Law Times

January 16, 2012

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IP HEAVYWEIGHTS Practice merger among Bay Street changes P3 Follow on QUEEN'S PARK Cutbacks looming P7 $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 2 Untitled-3 1 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE • WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM L AW TIMES 5/5/10 3:55:30 PM ntitled-3 1 AG says change needed to make Justice on Target work Gerretsen seeks co-operation BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times T he Justice on Target program can work if all of the members of the justice system come togeth- er and embrace change, says Attorney General John Gerretsen. "Change for everyone is hard to accept," says Ger- retsen. "As people, we are oſt en reluctant to change, whether it is in our personal lives or otherwise, but it's necessary in order to see positive results. It requires ev- eryone to come together. If they really want [the proj- ect] to work, it can happen." Speaking about his plans for 2012 in an interview last week, Gerretsen defended the Justice on Target project, which a review obtained by Law Times has shown is experiencing signifi cant problems in meet- ing its goals of reducing appearances and time to dis- position in criminal matters by 30 per cent. Despite in- consistent and sometimes negative results, Gerretsen says the project may continue and expand. "Th e amount of money needed for Justice on Tar- get is relatively small compared to the results that it's achieved so far," he says. "Sometimes we have to make commitments. I realize change for everyone is hard to accept, but we will see positive results if people like lawyers and Crowns are willing to change the way they operate. If they really want it to work, it can happen." Still, the post-implementation review noted the re- sults so far at fi ve Toronto-area courthouses have been relatively modest or have even gone in the opposite direction of the project's goal of speeding up the court 'Change for everyone is hard to accept,' says John Gerretsen. system. While the Ministry of the Attorney General says the number of appearances in criminal cases has decreased across the province on a year-to-year basis, the review showed the time to dispose of cases largely remained the same or even increased. So while people are making fewer appearances, the time to handle a matter has largely remained stagnant. Gerretsen, however, points to the positive results. "Th e number of appearances have gone down overall. Statistically, it may only represent a seven- or eight-per- cent change, but they have gone down. Now they might not reach 30 per cent by their deadline but they are making progress. Th at will be our next challenge, but for now at least we've shaved the appearance times down." Gerretsen adds that slow adoption by the jus- tice system and the particular circumstances of each courthouse have also aff ected the project's results. "Th ere are still challenges ahead with Justice on Tar- get, but right now it seems to be more of an issue of people actually implementing it," says Gerretsen. "In larger courts, the project will also not be the same as it is in smaller courts. You'll have diff erent results. Justice on Target works its way out diff erently in every court." In the meantime, Gerretsen says the ministry will con- tinue working on the project and will make changes as necessary. "Any time you are trying to change the culture of something, changes will probably have to be made on all sides. Th at'll take time. We're working on it in 2012 and we'll be looking to expand it past its deadline most likely." As for his other priorities in 2012, a key item on Ger- retsen's to-do list is an expansion of the unifi ed family See Omnibus, page 5 FOCUS ON Real estate law P 9 Billions of dollars invested, not a penny lost. January 16, 2012 5/4/10 2:49:21 PM BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times A London, Ont., immigration lawyer is seeking $25,000 in libel damages from a fellow lawyer who allegedly called him an anti-Semite. Th e case, Corrigan v. Hechter, began in Sep- tember 2010 as lawyer Edward Corrigan sought damages from William Hechter, a non-practising lawyer who's president of Excalibur Capital Man- agement in Toronto. Th e case involves Hechter's alleged comments in response to Corrigan's state- ments about the Israeli-Palestinian confl ict. Since then, Hechter fi led a statement of de- fence and exhibits and the case moved to a settlement conference. By March 2011, a settle- ment still proved to be elusive for the pair and the claim moved from London to the Small Claims Court in Toronto where Hechter and several of the witnesses appearing in the case live. Th ose 12 witnesses include civil liberties lawyer Clayton Ruby and Windsor, Ont., law- yer Victoria Cross appearing for Hechter and a Jewish academic and a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer appearing for the plaintiff , Corrigan told Law Times in an e-mail. At a pretrial settlement conference in No- vember 2011, the case remained unresolved. By December, aſt er an additional pretrial conference, the case again failed to reach a settle- ment. By Dec. 22, a settlement conference judge had set the case down to schedule a trial. But Hechter, who says discus- sions that began nearly three weeks ago could prove fruitful, expects that the pair will reach a settlement within the week. "Th e matter is being com- pletely, 100-per-cent settled," says Hechter. "We are in settlement discus- sions now and we expect them to end in about a week." In June 2010, Corrigan asked Hechter to apologize for and remove an e-mail he had allegedly sent to several members of the Law Union of Ontario that called Corrigan "one of Canada's worst anti-Semites" and an "idiotic spammer." Hechter allegedly made the Lawyer Edward Corrigan is seeking $25,000 from William Hechter. comments aſt er Corrigan sent three e-mails in three days in June 2010 to Law Union mem- bers containing news articles and commentary that were critical of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, according to Hechter's statement of defence. However, as Hechter alleg- edly refused to apologize for See Lawyers, page 5 Childview_LT_Jan24_11.indd 1 1/19/11 11:04:05 AM Israeli issue sparks legal row between lawyers PM #40762529

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