Tuesday, May 19, 2009

University of Toronto Faculty of Law Prof. Ernest Weinrib has capped a stellar career with the $100,000 Killam Prize, Canada’s top honour for scholarly achievement. Weinrib has been at the U of T since 1968 and is considered Canada’s top legal theorist and a leading scholar of private law.
"My appreciation . . . goes to the University of ?Toronto for providing a rich and supporting interdisciplinary environment; to my legal theory colleagues there and elsewhere, whose conversations have sustained me; to generations of wonderful law students who have continuously forced me to defend and clarify my ideas; and to the inspired leadership of successive deans, who have treated legal theory as central both to the ?study of law and to the faculty''s intellectual life," said Weinrib in a release.
The award is administered by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Stikeman Elliott LLP partner Mike Carman has been remembered as a leading structured finance lawyer with an easygoing manner and love for sports.
“Mike was known throughout the firm’s Toronto office for his laid back demeanour, approachable personality, and sense of humour,” read a notice on the firm''s web site, advising that the husband and father had lost his battle with cancer.

“He was also well known for his casual attire and his love of conversation, and he always had a well-considered opinion on the various issues facing Stikeman Elliott.”

Carman received his LLB from the University of Western Ontario in 1982 and was called to the bar in 1984. He joined Stikemans in 1992 as a partner, starting the firm’s securitization practice. He became head of Stikemans’ structured finance and financial products group.
“Mike had a widely acknowledged reputation as one of the leading structured finance lawyers in the world,” said the firm.

“He was one of the first lawyers worldwide to work on swap contracts, and his work acting for the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and his early interest in swaps resulted in Stikeman Elliott being the leading firm in Canada and one of the most prominent firms in the world in the area of derivatives products, a distinction it continues to enjoy.”
Carman also had a “keen passion for baseball,” noted the firm. He spent some of his final days by fulfilling a wish to travel to Florida to see his son, Robert, play for St. Lawrence College at the U.S. collegiate level.
“Mike will be dearly missed by all of us,” said the firm. “We express our heartfelt condolences to his wife Cathy and his son Rob.”
The best way to ensure citizens’ access to government records is found within proposed changes to the Access to Information Act, according to the Canadian Bar Association.
“Access to information legislation is a critical tool for democracies as it empowers citizens and enhances government transparency and accountability,” said Priscilla Platt, executive member of the CBA’s national privacy and access to information law section, in a release.
The CBA’s submission to the government’s standing committee on access to information, privacy, and ethics urges the government to consider reinstating or expanding a central tracking system for access requests. It also urges the committee to think about lawyer-client confidentiality when considering government records.
The Medico-Legal Society of Toronto recently took some time to reflect on its first year of providing pro bono legal services to people appearing before the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.
A congratulatory luncheon was held at the Law Society of Upper Canada. Justice Stephen Goudge of the Ontario Court of Appeal offered a keynote address, while law society Treasurer Derry Millar also was on hand to offer congratulations.
Next year’s program is expected to include participation from 28 students. Other organizations involved in the program include Osgoode Hall Law School, the University of Toronto Law School, and Pro Bono Students Canada.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP senior litigation partner Donald Short has been named a case management master of the Superior Court of Justice.
"Throughout his career, Don has gone beyond being a good lawyer in order to give back to the legal profession and our firm," said Faskens’ Ontario regional managing partner Walter Palmer, in a release.
"We are delighted that Don will be continuing the Fasken tradition of public service following his long and successful career at the firm. However, it is with much sadness that we see him go."
Short arrived at the firm as an articling student in 1973, and currently is president of the ADR Institute of Canada. He has received the Ontario Bar Association’s distinguished service award, and its award for excellence in alternative dispute resolution.
Former federal cabinet minister David Dingwall has joined Affleck Greene McMurtry LLP as counsel.
"David's considerable experience and expertise are an excellent complement to our firm's competencies," said firm managing partner Peter Greene, in a release. "David brings a unique perspective and will enhance our mandate to deliver the best possible legal advice and representation."
Dingwall also has acted as a corporate CEO and director. He will practise in the areas of corporate commercial, corporate governance, alternate dispute resolution, and public policy.
The Law Foundation of Ontario has awarded 11 articling fellowships for legal clinics and Legal Aid Ontario that it said will offer legal information and services to linguistic minorities and residents in rural and remote communities.
The foundation said it received 28 applications for the fellowships, some of which involved partnerships involving groups of organizations. The applications were vetted by a selection committee made up of distinguished members of the legal profession and persons with expertise in the needs of linguistic minorities and residents of rural and remote areas.
The FLO recently released a report outlining major barriers to access to legal information and services for people who don’t speak English or French and individuals living in rural and remote areas.
British Columbia Provincial Court Chief Justice Hugh Stansfield has died after a long battle with myeloma.
Stansfield, who was 57, continued to serve as chief judge until the week before his death, The Canadian Press reported.
He was called to the bar in 1980 after receiving his law degree from the University of British Columbia. He was appointed to the provincial court in 1993, after years of practising in the areas of civil, family, and criminal litigation. He was appointed associate chief judge in 1998, and appointed to a five-year term as chief judge in 2005.
Stansfield is survived by his wife Jo-Ann and four sons.
“Since becoming chief judge, Hugh worked to make B.C.’s court system more accessible and open than ever before,” said Justice James Threlfall, the court’s acting chief judge, in a prepared statement.
Jeremy Webber, the Canada Research Chair in Law and Society at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law, has been named one of four winners of the Trudeau Foundation Fellowship Prize.
Webber, an expert in Canadian constitutional politics with a focus on aboriginal rights, gets $225,000 with the award.

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