Law Times

July 7, 2014

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 19 of 19

Page 20 July 7, 2014 • Law Times Quebec law firms named in Cassel Brock & Blackwell LLP's lawsuit against 150 firms and practitioners in a conf lict of interest case have lost their ap- peal to dismiss the claim against them. In 2012, Cassels Brock sued numerous lawyers for improp- erly advising General Motors of Canada Ltd. dealers in the midst of the company's move to close several dealerships during its 2009 financial crisis. Dealerships that had to close up shop sued GM for allegedly forcing them to sign wind-down agreements in breach of provin- cial franchise law and its fidu- ciary duty to them. They also accused Cassels Brock of negli- gence in failing to provide them with the appropriate advice in addition to having an undis- closed conf lict of interest. None of the allegations have been proven in court. In a counterclaim, Cassels Brock sued 150 other law firms and lawyers it claimed were re- sponsible for improperly advis- ing the dealers. The named law firms have since unsuccessfully tried to dismiss the case against them. More recently, the Quebec firms appealed a decision that rejected their bid to dismiss the counter- claim. They argued the Ontario Superior Court lacks jurisdic- tion over the third-party ac- tions. But in a ruling on June 27, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal after find- ing it's "fair to subject the third party appellants to the power of the courts of Ontario." DISBARRED LAWYER'S ARREST ORDERED A B.C. judge has ordered the ar- rest of a former Ontario lawyer who has been practising law without a licence. The court had found for- mer lawyer John Gorman, previously disbarred by the Law Society of Upper Canada, in contempt in 2011 after he con- tinued to practise law in British Columbia. At the time, B.C. Supreme Court Justice John Savage had imposed a two-week incarcera- tion and a $5,000 fine against Gorman, but the former lawyer never served the sentence or paid the money owing, accord- ing to a recent ruling in The Law Society of British Columbia v. Gorman. The B.C. law society learned Gorman had left the province but he returned in 2012 and again practised law without a licence, the same judge has now found. Savage ordered authorities to "arrest Mr. Gorman and bring him promptly before this court at 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver, B.C., and unless otherwise or- dered, deliver him to the warden of the Surrey Pretrial Centre." REGIONAL BENCHER SCHEME UNCHANGED The Law Society of Upper Canada has decided not to change the scheme for electing regional benchers. The current bencher election system designates the candidate in each region who receives the highest number of votes as the regional bencher to ensure rep- resentation across Ontario at Convocation. Last year, a working group proposed putting greater em- phasis on the votes from all re- gions for all candidates. One suggestion was to have the re- gional scheme apply to elect the candidate with the most votes in that area only if a region doesn't have an elected bencher accord- ing to the initial results. But a report to Convocation in June noted there would be no changes to the current scheme for electing regional benchers. LT NEW BENCHER AT CONVOCATION Miller Thomson LLP partner and Law Times columnist Jeffrey Lem is the newest bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Lem, who works in real estate law, se- cured lending, and insolvency, replaces Janet Minor, who became LSUC trea- surer after a June 26 vote. QUEBEC FIRMS LOSE APPEAL IN CASSELS BROCK CASE ACCUSED BURGLAR LEFT FACEBOOK PROFILE OPEN SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. — With identifica- tion at the heart of so many criminal cases, a burglary victim had some help when he found the alleged perpetrator's Facebook account open on his computer. According to Reuters, authorities said a Minnesota man came home to find his house unlocked, cash and other items missing, and the accused burglar's Facebook profile open on his computer. Nicholas Wig, 26, is facing a charge of sec- ond-degree burglary aer he also allegedly le his wet jeans, shoes, and a belt lying on the floor by the computer in the South St. Paul house. "is is the first case in Dakota County in which a suspected burglar le his Facebook ac- count open," Monica Jensen, spokeswoman for the Dakota County attorney's office, said. According to the criminal complaint, a resi- dent called police and told them he had found his house in disarray, the front door unlocked, and a screen removed from a side window. He also saw "Nick Dub's" Facebook profile was open on his computer, the complaint said. at same day, the resident recognized Wig on the street from his Facebook picture and told police. ey found him wearing a watch like one taken in the burglary, the complaint said. Wig admitted to entering the house, swap- ping his rain-soaked clothes for some from the house, logging on to Facebook, and taking the items reported stolen, the complaint said. FOOTBALL A NOVEL WAY TO GET DRUGS IN JAIL JACKSON, Mich. — He probably won't be mak- ing the NFL any time soon, but you have to give a Michigan man some credit for ingenuity in trying to smuggle drugs into prison by tossing a football. According to Reuters, a Michigan man is fac- ing felony charges for allegedly trying to hurl a football stuffed with heroin and cellphones into a state prison yard. e man hopped out of a vehicle and heaved the football, which landed short, between two security fences at a state prison in Jackson about 120 kilometres west of Detroit, said pris- ons spokesman Russ Marlan. "From where he was throwing, it would not have been that difficult of a throw to throw it in . . . but you don't know how heavy it was," said Marlan. e man, identified as Christen Deon-Ster- ling Moore of Detroit by the Detroit Free Press, is facing charges of furnishing contraband and cellphones to prisoners. A prison officer apprehended the would-be quarterback and the driver aer seeing him toss the football and turned them over to Michigan state police, said Marlan. It wasn't clear who the intended receiver was, he noted. TOWN VOTES IN FAVOUR OF LESBIAN POLICE CHIEF LATTA, S.C. — Just in time for World Pride, res- idents of Latta have moved to reinstate the town's police chief whom they suspect had lost her job because she's a lesbian. Last month, they voted to change the town's governing structure to a council-strong from a strong-mayor system. e move followed Mayor Earl Bullard's firing of former police chief Crystal Moore in April, the Huffington Post reported. According to the Huffington Post, the change would allow council to reinstate Moore. While Bullard had cited performance issues, an audio recording of him in what the Huffington Post called a homophobic tirade and referring to someone whose "lifestyle is questionable" led people to suspect another motive. Despite celebrations over the vote, Bullard named someone else to the job just before he lost his powers. According to the Huffington Post, councillors and others were looking for a way to block the move. LT legal expertise? Looking for Find exactly what you need at It's fast, It's free, s fa , s f and it's available to you 24 hours a day. ay. s available y availabl y Starting a business, making a will or buying a house? Declaring bankruptcy, dealing with a personal injury, insurance claim or job loss? If you're in the midst of one of life's big events, help is as close as your smartphone, tablet or computer. Simply go to to find the right lawyer for your particular legal need. is Canada's most comprehensive online directory of lawyers and law firms. And it's easy to use! You can search by city, legal specialty, or name for listings and contact information. Find the legal expertise you need at CLLonline_LT_July7_14.indd 1 14-07-02 8:13 AM u Bizarre Briefs By Viola James u The InsIde story Jeffrey Lem "Occasionally, people assume we are a partnership firm whereas unfortunately in some respects, we are actually an association of independently practising professionals."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - July 7, 2014