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Monday, April 15, 2013


Human rights lawyer Leilani Farha is the recipient of the inaugural Spirit of Barbra Schlifer award.

The award honours a woman who shows the same passion for justice shown by Barbra Schlifer, a young lawyer sexually assaulted and murdered in 1980 as she returned home from celebrating her call to the bar. Farha, executive director of Canada Without Poverty, is a leading expert and advocate for women’s social and economic rights, according to the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic that announced the award last week. “Literally thousands of women have Leilani to thank for having avoided both violence and homelessness,” said Rita Morbia, executive director of Inter Pares.

Farha will receive the award at the 19th annual Barbra Schlifer tribute on June 13 in Toronto.

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Tributes are pouring in for former Ontario cabinet minister, lawyer, and neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Elgie following his death at age 84.

The Ontario Press Council, where Elgie had served as chairman in recent years, announced his death on April 3. “The Hon. Dr. Elgie spent his life serving the people of Ontario in so many capacities as a brain surgeon, hospital chief of staff, lawyer, cabinet minister, MPP, and head of commissions and a great number of volunteer organizations,” the Ontario Press Council said in a press release. “He will be greatly missed by so many.”

The council didn’t say what caused Elgie’s death, but reports suggested he had suffered from congestive heart failure.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said Elgie’s death represents the loss of “a singularly accomplished public figure.”

“He was knowledgeable, quick-witted, and always willing to see the other person’s point of view,” said Hudak.

“His vast array of talents made him a fascinating man and an unparalleled public servant,” he added.

Elgie served as MPP for the Toronto riding of York East from 1977-85.

Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner also paid tribute to Elgie. “Dr. Elgie represented a bygone era in Ontario politics. He promoted the politics of co-operation, decorum, and non-partisanship. Although he served as a Progressive Conservative, he was kind enough to open his home to me in 2011. He told me that Ontario was a better place with diverse voices offering new ideas.”


Dentons Canada LLP’s Janice Rooney is the new president of the Law Office Management Association’s 2013 board of directors.

Rooney will be replacing past president Karen Gerhardt, who will now serve on the board as a member. The association also announced Fogler Rubinoff LLP’s Karen Schrempf will serve as vice president.

The association is a not-for-profit organization for legal management professionals with members from more than 225 law firms throughout Ontario.


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

According to the poll, 70 per cent of respondents believe Quebec authorities should have to provide Ontario courts with presentence reports in English.

The poll followed an April 1 Law Times story about two Ontario judges’ concerns with the quality, timeliness, and language issues with reports coming from Quebec.


Business lawyer Ian Palm has joined Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP’s Toronto office, the firm announced.

Palm, previously the co-leader of McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s private equity group, is joining Gowlings as a partner.

Palm has acted for Canadian and international clients in the areas of energy, technology, mining, infrastructure, and life sciences, according toGowlings.

“We are delighted to welcome Ian as a member of our growing corporate finance, M&A, and private equity group,” said Scott Jolliffe, Gowlings chairman and chief executive officer.

“He brings an outstanding skill set in private equity and M&A and has a strong reputation as a trusted adviser to both public and private companies and investors.”

Palm’s arrival at Gowlings strengthens the firm’s corporate finance, mergers-and-acquisitions, and private equity team in Canada and Britain, said Jolliffe.

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Law Times Poll

The Law Society of Ontario is in the midst of a major overhaul of the role of paralegals in family law — and a proposal on the issue could become an imminent issue for the regulator’s newly elected benchers. Do you agree with widening the scope of family law matters that paralegals can address?