Law Times

January 25, 2016

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Lawyer acquitted of drug and fraud charges BY NEIL ETIENNE Law Times T he Ontario Court of Justice has acquitted 75-year-old real estate lawyer Kenneth James of all the charges he faced following an international drug and fraud investigation the RCMP launched in 2010. Still in the process of dealing with an unrelated Law Society of Upper Canada disciplinary mat- ter originating in 2010, James was also back in the Ontario Court of Justice Jan. 20 to attempt to have a restraining order on several of his personal and business accounts removed. Through his counsel Scott Bergman, of Cooper Sandler Shime & Bergman LLP, James said he feels "greatly comforted" to have dealt with the criminal accusations against him, but he will also still have to wait out the Crown's 30-day appeal period be- fore he can feel completely vindi- cated. "Despite an extraordinarily difficult four years where all as- pects of Mr. James' life were torn to pieces, he never lost faith in the criminal justice system," says Bergman. "Having now been acquitted of all charges, Mr. James is greatly comforted by justice having been done. He is eager to move on with his life." James faced charges of prop- erty obtained by crime, specifi- cally about $3 million; defraud- ing the Government of Canada over $5,000; unlawful export of a controlled substance [ephed- rine]; and conspiracy to export a controlled substance in allega- tions spanning from early 2009 to June 2012. According to Crown prosecutor Kevin Wilson, charges stemming from the same inves- tigation against James' employee Rosemary Cremer, 64, were stayed early in the proceedings. He added that he could not comment on the possibility of an appeal of James' acquittal by the Crown. According to an agreed state- ment of facts, the charges arose from his alleged dealings with Afshin Dastani, who owned and operated an online nutrition sup- plement business that the RCMP alleged also sold and unlawfully exported ephedrine to the United States. The RCMP alleged Dastani provided James with a number of bank drafts that were deposited into various bank accounts held by or associated to the longtime real estate lawyer. Police alleged James then distributed funds, in cash, to Dastani or to third parties by cheque at Dastani's direction. Dastani was arrested and charged with a number of re- lated offences in May 2011 and ultimately pleaded guilty. He re- ceived a two-years-less-a-day sen- tence and two years of supervised Change in regulations could trigger shift for lawyers Smaller firms may take brunt of complying with new rules, lawyer says BY NEIL ETIENNE Law Times T he Law Society of Upper Canada has launched its call for the input stage on compliance-based entity regu- lation. Calling it a potential paradigm shift in how the pro- fession regulates itself in Ontario, Ross Earnshaw, chairman of the LSUC compliance-based entity regulation task force, says his group is on pace to have a report to Convocation by June. Compliance-based entity regulation represents a signifi- cant change from a reactive approach to disciplinary and ethi- cal issues to a more proactive approach of addressing problems before they happen, he says. "[The Law Society] will not be just a stern disciplinarian, but it will provide assistance, guidance, examples, [and] work with entities to help in the transition to entity-based regulation and particularly so if it should apply to sole practitioners," Earn- shaw says. Seeing the proactive approach as a great positive, lawyer Janice Wright of Wright Temelini LLP says she has concerns that the smaller firms and sole practitioners may take the hardest financial brunt in establishing systems to comply with regulations. She began her career with a major firm and now runs a two- person practice. She says that when it comes to managing certain aspects of the regulation proposal, those smaller firms could have a dif- ficult time navigating implementation. "On the one hand, it's a very important initiative, a noble goal that I don't think anyone would quibble at, but the devil's in the details," Wright says. QCIPA CHANGES Balancing confidentiality, right to information P3 TORTURE SUIT DROPPED Lawsuit dropped against former official P5 FOCUS ON Privacy Law P8 See Witness, page 4 See Regulatory, page 2 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 27, No.3 January 25, 2016 L AW TIMES & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM C O V E R I N G O N T A R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W . L A W T I M E S N E W S . C O M Follow LAW TIMES on www.twitter.com/lawtimes Shane Katz says it will be vital for the LSUC to ensure implementation of the new regulations will not be too onerous on smaller firms and sole practioners. Photo: Robin Kuniski CANADIAN LAW LIST 2016 KEEPING PACE WITH THE CHANGING LEGAL COMMUNITY FOR OVER 130 YEARS • an up-to-date alphabetical listing • contact information • legal and government contact information ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY! 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