Law Times

October 26, 2015

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Page 2 OCTOBeR 26, 2015 • LaW TIMeS www.lawtimesnews.com Fired prosecutor loses election bid amid Liberal wave BY DAVID DIAS AND NEIL ETIENNE Law Times fter losing her job to run for office, federal prosecutor Emilie Ta- man also lost her bid for a seat in Parliament as a Liberal wave swept across the country last week. Taman, the NDP candidate for Ottawa-Vanier, watched as Liberal incumbent Mauril Bélanger kept his seat. Now, she says she's not sure what will happen next. Like many ridings in Canada, Bélanger won comfortably with more than 36,000 votes compared to Taman's 12,299 votes. She took about 200 votes more than the third-placed Conservative candi- date, David Piccini. Although Law Times couldn't reach her by press time last week, Taman vowed in her election- night concession speech to run again and, in an interview later with the Ottawa Citizen, said she wasn't sure what would happen in the interim. "There's no crying in politics, there's no crying in baseball," she told the Citizen. Putting on a tough face after the election, she had a tough time even being able to run for the po- sition. Taman is a former prosecutor in the regulatory and economic prosecutions and management branch of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. She submitted a request in November 2014 to the Public Service Commission for an unpaid leave of absence while she sought the NDP nomi- nation. The commission denied her request after considering Ta- man's arguments as well as her employer's. While the prosecu- tion service argued that allowing Taman to run for office would ir- reparably damage the perception of her impartiality as a prosecu- tor, she suggested the government must accommodate her rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to engage politically if possible. In her submissions to the commission, Taman laid out a number of ways in which she might be able to return to her job without jeopardizing her impar- tiality, including firewalls that would prevent her from dealing with a matter in the rare instance that it's politically sensitive. Despite failing to get permis- sion, Taman decided to run any- way, which led the prosecution service to fire her on administra- tive grounds. Taman then issued a grievance with her union, the Association of Justice Counsel, that backed her application to have the Federal Court set aside the commission's decision. The mid-October ruling by Justice Catherine Kane upheld the commission's denial and the pros- ecution service's termination order, leaving the association to consider its options. Len MacKay, president of the association, says the Federal Court's pre-election decision to uphold Taman's firing sent a chill- ing message to federal prosecutors seeking political office. "I can tell you that the [asso- ciation] and counsel for Ms. Ta- man are looking at the decision and reviewing it for the possibil- ity of an appeal. Certainly, if you have a panel of three appellate- level judges, then I suspect you'd get a better look at the issues at hand." LT NEWS New app to calculate criminal sentences touted BY NEIL ETIENNE Law Times entencing always in- volves individual deter- minations, but a pair of entrepreneurs in Thun- der Bay, Ont., has created a new mobile application that could help criminal lawyers do their calculations. Called Jailbreak, the mo- bile application helps criminal lawyers calculate and compare proposed sentences in both adult and youth matters. It's the brainchild of cousins Brennan and Nick Sacevich, the former a lawyer and the latter a computer science specialist, software de- signer, and now a high school teacher and vice principal. "I was telling Brennan about teaching the Grade 12 students about designing an app and once he figured out I could build one, the light bulb went off in his head and we started talking about the idea," says Nick, the team's tech- nical person. The application can help cal- culate and compare total pro- posed sentences, permitting the user to select the applicable proposed earned remission rate and perform calculations that take into account a number of factors, such as credit for pretrial custody. "I just found there was a lot of wasted time and thought there has to be a better way to do this," says Brennan. "When you're in the court, on your feet all day, a lot of times you have to make quick decisions or calculations and Jailbird helps you do that." He says Jailbird can estimate potential release dates for differ- ent kinds of sentencing, includ- ing intermittent sentences, and works for both youth and adult matters. "You can't just reduce sen- tences down to simple numbers. There's the human aspect in making [sentencing] decisions, but once you get to the point of determining the sentence, this is an invaluable tool," says Brennan. Defence lawyer Joseph Neu- berger of Neuberger & Partners LLP says he applauds the firm's efforts but he suggests that with the federal election results and potential reforms to the justice system, the application may need to keep pace. "I'm all for innovation and technology to help in law, par- ticularly criminal law because we tend to be behind significant- ly in employing technology to move things in a smoother way," he says. Neuberger says he sees the application as helpful but he notes it would have more lim- ited effectiveness in determin- ing sentence length in Canada than in jurisdictions such as the United States. "Sentencing is driven by so many factors in Canada, which may at times include mandatory minimum sentences, significantly relies on precedent and case law, and re- lies on the individual facts of the case and the offender," he says. Annamaria Enenajor of Ruby & Shiller in Toronto says she, too, welcomes technology with open arms but she questions whether the calculator could truly ref lect the individuality of sentencing in Canada. She sees a benefit in deter- mining pretrial custody or pa- role calculations but she says there are a lot of factors in deter- mining criminal sentences that would make estimating time difficult. "My personal opinion is that there is great space for growth in this area and I look forward to it growing in the future," she says. LT FAMILY LAW PRACTICE ASSOCIATE POSITION A highly regarded family and general law practice in Halton with over thirty years of experience assisting families with a myriad of personal and small business needs is seeking a junior associate to join their team. The ideal candidate has a minimum of 2 years' experience working in a small to mid-sized private law practice or as a sole practitioner with a strong focus on family law. He/she will have developed a strong base of experience in all areas of family law, in addition to the personal selling and networking skills required to grow a practice and to nurture existing client relationships. A possibility exists for the eventual succession to ownership of this practice. The successful candidate must have well developed interpersonal skills, an eye for research and an ability to work as a member of a small team of professionals. Additionally, he/she will have a proven track record of business skills and the personal drive and desire to eventually own his/ her own law practice in a three to fi ve year time horizon. Interested parties should contact Jim Simpson at JML Associates International at 905-939-9229 or via email at simpsonj@look.ca to learn more about this terri c legal industry career opportunity in one of Ontarioʼs strongest residential and commercial regions. AssociatePostion_LT_Oct19_15.indd 1 2015-10-14 3:10 PM S Emilie Taman came in second in last week's election after losing her job over her bid to run for office. A Check out lawtimesnews.com for insight from our regular online columnists Monica Goyal discusses the latest gadgets and trends in legal technology in Bits & Bytes

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