Law Times

July 9, 2012

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LEGAL ALTERNATIVES P4 Is profession ready for major changes? SUPPORT VARIATION Evidence key to successful applications FOCUS ON P7 Legal Specialists & Boutiques P11 $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 23 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE • WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM L AW TIMES T BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times Justice Department is looking for millions in savings. Association president Lisa Blais made the announce- he Association of Justice Counsel has reached a tentative agreement with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat that will spike the wages of roughly 2,700 federal Crown counsel by 12 per cent in the same year the ment late last month in a letter to members that trum- peted "yet another high watermark" in its rocky road to a collective agreement with the government. The agreement will result in an overall 15.25-per- cent increase in federal Crown counsel wages from May 2011 to May 2014. It includes an anticipated 12-per- cent increase in 2013 alone. The deal also provides for a 1.5-per-cent increase this year on top of a 1.75-per-cent boost last year. If ratified by the association' next several weeks, the tentative agreement could sig- nificantly raise the salaries of federal lawyers from the current average. In 2010, that number was $106,000, according to the association. The agreement also comes at a time when federal s members within the 'This tentative agreement will have a significant impact on all our members,' says Lisa Blais. Photo: Jean Levac budgets are decreasing across the board. Recently, hundreds of Department of Justice employees received notices of upcoming layoffs over the next three years. At the same time, youth justice programs in Canada are on the chopping block following funding cuts of $35.6 million. Despite the cuts, Blais insists the salary increases are necessary for federal Crowns who haven't seen a significant wage hike in nearly 20 years. "This tentative agreement will have a significant impact certainly an important and significant occasion in our his- tory amid a particularly difficult climate and, hopefully, it will be ratified by our members." Members of the association will vote on the tentative s on all our members," says Blais. "It closes what has virtually been a 20-year wage free fall and corrects that inequity. It' Federal Crowns to get 15.25% pay boost ntitled-4 1 Tentative deal increases wages despite cutbacks across departments agreement over the next few weeks with results expect- ed as early as August. The association reached the tentative agreement with the board on June 25. If ratified, the deal would see pay ranges for federal Crown counsel converted to lockstep pay ranges with fixed steps by May 2013. Lawyers who aren't at the top of the range will move to the next highest step on the new lockstep pay range as part of the agreement. If members don't ratify the deal, the parties will set new arbitration dates. The agreement follows a constitutional challenge of the wage-restraint provisions of the Expenditure Restraint Act launched by the association in 2010 related to the 2006-07 fiscal year. The Superior Court of Justice ruled last year that the act was unconstitutional on the basis that it violated federal lawyers' and pros- ecutors' right to bargain collectively. The federal government introduced the act during July 9, 2012 12-03-20 10:44 A the worldwide economic collapse in 2009. It capped increases for federal workers at roughly nine per cent over five years from 2006. That was the same year the association became the federal lawyers' union. At that time, federal Crown counsel earned slightly declare the entire act unconstitutional following an appeal of the Superior Court' and at the provincial Ministry of the Attorney General. In the meantime, the association has filed a cross appeal to more than $100,000 a year, an amount significantly less than what other lawyers make in both the private sector The Court of Appeal is also considering an appeal by the attorney general over a decision awarding costs of $135,000 to s decision by the attorney general last year. See Deal, page 2 Lawyer facing criminal charges consents to suspension A Lawyer Kenneth James appeared at the Law Society of Upper Canada last week. BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times offi ce last month is out on bail and has consented to the suspension of his licence. Kenneth James appeared be- 71-year-old Toronto- area lawyer facing crim- inal charges following a police search at his law tion of the criminal charges and a separate matter involving a series of allegedly fraudulent mortgage transactions under investigation by the law society. "Mr. James is willing to co-oper- and a residence located at 76 Wil- lowridge Rd. in Etobicoke on June 7. Police have charged him with fore a three-member hearing panel at the Law Society of Upper Canada in downtown Toronto on July 4 wearing dark denim jeans and a light cotton shirt with his lawyer, Scott Bergman. During the hearing, James consented to the suspension of his licence. Th e suspension will re- main in place pending the resolu- ate fully in the interest of the public and has taken the necessary steps to ensure that the accounts in ques- tion are handed over to the appro- priate bodies," Bergman told the law society hearing panel on July 4. Police allege James, an experi- enced real estate lawyer at James and Associates, laundered sev- eral million dollars in proceeds of crime through his law offi ce in Concord, Ont. Th e RCMP executed search warrants at James and Associates at 3100 Steeles Ave. W. in Concord possession of the proceeds of crime, laundering the proceeds of crime, and fraud over $5,000. Th e charges followed a 24-month probe that began in June of 2010 as a result of an international drug investigation, the RCMP said last month. None of the allegations have been proven in court. According to a notice of appli- cation fi led by the law society in May 2010, it' in relation to a series of allegedly fraudulent mortgage transactions at 12 locations in the Greater Toronto Area. Th e law society has yet to set a hearing date for the matter related to the mortgage transactions. LT s investigating James www.lawtimesnews.com Childview_LT_Jan24_11.indd 1 1/19/11 11:04:05 AM PM #40762529

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