Law Times

December 12, 2016

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Groups say hard work ahead in battling racism BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times W hile the Law Society of Upper Canada has adopted recom- mendations to battle systemic racism in the legal profes- sion, diversity advocates say the re- port is just the beginning of what needs to be done. After a marathon debate that saw benchers question whether the 13 recommendations should be ad- opted entirely as one package, Con- vocation approved the report in a 33-0 vote with three abstentions. Equity groups that were con- sulted on the report applauded the passage of the recommendations, which they have been advocating for years. But they said there is a lot of hard work left to do, starting with implementing the recom- mendations. "The report here is intended to create the framework of the house and now you've got to build the bricks," says Ranjan Agarwal, pres- ident of the South Asian Bar Asso- ciation of Toronto. At issue in the meeting were two motions, one of which would pass the 13 recommendations all together as one package. The re- port was the culmination of four years of work by the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group. The recommendations in- cluded requiring firms of at least 10 licensees to implement a diver- sity policy, which would provide fair recruitment practices. They also require firms of that size and larger to complete a diversity self- assessment every two years and submit it to the law society. The other motion, introduced by Bencher Sidney Troister, was an attempt to discuss and vote on the 13 recommendations separately so benchers could pick and choose. "Putting them all together as a package means the nuances get overlooked in the whole. This is important policy and is important legislation and it will be with us ONLINE DEFAMATION Law struggling to keep up with digital world P7 FOCUS ON Criminal Law P8 See Motion, page 2 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 27, No.40 December 12, 2016 L AW TIMES C O V E R I N G O N T A R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W . L A W T I M E S N E W S . C O M Ranjan Agarwal says 'there is still lots of work to be done' to assist racialized lawyers with challenges they face. LITIGATION PENDING? LSUC requests dismissal of rights complaint P5 BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times T he Court of Appeal has ruled that a Hamilton boy was not contributor- ily negligent for failing to look both ways before crossing the street. The court recently upheld an Ontario Superior Court of Jus- tice decision that found the City of Hamilton liable for an accident in which nine-year-old Dean Saumur was struck by a car. The trial judge, Ontario Superi- or Court Justice Paul Perell, or- dered the city to pay Dean's family almost $8 million in damages as it failed to have a crossing guard at the intersection at a time it was meant to. Lawyers say the Court of Ap- peal decision, Saumur v. An- toniak, highlights the discretion judges have when making findings on the standard for children's neg- ligence. "Another judge might have come to a different conclusion, but the question is whether the con- clusion that was reached by this judge was supported by the facts and whether there was a palpable error," says Rose Leto, of Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers LLP, who was not involved in the case. The dispute dates back to May 14, 2002 when Saumur was cross- ing the road at around 8:30 a.m. on his way to school. Perell found the city liable as there was supposed to be a cross- ing guard at the location between 8:20 a.m. and 8:40 a.m., and that the boy was not contributorily negligent. The Court of Appeal endorse- ment, issued by Justices Robert Blair, Norman Epstein and Grant Huscroft, upheld Perell's decision as it found he had not made any errors of fact or of law. "While another finding may have been available on the evi- dence, the trial judge made no reversible error of face or mixed fact and law in arriving at his find- ings and the conclusions he did on the contributory negligence issue," the endorsement said. One of the lawyers representing the City of Hamilton on the ap- peal, Kirk Boggs, says his client is See Judge, page 2 Rose Leto says determining contributory negligence on the part of a child is a very fact-based assessment. Photo: Robin Kuniski Court of Appeal ruling on Hamilton boy struck by car Children's role in negligence at heart of case Follow & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM Integrated Legal Marketing Solutions Put Your Digital Marketing Tactics into High Gear Untitled-1 1 2016-12-05 4:16 PM

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