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Monday, July 1, 2013


The Law Society of Upper Canada has appointed Avvy Go as a bencher to replace Wendy Matheson at Convocation.

Go, who had previously served as an LSUC bencher, replaces Matheson following her recent appointment as a Superior Court judge.


The Ontario government says it’s moving ahead with the recommendations in former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci’s report on the lack of First Nations representation on juries.

As a first step, the government says it has appointed Nishnawbe Aski Nation deputy grand chief Alvin Fiddler as co-chairman of a committee that will oversee the implementation of the recommendations in the report.

In his February report, Iacobucci found the relationship between the justice system and First Nations is “quite frankly in crisis.”

“Today, First Nations peoples see themselves either as spectators to or victims of the justice system, whereas historically they were direct participants in the resolution of conflict within their own communities,” Iacobucci wrote.

Fiddler will be working with assistant deputy attorney general Irwin Glasberg.

“Deputy grand chief Fiddler’s expertise and passion for improving our justice system in aboriginal communities make him a tremendous asset to the implementation committee,” said Attorney General John Gerretsen.


Catalyst Inc. has recognized McCarthy Tétrault LLP chairman and chief executive officer Marc-André Blanchard as a champion of women in the legal profession.

Catalyst, a non-profit organization that advocates for women’s leadership, acknowledged Blanchard’s efforts as part of its Catalyst Canada Honours recognition.

Blanchard “leads his firm in refining the application of its partnership admission policy to ensure that more women succeed in becoming equity partners,” the organization said.

“Now lawyers can take more than the traditional six years to become income partners or eight years to become equity partners, specific to their situations.”

Since Blanchard took on the role, the proportion of women admitted to equity partnership increased to 35 per cent from 18 per cent even as the total number of partners decreased, according to Catalyst.


The Law Society of Upper Canada has granted permission to a Toronto real estate lawyer to surrender his licence after finding him guilty of failing to be on guard against fraud involving 14 properties.

Roger Joseph Smith abdicated his professional responsibility “by closing the transactions with no or little knowledge of the key features and by allowing non-lawyers to process the transactions with no or little supervision,” a hearing panel found.

If Smith doesn’t surrender his licence in 30 days, the law society will revoke it, according to the disposition.


Dickinson Wright LLP’s Toronto office has moved to a larger space in the downtown core. The law firm will now work out of Commerce Court West at 199 Bay St.

More than 33 lawyers will be migrating to the new location, the firm said, adding that the move will also make room for a growing client base locally and internationally.

“We are excited to move into our newly renovated, larger office space at Commerce Court West,” said Jamie Spence, managing partner of Dickinson Wright’s Toronto office.

“The office space deepens our commitment to our clients and the community of Toronto while allowing us the room to grow our practice in the years to come. We are looking forward to making Commerce Court West our new home.”

Dickson Wright lawyers practise in areas including corporate law, litigation, employment, immigration, restructuring, and real estate matters.


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

According to the poll, 62 per cent of participants felt the Ontario government was wrong to contract out court transcription work to its own employees working as freelancers. The remaining participants saw nothing wrong with the government’s measure.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is taking the province to court over its plans to create a new body that would oversee court transcription work by independent contractors.

The new system will create a division between salaried court reporters who are responsible for recording trials and independent contractors who will later do the transcription work. OPSEU says the move flies in the face of a recent Grievance Settlement Board decision on the issue.

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Law Times Poll

The Law Society of Ontario is in the midst of a major overhaul of the role of paralegals in family law — and a proposal on the issue could become an imminent issue for the regulator’s newly elected benchers. Do you agree with widening the scope of family law matters that paralegals can address?