Law Times

May 15, 2017

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

OCA rules on search and seizure BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times C riminal defence lawyers say a recent Ontario Court of Appeal deci- sion has important im- plications for the law of search and seizure and when a spouse can waive the privacy rights of an ac- cused person in a jointly owned residence. In R. v. Reeves, the common law spouse of the accused, Thomas Reeves, allowed the police to seize their computer from the home they co-owned without a warrant. The police later obtained a warrant to search the computer and found child pornography on it. At the time the computer was seized, Reeves was in custody on a domestic assault charge and was barred from entering the house under a court order unless he had his spouse's permission, which had been withdrawn. Reeves was acquitted before tri- al on an application based on un- reasonable search or seizure under s. 8 of the Charter, but the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal from the Crown, reversing that acquittal. ". . . I would, unlike the appli- cation judge, admit the evidence. Consequently, a new trial for Reeves must be ordered," Justice Harry LaForme wrote in the de- cision on behalf of a three-judge panel. Brad Greenshields, the lawyer representing Reeves, says the deci- sion is unique, as it holds the law of search and seizure can poten- tially not protect a house if an ac- cused person has been temporarily barred from that dwelling for other charges. "The case is troubling from the perspective of the common situ- ation where a domestic party has been forced out of their dwelling home by virtue of court-imposed conditions and that the court said that the adverse spouse can pro- vide police permission to seize sus- pected evidence of further alleged offences absent reasonable and PRIVACY PROTECTION Legitimate reasons to be concerned P7 FOCUS ON IT/Telecommunications Law P8 See Departure, page 4 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 28, No.17 May 15, 2017 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 CLASS ACTION FALTERS Risk of taking on pharmaceutical cases highlighted P5 BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times T he contentious debate as to whether paralegals should be allowed to practise in some aspects of family law is simmering while the Law Society of Upper Canada figures out a way forward on the issue. The issue has been top of mind for family lawyers as a re- cent report by Justice Annemarie Bonkalo recommended allowing paralegals to practise in the area to help alleviate access to justice problems. The proposal is a con- troversial one for lawyers who see their work as being too complex for paralegals, and that adding them into the marketplace would do little to help with the obstacles in the way of getting more people legal representation. "I see the recommendations from Justice Bonkalo's report be- ing more like a very temporary Band-Aid solution rather than ac- tually addressing the underlying problems," says lawyer Michael Lesage. The report contended that paralegals should be allowed to represent clients in matters con- cerning custody, access, simple child support cases, restraining orders, enforcement and joint di- vorces without property. Proponents of the idea have said that allowing paralegals to offer services in some aspects of family law could help fill some gaps in the family justice system. More than 57 per cent of Ontar- ians who engaged with the family court system in 2014-15 were self- represented, according to govern- ment statistics. Dozens of lawyers and parale- gals packed into the law society's annual general meeting on May 10 to voice their position on a motion that concerned the issue. The motion, which was intro- duced by Lesage, called on the law society to release all the findings of any reports relevant to its review of whether the scope of family law should be broadened to allow paralegals to practise in the area and to give lawyer members an opportunity to comment on them. Lesage says he would like to see the law society take its time to study the issue in-depth before considering any possible changes to the scope of family law and that See Specialized, page 4 Michael Lesage says proposals to allow paralegals to practise in certain aspects of family law are unworkable. Photo: Robin Kuniski Debate heats up on paralegals in family law Dan Stein says a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision shows there are degrees of the ability of a spouse to waive a person's Charter rights. Follow & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM LEGALFEEDS.CA POWERED BY MAJOR COURT RULINGS • DAILY UPDATES NEWS ROUNDUP • EVENTS LEGAL NEWS SERVED FRESH Untitled-1 1 2017-05-09 8:17 AM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - May 15, 2017