Law Times

March 3, 2008

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www.mckellar.com McKELLAR STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS INC. www.mckellar.com 1-800-265-8381 ckellar_LT_Jan14_08.indd 1 1/8/08 3:03:02 PM TitlePLUStitleinsuranceandyou, togetherwemakerealestate realsimple. titleplus.ca 416-598-5899 1-800-410-1013 Law Times Earlug Ad 1/16/08 4:06 P $3.55 • Vol. 19, No. 7 Covering Ontario's Legal Scene March 3, 2008 Advocate_LT_Mar3_08.indd 1 2/27/08 12:15:08 PM Ex-justice lawyers included as special advocates By Tim NaumeTz Law Times OTTawa — The inclusion of two high-profile former Justice Department lawyers on a roster of special advo- cates for security-certificate cases involving alleged ter- rorist links, is raising ques- tions among lawyers who specialize in the area. a lawyer representing an algerian man facing depor- tation over alleged connec- tions with terrorist groups says he was shocked to learn Barbara McIsaac, the gov- ernment's chief counsel in the Maher arar inquiry, and Ivan whitehall, former chief general counsel for the Justice Department, are among the 13 special advocates. Toronto lawyer Paul Cope- land, who represents algerian refugee claimant Mohamed Harkat and was also included on the special advocate roster, tells Law Times he was taken aback when he learned at a week- long training session in Ottawa the two former government law- yers would be fellow advocates. "I just about fell off my chair," says Copeland, who is seeking to serve as a special advocate in Harkat's case even though he has represented him in earlier court hearings. Under a new law Parliament passed in February, after the Su- preme Court of Canada struck down the previous security-cer- tificate provisions as unconstitu- tional, the special advocates will have access to secret government information that had been with- held from Harkat and four other men who face deportation over al- leged terrorist links. The advocate system was intro- duced, at the suggestion of the Su- preme Court, as a way of allowing independent counsel to screen se- cret evidence and make arguments about its relevance, value, and reli- ability before Federal Court judg- es, who will be hearing the cases behind closed doors. But the advocates will be sworn to secrecy and be pro- hibited from discussing the in- formation they see with anyone named in the security certificates or their lawyers. See Experience, page 4 Stakes high to keep women in profession LSUC targets female exodus By ROBeRT TODD Law Times F or as little as $15 a year from each mem- ber, the Law Society of Upper Canada could make it easier for female lawyers to remain in the profession while balancing fam- ily demands, says a report from the retention of women in private practice working group. "This is a key initiative in improving access to justice for everyone in Ontario," says Bencher Laurie Pawlitza, co-chair- woman of the working group. "The law society has a role in helping to lead the changes that the profession must make to retain women in private practice." The report includes two potentially groundbreaking proposals: the creation of a parental-leave program for sole and small- firm practitioners that would give recipients up to $9,000 over three months, and a locum service that would keep practices running while lawyers are on parental leave. For medium and small-sized firms, the re- port recommends the creation of the Justicia Pilot Project, which would see participating firms with more than 25 lawyers adopt programs aimed at retaining females lawyers, as well as helping them progress in their careers. It would include the col- lection of demographic information about firms' lawyers, which would be kept confidential but used to track internal progress. Convocation has granted the working group permission to take its report out to the profession for consultation. written submissions are being accepted until april 18, after which the working group will present its final recommendations. The report outlines some of the challenges female lawyers face. It notes that the demands of a career in law often clash with family life, and that conflict is the biggest reason why law- yers leave the profession. Childbirth and par- enting responsibilities are the most pressing challenges for females. women now represent 50 per cent or more of law school graduates in Ontario, according to the report. In 2001, women represented about 51 per cent of Ontario's population, while female lawyers at that time made up 32 per cent of the legal profession and 24 per cent of lawyers in private practice. women currently represent 37 per cent of the legal profession and 28 per cent of the lawyers in private practice, according to the report. weirFoulds LLP managing partner Lisa Borsook, who was a member of the expert advisory group for the report, says Ontario is behind jurisdictions such as the United States on issues of diversity and equality. Firms in the U.S., she says, have been mandated by corpo- rations they work with to reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of their communities. "I don't think we should stick our head in the sand," says Borsook. "I think it's impor- tant that we promote diversity in every re- gard, including a reasonable balance between men and women in the legal profession. "what a waste of time, money, brain- power not to do that. we have to find a way not to squander all the time and the money and the effort that everyone put into having women lawyers in the profession," she adds. The report notes that the stakes are high for the profession in terms of stemming the exodus of female lawyers, with the turnover costs for firms pegged at $315,000 for a four-year associate. "a shift in thinking is required both on the part of associates and on the part of the employ- ers/firms," says the report. "This shift would recognize the biological reality of an associate's child-bearing years, for which some accom- modation is required, the long-term nature of a career in private practice, and the economic realities of operating a law firm." See Law, page 4 'I think it's important that we promote diversity in every regard, including a reasonable balance between men and women in the legal profes- sion,' says Lisa Borsook. Inside This Issue Expert Panel 5 Medical Misadventure 6 Focus On Labour & Employment Law 9 Quote of the week "The challenges currently facing the justice system in Ontario requires more than reallocations and Band-Aid so- lutions. The OBA has advocat- ed for a system-wide review over the past several years." — Greg Goulin president, Ontario Bar Association See Criminal , page 2 Paul Copeland says he 'just about fell off my chair' when he heard two ex- Justice Department lawyers are on the special advocates roster. www.lawtimesnews.com

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