C Schmitz: Sparks fly over Douglas case resignation

By Cristin Schmitz for the Lawyers Weekly, September 21, 2012, issue:

The abrupt resignation of the Canadian Judicial Council’s independent counsel could be challenged in Federal Court, says counsel for the complainant at the Douglas Inquiry.

Complainant Alex Chapman’s counsel, Rocco Galati of Toronto’s Galati Rodrigues, queried how independent counsel Guy Pratte could quit his duties to present evidence at the Canadian Judicial Council’s inquiry examining misconduct allegations against a Manitoba judge, without first obtaining permission to withdraw from the inquiry committee.

“No lawyer in any court can get off the record without a motion, and I may take steps to clarify that myself for my client in the Federal Court,” Galati told The Lawyers Weekly. “I doubt that independent counsel can simply resign on their own decision — ​​they need leave of the [inquiry] committee. If any independent counsel who takes a retainer can just resign, well then it makes a mockery of this process.”

The inquiry committee, chaired by Alberta Chief Justice Catherine Fraser, is deemed by the Judges Act to be a superior court.

For the full story on the Lawyers Weekly website, click HERE.

The Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowships in Legal Ethics and Professionalism


The Chief Justice of Ontario’s Advisory Committee on Professionalism established The Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowships in Legal Ethics and Professionalism. The Committee is pleased to announce that:

Professor Brent Cotter of the University of Saskatchewan and Professors Richard Devlin and Jocelyn Downie of Dalhousie University have been awarded the Chief Justice of  Ontario Fellowship  in  Legal  Ethics  and  Professionalism   Research for 2012-13.  This Fellowship is for full-time faculty teaching at a Canadian university or college.

Ms. Hanna Askew, student, of Osgoode Hall Law School, has been awarded the Chief Justice of  Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies for 2012-13. This Fellowship is open to students, licensed paralegals, and lawyers.

C Guly: Top lawyer resigns from Douglas case, questions swirl

In the Lawyers Weekly, September 07 2012 issue

By Christopher Guly

ttawa lawyer Guy Pratte’s resignation on August 27 as independent counsel in the Canadian Judicial Council’s (CJC’s) inquiry into the conduct of Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas could “significantly delay” an already unprecedented hearing, according to a lawyer familiar with public inquiries.

“I haven’t seen a situation where there’s a fight over evidence between counsel appointed by the council and panel members through their own counsel,” said Quebec City lawyer Simon Ruel, “and Pratte’s resignation just adds to this difficult situation.”

Ruel served as deputy chief counsel to former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michel Bastarache’s 2011 inquiry into the appointment process of Quebec judges, and previously served as senior commission counsel to the public inquiry on sex abuse in Cornwall, Ont., and senior government counsel in the inquiry into the federal sponsorship scandal.

For the full story on the Lawyers Weekly website, click HERE.

A Woolley: In memoriam: The Law Society of Alberta Code of Professional Conduct, 1995-2011

From the Canadian Lawyer, September 11, 2012

By Alice Woolley

In the fall of 2011, the Law Society of Alberta implemented a new Code of Professional Conduct. The new code is based on the Federation of Law Societies of Canada Model Code of Professional Conduct. Its implementation resulted in the repeal of the prior Law Society of Alberta code of conduct (1995 code), the implementation of which in 1995 may be the most innovative step ever taken by a Canadian law society. The 1995 code rejected the Canadian Bar Association Model Code, which all Canadian law societies had to that point followed, more or less, with its narrow scope and tendency towards the aspirational. Instead the 1995 code set out clear and comprehensive guidelines establishing the essential obligations of lawyers working across practice contexts, and covering the spectrum of the tasks that lawyers do.

For the full article on the Canadian Lawyer webpage, click HERE.