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Friday Brief

The Friday Brief: Managing Editor’s must-read items from this week

Friday, March 22, 2019 @ 2:56 PM | By Matthew Grace

Matthew Grace %>
Matthew Grace
Here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

U.S. college cheating scandal casts spotlight on security of LSAT, law school admissions
A sweeping U.S. Department of Justice indictment for large-scale bribery and cheating on the SAT entrance exam and in the admissions process for American colleges is raising questions among law deans and others about whether the LSAT or other aspects of the highly competitive law school admissions process in Canada are susceptible to cheating.

Budget 2019 includes more cash for reconciliation, immigration legal aid and judges for Federal Court
Annual updates to federal regulations, a broadened money laundering offence, more judges and cash for the Federal Court and a boost for immigration legal aid are among the justice-related measures Ottawa announced in the 2019 federal budget.

Privy Council head Wernick to retire; PM names McLellan ‘special advisor’ on questions raised by SNC-Lavalin affair
To opposition jeers of “Liberals investigating Liberals,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that he has hired former Liberal Justice Minister Anne McLellan as his “special advisor” in respect of questions raised by former Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould’s explosive allegation that the PMO tried to politically interfere with her prosecutorial discretion in the SNC-Lavalin affair.

New Ontario family law project helps lawyers provide unbundled services
The launch of Ontario’s Family Law Limited Scope Services Project is being lauded by the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) as well as by members of the family bar and bench as a “tremendous achievement” in improving access to justice.

Legal aid lawyers in B.C. vote to begin job action April 1
An organization representing legal aid lawyers in British Columbia has overwhelmingly voted to withdraw their services to protest what they characterize as serious underfunding and strain on the system.

Justice Côté and the importance of dissent
In her column, Vanessa MacDonnell writes: “On Feb. 27, 2019, Supreme Court of Canada Justice Suzanne Côté delivered a robust defence of the role of dissent in a public lecture at McGill University. The lecture, titled “Independence and Collegiality: How do they Co-Exist at the Supreme Court of Canada?” made the case for judges’ broad “right” to dissent. The remarks are Justice Côté’s most extensive comments on this topic since joining the court in December 2014, and they offer a fascinating glimpse of the judicial philosophy of the current court’s most frequent dissenter.”

Matthew Grace is the Managing Editor of The Lawyer’s Daily.