Law Times

April 12, 2010

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Subscribe to Law Times And receive: • Unlimited access to the Law Times digital editions and to our digital edition archives...FREE • Canadian Legal Newswire, a weekly e-newsletter from the editors of Law Times and Canadian Lawyer...FREE Billions of dollars invested, not a penny lost. earlug.indd 1 $3.55 • Vol. 21, No. 12 11/10/09 11:20:32 AM Inside This Issue 2 Clinic Cutbacks 7 Building Boom 9 Focus On Class Actions Quote of the week "Courts have a really diffi cult job in terms of ensuring that lawyers get compensated in an amount that's proportionate to the risks that those lawyers take in order to give them incentives to keep taking hard cases." — Jasminka Kalajdzic, law professor, University of Windsor, See How, page 10 Covering Ontario's Legal Scene ntitled-7 1 April 12, 2010 3/23/10 2:34:16 PM Injured Sikh lawyer has no regrets But Good Friday attack has Manjit Mangat 'in a bad situation' BY MICHAEL McKIERNAN Law Times Brampton temple last week. Manjit Mangat, a former justice of the A peace who practises in Brampton, Ont., is also a trustee of the Sikh Lehar Centre, where protesters turned out on April 2 to demonstrate against the appearance of a controversial preacher. "I don't know who my enemy is," Man- gat says. "People are communicating hate on Facebook and on the Internet. It's hard to understand the situation, even for me." Doctors treated Mangat for multiple stab wounds after the protest turned violent. Al- though he's now recovering at home, Man- gat says tension in the community contin- ues to simmer. Mangat started receiving demands to cancel an appearance by Darshan Singh in the days leading up to the event. Singh once held one of the highest positions in the Sikh religion but has stoked controversy by sug- gesting followers of Sikhism shouldn't accept one of its holy books, a view that resulted in his excommunication earlier this year. Jagdish Grewal, editor of Brampton's Pun- jabi Post newspaper, says Singh's views are particularly controversial for Sikhs because the holy book in question touches on taboo issues such as sex and adultery. "We can't even talk about that in our fam- ilies, and many people don't want to bring Manjit Mangat suffered four stab wounds to his abdomen during the April 2 attack. that issue up," he says. On the day of Singh's scheduled appearance, police advised Mangat to cancel the event be- cause of a lack of security to control the crowd of more than 100 protesters gathered outside. But even after he did so, demonstrators were still try- ing to get in, Mangat says. Th e spark for the fi ght came when he saw one of them in the temple. prominent Sikh lawyer says he still fears for his safety after he was stabbed during a brawl outside a "I don't know what came into my mind but I just walked outside with him. It was my stu- pidity because I was their target," he says. Religious symbols became weapons as violence ensued. Grewal arrived on the scene shortly after the fi ght began. "Th ere was chaos unlike anything I've ever seen," he says. "Police were everywhere, and there were a lot of angry people." Mangat says the last thing he remembers was a man trying to strike him with his kara, an iron bangle worn by Sikhs. When he woke up, he had four stab wounds to his abdomen, including one gash about 13 centimetres deep infl icted by a kirpan, the ceremonial dagger. "I'm in a bad situation," he says. "Th e injury in my abdomen is deep, and it's hard for me." Grewal says the Sikh community is now worried the incident could put public accep- tance of the kirpan at risk and damage the general perception of Sikhs in Canada. "It's our religious symbol, but when they use it to fi ght with each other, the authori- ties will probably start thinking about ban- ning it," he says. Despite all the trouble, Mangat says he doesn't regret putting on the event. "It's my religious freedom. We don't en- force it on others. Th ey were trying to force their point of view on me that I should not hold the event. I don't buy that, and neither does my congregation." In the meantime, authorities have charged Sukhwant Singh, a 52-year-old man from Brampton, with attempted murder and aggra- vated assault in the case, according to Const. Wayne Patterson of the Peel Regional Police. LT Fogler Rubinoff sued for $25 million BY MICHAEL McKIERNAN Law Times latest twist in a protracted dispute over a building development. In a new statement of claim A fi led with the Ontario Superior Court, brothers Vito and Joe Valela allege that Fogler Ru- binoff LLP schemed with the Valelas' former business partner, Philmor Goldplate Homes Inc., to force them out of a joint con- do development in downtown Toronto. Dale Denis, a partner at Fogler Rubinoff , is also listed as a defendant. Th e Valelas and their com- pany, Valemont Group Ltd., started a separate action against Toronto law fi rm is fac- ing a $25-million confl ict of interest lawsuit in the Philmor and its principals back in 2003 after the collapse of their co-ownership of the Bloor Walk condo development. Philmor retained Fogler Rubinoff to de- fend that action and launched a counterclaim, but the Valelas say it should have referred the case to another fi rm because it had already performed legal services on behalf of the co-ownership. "Th e allegation is that before TitlePlus_LT_Jan12_09 12/23/08 11:07 AM Page 1 the complete breakdown in the relationship, the Philmor people were taking counsel from Fogler about how to extricate Valemont from the co-ownership," says Ste- phen Edell, who is representing the Valemont Group in the new action. "So it was not only that the lawyers found themselves in a confl ict and breach of fi duciary duty, but the Valelas are alleging that during the course of the re- tainer, they were actively schem- ing with Philmor to further its agenda to squeeze Valemont out of the project." In an e-mailed statement, Mar- tin Kaplan, the chairman of the litigation department at Fogler Rubinoff , dismissed the claim. "Th e statement of claim is- sued by Valemont Group Ltd., Joe Valela, and Vito Valela against Fogler Rubinoff LLP and Dale Denis is entirely without merit and will be vigorously defended by the defendants to such claim," he said. "We will make no further comments respecting this claim which is now before the court." Th e relationship between the Valemont Group and Philmor goes back to the 1990s, when they successfully completed a Together we have all the tools To ensure your clients get the most comprehensive coverage in one title insurance policy, take a look at the TitlePLUS Program , your Bar-related real estate partner! ® ® PROTECTION AS GOOD AS IT GETS 1-800-410-1013 ® TitlePLUS, the TitlePLUS logo, OwnerEXPRESS and LAWPRO are registered trademarks of Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company. ® BAR-RELATED Mark is a registered Mark of North American Bar Related Title Insurers used by LAWPRO under License. 1 Please refer to the policy for full details, including actual terms and conditions. The TitlePLUS policy is underwritten by Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO®). Contact LAWPRO for brokers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and Québec. TitlePLUS policies issued with respect to properties in Québec and OwnerEXPRESS® policies do not include legal services coverage. 1 two-phase subdivision develop- ment in Mississauga. Th e trouble began after they purchased land near Bloor and Jarvis streets in Toronto and started work on the Bloor Walk development. According to the statement of claim, high construction costs caused tensions in the co-own- ership to mount around 2001. Joe Valela alleges Philip Macarz, one of Philmor's principals, told him he "regarded [the Valem- ont Group] as the 'weak link' in the joint venture because it did not have signifi cant capital to invest" and that he was "go- ing to see the lawyers to fi gure out what to do about [the com- pany] as the weak link." Th e Valelas say they agreed to use Fogler Rubinoff to provide See Timing, page 2 Click here to subscribe today to LAW TIMES Includes a FREE digital edition! Go to: Vince Talotta/

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