Law Times

April 22, 2013

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ENTERTAINMENT LAW SAFETY BREACHES Ruling acknowledges employers' right to fire Follow LAW TIMES on P3 Lawyer reflects on 30 years of practice FOCUS ON P7 IT/Telecommunications Law L aw TIMes CO V E R I N G O N TA R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W. L AW T I M E S N E W S . CO M $4.00 • Vol. 24, No. 14 ntitled-4 1 P8 April 22, 2013 12-03-20 10:44 AM Cathcart offers up formula for success JAG emphasizes trust, training, team building at CCCA conference BY JENNIFER BROWN H Law Times e wears a uniform and has a legal team that makes decisions involving life-anddeath scenarios often on the other side of the world, but Maj.-Gen. Blaise Cathcart says most corporate law departments can adopt his formula for in-house success. Speaking to the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association's national spring conference in Toronto last week, Cathcart, judge advocate general of the Canadian Forces, talked about leading a globally deployed team of in-house lawyers. As judge advocate general, Cathcart acts as legal adviser to the governor general, the minister of national defence, the Department of National Defence, and the Canadian Forces on matters of military law. He says his team is trained to be "in the position to give legal advice quickly, correctly, frankly, and fearlessly." He emphasized his team of legal officers are viewed as "independent." "My legal officers work for me, not the commanders they advise. They have a degree of independence that allows them to courageously give advice the client may not want to hear," he said. Cathcart noted the most demanding scenarios potentially involve deadly force halfway around the world, such as advising a commander on whether to authorize an airborne Canadian Forces CF-18 aircraft to attack a "pop-up target of opportunity." "I recognize these are extreme cases, but if we can 'My legal officers work for me, not the commanders they advise,' says Maj.-Gen. Blaise Cathcart. Photo: Jennifer Brown meet the demands of these scenarios, we will be wellpositioned to meet no less important demands associated with less austere or dangerous environments," he said. Currently in his third year of a four-year appointment, Cathcart offered his formula for success. His first piece of advice is to find and recruit the right people. "We need to treat every new hire as if they are one day going run the organization," he said. "We should do our best to hire those who demonstrate potential as lawyers, as managers, and importantly as leaders." Secondly, he advised general counsel to invest in education and training. "Seek and identify future stars from within," he told the CCCA audience. "Our succession plan is designed to continually develop the legal officers." In addition, he emphasized building a strong team. "One of the surefire ways to get dedicated and high performance people is to create an atmosphere of mutual support and confidence," he said. "This is especially important when your team is small or geographically dispersed." Fourth, lawyers need to know the client and the business. "For me and my team, the client is the Crown, the executive branch of the Canadian government. We have to understand their goals." Finally, leaders must trust their people. "There's always a risk that a young legal officer alone halfway around the world in the middle of the night is going to make a mistake," said Cathcart. "That is unavoidable but can be mitigated by applying lessons 1 to 4." LT Judge blasts AG for civil forfeiture delay Law Times I The decision is in line with constitutional litigation respecting delay, says Chris Hicks. Photo: Laura Pedersen n a clear message to the Ministry of the Attorney General about unreasonable delays, a Superior Court judge said a sixyear wait to file a forfeiture application was "unfair to the point of offensive" before tossing out the case. Despite finding a Bowmanville, Ont., man wasn't a diligent owner of his home that his son used in his drug operation, ordering the forfeiture of the house would be against the interest of justice, Superior Court Justice John McCarthy found in The Attorney General of Ontario v. 20 Strike Ave., Bowmanville, Ont. The owner, who was unaware of the risk of losing his house, paid the mortgage and built up his home equity for six years while the government lagged in bringing a forfeiture application forward, according to McCarthy. "I cannot imagine that reasonable members of the community would not find it troubling, perhaps even shocking, for a court to order forfeiture in these circumstances," he wrote. "Fairness requires a balancing of the competing interests of the applicant and the property owner. An unexplained six-year delay in bringing a forfeiture application under s. 8(1) of the act, while an unsuspecting owner of property builds up his equity in a property for the benefit of the attorney general, is unfair to the point of offensive." Roger Parker and his daughter Deborah were facing forfeiture of their car and home due to Parker's son's use of his family's properties in his drug operation. McCarthy dismissed the application for forfeiture of Deborah's car as she exercised due diligence in preventing its use for criminal purposes. But he couldn't say the same for her father. The father knew about his son Fred's criminal past and ought to have been suspicious about a drug operation thriving under his roof, according to the judge. "He must have realized, having learned of the enormous covert grow operation that Fred Parker operated under his very nose at 405 Lake Road, that Fred's penchant PM #40762529 BY YAMRI TADDESE See Forfeitures, page 4 Get more online • Fresh Canadian legal news and analysis every day Canadian Lawyer | Law Times | 4Students | InHouse | Legal Feeds Visit Us Online 1-8-5X.indd 1 2/28/11 2:37:34 PM

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