Focus On
Friday Brief

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

Friday, May 29, 2020 @ 4:01 PM | By Matthew Grace

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

National COVID-19 action committee issues first guidance for reopening courts during pandemic
A national task force, co-led by Chief Justice of Canada Richard Wagner and federal Justice Minister David Lametti, has devised some initial guidelines, and identified overarching principles, to help local courts safely and appropriately resume their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial impact of COVID-19 on lawyers, paralegals key issue in LSO treasurer campaign
Candidates in the Law Society of Ontario’s (LSO) treasurer election are advancing campaigns that highlight financial responsibility and governance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the virus on the membership, and the justice system as a whole, cannot be ignored, so how to move the law society forward at this time is top of mind for both candidates.

Court slams council of chief justices for ‘abuse of process’ and exonerates Justice Smith
The Canadian Judicial Council says it won’t appeal a recent Federal Court decision that the disciplinary body for federal judges acted unreasonably and unfairly in launching and pursuing discipline proceedings against Ontario Superior Court Justice Patrick Smith, who altruistically agreed to temporarily lead a struggling northern Ontario law school, after he was cleared to do so by both his chief justice and the federal minister of Justice.

Legal teamwork helps score $30-million settlement in junior hockey class actions
A recent $30-million settlement in three class action lawsuits involving the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and former players marks the end of a hard-fought, five-year legal battle in three provinces that required close co-operation by three law firms amid a rapidly shifting legislative landscape, said one of the lead lawyers.

COVID-19 adds indefinite waiting period to delays in justice system
In her column, Jordana Goldlist writes: “Currently there exists no avenue to challenge the Crown’s evidence and argue that a person charged with a criminal offence is “not guilty.” For that, the courts are closed.”

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