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Monday, September 2, 2013


Longtime Law Society of Upper Canada Bencher Marshall Crowe has died. The 92-year-old passed away on Aug. 16, law society Treasurer Tom Conway announced last week.

“Mr. Crowe was widely respected within the legal profession. In mourning his passing, those who had the good fortune to work with such a bright and dedicated man are grateful for his contributions to the law society and the principles of justice for which it stands,” wrote Conway.

Crowe’s contribution to his country began well before the start of his legal career, according to Conway. Crowe served in the army during the Second World War and as a foreign-service officer with the Department of External Affairs, an economic adviser for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and deputy secretary to the federal cabinet serving prime ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau.

Crowe won election as a bencher in 1994. He also served as a director of LawPRO.

“When I reflect on his significant career achievements before becoming a lawyer, it is no wonder that he had a treasure trove of fascinating behind-the-scenes accounts of encounters with many significant political and economic figures of his time,” wrote Conway.

“I would tease him about this, referring to him as our own ‘Forrest Gump,’ as he was often literally ‘in the room’ during many of the important encounters between Canadian and world leaders during and after the Second World War.”


Dickinson Wright LLP has yet another new partner.

The firm announced last week that Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP partner Cherie Brant has joined its team.

“A member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and with family from Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Ms. Brant is a trusted adviser to both First Nations and industry in the areas of commercial development, real estate, and aboriginal law,” the law firm said in a press release.

As part of her work, Brant provides strategic advice to clients in the natural resources and energy sectors seeking to develop projects with First Nations communities.


Members of Toronto’s legal community are coming together this week to help advance research into Parkinson’s disease.

“I understand a cure for Parkinson’s is not far off relative to other diseases. With additional funding for medical research, I think a cure is within our reach,” says Toronto employment lawyer Doug MacLeod, whose firm is a sponsor of the Shake it up for Parkinson’s event taking place on Sept. 6 in Toronto.

MacLeod is a longtime friend of Harry McMurtry, a fellow lawyer who recovered from brain surgery to treat Parkinson’s disease two years ago. Following his recovery, he came up with the idea for a fundraiser with friend Ian Hull of Hull & Hull LLP. “At that time, he said he needed to give back for what was clearly a miraculous operation,” says Hull.

McMurtry put on a more intimate event last year attended by about 100 friends and family, according to MacLeod. The event has a goal to raise more than $100,000 for the Morton & Gloria Shulman movement disorders centre at the Toronto Western Hospital.

Hull, whose firm is also sponsoring the event, says McMurtry is now putting much of the energy he used to put into his legal practice into a new cause. “Harry worked at his busy civil litigation practice as long as he physically could and it wasn’t until the disease truly wore him out that he hung up the robes,” he says.

“He is now advocating for a cure for Parkinson’s as strongly as he did for his clients.”

The event takes place at the Capitol Event Theatre at 2492 Yonge St. in Toronto from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sept. 6. For more information, see


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

According to the poll, almost 79 per cent of respondents think the government should significantly raise lawsuit award caps that apply to recipients of the Ontario Disability Support program and Ontario Works.

The poll follows a Law Times story featuring lawyers calling on the government to increase the caps that limit the amounts recipients, unless they qualify for an exemption, can keep when they win a lawsuit without risking their eligibility for continued support. For ODSP, the cap is $100,000; for welfare, it’s $25,000.

Lawyers say the government hasn’t increased the caps in years and say it’s time to do so. In a response to the issue last week, Community and Social Services Minister Ted McMeekin highlighted the exemptions and suggested that, as a result, many recipients don’t necessarily have to pay back awards exceeding the limits.

Law Times poll respondents, however, believe it’s time to increase the caps anyway. Only seven per cent said they should remain as is while the remaining respondents said they should increase in line with inflation.

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