Law Times

February 22, 2016

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Convicted lawyer may gain pardon MICHAEL MCKIERNAN For Law Times A disbarred lawyer will get a new shot at a pardon for his criminal fraud convictions after a Fed- eral Court judge ruled the Parole Board of Canada acted unreason- ably in denying him one. Harold Spring, who had his li- cence to practise law revoked in 1987 by the Law Society of Upper Canada, served more than a year in jail for crimes committed between 1985 and 1993, before turning his life around and building a success- ful career in the real estate business. Spring applied for a pardon, now known as a record suspen- sion, in late 2010, but he was ulti- mately denied four years later when a parole board member concluded that granting one in his case would "likely bring the administration of justice into disrepute." However, in a Jan. 26 judgment, Federal Court Justice Patrick Gleeson concluded that the short- age of detail in the parole board decision meant that it "lacks trans- parency and intelligibility and is unreasonable." "The Court and the applicant have been left with a decision that denies the application for a record suspension but does not address why," Justice Gleeson added, or- dering the matter back to the pa- role board for redetermination before a different decision-maker. Breese Davies, a vice-president of the Criminal Lawyers' Associa- tion, welcomed the decision. "Having a criminal record is a significant burden, as our courts have recognized over and over again. There is a lot about the post-conviction process that is not transparent, but this will force the parole board to ensure that appli- cants understand why they've been denied," she says. "It's not enough to simply assert that public confi- dence in the administration of jus- tice would be eroded by granting a pardon; now they must articulate what it is about this particular case that leads them to that conclusion." The Parole Board of Canada was given the ability to reject par- dons that would bring the admin- Appeal court upholds award to contractors Ruling vital for large and fragile portion of working population: counsel NEIL ETIENNE Law Times A recent Appeal Court of Ontario decision is impor- tant for vulnerable workers in non-standard em- ployment relationships, says a lawyer involved in the case. In Keenan v. Canac Kitchens Ltd., 2016, the appeal court upheld a 26-month award without exceptional cir- cumstances for two dependant contractors. It is the largest such award in Ontario for dismissal without notice, according to the plaintiffs' counsel Bram Lecker, of Lecker and Associates. Lecker says the ruling is a vital one for a large and fragile portion of the working population. "They [the Ontario Court of Appeal] reasserted the fact dependant contractors are alive and well in Ontario," Lecker says. "These are vulnerable workers; these are hy- brid, in-between positions, and there wasn't a good deci- sion for 20 to 30 years that looked exclusively at the depen- dant contractor determination." In Keenan v. Canac Kitchens, 2015, the Superior Court of Justice had ruled the married duo of Marilyn and Lawrence Keenan were dependant contractors of Canac Kitchens. Canac asserted the Keenans were independent contrac- tors because they were paid by invoice rather than salary and had subcontractors reporting to them. The Keenans, through Lecker, successfully argued to the Superior Court they were wrongfully dismissed by Canac. MENTORING LSUC launches new program P3 FAMILY LAW REVIEW Initiative aims to improve access to justice P5 FOCUS ON Family Law/Trusts & Estates P8 See Disbarred, page 4 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 27, No.6 February 22, 2016 L AW TIMES 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 See Decision, page 2 Bram Lecker says a recent Appeal Court of Ontario ruling is important for vulnerable workers in non-standard employment relationships. Photo: Robin Kuniski ARE YOU RECEIVING CANADIAN LEGAL NEWSWIRE? Keep abreast of essential late-breaking legal news and developments with our electronic newswire. VISIT OUR WEBSITE WWW.CANADIANLAWYERMAG.COM AND LOOK UNDER "LINKS" SIGN UP FOR FREE From the publisher of and CanLegalNewswire_LT_Feb22_16.indd 1 2016-02-17 10:02 AM DM Tools Cloud For details, visit www.divorcemate.com. Work anywhere, anytime, on any device. ntitled-2 1 2015-11-04 9:23 AM & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM Breese Davies says a criminal record is a bur- den, and welcomes a Federal Court decision where a disbarred lawyer may be able to obtain a pardon.

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