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Monday, June 25, 2012


The Law Society of Upper Canada has awarded former governor general Michaëlle Jean an honorary doctor of laws degree.

The LSUC honoured Jean for her work as a journalist, broadcaster, lecturer, social activist, and governor general from 2005 to 2010 during its call to the bar ceremony in Ottawa on June 19.

“Throughout her remarkable career, she has been very active in her support for abused women and children at risk,” said law society Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza.

“Her work with disadvantaged and underprivileged youth carries on through the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.”


Justice Minister Rob Nicholson met with several attorneys general from across the globe in Ottawa on June 15 to discuss a variety of legal topics.  

The discussions centered on topics including cybercrime, legal co-operation, and national security.

New Zealand Attorney General Chris Finlayson, British Attorney General Dominic Grieve, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Jason Clare, Australia’s minister for home affairs and justice, attended the meeting.

“The global nature of crimes such as terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime make co-operation with key allies a critical component in Canada’s response to these evolving issues,” said Nicholson.

“Today’s meeting provides a unique opportunity for our government to share knowledge and information with these key countries to ensure co-ordinated efforts in the fight against terrorism and other transnational crime.”


The results of last week’s Law Times online poll are in.

Almost 82 per cent of respondents indicated they support MPP David Orazietti’s private member’s bill to require presiding justices of the peace to have five years’ experience as a lawyer.

Orazietti, an MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., introduced the bill on May 31.

If passed, the bill would create

a two-tier system that would allow presiding justices of the peace to oversee complex legal matters but would require them to have experience as a lawyer before entering the position.


Edward Greenspan received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Brock University on June 7.

A native of Niagara Falls, Ont., Greenspan, in his address to graduates, noted he could have easily been an alumnus as well.

“Had I finished high school two years later on or if Brock had opened one year earlier, I would have had my degree from Brock in 1967,” said the criminal lawyer, who noted he instead had to wait 45 years to get one.


National aboriginal history month kicked off last week with a legal education program and reception at the Law Society of Upper Canada.

The event on June 20 featured a number of panellists who discussed how to build successful business relationships with members of the aboriginal community.

Clint Davis of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business led the first panel during which lawyers Maxime Faille, Tiffany Murray, and Kelly LaRocca discussed how to create an aboriginal corporation.

A second panel featured lawyer Cynthia Westaway as well as Erin Strachan in a discussion on aboriginal co-operatives and consortiums.

Lastly, Dean Jacobs, former chief of the Munsee-Delaware Nation, and Mike Rosen of Tree Canada discussed joint ventures with aboriginal communities.

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Law Times Poll

Lawyers have expressed concerns that of 38 justices of the peace the province appointed this summer, only 12 have law degrees. Do you think this is an issue?