifth consecutive time. The list noted Bennett Jones provides compassionate leave top-up payments of 100 per cent of salary for a week. Carswell, meanwhile, received accolades for a two-year leadership program aimed at promoting from within.

William Braithwaite is the new chairman of Stikeman Elliott LLP.

A senior partner in the firm’s Toronto office, Braithwaite is a leading lawyer in the area of mergers and acquisitions. He has also acted as counsel to major corporations, boards of directors, institutional shareholders, governments, and regulatory agencies.

Braithwaite succeeds Pierre Raymond in the role as chairman. Raymond will continue in a management role at the firm’s Montreal office.

Federal government lawyers have approved a tentative agreement reached earlier this year that granted them a 15.25-per-cent wage increase over three years.

According to the Association of Justice Counsel, 91.5 per cent of members who voted were in favour of the collective agreement reached with the federal government.

“We have heard the voice of our members,” said association president Lisa Blais. “Our association will do everything to ensure a speedy finalization of the agreement and its early implementation.”

For more, see "Federal Crowns to get 15.25% pay boost."

A strong majority of respondents to the latest Law Times online poll are in favour of Omar Khadr’s return to Canada.

About 60 per cent agreed that the federal government should have allowed the inmate previously held at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to come back to Canada. A further 22 per cent of respondents weren’t necessarily in favour of the move but said the government had no choice. Just under 19 per cent of respondents outright opposed his return.

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