Law Times

December 1, 2008

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$3.55 • Vol. 19, No. 38 Inside This Issue 3 Pension Report 7 The Dirt 9 Focus On The Business Of Law Quote of the week "But they really do want to learn and they want to know about the mentoring process which has got a lot of lip service from the [Law Society of Upper Canada] since the dawn of time." –– Brian Grant managing partner, Lerners LLP See They, page 12 strengthening its economy during these tough financial times, Chief Justice Warren Winkler tells Law Times in an exclusive interview. The top judge says he's going to be "pounding O away" on the need for Ontario to better promote its legal infrastructure to the business community. To that end he's working on a colloquium on the issue next month, which he hopes representatives from business, labour, government, the public, and justice system will attend "with a view to com- ing up with an approach that will enable us to highlight what I think is an extremely impor- tant aspect of our civilization as a province." Says Winkler: "If you're going to have a business Covering Ontario's Legal Scene Winkler: Promotion is key Chief Justice sits down with Law Times BY ROBERT TODD Law Times ntario needs to do a better job of mar- keting its world-class legal system to the business community as a means of December 1, 2008 somewhere, you want to think that you've got the backing of a justice system within which you can operate your business. Where everyone's going to be regulated by a commonality and where you've got access to it, you've got enforceability, where it's timely, where everybody respects it. And the Com- mercial List in Toronto is exactly that." Winkler made the comments during a wide- ranging interview last week, in which he offered his views on the state of the province's justice system. He cites the 2004 Air Canada restructuring, under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, as an example of the Ontario justice system's attractiveness to big businesses. "A lot of jurisdictions wanted the Air Canada restructuring, because everybody knew it would in- ject a huge amount of money into the economy," he says, noting the matter took place on the heels of the SARS crisis that battered Toronto' s tourist industry. Chief Justice Warren Winkler says a new, consolidated courthouse in Toronto is atop his financial wish list, noting the criminal system needs more courtrooms to meet demands placed on it by the volume of cases and security requirements. Photo: Robert Todd says Winkler, the city's hotels were overflow- ing and law firms were consumed by work re- lated to the file. "It just turned the economy around, having the Air Canada dispute here," he says, adding that one lawyer told him the file brought him a "lifetime" of billings. "What brought that was the respect for the Commercial List in Toronto," he says. "The By the time that restructuring wrapped up, respect for the integrity of that justice system and the expertise." And, given the current economic slowdown and Ontario's competitive position, it's vital to sell to the world "the systemic value of the legal infrastructure in Ontario." Winkler says, "If you compare Ontario and other jurisdictions where business is going to, all See Lawyers, page 2 U.S. President George W. Bush a long shot at best, the former colleague whose testimony helped land him in jail will soon be up for full parole. Law Times has learned that David for commutation from s request Radler's almost out while Black waits for Bush W BY ROBERT TODD Law Times hile experts are calling Conrad Black' provision forces the NPB to release offenders if there is no reason to be- lieve they will commit a violent crime by the time their sentence ends. Following a submission from Radler, the former president of Hol- linger International Inc. who reached a plea deal with the U.S. government, is up for full parole on Dec. 14. His day parole eligibility took hold Sept. 19, according to National Parole Board spokesman Mark Prieur. Radler is eligible under the Cor- rectional and Conditional Release Act for accelerated parole as a first-time federal offender serving time for a non-violent of- fence, Prieur says in an e-mail. The review the Correctional Service of Can- ada, the NPB must complete "an initial in-office review of the file" and make an assessment on accel- erated parole, says Prieur. If the in-office review doesn't lead to pa- role, the matter goes to a hearing. However, the NPB has not re- ceived a submission from the CSC regarding Radler, says Prieur. Meanwhile, an official from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of the Pardon Attorney confirmed that Black has asked for a commutation of his six-and-a-half-year sentence, a request that could lead to either a re- duction or elimination of the former press baron's jail term. The application is "pending," says the official. attorney, and eventually the president will make a decision" before his Jan. 20, 2009, departure from the White House, the official says. The official notes that Black "It's being looked at by the pardon couldn't have applied for a par- don from Bush, as he would have had to complete his sentence and wait five years. Radler's deal saw him agree to plead guilty to one count of fraud in exchange for a fine of US$250,000 and 29 months in jail. He started serving that sentence last February. Prosecutors also agreed not to stand in the way of Radler's transfer to a Canadian prison, which reportedly took place in September. The deal helped prosecutors land the conviction of Black and three other executives from Hol- linger International. Black was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice, and began serving his sentence at a Florida jail in March. Black's U.S. lawyer, Andrew Frey, says he has no comment on his client's clemency request, saying he had no involvement in the mat- ter. Black's Canadian lawyer, Eddie Greenspan, didn't respond by press time to a request for comment. Prof. P.S. Ruckman, who teaches U.S. politics at Rock Valley College in Illinois, says Black likely isn't high on Bush's priority list. He also notes that Republican presidents have tradi- tionally been quite stingy in handing out pardons, and that Bush granted very few as governor of Texas. "I think Conrad Black is kind of on a world of his own with this," says Ruckman. "Of the big-name people out there that are applying for commutations, he's definitely kind of the weak link, because he hasn't served that long." LT Maybe you need a better mousetrap. Tel: 416.322.6111 Toll-free: 1.866.367.7648 www.doprocess.com Industry leader in legal software for real estate, corporate and estates for over a decade www.lawtimesnews.com

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