Law Times

October 30, 2017

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Page 16 OctOber 30, 2017 • Law times www.lawtimesnews.com CROSS-EXAMINATION CONTROVERSY A sensational Toronto murder trial this week is drawing atten- tion to the issue of self-represented defendants in the court and their ability to cross-examine witnesses in sensitive circumstances. In this case, Dellen Millard has chosen to represent himself in the murder of Laura Babcock, a 23-year-old Toronto woman and Millard's purported girlfriend, who disap- peared in 2012. In court this week, Millard cross-examined Babcock's father as well as a former boyfriend on the witness stand. The ability for Millard, Babcock's accused killer, to conduct his own cross-examinations of the victim's close family members raises questions about the viability of applications under s. 486.3(2) of the Criminal Code. That subsection stipulates, "In any proceedings against an ac- cused, on application of the prosecutor or a witness, the accused shall not personally cross-examine the witness if the judge or justice is of the opinion that . . . the accused should not person- ally cross-examine the witness." As the Babcock case is before the courts, the Crown was not able to confirm that such an application had been made. But a Toronto defence lawyer say it was certainly called for in this case. "In my view, a 486.3 application is mandated here," says Toronto defence lawyer David Butt, who previously worked as a Crown pros- ecutor for 13 years. He also says "it would have been a good idea if . . . the judge granted it." HIGH PAY AND HEALTH OUTCOMES The more lawyers get paid, the more likely they are to experi- ence depression, dissatisfaction with their career choice and work-life balance conf lict. In a presentation at the Ac- tion Group on Access To Justice's Access to Justice Week, University of Toronto sociology professors Ronit Di- novitzer and PhD student Jon- athan Koltai discussed their recent work and the imperative for the legal community to meet challenges it faces in mental health. In the presentation, the sociologists said lawyers experi- ence higher risk of mental illness and addiction. APPEAL DISMISSED A concert organizer who ac- cused a Superior Court of Justice judge of offending his indigenous culture when he ruled against him had his appeal dismissed last week, with the ruling going in favour of Jann Arden and her talent agencies. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed Jean-Paul Gauthier's appeal. Gauthier had sued Jann Ar- den, The Feldman Agency and Bruce Allen Talent Agen- cy after illness prevented Arden from playing at the Harvest Picnic Festival near Hamilton. YES, I AGREE 11 % 89 % NO, I DO NOT AGREE LAW TIMES POLL In this week's poll, the Law Society of Upper Canada is requiring all licensed lawyers to write a statement of principles acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion. We asked readers if they agreed with this measure. Eighty-nine per cent said no, this was heavy-handed and overbearing. Eleven per cent said yes, this will encourage better equality, diversity and inclusion in the profession. LT u Bizarre Briefs By Viola James u The InsIde story David Butt says a 486.3 application 'would have been a good idea' in the Babcock murder trial. TINDER FOR CRIMINALS PENNSYLVANIA — A university engineering department has developed what amounts to a Tinder app for criminals — a computer pro- gram that matches inmates with suitable pris- ons, according to the Associated Press. The software has saved the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections about US$3 million in its first year. Officials said it has resulted in fewer prison assaults, shortened wait times for treatment programs by nearly two months, re- duced the number of prison transfers and light- ened the workload of corrections staff. Previously, corrections staff handled pris- oner assignments one at a time, a long and in- efficient process that meant inmates farther down the list were at a disadvantage when it came to placement in high-demand treatment programs. The software, in contrast, can assign hun- dreds of inmates simultaneously, taking into account dozens of factors including age and other inmate demographics, criminal history, mental illness and educational and vocational interests to come up with the most appropri- ate placement for each inmate. It also identifies gang members as well as inmates most likely to be violent and separates them, reducing the threat at individual prisons. 'GOOD RIDDANCE' TO CALGARY FRAUDSTER The Calgary man wanted on fraud and mis- chief charges for soliciting donations after claiming he was injured by barbed wire strung across a mountain bike trail may be hiding out in Europe, reports the CBC. Social media posts have surfaced in which Stelianos Psaroudakis — wanted on an arrest warrant after skipping court last week — appears to mock police, say- ing he's f led to Germany and is never returning to Canada to face the charges against him. RCMP are aware of the posts but say they're not particularly worried if Psaroudakis is, in- deed, gone for good. "We have not confirmed whether or not he did leave the country, but if he did — good rid- dance," Cpl. Curtis Peters said. The charges against Psaroudakis relate to a July incident in which he told police and re- porters he had been clotheslined by barbed wire strung deliberately at neck height along a popu- lar mountain bike trail near Bragg Creek, about 35 kilometres southwest of Calgary. Psaroudakis then used the media attention to solicit donations online, but the crowdfund- ing platform GoFundMe froze his account after questions were raised about the authenticity of his story. LOOK UNDER THE MATTRESS! A Brazilian whose arrest led U.S. authorities to discover US$17 million hidden under a mat- tress pleaded guilty recently to charges that he tried to launder funds tied to one of the largest pyramid schemes ever, according to Reuters. Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, who prosecutors said tried to help get money out of the United States that a co-founder of TelexFree Inc left be- hind when he f led the country, entered his plea in federal court in Boston. Rocha, who pled guilty to conspiracy and money-laundering charges, is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7. While the charges each carry up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a 40-month term based on his co-operation. The 28-year-old's case stemmed from an in- vestigation of TelexFree, a Massachusetts-based company that sold voice-over-internet tele- phone service and was founded by James Mer- rill, a U.S. citizen, and Carlos Wanzeler, a Bra- zilian. Prosecutors said TelexFree was a pyra- mid scheme, making little to no money selling its service while taking in millions of dollars from thousands of people who paid to sign up to be "promoters" and post ads online for it. TelexFree collapsed in 2014, inf licting more than US$3 billion in losses on nearly 1.89 mil- lion people worldwide, prosecutors said. LT "I hear they all got great, defined benefit pension plans." © 2015 Stewart. All rights reserved. We put legal professionals front and centre and we put our efforts into keeping real estate transactions where they belong – in your office. Learn more about our level of support, call (888) 667-5151 or visit stewart.ca. Ally Untitled-2 1 2017-10-24 2:31 PM

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