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Monday, 02 May 2016 09:00

No room for a mountain climber’s dream

Written by
Courtesy of Grace McDonald
Courtesy of Grace McDonald
Grace McDonald was planning a short break from the pressure cooker of corporate and securities law when she signed up to climb a 6,000-metre Nepalese mountain in 2010, a trip that would let her tick Everest Base Camp off her bucket list and help her recover from the burnout triggered by multiple 100-hour work weeks. But the mountaineering bug bit hard, and each big peak led to a bigger or harder one. Toronto-based McDonald, 38, says she’d go back to law if conditions were right, but traditional, conservative law firms don’t seem able to accommodate a team member who wants a couple of months off each year to indulge her exhilarating, high-altitude passion.
Monday, 04 April 2016 09:00

Police defender: Peter Brauti

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Peter Brauti, second left, arrives at court with client Const. James Forcillo and his wife, accompanied by Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack, left, on  April 22, 2014. Photo: Matthew Sherwood/National Post
Peter Brauti, second left, arrives at court with client Const. James Forcillo and his wife, accompanied by Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack, left, on April 22, 2014. Photo: Matthew Sherwood/National Post
In a tense Toronto courtroom, defence lawyer Peter Brauti stood beside his ashen-faced client, Const. James Forcillo, to hear the verdicts in one of Canada’s most-watched police trials. Forcillo was charged with murder in the shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, armed with a switchblade when he confronted police on an empty Toronto streetcar in July 2013.
Monday, 07 March 2016 09:00

Planning for a sale

Written by
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Jeff Phillips didn’t rush into retirement when he began thinking about how he would wind up his sole practice in London, Ont. Selling seemed like a good idea as his clients would get continuity, but he also wanted to protect his staff and ensure the successors had the similar philosophical approach. “I had to have the right situation,” says Phillips during a call from Florida where he visits while continuing to work part time with Carlyle Peterson Lawyers LLP. The agreement was that he work full time for six months after the sale, but that was three years ago. Phillips enjoys the new arrangement and the ability to bounce ideas off other lawyers, so he continues to work part time and is able to take time when he wants it. “Having been on my own for so long and having practised for 35 years, it was a little difficult coming into a firm with other lawyers,” he says. But it didn’t take long for him to appreciate the benefits of the new situation.
Monday, 01 February 2016 09:00

Even the family needs protection

Written by
Illustration: Kyle Reed
Illustration: Kyle Reed
As housing prices reach even greater heights, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver, many just starting out have found it difficult to access the home market on their own, frequently turning to family members to contribute to either the down payment or the financing of the home or both. A parent may even be on title to ensure the financial viability of the deal.
Monday, 04 January 2016 09:00

Law, politics, and life at the crossroads

Written by
Photo: Chris Wattie/Reuters
Photo: Chris Wattie/Reuters
Taking a break from runs to daycare and swimming lessons for his young son, former Conservative justice minister Peter MacKay was reflecting on law, politics, and life at the crossroads. “I want to be able to have more flexibility in my career and my private life, to be able to spend time with them — especially at this young age,” confided MacKay. “These are very formative years, as everyone knows. And so my preference is not to delve immediately back into the practice of law where I would be working commensurate hours as I was as minister of justice and not see them.”
Monday, 16 November 2015 09:00

Bad to the bone

Written by
Illustration: Dushan Milic
Illustration: Dushan Milic
Looking for an unscrupulous lawyer to help you bypass some bureaucratic red tape? Gambled away the firm’s money on a dodgy tip? Accidentally sexually harassed an underling? Maybe deliberately? You need Bad Legal LLP, the straight-talking law firm taking the Canadian legal world by storm on Twitter.
Monday, 05 October 2015 09:00

One hardball lawyer’s passion

Written by
Jack Fireman with Gators team members Bob Green and Lorne Swartz.
Jack Fireman with Gators team members Bob Green and Lorne Swartz.
Whether it’s in the courtroom or on the ball diamond, Jack Fireman brings the same approach to winning — preparation and solid team building net you the best result.
Monday, 06 July 2015 08:00

Making lemon aid

Written by
Photo: Bronwen Sharp
Photo: Bronwen Sharp
When Vassilios Apostolopoulos had fallen to the lowest depth of his life, he didn’t have to go back to law, after all he had made mistakes, given up practising, and been disbarred. He could have chosen to take other routes on the road to rebuilding his life. He had other interests, other degrees — he had been working on his doctorate in political science when he switched to law. But to not go back wasn’t an option for him.
Monday, 01 June 2015 08:00

A new portfolio

Written by
Photo: Sandra Strangemore
Photo: Sandra Strangemore
Kimberly Murray’s new job is, as she wryly points out, the fifth of 17 recommendations in the 2013 Iacobucci report on First Nations legal issues, and she actually asked the interview panel for assurances that she wasn’t being set up to fail.
Monday, 04 May 2015 08:00

Carol Baird Ellan’s next chapter

Written by
Photo: Kim Stallknecht
Photo: Kim Stallknecht
In her years on the bench, Carol Baird Ellan had a front row seat to the challenges facing the underprivileged in society. Now she wants to try and effect change from a different perch — elected politician. “I have a passion for the justice system. There are things I’d like to see changed there and just looking around me right now things need to change. We’re not doing our bit for the environment and things are becoming unaffordable for youth here — someone needs to do something and I thought I could be that person,” she says.
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