Law Times

April 29, 2019

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LAW TIMES 16 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE | APRIL 29, 2019 WADDELL NEW TLA PRESIDENT Margaret Waddell, a partner at Waddell Phillips PC, is the new president of the Toronto Lawyers Association, the orga- nization announced on April 23. Waddell, who has been on the TLA board since 2008, took over the role after April 17's general meeting, the association's an- nouncement said. Ongoing issues facing Toron- to lawyers include the proposed transition of the law library sys- tem to the Legal Information and Resource Network and how it might affect resources in 361 Univer- sity Avenue's library, Waddell tells Law Times. Another task for the TLA, Waddell says, is its increasing popular offering of continuing professional development. Three big items on Waddell's agenda are legal aid, planning a ven- ue for youth justice and finding a home for the unified family court, she says. "Toronto, of course, has one of the largest, if not the largest, de- mand on family court services. So, we see that as being an enormous issue we want to bring to the current ministry's attention," she says. "The fact that youth criminal justice is intended to be in the same building as adult criminal cases, we say, is significantly problematic. . . . Obviously, legal aid continues to be a huge problem and we are massively underfunded." In prepared remarks, outgoing president Dirk Derstine said the TLA has been trying to "modernize" its governance and create codes of conduct for directors, officers and members, in addition to its work with the Law Society of Ontario and Ministry of the Attorney General. LAWYERS' CYBERSECURITY SPENDING RISING About 87 per cent of lawyers in Canada said in a survey that they will spend more on cybersecurity over the next year, while none of the lawyers surveyed planned to decrease spending. The survey, conducted by legal staffing and consulting firm Rob- ert Half Legal, included 150 full-time Canadian lawyers from firms with 20 or more employees and corporate legal departments with 1,000 or more employees, according to a statement released on April 24. AG SHUFFLES JUDGES Justice Robbie Gordon will be transferred to Sudbury from his current spot in the Northeast Region of the Superior Court of Jus- tice, Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti an- nounced on April 24. Lametti also said in a statement that Justice Gregory Ellies will replace Gordon as regional senior judge in the Northeast Region. LAW TIMES POLL Benefits for catastrophically injured patients will return to the default benefit limit of $2 million after it was previously reduced to $1 million in 2016, according to Ontario's recently released provincial budget. Law Times asked readers if they agreed with this shift. A majority, 67 per cent said yes, they did agree with this shift and that $2 million is a more realis- tic amount given the costs to support those who are catastrophically injured. The minority of respondents, 33 per cent, said no, they did not agree with the move to restore the default benefit limit of $2 mil- lion. LT The Inside Story BY VIOL A JAMES POLLY NEEDS A LAWYER VILA IRMA DULCE, Brazil — A parrot has been taken into custody in northern Brazil following a police raid targeting crack dealers, reports The Guardian. According to reports in the Brazilian press, the bird had been taught to alert criminals to police operations in Vila Irma Dulce, a low-income community in the sun-scorched capital of Piauí state, by shouting: "Mum, the police!" The parrot, which has not been named, was seized on April 22 when officers swooped on a drug den run by a local couple. "He must have been trained for this," one officer involved in the operation said of the bird. A Brazilian journalist who came face to face with the impris- oned parrot described it as a "super obedient" creature — albeit one that had kept its beak firmly shut after being "arrested." "So far it hasn't made a sound … completely silent," the re- porter said. Alexandre Clark, a local vet, confirmed that the parrot had not co-operated. "Lots of police officers have come by and he's said nothing," he said. The Brazilian broadcaster Globo said the "papagaio do trá- fico" — drug-trafficking parrot — had been handed over to a lo- cal zoo where it would spend three months learning to f ly before being released. The bird joins a growing list of animals implicated in Brazil's drug trade, although most have been reptiles. In 2008, police seized two small alligators during a raid on a favela in western Rio de Janeiro, claiming local gangsters had fed their enemies to the animals. However, the father of one of the ac- cused gangsters rejected those accusa- tions, alleging his son's gang had once tried to do so — but the alligator had refused to eat the corpse. LT FUGITIVE TIRED OF LIVING IN PARADISE TURNS HIMSELF IN SALZBURG — A wanted man has chosen a jail cell over Spain's Canary Islands. The 64-year-old fugitive, who f led an Austrian prison more than a decade ago, turned him- self in to police over the Easter weekend, saying he was fed up with living in the sunny vacation destination, according to the New York Post. "Tenerife is not as nice as it used to be," the man reportedly told police officers in Salzburg about the largest island in the ar- chipelago. He also told them he'd lived there long enough. The fugitive, whose name wasn't released by authorities, was carrying two suitcases when he surrendered to police in Salz- burg's railway station. Police confirmed he had es- caped from a prison in eastern Austria 10 and a half years ago. He's now locked up in a Salzburg jail. It's unclear if he'll ever see a beach again. POLICE SWEAR IN HORSE DENVER — The Denver Po- lice Department is welcoming its newest recruit to the depart- ment. He's only nine years old and has four legs, according to FOX31 News. He also has four hooves. "Maverick" the mustang horse has been with DPD for about two months training to become part of the Mounted Patrol Unit. Maverick was born as a wild horse in January 2010. He's spent most of his life on a ranch, but he has now traded the country for the city. "He's a nice horse. He's well- tempered and well-mannered. He's a sweetheart," Maverick's partner, Officer Ron Jensen, told FOX31. On April 23, Maverick was officially sworn in as a patrol of- ficer. "This is the first [time] ever that we've done this," says Sgt. Brian Conover. In the past, horses just be- came part of the unit without any celebration. DPD decided it was time to give its horses the same recognition as other mem- bers of the team. Maverick will patrol streets and parks with his partners all over Denver. He will visit schools, work pa- rades and appear at other special events where Mounted Patrol Officers are needed. DNA SPRAY TO DETER THIEVES? LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas business is using a "DNA spray" to deter criminals from robbing their store — and perhaps even help police track them down. The owners of Smokes Mart say they're tired of being the vic- tims of robbery and attempted theft, so they plan to install the new crime-fighting device, re- ports KLAS 8 News. According to Amanda Dowdy, manager at Smokes Mart, a group of young men came into the store with guns in January, forcing her and her husband to the ground. She said they took all of the money and merchandise. She says someone tried to break into the store again on Easter Sunday. So Dowdy and her husband are taking action. They plan to install the device called DNA Security Solutions. "It's a spray that contains an odourless, colourless UV light," says Dowdy. "What it does is you alert the system and it will spray about 15 feet [approximately 4.5 metres] and it will stay on their skin for three to six weeks." The system can be activated two ways — either by a remote button or an under-the-counter panic button. It has the capacity of marking multiple offenders. While the thieves might think they got away, they've ac- tually been marked with DNA uniquely encoded to that unit. Dowdy says it's a great addition to the many cameras, alarms and door lock buzzers they al- ready have. "We want people that do these crimes to get caught," says Dowdy. "If you decide to get us, you'll probably get caught next time." LT Margaret Waddell is the new president of the Toronto Lawyers Association. 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