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The Friday Brief

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

Friday, November 01, 2019 @ 3:12 PM | By Matthew Grace

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

Clément Gascon reflects on 5 years at SCC; says access to justice ‘huge challenge’ for bar, bench
Lawyers could face mandatory pro bono obligations if they don’t rise to the “huge challenge” of facilitating civil access to justice for Canadians who can’t afford their services, newly retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Clément Gascon tells The Lawyer’s Daily.

SCC rules on civil law’s ‘presumption of life’ that applies for first 7 years person is missing
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled 6-3 that a Quebec woman who inherited from her late ex-spouse must repay nearly half-a-million dollars in pension benefits his estate received while he was missing and presumed alive before his remains were found.

Visible minority jurists and women got top ratings for federal bench in 2019
Jurists from visible minorities who applied for the federal benches most often earned the highest merit rating from the independent judicial advisory committees (JACs) who screened and assessed applicants for federal Justice Minister David Lametti in 2019, disclose new statistics from the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.

Law Society of Ontario reduces annual fees, accepts Rosenthal’s return despite objections
The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has approved a “streamlined” budget for 2020, which Audit and Finance Committee chair Teresa Donnelly called “responsible.” The budget reduces the lawyer and paralegal annual fees and it keeps the regulator on track to replenish the compensation fund, which took a hit in the middle of the past decade.

Increasing access to justice through lawyer education
In her column, Pamela Cross writes: “As I mentioned in my remarks when I received the Guthrie Award recently, there has been little attention paid to ensuring that lawyers — particularly family law lawyers — are educated about the issue of family violence. This creates a significant barrier to access to justice for families where violence has been a factor.”

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