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Monday, December 5, 2011


The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has named Ottawa’s Constance Backhouse the recipient of its 2011 gold medal for achievement in research.

The University of Ottawa professor and research chair is known for her publications on sex discrimination and the legal history of gender and race in Canada.

“Professor Backhouse has been an influential leader in the interdisciplinary study of law,” said council president Chad Gaffield.

“Her work has illuminated valuable lessons to be learned in the struggle for social justice and enriched our understanding of Canada’s legal history and our sense of equality and justice.”

It’s the first time Backhouse has received the award, for which final selections are based on candidates’ dedication, originality of thought, and leadership toward advancing their field of research.

With the honour comes a $100,000 research grant and the opportunity to advance the recipient’s studies.

“Professor Backhouse is an inspiration to the next generation of scholars,” said Gaffield. “The importance of her research and the energy and dedication with which she carries it out, encourage and inspire young scholars in disciplines that extend beyond law.

This is what the gold medal seeks to reward — an enduring energy and contribution to not only a body of research but to everyone around her and to the broader Canadian society.”

Backhouse began her research career more than 30 years ago, combining both gender and racial inequality issues with law in several published books and research papers.

“In legal history, every time you are able to demonstrate that a law was unfair, the next generation of lawyers and judges take that and use it to make different arguments and different judicial decisions,” said Backhouse. “It helps move us closer to becoming a truly just society.”


The Law Society of Upper Canada has renewed the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s territorial mobility agreement for an indefinite term.

Under the territorial deal, transfer provisions of the national mobility agreement will apply to the territories but the temporary mobility aspects will not.

The agreement allows lawyers to practise in other provinces and territories under specified conditions. They include maintaining insurance, hearing a maximum number of matters, and obtaining a permit.

In the meantime, Convocation also approved measures to urge the federation to investigate what may be limiting the territories’ involvement in the temporary mobility provisions of the agreement.


The Law Society of Upper Canada has disbarred Toronto lawyer Moorsaleen Kaiyume Baksh for professional misconduct stemming from a series of fraudulent mortgage transactions.

According to the LSUC, Baksh knowingly assisted or participated in fraudulent or dishonest conduct by several clients and associated persons in connection with three mortgage transactions; lied to a lender client in one mortgage transaction; and failed to serve his lender client in two mortgage transactions.

In addition, Baksh disbursed mortgage funds from his lender client before registration of the transfer and charge and registered a discharge of his client’s charge without authorization, the law society found.


Darryl Ferguson has joined Lerners LLP’s Toronto office as a partner after leaving McCarthy Tétrault LLP.

“We are thrilled to welcome Darryl Ferguson as a partner in our firm,” said Brian Grant, managing partner of Lerners’ Toronto office.

“With his proven track record in commercial litigation and health law, he is a welcome addition to any firm and a perfect fit for Lerners.”

Since his call to the bar in 1992, Ferguson has spent 19 years at McCarthys. He also served as clerk for the chief justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatchewan.

At Lerners, Ferguson will work as a partner focusing on health law, class actions, and commercial litigation.

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