Law Times

December 14, 2015

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Page 16 December 14, 2015 • Law Times KING OF THE HILL Make sure you bow or curtsy next time you walk by the of- fices of Aird & Ber- lis LLP. The firm has been named official "Office of the Hon- orary Consul for the Kingdom of Belgium for Ontario," accord- ing to a press release. That's a mouthful! The appointment follows on the heels of A&B partner Donald B. Johnston, co-leader of the firm's technology group, being named honorary consul by Royal Decree of the King of Belgium last September. The firm threw a shindig to honour the occasion, which included high-ranking dignitaries from various European governments, in- cluding Germany, Luxembourg, Hungary, France, and Belgium, as well as representatives from the Toronto business and legal commu- nities. And, we hope, Belgian chocolates, because they are so good! Belgian Ambassador Raoul Delcorde took time to note the long- standing relationship his country has had with Canada. Can you be- lieve it? About 1,200, registered Belgians currently work and reside in Ontario, not bad for a country with a population around 11 million. MAN SMUGGLES TURTLES IN PANTS ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Now that's taking a risk! A Canadian college student caught at a border checkpoint in August 2014 with 51 live turtles in his pants pleaded guilty to six smug- gling charges in U.S. District Court in Ann Ar- bor, Mich. Kai Xu, 27, of Windsor, Ont., admitted to smuggling or trying to smuggle more than 1,600 turtles of different species out of the United States from April 2014 until his arrest in September 2014. Each of the six counts car- ries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. In August 2014, Xu crossed the U.S.-Cana- da border into Detroit and was watched by U.S. agents as he picked up a package at a parcel cen- tre and appeared to transfer items before head- ing back to the border, according to a criminal complaint. When he passed back through the Detroit- Windsor Tunnel, Xu was stopped by Canadian Border Services, which found and seized 41 live turtles taped to his legs and 10 hidden be- tween his legs, the complaint said. His sentenc- ing is scheduled for April. ALLIGATOR EATS BURGLAR ORLANDO, Fla. — Would you like fries with that? A 22-year-old man suspected of burglariz- ing homes in Florida was killed and partially eaten by an 11-foot alligator after he waded into a lake, apparently to avoid detection by law en- forcement officers pursuing him, police said. An autopsy on the man, Matthew Riggins of Palm Bay, Fla. determined that he drowned in November after an apparent alligator attack. A necropsy on the alligator revealed parts of the man's body in the reptile's stomach, accord- ing to a report released by the Brevard County Sheriff 's Office. Sheriff 's deputies chased Riggins and an- other suspect with dogs and a helicopter Nov. 13 after residents in the Barefoot Bay, Fla. com- munity reported two men walking behind houses, authorities said. No suspects were caught that night. Riggins was reported missing by his family when he did not return home, according to the sheriff 's report. His body was found 10 days later f loat- ing in a lake, with an aggressive gator standing guard, Major Tod Goodyear said. "I believe he was hiding," Goodyear said of how Riggins ended up in the lake. "With the dogs out there, it's not a bad idea to go into the water." THIS BUD'S NOT ANY WISER! ST. LOUIS, Mo. —Make mine a Bud Light. A Missouri man named Bud Weisser was taken into custody for trespassing into — of all places — a Budweiser brewery in St. Louis, police said. Police apprehended the 19-year-old St. Louis man when he entered a secure area at the brewery and refused to leave, the St. Louis Po- lice Department said in a statement. Weisser was issued summonses for trespass- ing and resisting arrest and authorities contin- ue to investigate the incident, police said. He pleaded guilty to burglary in July and his sentence was suspended, online court records showed. GRINCH STEALS JEWELS DURING CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A modern-day Grinch made off with more than US$1 million in jewels from a store in a chic Santa Fe, N.M., marketplace during the city's annual Christ- mas tree lighting ceremony, police said. Santa Fe Police detective Abe Maes said the suspect was caught on surveillance video look- ing into the front windows of the Divas Dia- monds and Jewels store during the tree light- ing, which draws hundreds of visitors each year to the Santa Fe Plaza. The employees had their backs to the store while the ceremony unfolded, he said. LT u Bizarre Briefs By Viola James u The InsIde story ROTHSTEIN RETURNS TO BATTLE Former Supreme Court of Cana- da justice Marshall Rothstein has a new home in Vancouver at Hunter Litigation Cham- bers. Rothstein, a former Fed- eral Court judge whom the SCC often called on to deliver rulings in intellectual property cases and federal issues, sat on the top court from 2006 to 2015. The former Manitoba lawyer joins Hunter as associate coun- sel, and says "I look forward to applying my particular inter- ests in intellectual property, tax law, and regulatory issues to the work of the practice." TASTY PAYDAY AT EXPENSE OF PENSIONERS Nortel continues to be the litiga- tion gift that keeps on giving. According to recent figures com- piled by independent financial analyst Diane Urquhart, fees paid to professionals in Nortel's cross-border insolvency have surpassed a staggering $2.1 bil- lion, about 15 per cent of the as- sets, with more litigation to come in both Canada and the U.S. According to Urquhart, who studied U.S. insolvency filings to get a picture of who earned what, the big Canadian winners (converted to Canadian dollars) include Torys LLP, which has collected more than $24 mil- lion, while Davies Ward Phil- lips & Vineberg LLP and Lax O'Sullivan Lisus LLP have received another $133 million. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP received $6 million as Ca- nadian legal counsel for the U.S. Unsecured Creditor Committee. However, that's chump change compared with what some U.S. law firms have been paid. Cleary Gottlieb Steen Ham- ilton LLP and Herbert Smith LLP have earned more than a half a billion dollars to date. Nice gig if you can get it. Meanwhile, Urquhart points out, some former Nortel em- ployees on disability are getting by on as little as $11,148 annu- ally, or about an hour or two of billings among these legal giants. POLL RESULTS Apparently Ontario's class ac- tion judges have stirred up a hornet's nest with their recent rulings involving Merchant Law Group. The Law Times poll asked readers if those cases will lead to more Ontario car- riage fights in class actions? Overwhelmingly, 75 per cent said brace for the storm because "the court has opened a can of worms," while 25 per cent think Merchant will fold its tent and go back home to Saskatchewan. Hang onto your hats this could get interesting. LT © 2015 Stewart. All rights reserved. We put legal professionals front and centre and we put our efforts into keeping real estate transactions where they belong – in your office. Learn more about our level of support, call (888) 667-5151 or visit Ally Untitled-2 1 2015-09-30 4:01 PM Donald B. Johnston and Raoul Delcorde

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