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Monday, March 5, 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018
Shaun O’Brien says she expects being part of the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will be an important part of her new role at LEAF.


The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund has hired Toronto lawyer Shaun O’Brien to be its next legal director.

O’Brien, who is a partner at Cavaluzzo LLP and will join LEAF on April 23, says she considers her new job as a natural extension of the work she has done in the past on the equality rights of women.

She says she is hoping to build on the work LEAF has been doing in a number of areas, in particular when it comes to the treatment of indigenous women, as the organization has standing at the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“I expect this will be a critical area of my work at LEAF,” she says.

Called to the bar in 2000, O’Brien has appeared before every level of court in Ontario, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. She is also the president of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, which provides legal services to women who are victims of violence.

O’Brien says her experience working on a number of Charter challenges and cases involving breaches of the Human Rights Code will allow her to offer a practical perspective on litigating such issues.

“I am excited . . . to join a national organization [that] has a long history of advocating on these issues across the country,” she says.


The Ministry of the Attorney General recently appointed four new judges to serve on the Ontario Court of Justice.

Among the new judges were Hafeez Amarshi, Crown counsel for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and president of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto.

The other appointees were Allison Dellandrea, counsel for the Crown Law Office — Criminal, Hamilton criminal defence lawyer Joseph Fiorucci and Crown counsel Craig Fraser.

The federal government appointed John Norris, a Toronto lawyer, and Elizabeth Walker, who heads the RCMP External Review Committee, to serve in the Federal Court.


Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has added one of Canada’s leading privacy lawyers to its ranks.

Patricia Kosseim will join the firm as counsel to its privacy and data management practice group.

She will also co-lead the next generation of Osler’s “AccessPrivacy” platform, which the firm has described as an “integrated suite of innovative information solutions, consulting services and thought leadship.”

Before joining Osler, Kosseim served as senior general counsel and director general at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.


The Law Society of Ontario recently endorsed a proposed plan to create a new law school at Ryerson University.

Readers were asked whether they agree with the creation of a new law school.

Roughly 86 per cent of respondents said no, the law society should do more to tackle the articling crisis before approving a new law school.

The remaining 14 per cent said yes, the school is necessary as there are a lot of Ontario students who study abroad.

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