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Monday, May 6, 2013


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

According to the poll, respondents have differing opinions on whether the government should devote more money for courts and judges in northern Ontario in light of a recent Law Times story revealing concerns raised by Janet Whitehead, chairwoman of the County and District Law Presidents’ Association, about the state of the justice system there.

While 46 per cent of survey participants agree with the idea of providing more funds for the north, they also felt there are other pressing issues across the province that require attention.

Thirty-nine per cent of participants said the issue is critical and should get immediate attention. The rest, 15 per cent, disagreed with the idea of more funding for the judicial system in northern Ontario as they feel the province doesn’t have the money to address to the issue.


A new Statistics Canada report shows family law made up the majority of civil court cases between 2011 and 2012. They accounted for 33 per cent of all civil court cases during that time.

The majority of family law cases dealt with custody, access, support, and child protection, according to last week’s report. One in four child-related cases involved child protection issues.

The results come from data collected from eight Canadian provinces and territories. In 2011-12, 40 per cent of new litigants in child custody cases represented themselves. Applicants were more likely to have representation than defendants, according to the statistics.

Personal injury and damages lawsuits were the second most common cases in the civil courts. “Lawsuits for injury or damage and contract disputes were the most common issues in non-family civil court cases,” the report stated.


A Law Society of Upper Canada hearing panel has disbarred Oakville, Ont., lawyer Michael James Strong after finding him ungovernable.

The panel found Strong failed to reply promptly to communications from the law society and co-operate with a law society investigation by not responding to communications from the administrative compliance department and not providing information about the disposition of his practice.

The panel also found he failed to respond to communications from the investigations department and co-operate with an investigation. In addition, it said he failed to reply promptly to communications from the law society’s monitoring and enforcement department and provide a report confirming his compliance with the bylaws while under suspension.

Besides disbarring him, the panel ordered him to pay costs of $3,000.


Justice Minister Rob Nicolson says he endorses a private member’s bill that will make it illegal to recruit individuals to gangs.

Bill C-394, sponsored by Brampton-Springdale MP Parm Gill, would create a new offence under the Criminal Code that would make encouraging minors to join criminal organizations a crime punishable by a maximum of five years in prison.

“The Harper government is committed to keeping our streets and communities safe, which is why we support this private member’s bill,” said Nicholson.

“I applaud my colleague Parm Gill for his determination to protect our youth by disrupting the ability of gangs to recruit new members.”

Nicholson’s comments came the same week Parliament passed another government crime measure to double victim fine surcharges.

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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?