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Monday, May 29, 2017


Ranjan Agarwal, a partner at Bennett Jones LLP in Toronto, is the recipient of the 2017 Canadian Bar Association Young Lawyers Pro Bono Award.

The annual award recognizes outstanding pro bono legal services to the community by a young lawyer in Canada.

Agarwal’s dedication to pro bono legal work includes “putting in countless hours on some of Canada’s most high-profile public interest litigation, as well as working on cases that will never make the headlines,” said the CBA in a press release.

Agarwal, who is also adjunct professor at the University of Toronto and president of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto, donated the $500 Pro Bono Award prize to Pro Bono Ontario and has made a matching donation.

“I am slightly embarrassed to win an award for pro bono, when so many members of our bar, like those at Pro Bono Ontario and the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, have devoted themselves full time to the cause of access to justice,” Agarwal told Law Times in an email. “But I am so pleased that the CBA National Young Lawyers Forum has chosen to recognize pro bono and access to justice when making their annual award — we all must do more to meet unmet legal needs, and I hope this award can encourage other lawyers to do so.”


Elizabeth M. Brown of Hicks Morley LLP is the winner of the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Pensions and Benefits Law.

Brown’s contributions specifically to pension and benefits issues in the context of corporate insolvencies, human rights issues relating to pension and benefits plans, emerging plan designs and alternate funding models are widely recognized by all industry stakeholders including employers, lawyers and actuaries, said the OBA in a press release.

Brown will be honoured at an award dinner on June 14 in Toronto.


The Ontario Bar Association Foundation has begun accepting applications for two fellowships for the 2017-18 year.

The Fellowship in Research is open to full-time faculty teaching at a Canadian university or college, and the Fellowship in Studies is open to all OBA members who do not otherwise qualify for the fellowship open to full-time faculty.

The deadline for applications is July 3.

Applications are to be submitted by email, in PDF or Word format, simultaneously to Anton Katz at and Valerie Dallas at


A recent Court of Appeal decision acknowledged a “new reality” of civil litigation in which courts are seeing a significant number of self-represented litigants.

This week, readers were asked if the courts are doing a good job of addressing the needs of self-represented litigants.

About 39 per cent of respondents said yes, judges are doing a good job of ensuring trial fairness. But 61 per cent said no, courts have only just begun to consider the many issues surrounding self-represented litigants.

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Law Times Poll

Ontario’s recent provincial budget calls for changes in benefits for catastrophically injured patients, including a ‘return to the default benefit limit of $2 million for those who are catastrophically injured in an accident, after it was previously reduced to $1 million in 2016.’ Do you agree with this shift?