Law Times

May 8, 2017

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Page 16 May 8, 2017 • Law TiMes E-FILING PILOT PROGRAM LAUNCHES The president of the Ontario Bar Association says he's "cautiously optimistic" that the government finally has a plan in place to make e-filing a provincewide reality following the launch of a pilot project for online filing of civil claims by the Ministry of the Attorney General. "The Ontario Bar Association has long advocated for an e-filing system in the Superior Courts of this province," David Sterns told Law Times. "This pilot project is an impor- tant first step in this direction." The first phase of the pilot project, launched April 24, allows for e-filing of civil claims in the Superior Court of Justice in Brampton, Ottawa, London, Newmarket and Sudbury. "The government has shared with us its plan and timeline for the creation of an e-filing system for all parts of the province covering all filings in Superior Court," says Sterns. "We are cautiously optimistic that it finally has the plan, funding and team in place to make this happen." Emilie Smith, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, told Law Times that the provincial government "is committed to making the justice system simpler and faster for all Ontarians." Smith says the pilot service allows the filing of the following docu- ments with the Superior Court of Justice: statements of claim, notices of action, affidavits of litigation guardians for plaintiffs under disabil- ity, request for bilingual proceedings and consent to file documents in French. "In Phase 1, users will be able to e-file documents online to file a notice of action or statement of claim for all proceedings, pay court fees online and receive court-issued documents by email," says Smith. "In future phases, users will be able to e-file additional documents that are part of their civil claim." The pilot period is expected to last up to six months. ROBICHAUD'S OPENS LONDON OFFICE Robichaud's Criminal De- fence Litigation opened its new criminal law office in Lon- don, Ont. on May 1. The new office will serve as Robichaud's third Ontario location, along with its main Toronto and York Region offices. Robichaud said it hopes to open more localized of- fices throughout the province in the coming months. MCCUTCHEON, MORRIS JOIN TORYS Torys LLP announces two new hires in its Toronto office. Jill E. McCutcheon joins as partner, while Kelly Mor- ris signs on as senior counsel. McCutcheon and Morris bring their expertise in bank and in- surance regulatory matters to their new firm. Both were pre- viously with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Toronto where they each served as partner. YES, I AGREE 29 % 71 % NO, I DO NOT AGREE LAW TIMES POLL Law Times reports that the LSUC has approved a sliding cap for referral fees for law- yers. We asked readers if they think changes to the rules will bring increased transparency to the referral process. Twenty-nine per cent said yes, the new changes will increase public confidence in the profes- sion, while 71 per cent said no, there is no guarantee this will bring enhanced transparency, as it's unclear how the new rules will be enforced. LT u Bizarre Briefs By Viola James u The InsIde story CATS STOLEN, SHAVED WAYNESBORO, Va. — Police here are trying to figure out why someone is abducting pet cats and returning them with hairless underbellies, reports Reuters. Since December, at least seven cats have sud- denly shown up at their homes with shaved belly, groin and leg areas, Waynesboro Police Captain Kelly Walker said on April 28. "The shaving appears to be almost surgical," Walker said. No harm was done to the animals, but they "seemed a little skittish" after the curious inci- dents, he said. The occurrences came to the attention of police when an owner asked about posting f ly- ers to encourage the public to report suspicious activity to authorities. "Shaving Cats!!??" says the poster in Waynes- boro, a city of 21,000 about 225 kilometres southwest of Washington, D.C. "Several neighborhood cats have been AB- DUCTED and had their lower abdomens and groin areas SHAVED. This is very upsetting to the cats and their owners," the poster says. Walker said the cats were collar-wearing, well- groomed pets, not strays or feral cats, although some were outdoor cats. All of them had been either neutered or spayed before the shaving in- cidents, he said. The investigation focuses on five cats — some of whom were shaved twice — from one household and two cats from another, who came home partially hairless last month. "Probably the best solution is for whoever is doing this to just stop," Walker said. GIANT RABBIT DIES ON UNITED FLIGHT LONDON — United Airlines continues to en- counter problems after a three-foot-long giant rabbit died at its pet-holding facility in Chicago following a f light from London, according to Reuters. The 10-month-old Continental Giant breed rabbit named Simon, who was tipped to become one of the world's largest rabbits, had appeared to be in good condition upon arrival at the fa- cility at Chicago's O'Hare airport, an airline spokesman said. Simon was due to be picked up by a celebrity who had bought him. But when a United worker later checked on Simon, he found he had died. A spokesman said the airline had offered to carry out a post-mortem investigation on the rabbit, but the owner had declined. He said United also offered compensation to the owner, whom he did not identify, but he did not dis- close the amount. MYSTERY DOCUMENT? CHICHESTER, England — British experts will carry out tests to try to determine how a rare copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence found its way to an archive in southern Eng- land, reports Reuters. The handwritten manuscript, only the second such parchment in existence, had been stored for more than 60 years in a strong-room among miles of documents in the West Sussex Record Office, until its significance was re- vealed by Harvard University researchers Dan- ielle Allen and Emily Sneff. Other copies and printed versions of the Declaration exist, but the only other ceremonial parchment is the Matlack Declaration, which dates from 1776 and is kept behind glass at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. "This document in a way raises more ques- tions than it answers," archivist Wendy Walker told Reuters at the record office in Chichester, a small city not far from England's southern coast. "How did it get to Sussex; how did it end up here?" The Sussex Declaration, as the Harvard team has called it, is thought to date to the 1780s and most likely was written in New York or Phila- delphia. LT David Sterns says he's pleased about news that the Ministry of the Attorney General has launched a pilot project for online fil- ing of civil claims. "It don't understand all this fuss about genetic security and DNA privacy. After all, I have nothing to hide." Integrated Legal Marketing Solutions Put Your Digital Marketing Tactics into High Gear Untitled-4 1 2017-04-28 3:07 PM

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