Law Times

April 1, 2019

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LAW TIMES 28 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE | APRIL 1, 2019 AWARD RECOGNIZES NON-PROFIT Luke's Place, a non-profit in Ontario's Durham Region that helps train lawyers to work with clients leaving abusive relation- ships, was recognized with an- nual awards from both the Law Society of Ontario and the Ontario Bar Association in March 13 announcements. Pamela Cross, legal director of Luke's Place, won the LSO's Laura Legge Award. The award, to be presented on May 22 at Osgoode Hall in Toronto, recog- nizes "women lawyers from Ontario who have exemplified leadership within the profession," the LSO said on its website. "To me, one of the things that is important in terms of both of these awards is to ref lect back on where this work is rooted. The work is rooted in the experiences of women who have been subjected to violence and the women who have had the courage to say, 'No more, that's enough. I'm out of here,'" says Cross, a lawyer whose body of work outside Luke's Place was also recognized by the Laura Legge Award. Luke's Place also won the OBA Foundation Award for "exceptional contributions to the improvement of the justice system through pub- lic legal education, innovative research or other means." "Although our work started out as direct service for women, in- creasingly, our work has moved in the direction of supporting and assisting lawyers who want to work with those clients," she says. AKAZAKI SLATED FOR BENCHER Lawyer Lee Akazaki is in line to become a bencher at the Law Soci- ety of Ontario following the appointment of bencher Janet Leiper to the bench. Akazaki, a partner at Gilbertson Davis LLP in Toronto, would officially become a bencher if confirmed by benchers at Convocation on April 25, just five days before the April 30 close of voting in the election for the new set of benchers. In the last bencher election in 2015, Akazaki received 2,385 votes, according to the Law Society of Ontario's published results. LAO DUTY COUNSEL UNIONIZE The Society of United Professionals, IFPTE 160, now represents 400 legal professionals, after the addition of Legal Aid Ontario's su- pervisory duty counsel lawyers. The majority of the 24 duty counsel lawyers voted to join the orga- nization, which already represented more than 300 lawyers and arti- cling students at LAO, the Society of United Professionals announced on March 26. LAW TIMES POLL Last week, Law Times asked bencher candidates from remote and rural areas, as well as outside the Greater Toronto Area, about is- sues facing lawyers. Law Times asked readers if the Law Society of Ontario needs to pay more at- tention to the needs of lawyers outside Toronto and other ur- ban areas. The majority of respon- dents, 90 per cent, said yes, the LSO needs to pay more atten- tion to the needs of lawyers outside Toronto, as the needs of lawyers practising outside urban centres are largely ignored. About 10 per cent said no, the regulator does not need to pay more attention to the needs of law- yers outside urban areas and the LSO is doing a good job of address- ing the needs of lawyers across the province. LT The Inside Story BY VIOL A JAMES UNSANCTIONED PERFORMANCE MOSCOW — A man stripped down to skimpy underwear and took a stroll through Moscow's State Tretyakov Gallery on March 20 in what it called an "unsanctioned performance," the RIA news agency reported, according to Reuters. This was the third incident involving a visitor to one of Rus- sia's leading art galleries in less than a year. Video footage circulating on Russian social media showed a relatively young man with a shaven head and wearing a red G- string walking casually through the museum and stopping in front of a large painting. The gallery said the performance was staged by modern art- ists who had left behind small artworks in its halls, RIA reported. No artworks or visitors had been threatened by the perfor- mance, the gallery added. The police were now searching for the unclothed performer, a source told TASS news agency. This is the second incident in as many months involving visi- tors at the gallery and the third since May 2018. Police in January arrested a man caught on camera taking "Ai Petri, Crimea," a mountain scene painted by Russian landscape artist Arkhip Kuindzhi in 1908, and leaving with it under his arm. The painting was recovered un- damaged, but the incident prompted the Ministry of Culture to order security checks at all of Russia's top museums. MASS TELEPATHY AGAINST BREXIT TEL AVIV — Spoon-bending psychic Uri Geller wants to bend British Prime Minister Theresa May's will against Brexit using mass telepathy, reports Reuters. From his home in Israel, Geller — who is also a British citizen and a former resident of May's Maidenhead constitu- ency — wrote an open letter to the prime minister urging her to block Britain's exit from the Eu- ropean Union. Now he wants Britons to join him in twice-daily bursts of te- lepathy directed at the Conser- vative leader, in the hope of in- spiring her to call a second Brexit referendum. "Maybe I'm a bit too late, but at least I'm trying my best to use my paranormal abilities, because I'm very concerned that Theresa May will step out of EU," Geller told Reuters on March 24. "That would be tragic. It would be catastrophic, especial- ly for young people. There'll be economic chaos. I'm calling it a catastrophe and I feel it . . . call it extra-sensory perception." Geller came to prominence in Britain with a series of appear- ances on prime time television when he pulled off stunts such as bending spoons, claiming the only force he used was the power of the mind. PRISON GUARDS SMELL A RAT LONDON — Suspected or- ganized criminals have been stuffing the bodies of dead rats with drugs, phones and cash and throwing them over the walls of a British prison to get con- traband to inmates, the govern- ment said on March 25, reports Reuters. Guards at Guys Marsh prison in Dorset, southwest England, grew suspicious when they found the bodies of three rats with long stitches along their stomachs, officials said. They discovered the animals had been disemboweled and filled with five mobile phones and chargers, three SIM cards, cigarette papers and a large amount of drugs including can- nabis and a synthetic substitute as well as tobacco, they added. "This find shows the extraor- dinary lengths to which crimi- nals will go to smuggle drugs into prison and underlines why our work to improve security is so important," Britain's prisons minister, Rory Stewart, said. Seizures of drugs, mobile phones and SIM cards rose by 23, 15 and 13 per cent in the 12 months to March 2018 when just more 20 per cent of tests of inmates were positive for drugs, including new psychoactive sub- stances. LAWSUIT OVER 'GHOST GUNS' NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey's attorney general an- nounced a lawsuit on March 22 against a California company that sells mail-order firearms parts that can be turned into working weapons, the first such action the state has taken since it banned so-called ghost guns last year, reports The Associated Press. The lawsuit filed March 21 alleges that Apple Valley-based U.S. Patriot Armory and own- er-founder James Tromblee Jr. violated New Jersey's consumer fraud laws when it advertised and sold gun parts to an under- cover investigator in February. The company was sent a letter in December asking it to "stop advertising, offering for sale, and/or selling 'ghost guns' and 'ghost gun' parts to New Jersey residents," according to the suit. But in February, an investigator for the attorney general's office ordered parts for an AR-15 as- sault rif le. The shipment was received in March, according to the suit. According to Attorney Gen- eral Gurbir Grewal, 15 other companies that received similar letters have either posted warn- ings to potential New Jersey buy- ers on their websites or removed the state from lists of available shipping addresses. The lawsuit seeks civil pen- alties and to stop the company from shipping parts to New Jer- sey. "Ghost guns" are unregis- tered weapons that don't have serial numbers. Companies sell the nearly complete weap- ons, often along with the parts needed to finish them, as well as training so the firearms can be completed. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law last fall that made it a crime punishable by up to five years in prison to buy gun parts for use in making firearms with no serial numbers. LT Pamela Cross, legal director of Luke's Place, won the LSO's Laura Legge Award. Bizarre Briefs CREDIT: HANNAMARIAH/SHUTTERSTOCK 90 % YES, I AGREE 10 % NO, I DO NOT AGREE How the legal community in Ontario gets its news @lawtimes | 416.609.3800 | 1.800.387.5164 Online Free preview SUBSCRIBE TODAY AND RECEIVE: • 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 Subscribe to Law Times today! 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