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The Friday Brief

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

Friday, February 21, 2020 @ 3:02 PM | By Matthew Grace

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

Top judge urges bar to vigilantly defend judicial independence
Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Richard Wagner is warning the bar and all Canadians to be vigilant to preserve the judiciary’s independence. In his first address to the Canadian Bar Association’s (CBA) annual meeting, the top judge stressed that judicial independence exists not for the benefit of individual judges, but to preserve the public’s confidence that judges decide cases independently and impartially, and without regard to the political ideology of the government that appointed them.

Senator urges reform for use of mandatory minimum penalties
Sen. Kim Pate has proposed legislation that will ensure that mandatory minimum penalties do not “impede judges in their duty to deliver fair and fit sentences.”

Dealing with orphan oil and gas wells both a political and legal problem, experts say
A potential crisis looms over Alberta’s energy sector, which is largely separate from the fallout if major projects such as Trans Mountain expansion do not go forward.

Court of Appeal raises alarm over ‘trap for the unwary’ in addendum to home sale agreement
An Ontario Court of Appeal decision that ruled in favour of a builder in a dispute over a purchase and sale agreement has raised the need to revise the wording of an addendum regarding delayed closing provisions, according to a veteran real estate lawyer.

B.C. Supreme Court makes right call on non-lawyer in traffic court
In her column, Kyla Lee writes: “What is fascinating about this case is the position taken by the court in relation to non-lawyers, including paralegals, providing advocacy services in traffic court in Ontario.”

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