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Monday, March 31, 2014


Two Ontario lawyers have lost their licences to practise law after the Law Society of Canada found them guilty of misconduct.

A hearing panel found Ottawa lawyer Kenneth Johnson to have knowingly assisted in dishonesty or fraud in transactions involving 11 properties. On March 19, the hearing division disbarred him with costs determined at a later date.

Meanwhile, North Grenville, Ont., lawyer Kym McGahey also lost her licence for not providing the law society with a report on the disposition of her practice within 30 days of her two separate disciplinary suspensions.   


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

According to the poll, 86 per cent of respondents say the Ontario Superior Court is right to crack down on placeholder motions in its efforts to reduce delays in civil matters.

Superior Court Chief Justice Heather Smith told Law Times recently the court is eliminating motions booked by lawyers on the off chance they’ll need them later. Placeholder motions are part of the cause of long wait times for hearings, said Smith.

Some lawyers have said the use of placeholder motions is a sign parties can’t get hearing dates when they need them and that cracking down on them won’t fix the delay issue.


The west region of the Ontario Court of Justice will soon have a new senior regional judge as Justice Stephen Fuerth is set to replace Justice Kathleen McGowan in May.

Fuerth first became a judge of the Ontario Court in 2006. In his new role, he “exercises the powers and performs the duties of the chief justice” in his region, according to the Ministry of the Attorney General. The duties will include scheduling court hearings and assigning cases to individual judges.

Before becoming a judge, Fuerth was a partner at a firm in Chatham, Ont., and mainly practised family law. He also served as a member of the Consent and Capacity Board.


Still in its inaugural year, Canada’s newest law school at Lakehead University launched its student newspaper last week.

The first edition of the Northern Law Compass is available online only and predominantly features coverage of recent law faculty activities.

“We just really wanted to have an outlet for students, whether it be to voice opinions or discuss events that are going on in the law school,” says Elizabeth McLeod, coeditor of the Northern Law Compass.

“We want people to know what’s going on and see that we’re developing a community and a student culture here.”

Recurring features will include a section on environmental law, an aboriginal law column, and lifestyle content.

The publication will also review important recent Supreme Court decisions that set a binding precedent for Canadians.

“We’re hoping that this column will be a way for the general public to be [introduced to] recent decisions,” says Scott Mainprize, also a coeditor of the paper.

“It’s been a long time coming,” says Natalie Gerry, the paper’s third coeditor.

“So we’re just looking forward to showing everyone what we’ve designed and I think everyone is looking forward to seeing other student columns and what they’ve been writing about.”

The Northern Law Compass received funding from the Lakehead law faculty, the university’s student union, and the Lakehead University Law Students’ Society. The editorial team plans to produce a print version of the paper in the future. They’ll continue to run stories on the site throughout the summer with an official second edition published in the fall.

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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?