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Monday, August 16, 2010


The provincial government will pay up to $250,000 to the people directly affected by the discredited testimony of pathologist Dr. Charles Smith.

Attorney General Chris Bentley said the money would be made available to those involved in the 19 cases examined by the Goudge Inquiry, which released its report nearly two years ago. Bentley said Smith’s flawed work had deeply affected many people in the province.

“Today we are moving forward with payments to recognize the impact of that experience,” he said at a press conference to announce the scheme.

But Bentley acknowledged that $250,000 may not be enough for some victims and said the “recognition payments” will not affect the ability of victims to sue in the civil courts. In the case of larger awards, the recognition payment will be deducted from the total.

A child who was removed from the family home as a result of Smith’s testimony will be eligible for up to $25,000, while any family member affected by a relative’s involvement can get up to $12,500.

Retired Ontario Superior Court judge Chester Misener will oversee the fund, deciding who gets what.

The government hopes to process and pay out claims within 90 days of an application.


The federal government has announced the appointment of three new judges to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Katherine Corrick was appointed to the Superior Court in Toronto after 14 years as the Law Society of Upper Canada’s director of policy and tribunals, where she advised the treasurer, CEO, and benchers on legal matters.

James Wilcox joins the bench in Haileybury, Ont., after 26 years in private practice, most of them at firms in North Bay, Ont. He has also served as a legal member of the Ontario Review Board since 1998.

Mary Jane Hatton will sit in Durham. Hatton was previously a senior judge of the Family Court branch of the Superior Court. She was called to the bar in 1976.

In a non-judicial appointment, Robert Tchegus, a partner with Kingston, Ont.,’s Cunningham Swan Carty Little & Bonham LLP, has been named one of Ontario’s representatives to the federal government’s Payments in Lieu of Taxes Dispute Advisory Panel.

Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose appointed him for a three-year term to the panel, which advises her in the event a taxing authority disagrees with the property value, property dimensions or effective rate applicable to any federal property.

 “We applaud the minister’s recognition of his expertise in this crucial area that impacts municipalities in particular across Canada,” said Tim Wilkin, Cunningham Swan’s managing partner.

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The Law Society of Upper Canada has opened up the doors of Osgoode Hall for public tours until Sept 3.

The law society is offering free guided tours of the 178-year-old Toronto building Monday to Friday, starting at 1:15 p.m. outside the main entrance at 130 Queen St. W.

The tours take in Osgoode’s magnificent atrium, with its geometric floor, as well as a 19th century courtroom and the Great Library.

The law society has also provided self-guided audio tours for download from the ‘history’ section of its web site, which are available in French and English.


A legal editor is going the extra mile to make sure his author gets his book finished on time.

Graham Peddie, a product and business development manager at Canada Law Book, told his author Perry Steckly he will run a half marathon with him if he can meet his end-of-August deadline.

Steckly, an OPP detective, is writing a book on source recruitment from organizations such as the Hells Angels.

“He’s a big runner, but I hate it. I told him ‘if you can get your manuscript in on time, I’ll do your stupid race,’” says Peddie. “Our authors are so busy, that you’ll try anything to keep them on track.”

The race itself is just days after the deadline, on Sept. 5 in Virginia Beach and Peddie is deep into his training regime.

“I’ve lost 20 pounds already, so it’s been good for my health too,” he says.

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