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July 23, 2012

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JUDICIAL PRAISE Inquiry head 'stern but extremely fair' P4 MENTAL HEALTH $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 24 ntitled-2 1 Covering ontario's legal sCene • www.lawtimesnews.Com 7/7/11 9:10:05 AM L AW TIMES Firms should foster athlete in every lawyer P7 BY SIOBHAN McCLELLAND For Law Times damages in human rights cases. The tribunal previously awarded $30,000 to the T he Divisional Court has set aside a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision and found two principals of a now-defunct com- pany liable for compensation in a marathon case that considers individuals' liability for complainant, Kathrine Farris, aſter finding her former employer, Staubach Ontario Inc., liable for engaging in sexual discrimination and creating a poisoned work environment. But the tribunal ordered compensation only from Staubach, which is no longer operating. As a result, Farris had no effective remedy as she wasn't able to go aſter the individuals employed by the company even though the tribunal found them liable as well. In a ruling on June 29, the Divisional Court set aside the tribunal's decision not to award joint-and-several li- ability against Harry McKeague and Michel Leonard, who are not only managers and principals but also the only two shareholders of the holding company of Stau- bach. The decision may allow Farris to obtain compen- sation and has the potential to open the door for com- plainants to go aſter the owners and shareholders of defunct companies for human rights violations. "I think it' as a shield against individual liability," says Barbara Hall, s just a corporation that's found s important that corporate liability not act chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Com- mission. "Sometimes, it' liable, but in this case, the finding was very clear about the individual liability of the managers. Yet when it came 'I think it's important that corporate liability not act as a shield against individual liability,' says Barbara Hall. Photo: Laura Pedersen ntitled-4 1 FOCUS ON Forensics/Private Investigators P9 July 23, 2012 12-03-20 10:44 A Ruling in marathon human rights case overturned Divisional Court holds managers liable after victim left without remedy to damages, [the individuals] were not included and we believe they all should be liable. responsibility for their actions that are contrary to the code. bach in 1997. During her employment, she learned of rumours circulating that she was having an affair with McKeague. The tribunal noted the rumours were false and demeaning and related directly to Farris' gender. The tribunal also found other Staubach employees Farris began working as a real estate agent for Stau- " referred to Farris using terms that disparaged her on the basis of her sex, including calling her a "bitch," "Farrasite, "psycho," "crazy," and "HSC" (an acronym for "hateful " spiteful cunt"). Farris reported concerns about her work environ- ment to her managers, McKeague and Leonard, but the harassment continued. The company fired Farris in 2003 on a without-cause basis. The tribunal released its decision on May 20, 2011. a clear message to everyone, complainants as well as respondents, that people do have obligations under the code, corporate as well as individual. Hall adds: "The process is about making people take " In her view, the Divisional Court decision "sends " It found Farris had been subjected to a poisoned work environment and that management had failed to take adequate steps to deal with it. It also found Farris was ter- minated contrary to the Human Rights Code. While the tribunal ordered Staubach to pay $30,000, it didn't hold McKeague and Leonard jointly and sever- ally liable. The tribunal was aware that Staubach hadn't been operating since November 2004. "I think it' Man who threatened hung jury not guilty BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times A man avoid jury duty last year didn't ob- struct justice, the Ontario Court of Justice has ruled. The court ruled in R. v. Triffon that despite Louis Triffon's vow to himself as a racist and threatened to create a hung jury in order to create a hung jury in a separate ju- dicial proceeding, his actions were a threat rather than an actual obstruc- tion of justice. "Mr. Triffon is charged with at- who described that in announcing that he would be an unfit juror prior to coming before a judge for the actual selection of a jury, he obstructed the jury selection process. There is no evidence that the selection of any jury was imped- ed by what he said and did. March 2011 at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. In April 2011, a month before Triffon was called for jury duty in " tempting to obstruct justice, not with actually obstructing it," wrote Justice Joseph Bovard in a July 5 rul- ing. "In any case, I am not persuaded his scheduled appearance in court for jury duty, he sent a circular to the Toronto Sun describing how to get even with the Ontario government and its courts. In the circular, Triffon said he s decision noted. Triffon also said he' when he appeared for jury duty. "The courts? The police? Elected d hand out the circular in court officials? Bureaucrats? Did they ever make you so mad you wanted to get even? This is your chance, and you'll never have another chance like this as long as you live, mind and didn't circulate it in court. The Sun didn't publish the circular. Several days aſter sending the Triffon ultimately changed his " the circular read. intended to create a hung jury and would counsel other jury mem- bers to do so to "get even" with the provincial government, Bovard' circular to the Sun, Triffon also wrote an e-mail to the Ministry of the Attorney General saying he had a grudge against the court sys- tem dating back 20 years, Bovard noted in his decision. In addition, Triffon declared he was "racist and unfit for jury service" in the e-mail, A DAILY BLOGOF CANADIAN LEGAL NEWS [WWW.CANADIANLAWYERMAG.COM/LEGALFEEDS ] LegalFeeds-BB-LT-Apr23-12.indd 1 12-04-16 11:56 AM demanded the ministry cancel his jury duty, and threatened to create a hung jury if it refused to do so. Scott Hutchison, a partner at Stockwoods LLP in Toronto, says while it' attempt to avoid jury duty, Triffon likely believed what he was saying. "I think in this case, it looks as s not unusual for jurors to though the Crown saw him as an ex- treme example of that," says Hutchi- son in reference to people who try to get out of jury duty. "It sounds like he probably did s really important that the tribunal takes See Case, page 5 believe everything he claimed rather than it being a case of him simply trying to get out of jury duty. So he probably wasn't trying to obstruct justice but simply was saying, 'I'm not going to be fit to be a See Triffon, page 5 CANADIAN LAWYER & LAW TIMES POWERED BY Pm #40762529

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