Law Times

Dec 3, 2012

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

PAINFUL UPHEAVAL BILINGUAL JUDGES Future candidates may face assessment $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 39 P3 FOCUS ON Provincial Tories looking to shake up legal landscape P7 l Aw TIMes ADR CO V E R I N G O N TA R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W. L AW T I M E S N E W S . CO M ntitled-2 1 P9 December 3, 2012 7/7/11 9:10:05 AM Mattson sues police Lawyers honing skills through improv for Tim Hortons arrest BY YAMRI TADDESE Law Times A prominent Kitchener, Ont., lawyer says "a lingering odour of malcontent" over his arrest for obstruction of justice at a Tim Hortons in 2010 has prompted him to launch a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against local police. "It may have been done differently and there may never have been charges laid had there been a thorough investigation," says Hal Mattson of his treatment by police on the afternoon of Nov. 8, 2010. That's when police arrested him inside a Kitchener Tim Hortons across the street from the court for allegedly convincing a witness to withhold information during a preliminary hearing in a criminal case. Superior Court Justice John Sproat tossed the case against Mattson in May, saying it would require him to undertake "impermissible speculation." Mattson, who once represented convicted killer Michael Rafferty, is suing for $5.5 million for wrongful arrest, detention, confinement, and assault by police. Mattson's statement of claim says Waterloo Regional Police Service officers "arrested the plaintiff in circumstances where they knew or ought to have known that no criminal offence had been committed." The lawyer also says police held him unnecessarily for 3-1/2 hours before releasing him on a promise to appear. Mattson is seeking $2 million in damages for defamation, $1 million in special damages, $2 million for breach of constitutional rights, and another $500,000 in punitive damages. In addition, Mattson wants compensation for the cost of pursuing the lawsuit. The arresting officers were acting out of malice, the claim states. The lawsuit names the Waterloo regional police services board, seven officers, and police chief Matt Torigian as defendants. Waterloo Regional Police Service spokesman Olaf Heinzel could only say the police board is preparing its defence. "The matter has been referred to the police board's legal counsel and they're dealing with the matter," he says. See Mattson, page 2 Tommy Galan, centre, taught the benefits of improv to lawyers at the Osgoode Professional Development Centre in Toronto last Wednesday. Galan, director of corporate programming at The Peoples Improv Theatre in New York City, led participants in classic improv exercises and drills to hone their skills as lawyers. Among those learning to actively listen, stay in the moment, and deal with the unexpected were Brauti Photo: Laura Pedersen Thorning Zibarras LLP associate John Philpott, left, and Stacey Stevens, partner at Thomson Rogers. OLAP not going quietly as LSUC finds replacement For Law Times T The Law Society of Upper Canada and the Ontario Lawyers' Assistance Program have had a difficult relationship for some time. Childview_LT_Dec3_12.indd 1 he Law Society of Upper Canada's recent choice of a third-party provider to replace the Ontario Lawyers' Assistance Program may avoid leaving up to 800 recovering lawyers stranded without help for their personal problems, but the organization left on the sidelines by the move isn't going out quietly. "We are in the process of formulating a proposal to the provider because we believe that no thirdparty, for-profit organization can do what we do," says former Ontario assistant deputy attorney general and OLAP chairman Rod McLeod, who himself is a recovering lawyer of some 20 years. "The reason we're addressing the provider is because we've tried to talk to the law society but they won't deal with us in any productive way." In late September, benchers voted to terminate funding for OLAP as of Dec. 31. At the staff level, however, the decision appears to have been made in June. LSUC chief executive officer Robert Lapper tells Law Times that organizational health and employee wellness provider Homewood Human Solutions will operate and expand the law society's member assistance program that's currently administered by OLAP. But whether the transition goes smoothly remains to be seen as it comes on the heels of two years of acrimony between the LSUC and OLAP. "They treat us like we're aliens," says a source close to OLAP. "As they say in the movies, we get no respect." However that may be, the problem isn't with the quality of service that OLAP provides. "We understand that OLAP has done some great work," Lapper says. But he adds that the time has come for the LSUC to provide a broader range of services staffed by a more diverse population that reflects the new demographics of the profession. "We also need more face-to-face locations and online facilities," he says. PM #40762529 BY JULIUS MELNITZER See AON, page 2 12-11-26 11:24 AM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - Dec 3, 2012