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November 3, 2008

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PAGE 2 NEWS November 3, 2008 • Law Times LeVan a 'scary decision' for family bar Continued from page 1 Justice Nancy Backhouse regarding a marriage contract between LeVan and his wife Erika LeVan. Backhouse ordered the husband to pay the wife the equal- ization payment, along with retroactive spousal support of $163,340. The judge also ordered LeVan to pay the wife monthly spousal support of $6,640, as well as monthly child support of $4,544 and retroactive child support of $43,792. Ontario Court of Appeal Justices Stephen Borins, world's largest manufacturer of exhaust manifolds. The siblings also were the beneficiaries of significant holdings in LeVan Family Trust. At trial, the wife's valuator esti- mated LeVan's personal business assets at over $14 mil- lion, a number uncontested by the husband. LeVan's father intended to protect the family's company David Doherty, and Jean MacFarland dismissed the hus- band's appeal, which argued that Backhouse's ruling im- properly interpreted the Family Law Act, incorrectly as- sessed the spousal and child support awards, and should not have awarded post-judgment interest on the equal- ization payment and lump sum spousal support. The couple signed the marriage contract in June 1996, two days before getting married, noted the appeal court. At the time, LeVan and his three siblings each owned 25 per cent of shares that made up a majority interest in the publicly-traded company Wescast Industries Inc., the aware of the two lawyers' previous relationship. The marriage contract was signed when the wife met shares, and instructed his children to enter into pre-nuptial agreements upon marriage. LeVan approached the fam- ily lawyers in May 8, 1996, six weeks before the wedding date, regarding the marriage contract. The initial contract was opposed by the lawyer representing the wife, who had been told by the husband that the marriage wouldn't go ahead unless the contract was signed. As the wedding neared and an agreement still wasn't reached, LeVan "began to undermine the wife's relationship with, and confidence in" her lawyer, who was eventually fired, the court found. The husband's lawyer, Karen Bales, proceed- ed to ask lawyer Susan Heakes if she would represent the wife on the marriage contract. Heakes, who had represented Bales on her own divorce, agreed to represent the wife, who wasn't Sedona comes to Canada BY ROBERT TODD Law Times Sedona Canada Program on Getting Ahead of the e-Discovery Curve. "I was very pleased and surprised" with the turnout, says Ken Withers, director of judicial education and content for the U.S.-based think tank, who also was a faculty member at the two- day event at the Boulevard Club in Toronto. Withers says the group expected only 75 attend- ees, but had to make special accommodation when 125 showed up. "I had to apologize to some of the people C anadian lawyers recently had a rare chance to gain insight into best prac- tices for e-discovery at the 1st Annual who arrived late without prior registration," he says. "We ran out of materials and seats, so it was standing room only." Members of the Sedona Conference Ca- nadian Working Group on Electronic Docu- ment Retention & Production — the group that developed the Sedona Canada Principles Addressing Electronic Discovery — present- ed the conference. Ogilvy Renault LLP law- yer Kelly Friedman and Susan Wortzman of Wortzman Nickle Professional Corporation were the co-chairwomen of the event. Panel discussions focused on issues such as the Sedona Canada Principles, management of electronic information, and new roles and teams to manage e-discovery successfully, to name a few. Withers says what set this conference apart was the high level of audience participation. "A lot of people brought their own prob- lems, and we were able to have quite a bit of dialogue," he says. "It was not a traditional continuing legal education conference with a series of talking heads who lectured the audience." Withers says it became clear as the confer- ence wrapped up that there is a need for similar conferences in the future. While no concrete plans have been made, it looks like the Sedona Conference Institute will hold one next year in Vancouver, he says. LT takes our cameras where they've never been before. Check out our videos at www.lawtimesnews.com LAW TIMES Inside courtroom 6-1 at the opening of the courts ceremony 2008. with Heakes. The contract "compromised" the wife's ability to claim spousal support, and she didn't know his net worth, wrote Borins. Backhouse, the trial judge, found that the husband failed to comply with the disclosure obligation under the Family Law Act. In setting aside the contract, she also found that the wife didn't get "effective independent legal advice," didn't understand aspects of the contract, the husband misrepresented parts of the contract to the wife, the husband deliberately failed to disclose his entire assets, and the husband interfered with the wife's legal assistance, noted the appeal court. Gold says LeVan threatens to increase costs for clients. He says, for example, that an opposing lawyer recently recommended the retention of a mediator to decide what disclosure materials are necessary in a marriage contract. "I think it's causing people to be ultra cautious," says Gold. LT SIU's work 'important' Continued from page 1 been involved in justice prosecu- tions — cases in which police of- ficers, Crown lawyers, and defence lawyers are accused of offences. He's also worked on several SIU cases as a prosecutor. The Mississauga native was called Deane for the shooting of Dudley George at Ipperwash Provincial Park; Ken Murray for the suppression of the Paul Bernardo tapes; and former Thunder Bay assistant Crown attor- ney Agnew Johnston for having sex with underage prostitutes. "I think the work they do here to the bar in 1983 after receiving his law degree from the University of Western Ontario, and worked as a law clerk at the then-Ontario High Court of Justice from 1983-84. He moved on to Stikeman El- liott LLP for half a year before joining the Crown Law Office in hopes of getting more litiga- tion experience. He worked as an assistant Crown attorney in To- ronto from 1985 to 1990. Scott's next stop was a second- ment to the Office of the Director of Criminal Prosecutions — now called the Justice Prosecutions Unit. There he worked on cases in which local Crowns were in a conflict, meaning most matters involved charges against police officers, defence lawyers, Crown attorneys, and judges. He became head of that unit before leaving the Crown's office to open his own practice in the late 1990s. But in 2001 he returned to the Ministry of the Attorney Gen- eral's office after four years out on his own, and again worked largely on justice prosecutions. Some of the prominent cases in- volving members of the justice com- munity that Scott worked on include the prosecutions of OPP officer Ken is important," says Scott of the SIU. "It helps maintain public confidence in policing and civil- ian oversight of policing." Throughout his interview with Law Times Scott demonstrated his desire to implement the om- budsman's recommendations, but sought to address "an issue that was in the press about the unit having a pro-police bias." He quoted a section of the re- port that read, "In fact, during our investigation we were unable to find any objective evidence that any individual case has been tainted by improper motives." Marin's report did note that "the presence of so many former officers in the SIU presents signifi- cant challenges to maintaining the perception of independence." Scott says he is heartened by the fact that the ombudsman did not recommend the reopening of any SIU cases. "I take some comfort in that in the sense it allows me as a new director to look forward and look at the recommendations, and look at the changes of the SIU prospec- tively," he says. "I can look at how we're going to make the investiga- tions better in the future." LT Marketplace PAPER DIGITIZER PAPER OVERFLOW? Make all your records digital so you can retrieve anytime/anywhere/Securely! www.paperdigitizer.com. Tel: 416-209-6627 To advertise call 905-841-6481 WHICH DIRECTION IS BEST FOR YOU? 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