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October 17, 2016

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Page 16 OctOber 17, 2016 • Law times www.lawtimesnews.com SMALL TORONTO FIRM WINS PRO BONO HONOUR The Bellissimo Law Group will be receiving the Law Firm Pro Bono Award from Pro Bono Ontario. Since 2012, the firm of seven lawyers — the Bellissimo Law Group — has provided pro bono help to more than 100 families who have children at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children and are also dealing with immigration issues. e firm's work includes help- ing children dealing with serious illness who are also facing deporta- tion or may have parents who are. e firm first got involved with the hospital aer Mario Bellissi- mo, the firm's founder and principal lawyer, says he toured the wards and saw what children were dealing with. "I spoke to my team and said look this is not going to be easy, but I'd like to take on these cases because, if you can imagine, while they're facing serious health issues, they're also facing deportation," he says. Bellissimo says that 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the firm's work has been pro bono since it got involved in PBO's medical-legal partner- ship with SickKids. He recalled the case of a young girl with a serious renal disease who required immediate treatment but was facing deportation to her country, where the treatment would not have been available. e To- ronto immigration firm was able to prevent her deportation so that she was able to obtain ongoing treatment from SickKids. Bellissimo knows too well what kind of strain some of these fami- lies are experiencing, having lost five of eight siblings to illness. "I knew how all-encompassing that is, when you're trying to fight a very serious health issue," he says. THREE NEW JUDGES APPOINTED TO ONTARIO COURT OF JUSTICE e Ministry of the Attorney General has appointed three new justices to the Ontario Court of Justice. Marcella Henschel, John Stuart McInnes and Christine Pirraglia have been tapped to become the newest judges at the courthouse in Newmarket, Ont. Henschel has spent more than 22 years serving as Crown counsel in Newmarket. Mc- Innes has been Crown counsel in the same jurisdiction for 16 years and Pirraglia has served as Crown attorney for North York since 2010. OSGOODE PROFESSOR RELEASES BOOK OF POEMS Kate Sutherland has momen- tarily exchanged her lawyer's robes for a poet's quill. is fall, the Osgoode Hall Law School professor released her first book of poems — How to Draw a Rhinoceros — with Bookug Publishing. e book chronicles artistic representa- tions of rhinoceroses through- out history. Sutherland got the idea for the book when she encountered an 18 th -century porcelain repre- sentation of a rhinoceros at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. e book was released Sept. 22. YES, I AGREE 69 % 31 % NO, I DO NOT AGREE LAW TIMES POLL A Law Times column stated that the Criminal Code is out- dated when it comes to people making bets related to fantasy sports. Readers were asked if betting on fantasy sports online should be legal. More than 69 per cent said yes, the law is outdated when it comes to fantasy sports and bet- ting money on the outcome of games should be perfectly legal. Almost 31 per cent said no, betting on the outcome of games should be illegal. LT u Bizarre Briefs By Viola James u The InsIde story "No, it's not a creepy clown. He's always like that the morning after one of his decisions has been reversed on appeal." VOLKSWAGEN WINS IG NOBEL PRIZE CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Volkswagen AG was honoured at this year's Ig Nobel spoof awards. The automaker was lauded in chemistry for engineering its vehicles to produce fewer emis- sions "whenever the cars are being tested." The prize, among others, was awarded for a 26th straight year at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., by a group of actual Nobel Prize winners. The spoof awards are intended to honour ac- complishments in science and humanities that make one laugh, then think. "The prizes are for something pretty unusu- al," Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Im- probable Research, and host of the awards, told Reuters. "Almost any other kind of award is for the best or worst. Best or worst is irrelevant to us." Last month, a Volkswagen engineer pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in connection with the diesel emissions cheating case, and he said he will co-operate with the U.S. Justice De- partment investigation, Reuters reported. VW in June agreed to pay up to US$16.5 billion to resolve civil litigation related to the emissions cheating, according to Reuters. The company agreed to buy back vehicles if they could not be repaired as required by U.S. and California regulators and to fund projects such as expanded electric vehicle charging networks. THE AMERICAN DREAM: GET A JOB, GET A GUN CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A roofing company in Colorado hopes the incentive of free firepow- er will attract potential employees. The prize is an AR-15, which can cost thousands of dollars. "We have four sales positions that we've got to get filled ASAP," Weatherproof Roofing owner James Webb told WTKR. Webb said he's in the middle of his busy sea- son. After his Get a Roof, Get a Gun campaign over the summer, sales have been through the roof. "We just don't have the staff to keep up with it," Webb told the TV station. "So now we're giv- ing it another shot with Get a Job, Get a Gun." Those who qualify must pass background checks, Webb said. New sales associates must get 10 roofing jobs on the books before they are eligible to get a weapon. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence sounded off about the controver- sial campaign last Tuesday. "The only thing roofers should be armed with is a nail gun," spokesman Andrew Patrick said. Webb insists no one should be alarmed. He said he's focused on "patriotism and the Sec- ond Amendment." SHE'S ON CE, TWICE, NINE TIMES A JUROR CLEVELAND, OH — Jennifer Rogers has re- ceived nine jury summons over the past 12 years. She has sat on one grand, one federal and one municipal jury. In fact, she just got off a case a little over a month ago. Rogers respects that it's her civic duty, but it's a lot of time away from work committed to being in court. "Between two or three times, I've had to say, I just served last year, and they say OK, you're excused," she told Cleveland 19 News. Administrative judge for the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court John Russo told Cleveland 19 News that people are supposed to get called about every two years. According to him, jury selection is random, with 300 names picked electronically per week based on voter registration. But Russo says there could be a glitch with addresses that would put someone's name back in the pot too soon. Another potential issue could come in fed- eral, state and municipal jury draws being sepa- rate. This means you could find yourself in a jury room for municipal court and still be eli- gible for federal court. LT Mario Bellissimo says he's pleased his firm will receive the Law Firm Pro Bono Award from Pro Bono Ontario. 40 issues a year covering Ontario's legal landscape FREE digital edition and unlimited online access to past issues FREE Canadian Legal Newswire, a weekly e-newsletter from the editors of Law Times and Canadian Lawyer Juror ruling prompts call to look at Criminal Code BY TALI FOLKINS Law Times ith the Ontario Court of Appeal having ruled on jurors' use of extrinsic informa- tion in a recent case, the president of the Criminal Lawyers' Association says it may be necessary to amend the Criminal Code in order to get a better handle on the issue. "You can't say if jurors are or are not doing this at any level that is ap- preciable because you only find out in the rare case where a juror hap- pens to mention something," says Anthony Moustacalis. "Maybe jurors really do obey the judge's instructions. In my experi- ence, it seems that they generally do. But do I really know? The an- swer is no. Maybe they're Googling stuff all the time." The only way to know for sure and assess the necessity of any changes to the jury system, accord- ing to Moustacalis, is to amend the Criminal Code to allow research- ers to interview jury members anonymously about their experi- ences. "The fact of the matter is that people are people and they might not always remember the limits of what they're allowed to do or they might stray," he says. The comments follow the ap- peal court's ruling in R. v. Farinacci, a case that demonstrated the ease with which jurors can now find information about the defendant outside of the evidence presented during the trial. In their ruling on June 3, a panel of three judges re- fused to overturn the convictions of two brothers for possession of the proceeds of crime and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. The brothers, Lucas Farinacci and Leonard Fari- nacci Jr., had argued their right to a fair trial had been compromised because jurors in the case, with the help of Google and other sources, had come across information about them that hadn't come up in court. The appeal came about as a result of a chance event at a coffee shop. Prior to sentencing but after the brothers' conviction, someone at the coffee shop overheard one of the ju- rors, in a conversation with a friend, mention that another me mber of Zero-tolerance conundrum Lawyers say pendulum has swung too far against accused in domestic violence cases BY TALI FOLKINS Law Times he justice system has taken the idea of zero toler- ance in domestic assault to such an extreme that it's unfair to defendants and no longer works in the best interests of Ontario families, says a 40- year veteran of criminal law. It's an opinion, however, vociferously opposed by at least one lawyer who helps victims of domestic violence. Leo Adler, of Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, says the issue of domestic assault has become "political football" over the last 25 to 30 years with largely undesirable results. While Adler emphasizes he doesn't want to diminish the tragedy of family violence, he says the situation has now reached a point where police called to family violence situa- tions are unduly afraid to release the defendant even in cases that don't appear serious. "Nobody wants to be the person who says, 'O.K., I'm going to release you,' because you might be the one in a million or whatever the statistic is who might end up killing your spouse," says Adler. "In a lot of these cases, there's no sign of violence, there's no sign of anything having occurred. You simply have the word of the complainant. And the person gets arrested and I can tell you that again in the majority of cases, the police don't even bother to try to take a statement from the accused, usually the male. . . . They don't ask because it doesn't make a difference because they're going to arrest you no matter what." Bail hearings in domestic violence cases, he says, are "a l- ways run on the presumption of guilt" and, if the court does grant bail, it's generally under strict conditions with the de- fendant required to live with a surety. The result, according to Adler, is often a divided family with the added financial strain OBA LAUDED Association honoured for mental-health efforts P4 CAMPAIGN SPENDING Bencher candidate calls for expense limits P6 FOCUS ON Legal Innovation 'In a lot of these cases, there's no sign of violence, there's no sign of anything having occurred,' says Leo Adler. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Silence, page 2 See Bail, page 2 There's no way to know if jurors are doing their own research on cases, says Anthony Moustacalis. PM #40762529 & $#&!& t7PM/P Follow LAW TIMES on www.twitter.com/lawtimes L AW TIMES T W Juror ruling prompts call to look at Criminal Code BY TALI FOLKINS Law Times ith the Ontario Court of Appeal having ruled on jurors' use of extrinsic informa- tion in a recent case, the president of the Criminal Lawyers' Association says it may be necessary to amend the Criminal Code in order to get a better handle on the issue. "You can't say if jurors are or are not doing this at any level that is ap- preciable because you only find out in the rare case where a juror hap- pens to mention something," says Anthony Moustacalis. "Maybe jurors really do obey the judge's instructions. In my experi- ence, it seems that they generally do. But do I really know? The an- swer is no. Maybe they're Googling stuff all the time." The only way to know for sure and assess the necessity of any changes to the jury system, accord- ing to Moustacalis, is to amend the Criminal Code to allow research- ers to interview jury members anonymously about their experi- ences. "The fact of the matter is that people are people and they might not always remember the limits of what they're allowed to do or they might stray," he says. The comments follow the ap- peal court's ruling in R. v. Farinacci, a case that demonstrated the ease with which jurors can now find information about the defendant outside of the evidence presented during the trial. In their ruling on June 3, a panel of three judges re- fused to overturn the convictions of two brothers for possession of the proceeds of crime and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. The brothers, Lucas Farinacci and Leonard Fari- nacci Jr., had argued their right to a fair trial had been compromised because jurors in the case, with the help of Google and other sources, had come across information about them that hadn't come up in court. The appeal came about as a result of a chance event at a coffee shop. Prior to sentencing but after the brothers' conviction, someone at the coffee shop overheard one of the ju- rors, in a conversation with a friend, mention that another me mber of Zero-tolerance conundrum Lawyers say pendulum has swung too far against accused in domestic violence cases BY TALI FOLKINS Law Times he justice system has taken the idea of zero toler- ance in domestic assault to such an extreme that it's unfair to defendants and no longer works in the best interests of Ontario families, says a 40- year veteran of criminal law. It's an opinion, however, vociferously opposed by at least one lawyer who helps victims of domestic violence. Leo Adler, of Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, says the issue of domestic assault has become "political football" over the last 25 to 30 years with largely undesirable results. While Adler emphasizes he doesn't want to diminish the tragedy of family violence, he says the situation has now reached a point where police called to family violence situa- tions are unduly afraid to release the defendant even in cases that don't appear serious. "Nobody wants to be the person who says, 'O.K., I'm going to release you,' because you might be the one in a million or whatever the statistic is who might end up killing your spouse," says Adler. "In a lot of these cases, there's no sign of violence, there's no sign of anything having occurred. You simply have the word of the complainant. And the person gets arrested and I can tell you that again in the majority of cases, the police don't even bother to try to take a statement from the accused, usually the male. . . . They don't ask because it doesn't make a difference because they're going to arrest you no matter what." Bail hearings in domestic violence cases, he says, are "a l- ways run on the presumption of guilt" and, if the court does grant bail, it's generally under strict conditions with the de- fendant required to live with a surety. The result, according to Adler, is often a divided family with the added financial strain OBA LAUDED Association honoured for mental-health efforts P4 CAMPAIGN SPENDING Bencher candidate calls for expense limits P6 FOCUS ON Legal Innovation P8 'In a lot of these cases, there's no sign of violence, there's no sign of anything having occurred,' says Leo Adler. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Silence, page 2 See Bail, page 2 There's no way to know if jurors are doing their own research on cases, says Anthony Moustacalis. PM #40762529 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec t7PM/P +VOF Follow LAW TIMES on www.twitter.com/lawtimes L AW TIMES T W Subscribe to Law Times today for $199* and receive: Canlawyer.lawtimes@thomsonreuters.com | 416.609.3800 | 1.800.387.5164 Access a free preview at: bitly.com/LawTimes-FreePreview Order online at: www.lawtimesnews.com/subscribe *Plus applicable taxes How the legal community in Ontario gets its news @lawtimes Untitled-5 1 2016-10-12 10:23 AM

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