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April 20, 2009

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TitlePLUS title insurance and you, together we have all the tools TitlePLUS title insurance and you, together we have all the tools. McKELLAR STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS INC. www.mckellar.com 1-800-265-8381 www.mckellar.com $3.55 • Vol. 20, No. 13 ckellar_LT_Jan14_08.indd 1 1/8/08 3:03:02 PM Cosgrove says 'life goes on' after the bench 'Shock and disappointment' BY ROBERT TODD Law Times F ormer Ontario Superior Court justice Paul Cosgrove has spo- ken out on the Canadian Ju- dicial Council's decision to call for his ouster, saying he was compelled to resign due to his pending retire- ment, despite finding aspects of the council's report "troublesome." Cosgrove tells Law Times in an interview that once the CJC issued its recommendation to the justice minister, "My options were pretty narrow." While he believes he could have appealed an earlier inquiry committee report at the Federal Court, he says a decision was un- likely before his mandatory retire- ment took hold in December. Cosgrove resigned earlier this month after the CJC issued a final re- port stating that his actions in a late- 1990s murder trial led to the conclusion that he "failed in the execution of the duties of his judi- cial office and that public confidence in his abil- ity to discharge those duties in future has been irrevocably lost." The decision made him only the second federal judge to meet such a fate. But the former judge says parts of the CJC's support written by judges and retired judges, law- yers, and members of the public when coming to its decision, saying they were irrelevant, he notes. "Personally, I found that difficult because, for example, there were my supervising judges, Former Superior Court justice Paul Cosgrove tells Law Times that his pending mandatory retirement compelled him to resign from the bench rather than battle a call for his ouster. the senior regional judges in Ottawa since I've been here for the last 24 years, all wrote very positive recommendations, and they also were aware of the trial," says Cosgrove. "So to say that these letters, the people had no knowledge of what was going on was not accurate." Cosgrove also suggests the council should final report could have been challenged. The council did not use a set of 32 letters of have used the letters from community mem- bers when considering whether he had lost the public's confidence. "It would seem to me that it's logical to test what the public's demeanour is; you ask people who are knowledgeable in the public," he says. "And there were a number of letters from people in public office, and they were given little weight, according to the decision." Cosgrove's final criticism is the CJC's determination that the issue of public confidence was central to its decision. He suggests that it remains unclear what evidence is required to make such a determination. "So, all of those issues may have given rise for us to challenge," he says. "The problem with that is, of course I'm retired — manda- tory retirement in December of this year. And the process, for ex- ample, dealing with the constitu- tional issue, took three years." He says he did not want to gamble and let the matter play out before Parliament, where an un- precedented joint resolution would have been required to finalize his ouster. Doing so may have proved cumbersome, suggests Cosgrove, with 20,000 pages of evidence likely put forth. The 74-year-old former judge, who will collect an annual pension of about $170,000, says that before the decision he was reason- ably confident that the council would not call for his dismissal. Independent counsel Earl Cherniak, a partner at Lerners LLP, had previ- ously told the council such a stern punishment was not necessary. "It was shock and disappointment," Cos- grove says of his reaction to the final decision. He says he has been dealing with the fall- out by responding to media inquiries, and See Cosgrove, page 4 Future uncertain for McCarthys' Ottawa office BY TIM NAUMETZ For Law Times OTTAWA — The possible closure of McCarthy Tétrault LLP's high- profile office in the nation's capital is unrelated to dire economic cir- cumstances that have hit home for some Canadian law firms, a senior McCarthys partner says. "Yeah, I guess, like any organi- zation we review our business plans on an ongoing basis," Boake tells Law Times when asked of the Ot- tawa office closure possibility. She adds the firm wants to meet the needs of its clients, and that each of its offices have a practice and focus which aligns with McCarthys' over- all strategy. "So it's in that context staff, remains undecided. "It's really just a question of the fact that we are in discussion with lawyers there as part of an overall strategic review," she tells Law Times. "These discussions have been going on for a while and are not related to the economy," she says. "I would call it a strategic review. Our firm really focuses on integrat- The financial crisis that has hit directly New York and London, being financial centres of the world, and the financial institutions based there, has not hit to the same degree in Canada, primarily because of the strength of the financial institutions in Canada. Consideration of the future of McCarthys' Ottawa contingent is a "strategic review" based on the firm's national business plan, and the role played by all of its six loca- tions across Canada, says Barbara Boake, national leader, profession- als, at McCarthy Tétrault. that we're currently reviewing the Ottawa office, but no decision has been made to close it," she says. Boake would not divulge fur- ther details and said the fate of the office, along with the employ- ment of its seven partners, two associates, and 11 administrative ed practices; we have offices right across the country. We have a very diversified practice geographically and our overall strategy is to inte- grate those practices and develop client teams on a firm-wide basis." Boake, however, confirmed Mc- Carthys has taken "difficult staffing decisions" because of a drop in busi- ness due to the economy, letting go less than 20 of its 650 lawyers across the country. She would not give the specific number or other details. Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP also confirmed to Law Times the firm released staff last week. But Gowlings chairman and CEO Scott Jolliffe said the shakeup did not involve partners or associ- ates. Jolliffe says the firm is shifting toward a "pod" model where law- yers and associates share a smaller number of secretaries, but he would not say how many were affected. The move not only economizes, but also creates a team atmosphere among secretaries that is useful for mentoring and sharing workloads. Sources in the legal community say McCarthy Tétrault's Ottawa re- view may be related to a management See Ottawa, page 4 WHICH DIRECTION IS BEST FOR YOU? 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