Law Times

August 23, 2010

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

STORE & SHRED Exceptional Quality at Reasonable Prices! COPY, SCAN, Call us today to fi nd out how much you can Save. TF: 1.888.781.9083 $3.55 • Vol. 21, No. 26 ocdavit_LT_June7_10.indd 1 6/4/10 9:22:44 AM Covering Ontario's Legal Scene ntitled-3 1 Lawyers assail crime agenda But Nicholson holds firm, calls Criminal Code 'inept' BY MICHAEL McKIERNAN Law Times a question-and-answer session at the Cana- dian Bar Association's annual conference in Niagara Falls, Ont., last week. But a defi ant Nicholson held fi rm L throughout while insisting that harsher sentences and changes to the Criminal Code are necessary to maintain public con- fi dence in the justice system. Nicholson spearheaded the Truth in Sen- tencing Act, which ended two-for-one credit for pretrial detention. Th e government has also eliminated conditional sentences for crimes involving serious personal injuries and has vowed to continue the push to toughen up the Criminal Code in other areas. Former CBA president Th omas Heintz- man, who is now a Law Society of Upper Canada bencher, challenged Nicholson on the eff ectiveness of those measures. "I'm concerned about the whole incarcera- tion policy of your government," Heintzman said. "It seems to me more and more crimes are being created, and people are being sent to jail for longer and longer periods. Th at policy hasn't worked anywhere else I'm aware of, and I can't see it working in Canada." Simon Borys, a law student at Queen's Uni- awyers took federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to task for his par- ty's tough-on-crime agenda during we be better off focusing on rehabilitation programs?" But Nicholson hit back, saying the 'We can't leave the Criminal Code stuck in the 1890s,' Rob Nicholson told a CBA audience last week. versity, wanted to know why Nicholson's gov- ernment has focused so much of its resources on jails in a climate of fi scal restraint when crime rates are declining. A recent assessment by the parliamentary budget offi cer estimated the Truth in Sentencing Act would more than double the cost of running the prison system within fi ve years to $9.5 billion from $4.4 billion. "I think Canada is a relatively safe country," said Borys, a former police offi cer. "Would government hasn't received credit for its national anti-drug and crime-prevention strategies. He branded existing provisions of the Criminal Code as being "inept' in some cases and reinforced his plans to con- tinue making changes where he sees fi t. So far, new off ences have targeted crimes that include drive-by shootings, reckless shooting, and identity theft. Still to come are provisions designed to snare more people involved in the organized theft and resale of vehicles in Canada. "We can't leave the Criminal Code stuck in the 1890s," Nicholson said. "Police tell me the provisions of the Criminal Code are not catching the sophistication that is tak- ing place by people who are part of orga- nized crime. We have to keep pace with that so that we capture everyone involved." Nicholson also plans to press ahead with plans to repeal the faint hope clause for murderers serving life sentences. "People tell me they are victimized over and over when that 15-year period arrives and they have to make representations," he said. "We've tak- en this approach because we want victims to feel that their justice system works." Nicholson said sentencing rules need to change in order to keep Canadians' faith in the justice system alive and argued Parliament has a duty to guide the courts on the seriousness with which they should treat crimes. See Nicholson, page 5 law market? Many lawyers are starting to think they don't. "In Toronto, having an interest- ing, sophisticated, and personally satisfying legal practice is no longer dependent on being at the corner of King Street and Bay Street," says Ray Mikkola, head of the commer- cial real estate practice at Pallett Valo LLP in Mississauga. "I think the perception is shifting. Law in To- ronto is not all about downtown." In fact, Mikkola calls Missis- sauga the ideal location to practise commercial law. "I'm delighted Are the lights brighter for lawyers in the 905? D BY JANA SCHILDER For Law Times o you really have to be on Bay Street to succeed in Toronto's corporate to be practising it with so many lawyers who used to work on Bay Street," he notes, referring to the fact that about one-third of Pal- lett Valo's lawyers, excluding new associates since 2005, have come from other law fi rms in downtown Toronto. Mikkola joined Pallett Valo in 2004 after a 14-year career the lack of women partners. Unfortunately, there's no easy answer. Instead, whether it's bet- ter to work in the 416 or 905 de- pends on the type of law lawyers want to practise; the strength of their personal networks; and the fi rm's ability to do quality work and provide good service at a fair Many of the lawyers work just as long, if not longer, hours as downtown, but that's because they live closer to the offi ce so they don't have a two-hour commute every day. at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. Is it better, then, for Toronto-area lawyers to work in the 416 or 905? Th e issues at hand include the num- ber of clients; their calibre; the types of fi les available; billable hours; work- life balance; and the thorny issue of price as well as its reputation. Mikkola's focus is on condo- minium law, which has him deal- ing with developers, builders, and lenders. As there are so many condo buildings going up in Mississauga every year, he left FMC to be where the action is in his practice area. "Th e Billions of dollars invested, not a penny lost. August 23, 2010 5/4/10 2:49:21 PM Inside This Issue 4 Art Revamp 6 Working For Free 9 Focus On Health/Life Sciences Law Quote of the week "Contemporary art today uses all sorts of media, and I think it's important that we show we understand the world that we are living in. Our practice is driven much more electroni- cally today than it once was. We live in an electronic world — why shouldn't we have electronic art?" — Robert Elliott, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP See Faskens, page 5 business challenges are just as big and complex in Missis- sauga as downtown Toronto," he says. "We deal with precisely the same issues and we deliver the re- sults that our clients want." Part of the attraction for Mik- kola was lifestyle. When his fi ve chil- dren were younger, he used to take a few mid-afternoon hours to attend school concerts and plays before re- turning to the offi ce. Th at's some- thing he wouldn't have been able to do — logistically and culturally — if he had been with a downtown fi rm and commuted from the suburbs. Liana Turrin, a corporate com- mercial lawyer who joined Pallett Valo as senior counsel after an 18- year career at Fasken Martineau See 905, page 5 THERE IS A DIFFERENCE RainMaker Group 110 Yonge Street, Suite 1101 Toronto, Ontario M5C 1T4 Untitled-5 1 Tel: 416-863-9543 Fax: 416-863-9757 3/23/10 11:35:15 AM LT Digital version.indd 1 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 - August 23, 2010