Law Times

January 21, 2019

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www.lawtimesnews.com LAW TIMES 16 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE | JANUARY 21, 2019 NEINSTEIN CLASS ACTION SETTLED A judge approved a settlement in a certified class action that al- leged a breach of the Solicitors Act, according to Neinstein LLP, the firm named in the case, Hodge v. Neinstein. While it is unclear how many clients will actually make claims, the firm could pay up to $4 million, a figure yielded by an estimate submitted for court ap- proval Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell, says Greg Neinstein, managing partner at the firm. Duncan Embury, a part- ner at the firm, says it is impossible to know how much the firm will ultimately pay out. The case centered on whether there was a breach of the Solicitors Act, which says that a contingency fee agreement should not include a payment to the lawyer resulting from a costs award or settlement costs, according to a 2017 Court of Appeal decision on the matter. The dispute was the "canary in a coal mine" of the confusion in the profession around the wording and interpretation of the Solicitors Act, which has since been clarified by the Law Society of Ontario and the provincial government, Neinstein says. "When there was obvious confusion, we acted immediately and we are proud of that," says Embury. "We continue to believe that access to justice is one of the most fundamental rights in our society and its important it be achieved in an open and transparent way." EVENT ON LAWYERS' PENSIONS The Toronto Lawyers Association will host a Feb. 6 event for law- yers to provide input on a new pension plan designed for law firm staff. The proposed plan is "a national, multi-employer pension plan to provide lifetime pensions designed specifically for law firm staff and partners," the TLA's announcement said. Randy Bauslaugh, a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, and Dawn Marchand, vice president of marketing at CBIA/Lawyers Financial, will speak at the event, which will be held at the lounge on the second f loor at the 361 University Avenue Court House from 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the announcement said. MILLAR JOINS LENCZNER SLAGHT Sarah Millar will lead and manage the discovery practice at Lenc- zner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP, the firm announced Jan. 14. Millar's role will focus on the discovery phase of litigation, "best practices" in document management, and cost-efficient ways to produce evidence in litigation, the statement said. Millar previously led a discovery management group at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. LAW TIMES POLL A group of recent alumni of York University's Osgoode Hall Law School says they will no longer donate to the school until tuition is reduced. Law Times asked readers if they agreed with this initiative by former students. A majority, 85 per cent of re- spondents, said they agreed with the former students that high tuition rates are a significant problem fa- cing the profession. A minority, 15 per cent, disagreed with the alumni's initiative, re- sponding that it will not lead to an effective long-term solution. LT The Inside Story BY VIOL A JAMES 85 % YES, I AGREE 15 % NO, I DO NOT AGREE WINTERY CRIME SPREE BROCKVILLE, ONT. — A call to police resulted in charges for a very Canadian crime: kicking snow. According to an article in The Recorder and Times, Brock- ville Police responded to a call about a "man kicking at snow in the centre of town." The article goes on to state that the person who called the cops also noticed that his vehicle had been damaged. The results of the call were that "[p]olice arrested a 35-year-old man and charged him with mischief, causing a disturbance and breach of probation. He was released with a future court date," reports the newspaper. Bizzare Briefs NO WINE IN CAN AT WALMART WICHITA FALLS. Texas — A woman in Texas has been barred from ever returning to one particular Walmart location after she was spotted drinking wine from a Pringles can while driving around on a motorized shopping cart, Times Record News reports. The woman, who is not be- ing named, allegedly began her three-hour crusade through the parking lot of a Wichita Falls Walmart recently, said the me- dia outlet. Local police respond- ed to a call of a suspicious per- son made by the store's security guards. By the time police arrived the woman had left the lot but was later located at a nearby restau- rant. She has not been arrested and her story has sparked wide- spread social media support. ACCIDENTAL TURN-IN IN ALBERTA LEDUC. Alta. — Three people are in custody after the driver of a stolen vehicle voluntarily pulled over for police traffic stop near Edmonton. The Edmonton Journal re- ported that the woman and two men were driving down High- way 2 in Leduc, Alta., when their car had run out of gas and they stopped to ask RCMP officers for help. The officers on site spoke to the woman who was driving and soon came to the realization all three individuals had warrants out for their arrest and the ve- hicle they were using had been stolen. Upon further inspection, police found what they believed to be methamphetamines and cocaine in the car. One of the men had to be transported to hospital due to what police say was medical dis- tress. The RCMP told the media that all three people are facing multiple charges as they wait for a Judicial Release Hearing. TASTY RULING LUXEMBOURG — The Court of Justice of the European Union has decided that taste cannot be copyrighted. As reported by The Fashion Law website, in November 2018, the CJEU ruled on a four-year-old case in which Dutch cheesemaker Levola sued a competitor, Smilde Foods, for producing a product that had the same taste as Levola's cheese spread Heks'nkass. Levola in- sisted that by doing so, Smilde infringed upon its copyright regarding the taste of the spread. The case went through courts in the Netherlands before the CJEU finally ruled. According to The Fashion Law, "Unlike more traditional creative works, such as literature, photography, films, and song lyrics and re- cordings, for instance, the taste of a food product cannot be pre- cisely or objectively identified, and as a result, the Luxembourg- based CJEU sided with Smilde Foods before sending the case back down to the lower court to finish." DRY BARNS MADISON, WI. — Are wed- ding barns private or public spaces? How that question is an- swered will determine whether or not liquor licences are needed for weddings held in barns. An Associated Press article carried in the Wisconsin Law Journal reports that two people who own barns that are used for wedding celebrations intend to file a lawsuit against the Wiscon- sin state government. In the suit, they argue that as private ven- ues, wedding barns aren't public spaces and as such, they don't require liquor licences. The state's former attorney- general had issued a legal opinion (before he lost a re-election bid) about wedding barns and liquor licences. According to the Wisconsin Law Journal, he said "that al- cohol cannot be sold at private events held in public spaces with- out the owner's having a liquor license. State law prohibits own- ers of public places from allowing liquor to be sold without a license but does not define exactly what a public place is." The Journal also reports that attorneys for an organization known as the Wisconsin Insti- tute for Law and Liberty work- ing on behalf of Farmview Event Barn in Berlin, WI. and The Weddin' Barn in Menomonie, WI. plan to seek "a ruling find- ing that there's no need to have a liquor license when alcohol is sold at events held on privately owned property," said the report. They are also going to argue that the cost of a $10,000 liquor licence has the potential to drive some wedding barn owners out of business. TO CATCH A PREDATOR CATCHER STAMFOD, CT. — A TV host known for catching bad guys is up on charges himself. The Daily Mail reports that Chris Hansen, who used to host the television show To Catch A Predator, turned himself into the police in Stamford, CT. after a warrant was issued for his ar- rest on charges related to bounc- ing bad cheques. The cheques, which totaled US$12,998.05, were for promo- tional and marketing material for Hansen News LLC. According to the paper, the cheques bounced, Hansen agreed to make partial pay- ments, but the vendor never received payment for the order, which included 355 mugs, 288 T-shirts and 650 vinyl decals. The Mail states that Hansen "was released without bond after he signed a written promise that he would attend an upcoming court appearance." LT Greg Neinstein said he's pleased that his firm has settled a certified class action case. Understand © 2017 Stewart. All rights reserved. See policies for full terms and conditions. Working closely with our legal clients has given us insight into your processes, your needs and the challenges you face in your practice. It's this understanding that led us to work with TELUS to offer the Assyst Real Estate application, which enables you to exchange data with lenders securely, seamlessly and accurately. Interested? Request a demo. Call (888) 667-5151 or visit stewart.ca. Untitled-6 1 2018-04-03 1:41 PM

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