Law Times

January 28, 2019

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Page 15 of 15 LAW TIMES 16 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE | JANUARY 28, 2019 CABL ELECTS NEW LEADERS Toronto lawyer Lori Anne Thomas has been elected to lead the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, the group an- nounced on Jan. 23. "I am honoured to be follow- ing in the steps of those I admired since law school," said Thomas, who practises at Thomas De- fence Criminal Trials & Ap- peals, in an online posting. Thomas succeeds Shawn Richard, who practises at Len- kinski Family Law & Media- tion PC in Toronto and remains on the board as immediate past president. Other Ontario lawyers with leadership roles in the group include: vice president Gordon Cudjoe, a lawyer at Legal Aid Ontario; sec- retary Raphael Tachie, senior counsel at TD in Toronto; treasurer Joshua Abaki, an associate in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP; Ottawa Chapter president Stéphane MonPremier, founder of MonPremier PC; communications director Kyle El- liott, a staff lawyer at Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto; director of professional development Thelson Desamour of Walk- er Law; and director of membership Omar Ha-Redeye, a lawyer at Fleet Street Law in Toronto. LAO SEEKS CHAIRPERSON Legal Aid Ontario opened an application for a full-time chairper- son on Jan. 7, with a deadline of Jan. 31, according to an advertisement by the Ontario government. A successful candidate would serve an initial term of two or three years, provide guidance to members of the board, establish a board schedule and meet with the attorney general's office, the job posting said. The application is posted online at Home/Advertisement/71. FIRMS FEAR LOSING TOP LAWYERS About 94 per cent of lawyers are "concerned with losing top perform- ers to other opportunities," according to a survey of 150 Canadian lawyers conducted by staffing agency and consulting firm Robert Half Legal. Thirty-eight per cent of respondents said in the survey that a shortage of qualified candidates is "the greatest challenge their law firm/company faces when hiring." About 40 per cent of law firms said they plan to expand their legal team in the first half of the year, with privacy, data security and infor- mation law expected to be top hiring areas. The survey was conducted online with full-time lawyers who were either sole practitioners, worked in corporate legal departments with 1,000 or more employees or in firms of 20 or more employees. LAW TIMES POLL Ontario lawyers and bencher contenders recently told Law Times they are hoping that proposed new rules for alternative business structures limit the corporate inf luence on lawyers. Law Times asked readers if this issue, which would affect non-profits and charities, would be a factor in the upcoming elec- tion for benchers at the Law So- ciety of Ontario. A majority of respondents, 70 per cent, said it would not inf lu- ence their votes, as they thought there were other issues of greater significance facing the profession. A minority of respondents, 30 per cent, said the ABS issue will inf luence their votes. LT The Inside Story BY VIOL A JAMES 70 % NO, I DO NOT AGREE 30 % YES, I AGREE BAN ON PROFANITY WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court will decide on whether barring profanity in brand names and logos constitutes a violation on freedom of speech rights, reports Reuters. The case involves designer Erik Brunetti's fashion brand, which, when uttered, resembles profanity. Brunetti had at- tempted to trademark the name with the U.S. Patent and Trade- mark Office in 2014, but he was denied. The claim was that "the trademark would be perceived as equivalent to the profanity it sounds like," reports Reuters. The grounds for the dismissal lie in a federal law that prohibits trademarks for brand names or logos bearing profane words or sexual imagery. The case was first brought to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which passed a decision in favour of Brunetti, stating that the ban "impermissibly discriminates based on content in violation of the First Amendment," reports Reuters. Now the office is an seeking appeal of that de- cision at the level of the Su- preme Court. According to Reuters, trademarking brand names and logos, no matter how vulgar, pro- tects against copying and gives companies grounds for lawsuits. NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN GEORGETOWN, Tex. — A town in Texas is getting creative in the way it deals with speeders. Earlier this month, the William- son County Police Department announced its newest traffic law enforcer via Twitter, a cardboard cut-out police deputy, reports Fox 7 Austin. According to sheriff Robert Chody, the police department's plan is to "keep the community somewhat guessing" by placing these cut-outs in various neigh- bourhoods. Police had already witnessed drivers slowing down after they had placed a few of the cut-outs in school zones as tests. The de- partment plans on establishing the cut-outs all around town, either patrolling the streets inde- pendently or accompanied by a real deputy. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION GLADSTONE, Ore. — A man in Oregon is facing multiple charges after trying to steal a bi- cycle from right outside a police station, according to ABC News. Adam Valle was apprehended by Gladstone police after they observed the 26-year-old sus- pect's attempted theft on sur- veillance video within the office. Valle was wearing a mask over his face when he allegedly tried to cut the lock securing a bike to a rack with bolt cutters. The rack was situated just underneath the Gladstone Police Department sign. Valle is charged "with theft, criminal mischief and felon in possession of weapons" in connection with the incident, reports ABC News. He was re- leased shortly after his arrest and awaits a court trial. BAN ON DANCING LIFTED ENCINITAS, Calif. — Like a scene straight out of the movie Footloose, a ban on dancing at one particular restaurant in Encinitas, Calif. has been lifted after almost a year and a half, re- ports Del Mar Times. Mr. Peabody's Bar & Grill, a family-run establishment 30 minutes outside of San Diego, had offered live music for 18 years. But a September 2017 city crackdown on alcohol-related is- sues such as "noise and public in- toxication" left the owners of the restaurant with a US$3,000 fine for allowing dancing, reported Del Mar Times. Since then, the owners had to consistently ask customers to stop any form of dancing, in- cluding "swaying," as classic rock and jazz groups would perform at the restaurant five days a week. The Encinitas Planning Commission recently approved a modified permit that would allow dancing and increased the number of days the restaurant could host live music. SCHWIMMER LOOKALIKE SKIPS COURT LONDON — A lookalike for Amercian actor David Schwim- mer has been arrested after failing to appear in court "over allegations of theft and fraud," reports the BBC. Abdulah Husseini had alleg- edly stolen various items from a restaurant in Lancashire, Eng- land on Sept. 20, including a coat, phone and wallet. The 36-year-old man made headlines late last year after Lan- cashire police posted a CCTV image of the suspect stealing a tray of beers, among other items, from a shop in Blackpool. His resemblance to the Friends actor was quickly point- ed out and further prompted Schwimmer to defend his hon- our on Twitter with "proof " that he was in New York at the time of the theft. Husseini was due to appear in court for a hearing in Blackpool, but he never showed up. Police then issued a warrant for his arrest and he was appre- hended by Metropolitan police in Wimbledon, south-west Lon- don last week. Husseini is due to appear in court this month, reports the BBC. MCDONALDS LOSES RIGHTS TO BIG MAC IRELAND — McDonald's has lost its rights to the Big Mac tradename in the European Union in a case involving an Irish chain restaurant by the name of Supermac's, reports The Guardian. According to the newspaper, the legal battle ensued after Mc- Donalds attempted to stif le the Galway-based restaurant's ex- pansion in the European Union over concerns its name was too similar to that of its iconic burg- er, the Big Mac. The global fast food company had trademarked the name in 1996. However, the European Union Intellectual Property Of- fice ruled that it failed to make proper use of it in Europe. The decision will revoke the registration by McDonald's of the Big Mac trademark in the European Union, freeing up the name for all to use without reprisal. LT Lori Anne Thomas is now president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers. Bizarre Briefs Legal News at Your Fingertips Sign up for the Canadian Legal Newswire today for free and enjoy great content from the publishers of Canadian Lawyer, Law Times, Canadian Lawyer InHouse and Lexpert. Visit THE LATEST NEWS THE BEST COMMENTARY DELIVERED WEEKLY FOR READING ON ANY DEVICE Untitled-2 1 2019-01-22 2:25 PM CREDIT: BERAD/SHUTTERSTOCK

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