Law Times

June 20, 2011

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

Follow on NEWLY REVISED AND UPDATED FOR 2011 $4.00 • Vol. 22, No. 21 Untitled-3 1 5/5/10 3:55:30 PM Covering Ontario's Legal Scene ntitled-3 1 Domestic violence court opens Proceedings aim to integrate family, criminal law matters BY ROBERT TODD Law Times issues managed by a single judge in Cana- da's fi rst-ever integrated domestic violence court. Th e court opened June 10 at Toronto's O 311 Jarvis St. courthouse, where it will un- dergo a two-year trial run as a pilot project. Justice Geraldine Waldman of the Ontario Court of Justice spearheaded eff orts to in- troduce the specialized court. She says it's essential for those within the justice sys- tem to identify areas for improvement. "We were looking at the intersection, in the broader sense, of family and criminal law because they overlap signifi cantly in a number of places," she notes. "What's in- teresting is the fact that notwithstanding that we're dealing with the same litigants and the same situations, we have these two systems that overwhelmingly operate as silos independent of each other without cross-referencing one to the other." For example, bail orders aff ect access arrangements, leaving judges like Wald- man trying to decipher them and how they might be a factor in family law rul- ings. She also found she was often dealing in an "information vacuum" in which none of the parties knew the parameters of such bail orders. In other cases, bail terms were overly restrictive and diffi cult and created further ntarians with concurrent family and criminal law matters now have the option of having their So while both family and criminal law judges were individually doing their jobs adequately, Waldman feels there were un- tapped opportunities to work together for families. "Th at was no one's fault; it's just that the system was created in a way that made it diffi cult for us to work together," she says. With those observations in mind, a wide-ranging group of justice system par- ticipants, led by Waldman, worked to close the gap. After failing to uncover any easy ways to share information between fam- ily and criminal law judges, Waldman's committee decided to look at other mod- els. Th at took them to the United States, where integrated domestic violence courts have been running for about a decade. Th e Ontario committee approached a group of judges and court staff in Buf- falo, N.Y., and picked their brains on the system, fi rst through a teleconference, and later by taking a road trip to observe the court in action. "We thought, wow, this is a model that Adam Weisberg worries about possible delays in getting urgent matters before the new court. complications on the family law side. "On the other hand, I often felt that I had information that the criminal-side judge would really like to have in terms of under- standing more fully and robustly what was going on with this family," says Waldman. may actually allow us to accomplish some of the things that we're trying to accom- plish in terms of creating what we hope is a more holistic response to the family by having both cases dealt with independently . . . but by a single judge," says Waldman. "So, the concept of one judge, one family, taking the case conferencing model, and put- ting it into the integrated domestic violence court seemed like a really interesting way to See Judge, page 4 when they were opposing coun- sel in a real estate case. La Rochelle was impressed Colleague gives missing lawyer benefit of doubt B BY KENNETH JACKSON For Law Times ruce La Rochelle fi rst met fellow Ottawa lawyer Luc Barrick last summer with Barrick's attention to de- tail, and the pair soon became friends. By the fall La Rochelle was assisting Barrick on some fi les. By January, he was volunteer- ing to help Barrick, 43, while racking up about 70 hours of free work because his colleague was suff ering from complica- tions from knee surgery related to his hemophilia. Th eir relationship began to take a diff erent turn after Bar- rick failed to return from a trip to Paris on May 15 as scheduled and didn't respond to La Ro- chelle's phone calls or e-mails. It turned out Barrick has sev- eral complaints against him from clients alleging they were missing Barrick quickly denied the al- legations in a statement but up until recently had been unreach- able, even by LSUC. Still, La Rochelle hopes the evi- dence will show Barrick is telling the truth and says he deserves the benefi t of the doubt. "He hasn't I am obviously very saddened and horrifi ed by this news. Unfortunately, it seems obvious to me now that there is a major misunderstanding of the situation. trust account money to the tune of more than $300,000. In the meantime, the Law Society of Upper Canada successfully won a court order earlier this month to take over his practice. It also suspended Barrick's licence to practise law. been charged with anything and, to the best of my knowledge, is not currently subject to disbarment proceedings," La Rochelle told Law Times in an e-mail. "What if it turns out that everything [Bar- rick] is saying is true, particularly in relation to the trust funds?" Separation Agreements and Marriage Contract/Agreement To Learn More, See Our Ad on Pg.9 June 20, 2011 6/16/11 12:14:26 PM Inside This Issue 5 Diversity Stats 6 Enhanced Credit 9 Focus On Family Law Quote of the week "We've been waiting for the government to reform pension division legislation on marriage breakdown for years." — Grant Gold, McCague Borlack LLP, See Pension, page 11 In a statement, Barrick said he wasn't able to return to Ottawa as scheduled because his health problems are too severe. He also claimed to have learned of the al- legations through the media. "Apparently, there is an allega- tion that trust moneys have been misappropriated by myself in the amount of $300,000," said Bar- rick. "Th is is simply untrue and a complete falsehood. Let me be perfectly clear, notwithstand- ing my serious health situation, which was beyond my control, I did take all responsible and rea- sonable steps regarding the dis- solution of my fi rm before going on indefi nite sick leave." Clients aren't missing just mon- ey but also original documents See Condo, page 4 ADR Connect: LT Digital version.indd 1 Find an ADR Professional 416-487-4447 • Mediators Untitled-2 1 Gold Standard Arbitrators 5/20/11 1:11:30 PM 6/25/10 12:59:47 PM Click here to subscribe today to LAW TIMES

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - June 20, 2011