Law Times

October 6, 2008

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

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McKELLAR STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS INC. www.mckellar.com 1-800-265-8381 www.mckellar.com ckellar_LT_Jan14_08.indd 1 $3.55 • Vol. 19, No. 311/8/08 3:03:02 PM Inside This Issue 5 SIU Slammed 9 Focus On Litigation 17 Canadian Legal & Technology Forum Quote of the week "As a practitioner, you really have to watch out and be more vigilant than ever, if for no other reason than that two years is quite a change Covering Ontario's Legal Scene Call 416.223.5991 www.IFAccountant.com Investigative & Forensic Accounting Specialists Proven Expertise ntitled-6 1 the head of the Criminal Lawyers' Association. "A key thing for defence counsel is that we Goudge blasts child pathology system T AG says wider probe 'right thing to do' BY GLENN KAUTH Law Times he Ontario government should remember defence counsel as it works to fix Ontario's disgraced child pathology system, says are looking for a better system of oversight of forensic science," Frank Addario tells Law Times, urging increased legal aid funding for people accused in suspicious child deaths. Addario's comments came on the heels of last week's report on Ontario's pediatric forensic pa- thology system from Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Stephen Goudge. His findings, which in- cluded 169 recommendations, follow months of testimony into the actions of Dr. Charles Smith, the pathologist found to have made question- able conclusions in 20 of 45 child-death cases reviewed by the Ontario coroner. In 13 of those cases, the courts convicted those accused, many of them family members of the deceased. The report prompted an apology from Attor- ney General Chris Bentley to the families as well as a pledge to take action not only on the cases Smith may have made mistakes in but also a wider probe of more than 200 shaken-baby cases in Ontario. "It is the right thing to do to make sure that where the shadow of suspicion exists, we shed light," Bentley said at a press conference. Among Goudge's prescriptions for fixing the from six years." — Greg Richards, lawyer, WeirFoulds LLP See Joseph, page 9 system were a series of recommendations aimed at the legal profession. "As this inquiry demon- strated, pediatric forensic pathology is a complex science. Therefore, it is important to provide capable legal representation in child protection proceedings in which that science plays an im- portant role. Legal Aid Ontario should work with October 6/13, 2008 1/8/08 3:28:10 PM A.NEUMAN ASSOCIATES INC. Ontario chief coroner Andrew McCallum, left, Public Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci, middle, and Attorney General Chris Bentley react to Justice Stephen Goudge's stinging report on the province's pediatric forensic pathology system. the family law bar to ensure that proper funding is available for this purpose," Goudge wrote. Specifically, Goudge suggests the province in- in pediatric forensic pathology cases," he wrote. For Addario, those words were welcome. "I crease legal aid funding for defence lawyers who take on child-death cases. He also recommends Legal Aid Ontario not only fund expert patholo- gists to testify on behalf of the defence but that it pay rates similar to what the Crown pays. As well, Goudge wants the government to provide train- ing courses on pediatric forensic pathology. "This education should assist lawyers in developing the specialized knowledge necessary to act as counsel think Justice Goudge makes it clear that it's hard for defence counsel to engage experts because we don't have the money, or [the experts] don't want to be tainted by associating with the defence in a case where another pathologist is going to give evidence for the Crown," he says. "I think the solution to that is a more professional forensic pathology office, better oversight, and more money made available for litigating cases." See Judge, page 4 Abolition of articling 'overwhelmingly' rejected R BY ROBERT TODD Law Times rejected the abolition of articling," read a report to Convocation from the licensing and accreditation task force. "They emphasized that a competent profession requires practical training before call to the bar. Articling should not be characterized as a barrier, but rather as a core component of the licensing process." County and District Law sured the 10-months of supervised practice will remain at centre stage in a revamped licensing and ac- creditation scheme adopted by the Law Society of Upper Canada. "Respondents overwhelmingly esounding support from Ontario lawyers for the articling program has en- Presidents' Association chairman Randall Bocock says the articling program distinguishes Ontario- trained lawyers from those li- censed to practise in other parts of the country and internationally. "It has really been a hallmark TPLawTimes1CBlue fin 8/22/06 11:47 AM Page 2 of excellence in legal education," he says. "More importantly, it's a very important tool in terms of succession in the profession, and also the discharge of all practising lawyers' obligations to educate upcoming lawyers." University of Toronto Faculty of Law Dean Mayo Moran says the articling program provides a key bridge between the academic and professional wings of law in the province. "It's created a great legal pro- fession," says Moran. "I wouldn't be keen on just putting students out into the world without the support of some kind of struc- tured professional mentoring like they get in articling." The future of the articling pro- gram came into question earlier this year when the task force reported the current demand for about 1,300 articling spots is estimated to rise to 1,730 — a 30 per cent increase — by 2009. It's believed much of that increase will come from foreign-trained lawyers. The task force's consultation report also flagged the possibility of up to three new law schools in the province. (The Ontario gov- ernment has since stated it will not provide funding for those proposed institutions.) Ontario Bar Association presi- dent Jamie Trimble says, while the organization is on board with Photo: Glenn Kauth the law society on improving articling, more action is needed than LSUC has planned. He says, for example, that the law society must do more to sell young law- yers on the merits of practising outside of major centres. "There has to be an education function directed at students, not only to say this is what we expect, no guarantees in the world, but don't think of Toronto as the be all and the end all," says Trimble. "Be- cause it is a multi-faceted issue." Trimble also suggests the law society allow more than one law- yer to act as principals to a single articling student. "Think more creatively. For in- stance, in a small centre, no one lawyer may be able to pay $50,000 or $60,000 for one articling student See Articling, page 4 THE HOUSE OF HER DREAMS. Unfortunately it comes with a $10,000 nightmare. SHE JUST FOUND TitlePLUS title insurance and you, together we make real estate real simple. Visit titleplus.ca or call 1-800-410-1013 for more information Protect your clients. 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