The fiasco of the NFL’s reaction to players’ legal problems filled the headlines lately. The well-publicized video of Baltimore Ravens’ player Ray Rice punching his then-girlfriend in the face sparked outrage from millions of people worldwide. In this age of social media, news travels fast and it travels far. That punch in the elevator prompted a wide-scale, emotional public debate over what role the NFL should play in its athletes’ lives, particularly when they’re off the field. And as the magazine went to press, the story of CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi’s firing shone a bright Canadian spotlight on the issue of whether someone can be fired for private sex acts taking place off duty.
|Photos: Sandra Strangemore|
|Illustration: Matthew Billington|
As far as political firestorms go, Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s June was slightly hotter than most. It began innocently enough on June 13 with the announcement the federal government had appointed 12 new judges to the bench. It was undoubtedly expected to be a routine announcement to fill various vacancies across the country; in law firms and wine bars across the country there would be small gatherings of law firm partners to toast the elevation of their colleagues to the bench. Then something unusual happened. It was pointed out not a single one of the new judicial appointments was a woman. The only woman mentioned in the announcement was already a judge being promoted to a higher court.
|Illustration: Huan Tran|
|Illustration: Mick Coulas|
|Illustration: Oleg Portnoy|
Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession is now in its fifth year. The Top 25 is always one of the magazine’s most-read, and most commented-on features. Of course our choices likely won’t meet with universal approval but a little healthy debate among readers is always welcome. Again this year, we used the tried-and-true formula of asking for nominations from legal groups and associations representing a variety of memberships and locations; last year’s Top 25 honourees; our readership; and an internal panel of writers and editors.