Law Times

September 7, 2010

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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. 27 ocdavit_LT_June7_10.indd 1 6/4/10 9:22:44 AM Inside This Issue 4 Art Reflecting Life 6 Stingy Remedies 8 Focus On Class Actions Quote of the week Covering Ontario's Legal Scene Untitled-3 1 September 7, 2010 Follow on 5/5/10 3:55:30 PM Courts grappling with LAO delays Proceedings slowing down as applicants find long waits for certificates BY MICHAEL McKIERNAN Law Times C riminal defence lawyers say Legal Aid Ontario's new application sys- tem may be hindering the prov- ince's Justice on Target project as accused wait longer to get through the process for a certifi cate. As part of its ongoing transformation, LAO closed regional offi ces while redirect- ing certifi cate applicants to toll-free tele- phone numbers and online portals. Th e province's Justice on Target project aims to decrease the number of pretrial ap- pearances, but Louis Strezos, who chairs the Criminal Lawyers' Association's legal aid committee, says members have told him long waits for certifi cates are produc- ing the opposite eff ect. "Th e eff ect of the closures is confl icting at some level with the goals set by the attor- ney general in terms of reducing front-end set-date appearances," Strezos says. "Un- fortunately, what currently appears to be happening is that there's increasing appear- ances while people wait. You see it fi rst with people trying to get through to a person at legal aid, and then the approval process seems to be much longer." A recent case in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., — Mort Mitchnick, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, See Overtime, page 9 where a defendant in youth court waited months trying to get his application heard, highlighted the issue. Th e 17-year-old charged with theft over $5,000 was referred to a 1-800 number shortly after his fi rst ap- pearance. He couldn't get through to anybody By the time of his fourth appearance two months after the youth fi rst went to court, the Crown attorney was anxious to move things along, according to Stacy Tijerina, the duty counsel who assisted the accused. "Th e Crown was kind of apprehensive and saying, 'Why has this been adjourned numerous times? Legal aid can't take that long,'" Tijerina says. Tijerina helped the youth, who can't be identifi ed, make an application for represen- tation by counsel under s. 25 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Usually, the courts can only make such orders once legal aid has re- fused to grant a certifi cate. But in this case, Justice John Kukurin of the Ontario Court of Justice made the order anyway while not- ing the youth wasn't to blame for the delay and that he found his account credible. "Legal Aid Ontario is unquestionably en- 'Unfortunately, what currently appears to be hap- pening is that there's increasing appearances while people wait' for a certificate, says Louis Strezos. but reached a recording that instructed him to leave his name and phone number in or- der to get a call back, according to a recent ruling in R. v. P.(C.). His second and third appearances were adjourned while he waited to hear from LAO. Th e youth also said he made several more attempts to reach someone by phone. titled to establish its own protocols and pro- cedures for processing applications for legal aid made by members of the public," Kuku- rin wrote in the decision. "Th e present appli- cation system in place appears to be a recent major overhaul to the application process. Th e hope is that any glitches that may be causing delay are temporary and due to the transition process. However, time marches on in the youth criminal justice court." Tijerina says the story has been the same in adult court since LAO closed its offi ce across the street from the Sault Ste. Marie courthouse. "You'd stand a matter down in court un- til they made the application and came back, See Most, page 5 CCLA vexed over police records for G20 detainees BY TIM NAUMETZ For Law Times OTTAWA — More than 150 peo- ple who say they were wrongfully arrested during the G20 summit protests only to be released with- out being charged are too fearful of police retaliation to take part in formal complaints by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the or- ganization's senior lawyer says. As well, in another potentially disturbing aspect of the largest mass arrest in Canada's history, the more than 800 protesters who were arrested and detained but released without charges face the prospect of an internal police re- cord and no avenue for erasing it, CCLA general counsel Nathalie Des Rosiers tells Law Times. TitlePlus_LT_Mar9_09 2/27/09 11:23 AM Page 1 Des Rosiers says the association came upon the unsettling eff ects of police reaction to crowds of thou- sands of demonstrators as it was preparing a formal complaint to Ontario's Offi ce of the Indepen- dent Police Review Director. Of the approximately 300 people who were arrested and released and later contacted the CCLA about their concerns, roughly half declined to take part in the complaint. "Th ey were afraid, afraid that would leave a black mark and they would be subject to some po- lice harassment if they did that," Des Rosiers says. "So people are afraid of the police and are wor- ried, and it does have a chilling eff ect on their ability to exercise their democratic rights." Des Rosiers disclosed the con- cerns while discussing a hard- hitting report the association released on the two-month anni- versary of the protests and police actions. It contains the harshest criticism the CCLA has made yet about the behaviour of police and the tactics they used. On top of the protesters who were too fearful to fi le complaints and the hundreds who will have their arrests logged in Toronto Po- lice Service computer fi les, many of the roughly 300 protesters who eventually arrived at what was es- sentially a mass court appearance in Toronto two weeks ago say they faced pressure to settle their charges with charitable donations in order to avoid the cost and diffi culty of proving their innocence through 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! 1 ® 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. ® lengthy court proceedings. "Th e dilemma of the people who have done nothing wrong is, are they going to be subject to a criminal shadow — some say it will be two years before all the trials are done — or do you want to just settle it right now with a charitable donation?" Des Rosiers says. She notes the prospect of po- lice records for the hundreds who were arrested and released without charge is among the issues the as- sociation wants to address over and above the complaint to the independent review offi ce. "Th at's a fairly unsavoury aspect of the whole process to have the police keep information about you, about having been arrested even if the charges are dropped," Des Rosiers See Monitor, page 5 Click here to subscribe today to LAW TIMES LT Digital version.indd 1 6/25/10 12:59:47 PM "The judge got caught up in the case, decided his sympathies were with the plaintif everything their way upshot is a decision that imposes a reverse onus on the employer on just about every issue in the case." f, and pushed . The

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