Features

Monday, 09 May 2016 09:00

Strong, confident, competitive - Part 2

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Strong, confident, competitive - Part 2Litigation boutiques once thrived on the work big law firms couldn’t keep for conflict of interest reasons, but today, specialized litigation firms say they’re going head to head with those same big shops on some of the most complex and high-stakes files. “It seems that the market has recognized that it’s not the number of lawyers that matters, it’s the quality and the knowledge of a very specialized area,” says Richard Vachon, managing partner at Quebec-based Woods LLP, one of the top 10 vote-getters in this year’s Canadian Lawyer survey of litigation boutiques.
Monday, 02 May 2016 09:00

The trouble with sex assault trials

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The trouble with sex assault trialsIn an overview of the law of sexual assault and the need both to encourage reporting of this crime and to ensure that myths about complainants are not part of the analysis conducted by a trier of fact, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin made these comments: “[T]he reality is that evidence of sexual conduct and reputation in itself cannot be regarded as logically probative of either the complainant’s credibility or consent . . . the old rules which permitted evidence of sexual conduct and condoned invalid inferences from it solely for these purposes have no place in our law.” The statements are not recent; they were made in 1991 and form part of her majority judgment for the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Seaboyer.
Monday, 02 May 2016 09:00

Strong, confident, competitive - Part 1

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Strong, confident, competitive - Part 1For the first time this year, Canadian Lawyer conducted a survey of Canada’s top 10 corporate law boutiques. The top vote-getters in this category were equally confident of their ability to match Big Law’s strength in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and securities work. “If you take our firm and put it inside any of the Seven Sister law firms, you’d have a corporate finance department that’s equal to theirs — maybe not in size but certainly in calibre, in execution, and in expertise,” says Perry Dellelce, managing partner of Wildeboer Dellelce LLP. “When we left the large firms — and most of the partners here were at large, Seven Sister firms — we didn’t leave our brains behind,” says Dellelce. “But we knew we wouldn’t take the large multi-national Canadian and foreign corporations as clients [to our new firm].”
Monday, 02 May 2016 09:00

The surreal case of Lyle Howe

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Photo: Harris Studio
Photo: Harris Studio
In 2012, less than two years into his fledgling career as a criminal defence lawyer, Lyle Howe found himself in a Halifax courtroom, one minute representing a client on fraud charges, then moments later appearing in his own defence, before the same judge, on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman.
Monday, 04 April 2016 09:00

Supreme dress rehearsal

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Supreme dress rehearsalJames LeNoury had scarcely launched into his oral submission on a Supreme Court of Canada wrongful dismissal appeal when questions began to fly thick and fast. One of the jurists impatiently asked for his position on the appropriate standard of review. Another unleashed a salvo of questions about remuneration: “Why do you say severance pay wouldn’t make sense? How do you square that?”
Calgary: Resilience of oil town lawyers put to test“It’s hold on to your hat,” says Joe Lougheed. “Don’t get bucked off and look to the future.” That is his straight-from-the-hip assessment about business, and specifically the law business, in Calgary these days.
Lougheed is a partner with Dentons LLP and a member of one of the oldest and most storied families in Alberta.
Monday, 04 April 2016 09:00

The limits of open justice

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The limits of open justiceOn the face of it, the Romanian-operated Globe24h.com web site looks innocuous. But at a recent gathering of administrative lawyers at the Ontario Bar Association, the general counsel for Canada’s privacy commissioner devoted time to talk about her office’s concerns with the site.
Monday, 07 March 2016 09:00

New horizons

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New horizonsIt’s where the criminal law drafted in government offices meets the gritty reality of the streets. Homeless men lie passed out near the door of Vancouver’s Main Street courthouse. Drug syringes litter the ground.
Indigenous women, like those who have been murdered or gone missing, dot the court docket. That courthouse is also where new federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould got her trial by fire as a lawyer — an experience that influences her to this day. “I certainly look to my years as a prosecutor on the Downtown Eastside that opened my eyes wider to a lot of the inequalities that exist, that continue to exist in our society,” she says.
Illustration: Pete Ryan
Illustration: Pete Ryan
The scenario of affluent older parents providing financial help to their adult children is increasingly common — and now, so are disputes over who gets what when those children divorce.
Monday, 01 February 2016 09:00

Law dean challenge

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Illustration: Katy Lemay
Illustration: Katy Lemay
When Lee Stuesser, Lakehead University’s first law school dean, resigned last June after just two years on the job, he said resignations are “a personal matter” and declined to discuss his reasons. On his way out, the affable dean, who invited new students to his house for barbeques, would only say how grateful he was for the chance to cut the ribbon and open the doors of Lakehead law.
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