For Frank Addario, some of his most memorable cases were the ones in which he was able to change the life of a client in trouble.
The Criminal Lawyers’ Association has given the veteran criminal lawyer a lifetime achievement award for his work as defence counsel over the years.
Called to the bar in 1985, Addario has defended clients at all levels of the courts right up to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Addario says some of the more rewarding cases he has worked on have been ones where he has been able to make a small difference in people’s lives.
He recalled the case of Brenda Batisse, an aboriginal woman he represented who had kidnapped a newborn baby from a hospital in 2007 after pretending to be pregnant to her partner.
Batisse suffered from mental health problems and Addario was able to get her sentence reduced on appeal.
“That was rewarding because that was someone whose life had been ruined and I was able to improve it just a tiny bit,” he says.
Addario was president of the CLA from 2006 to 2009, and he is credited with leading a successful effort in 2008 to get the government to inject more funding into Legal Aid Ontario.
“The program still needs support and improvement, but we took a giant step in 2008,” he says.
He will receive the 2016 G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal at a gala luncheon during the CLA annual convention in October.
RETIRING SCC JUSTICE CROMWELL MARKS LAURIER’S 175TH BIRTHDAY
Retiring Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell is set to mark Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s 175th birthday with a special essay about Canada’s seventh prime minister.
Cromwell’s essay concerns Laurier’s 1864 valedictory address at McGill University’s law school.
“Here is the foundation of Laurier’s political beliefs,” Cromwell writes in the essay.
“He hoped that Canadian patriotism, mutual respect, compromise and adherence to the deep principle of justice would overcome linguistic, religious and regional divisions.”
Cromwell’s essay is part of a book, called Canada Always: The Defining Speeches of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, that examines some of Laurier’s more memorable oratory.
The book, which was edited by former journalist Arthur Milnes, is set to come out in October. Laurier’s birthday is Nov. 20.
VETERAN TAX LAWYER JOINS GOWLING WLG
Tax lawyer Steven Baum has joined Gowling WLG as a partner.
Baum has more than 25 years of experience advising banks, insurance companies and securities dealers on complex tax issues and will be working with the firm’s tax group to provide advice to clients across a broad range of sectors.
“Over the course of his career, Steven has built an impressive practice and proven himself a forward-thinking leader in the field of tax law,” said Peter Lukasiewicz, CEO of Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP.
“With his specialized expertise in the financial services sector and ability to foster strong relationships with financial institutions, Steven will be an important addition to our tax team and a significant resource for our clients.”
Baum has also been a taxation instructor at the Ontario Bar Admission Course and an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.
LAW TIMES POLL
A Law Times column last week argued that people should not have to get undergraduate degrees before going to law school.
Readers were asked if they agree with this position.
Almost 23 per cent said yes, going to get an undergraduate education is a waste of time and delays a lawyer’s entry into the workforce.
Roughly 77 per cent said no, getting an undergraduate education teaches students critical thinking skills needed for law schools.