Law Times

October 30, 2017

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Case highlights gaps for immigrant lawyers BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times W hen Philip Okpala first came to Canada as a refugee, he had a hard enough time finding any work, let alone in his chosen profession. The lawyer f led Nigeria in 2003 after political turmoil forced his family into hiding. While Okpala had achieved an honours degree in a law school program and had worked in Nigeria in different cap- acities, he was told not to include his legal training in his resumé. He eventually found work at a farm in Ancaster, Ont. through an employment agency and also did some construction. He later became an assistant for a lawyer who did real estate work while he studied at night for the necessary examinations to gain ac- creditation in Canada. He then quit his job to study for the bar exam, which he passed in 2006. A Law Society of Upper Canada tribunal panel recently suspended Okpala for two months for un- knowingly facilitating fraudulent mortgage transactions. In Law Society of Upper Canada v. Ok- pala, the panel found that Okpala had failed to competently serve his clients but that these failures were largely because of his lack of ex- perience as an immigrant. And the difficulties he experienced were likely compounded by racial dis- crimination, the decision said. Lawyers say Okpala's case and others like it show the law society needs to do more to help lawyers who come to Canada as immi- grants and refugees. "It's very difficult for people who are not from here and don't necessarily have a community they can connect to to establish men- toring relationships and build the kinds of connections with people who allow them to grow and gain insight into their practice," says Joel Sandaluk, an immigration and refugee lawyer at Mamann BORDER SEARCHES Lawyers must know their rights P7 FOCUS ON Real Estate Law P8 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 28, No. 34 October 30, 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 VOYEURISM CASE Ruling problematic for privacy interests P5 BY SHANNON KARI For Law Times T he Ontario Court of Ap- peal has outlined a new framework to be used when deciding if there is jurisdiction over foreign claimants within a global class action that originates in this province. The three-part test on "ab- sent foreign claimants" involves an analysis of whether there is a "real and substantial connection" to the action and Ontario and ju- risdiction over the representative plaintiff and defendants, common issues related to the foreign claim- ants and sufficient procedural pro- tections for all parties. "This framework provides the necessary safeguards to establish that jurisdiction properly ex- ists and ensures the protection of the values of order and fairness," wrote Justice Sarah Pepall in Airia Brands Inc. v. Air Canada, for a unanimous three-judge panel. The Court of Appeal over- turned a lower court ruling that declined to include the absent for- eign claimants as part of the class in a long-running action alleging a global price-fixing conspiracy involving air freight shipping ser- vices from or to Canada. Superior Court Justice Lynne Leitch incorrectly focused on po- tential hurdles to enforcement of the action in other countries, the Court of Appeal stated. "When addressing jurisdiction, issues of foreign recognition and enforcement are not preclusive of all other factors," wrote Pepall, with Justices Eileen Gillese and Jean MacFarland concurring in the decision issued Oct. 17. The appellate court's ruling means that certain foreign claim- ants can be added to the class in the action against Air Canada and British Airways. Linda Visser, co-counsel for the plaintiffs, notes that there have been "slightly different approach- es" by Canadian courts in this area of the law. "The Court of Appeal decision provides clarity on when you can certify an international class ac- tion, on what test to apply," says Visser, a partner at Siskinds LLP. There has been widespread liti- gation around the world related to the prices charged by airlines for air freight shipping services. The case before the Court of Appeal See The, page 2 New framework to be used for foreign claimants Joel Sandaluk says more needs to be done to encourage experienced lawyers to provide mentorship, particularly in smaller communi- ties. See More, page 2 Paul Bates says the Ontario Court of Appeal came up with a 'made-in-Canada approach' in setting out the framework to determine if there is jurisdiction over absent foreign claimants. Photo: Robin Kuniski Follow Contact Nicole Breakey 1-888-781-9083 ext. 117 E-mail: SCAN | CODE | LOAD ocudavit-EARLUG_LT_Apr24_17.indd 1 2017-04-20 7:54 AM 9th Annual Information Privacy and Data Protection JOIN OUR FULLY ACCREDITED PROGRAM | EXPAND YOUR NETWORK AND OBTAIN CPD HOURS Register online: • 416-609-5868 | 1-877-298-5868 *Discount applies to in-class only USE PROMO CODE EARLYBIRD2017 & SAVE $300* EARLY BIRD EXTENDED TO NOV. 8 Untitled-1 1 2017-10-26 3:16 PM

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