Law Times

January 12, 2009

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A. NEUMAN ASSOCIATES INC. McKELLAR STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS INC. 1-800-265-8381 ckellar_LT_Jan14_08.indd 1 $3.55 • Vol. 20, No. 1 1/8/08 3:03:02 PM Inside This Issue Covering Ontario's Legal Scene Forensic Accounting & Damages Quantifi cation Specialists Turn Crisis into Opportunity (416) 223-5991 Neuman_LawTimes.indd 1 M&As Alive 2 New measures on the way A AG: speedier justice system a priority BY ROBERT TODD Law Times ttorney General Chris Bentley tells Law Times in an exclusive interview that he plans to continue his priorities 7 Union Fines 9 Focus On Insurance Law Quote of the week "There are more choices about where to sue because the foreign judgment enforcement regime in Canada has become liberalized, which in turn gives people more choices about where to sue because of the increased confidence that their judgment will be enforceable in Canada." –– Lisa Peters, partner Lawson Lundell LLP See SCC, page 11 for speeding up Ontario's justice system in the year ahead, and expects to unveil new measures in due course. While Bentley largely kept his cards close to the vest during the wide-ranging talk, he did not pour cold water on a request from Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler for a new, con- solidated Toronto courthouse. By no means did the attorney general indicate such a capi- tal project was imminent, but certainly left the door open. "We're actively working on meeting the court needs of the Greater Toronto Area and the population," says Bentley. "As we have an- nouncements to make, we'll be making them. I don't have any to make this morning. But I think you should know there's a lot of hard work going on to try and make sure that we can address those needs." Winkler previously told Law Times the jumble of courthouses in the province's largest city creates havoc for those unfamiliar with the justice system. "The number one need in Toronto is for courtroom facilities," said Winkler. "I think there needs to be a court facility in Toronto with up-to-date, current facilities with an em- phasis on criminal and family law. One big court." Meanwhile, Bentley says his Justice on Tar- get strategy, which was unveiled last year and calls for a 30-per-cent reduction in the number of days and court appearances in criminal trials within four years, will continue to be a top pri- ority for the ministry. He expects recommen- dations from three test sites — Newmarket, North York, and London — by spring. While many within the legal community are calling for a new infusion of money and resources to the system, Bentley says the minis- try is focusing now on making things run more efficiently. He cites ministry statistics showing that be- tween 1992 and 2007 the length of the aver- age criminal case in the province doubled. He says the 30-per-cent reduction would mean 500,000 fewer court visits, making justice par- ticipants like judges, Crowns, police, and court staff available for more pressing matters. "So instead of judges and justices and See Bentley's, page 2 Reform needed to SCC appointments BY ELIZABETH THOMPSON For Law Times OTTAWA — The government's failure to follow its own process to name Canada's newest Supreme Court justice underlines the need for reform of the way appoint- ments are made to the country's top court, says one of Canada's top court watchers. Peter Russell, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Toronto and an expert in judicial systems, says the appointment pro- cess has been changing from one gov- ernment to the next in recent years with the procedure to be followed re- vealed in press releases posted on the federal justice department web site. "That's not good enough," says Russell. blebum method. We're talking about the process of picking and choosing and selecting some of the most important people in Canadi- an government." Others, like Eugene Meehan, one of Canada's top experts on the Supreme Court and chairman of However, Meehan says the gov- ernment did the right thing by overriding the process when a series of political events made it difficult to fill the vacancy on the bench in a timely fashion. "Whether it was the right po- litical thing to do is for others to That is what I call the stumblebum method. We're talking about the process of picking and choosing and selecting some of the most important people in Canadian government. TitlePlus_LT_Jan12_09 12/23/08 11:07 AM Page 1 "That is what I call the stum- the SCC practice group at Lang Michener LLP in Ottawa, say the initial procedure set up by the gov- ernment is a good one and a "con- sidered and careful compromise" between two opposing points of view on how justices should be ap- pointed. decide. However, this prime minis- ter put the court ahead of transient political partisanship and thereby demonstrated both juridical leader- ship and juristic statesmanship." The controversy centres on the way in which Justice Thomas Cromwell was appointed to the 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 Supreme Court late last month to replace Justice Michel Bastarache who stepped down last spring. Cromwell, who was quietly sworn in last week in a private cer- emony, has been widely praised as a good addition to Canada's top court. But the way in which the appointment process unfolded has raised more than a few eyebrows. When Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to power, he announced plans to follow a more transparent process for appointments to the top court, including wider consultations and public questioning of nominees by MPs — a process that was fol- lowed with the government's first appointment of Manitoba native Marshall Rothstein. In May, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced a three-step See Parliamentary, page 3 January 12, 2009 12/9/08 11:12:30 AM Photo: Robert Todd Attorney General Chris Bentley tells Law Times in an exclusive interview that 'there are a number of very exciting initiatives that we're working on at the moment.'

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