Features

Monday, 05 October 2015 09:00

Taxing changes

Written by
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Looming changes to the Income Tax Act introduce a “whole new world” to the future of estate planning in Canada, calling into question the value of the use of trusts as a tool to achieve tax savings on investments. There are also concerns that one of the changes is misdirected and could have unintended consequences.
Monday, 07 September 2015 09:00

Eye-opening

Written by
Photo: Carey Shaw
Photo: Carey Shaw
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission held its closing ceremony in Ottawa earlier this year with much attention and promise that Canada and its first peoples will finally be able to reconcile after years of damage caused by the Indian Residential School experience. For many, the TRC offered former students a chance to share their experiences in the church- and government-run institutions that stripped away their language, culture, and childhood. For others, it was a time to reflect on the last 20 years when the first residential school lawsuits started to make their way through Canada’s judicial system and leak into the media. At that time, the public knew very little about Indian residential schools, but was about to learn of the horrors that went on inside those mostly unknown-to-the-public institutions.
Monday, 07 September 2015 09:00

Shaking up labour laws

Written by
Illustration: Peter Ryan
Illustration: Peter Ryan
When the Ontario government announced a review earlier this year of the provincial Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act, the terms of reference were very broad. The Changing Workplaces Review is to consider possible amendments to both statutes in light of “trends and factors” that include globalization, trade liberalization, technological change, the growth of the service sector, and changes in “standard” employment relationships.
Monday, 03 August 2015 08:00

The Top 25 Most Influential

Written by
The Top 25 Most InfluentialCanadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession in Canada is now in its sixth year. Every year, the Top 25 is the magazine’s most-read, and most commented-on, feature. And once again, the number of nominations as well as votes in our public poll show how engaged our readers are in supporting and highlighting their colleagues who are doing extraordinary things both within the profession as well as beyond it.
Monday, 03 August 2015 08:00

Tough on crime

Written by
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Three weeks after the Supreme Court of Canada spring ruling that mandatory minimums for illegal handgun possession were unconstitutional, a young man in Toronto was sentenced to three years in prison for that offence. The sentence was the same length as the previous minimum. Landrell Beals had no prior criminal record, a high school education, and the support of his family.
Monday, 03 August 2015 08:00

Controversy dogs family med-arb

Written by
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Gary Joseph says some years ago, he dodged a legal bullet. He was sitting in a breakout room with a family law client. A mediator-arbitrator would come in to talk to them before going to another room to speak to the other party in a process similar to shuttle diplomacy. “The mediator came into our room and he began talking about the evidence that we have and our expert report and [started] making some negative comments about the expertise of our expert and some other things that our expert did,” Joseph recalls. “When he left the room, my client turned to me with just daggers in his or her eyes and said, ‘What have you done to me? How could this person possibly be fair to me after telling me that my expert report has 16 different holes in it?’”
Monday, 06 July 2015 08:10

Careers derailed

Written by
Photo: John Hyrniuk
Photo: John Hyrniuk
After five years spent at ground zero of a spreading financial disaster known as the Hollinger newspaper swap, Elizabeth DeMerchant was acutely aware of its toxicity. As the Torys LLP counsel watched from the sidelines, the reputations of one director, auditor, or legal counsel after another had been laid waste by scandal or suspicion.
Monday, 01 June 2015 08:00

Retirement: Dare to dream

Written by
Illustration: Kyle Reed
Illustration: Kyle Reed
Lawyer Norm Keith is 58 and laughs hard when asked about his readiness for retirement. “There’s an old adage that most good lawyers live well, work hard, and die poor,” he says, referencing the quote from American lawyer and statesman, Daniel Webster. “Many probably spend a little more money than they need to, for appearances sake, or life enjoyment or because they’re not thinking and planning ahead. As a partner in a law firm you probably think you should be living better than you are and for some that means going into debt,” says Keith.
Monday, 01 June 2015 08:00

The Going Rate

Written by
The Going RateAfter years of steady decline, Canadian litigation fees have finally returned to the heights of the pre-global-recession era, but Canadian lawyers aren’t happy about it.
Monday, 01 June 2015 08:00

CCAA v. BIA

Written by
Illustration: Matthew Billington
Illustration: Matthew Billington
The overall financial situation for Target Corp. was relatively positive when it issued its third-quarter results last November. The net earnings before taxes in the first nine months of 2014 for the Minneapolis-based retailer were US$1.5 billion, in a year where it incurred significant financial costs and unfavorable publicity for a large-scale data breach of its credit card and online operations.
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