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The Friday Brief

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

Friday, February 15, 2019 @ 4:25 PM | By Matthew Grace


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

Wilson-Raybould quits cabinet, hires ex-SCC judge to advise on what she can ‘legally’ say about SNC-Lavalin
Ex-Attorney General of Canada and former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has quit the federal cabinet, saying she has hired former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Thomas Cromwell to advise her on what she “is legally permitted to discuss” publicly about The Globe and Mail’s allegation that officials in the Prime Minister’s Office exerted “heavy pressure” on her to press the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to abandon its criminal bribery prosecution of SNC-Lavalin in favour of a deferred prosecution agreement that would not trigger criminal consequences for the Montreal-based global engineering and construction giant.

Lawyers dispute claim solicitor-client privilege bars ex-AG comment on alleged PMO ‘pressure’ in SNC-Lavalin case
Some legal experts dispute the assertion that solicitor-client privilege bars Jody Wilson-Raybould from making any comment on The Globe and Mail’s explosive but unproven allegation that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) “pressed” the then-attorney general last fall to nix the bribery prosecution of SNC-Lavalin in favour of a remediation agreement enabling the Montreal-based construction giant to remain eligible for lucrative federal government contracts.

SCC rules teacher’s secret recording of students in school’s common spaces was criminal voyeurism
People can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in public spaces, the Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed 9-0 in a landmark privacy judgment that convicts an Ontario high school teacher of voyeurism for using a camera pen to secretly record the faces and breasts of female students.

B.C. legal community questions changes to ICBC policy limiting number of expert witnesses
The B.C. government is moving to change court rules to limit the number of expert witnesses in motor vehicle cases, but the move is being condemned by some in the legal community, who say it will restrict the rights of individual British Columbians.

Chief Justice Wagner, I can’t afford to help my community
In her column, Elsa Ascencio writes: “While I do agree with the chief justice that law societies should play a more active role in the access to justice issue; I do not agree that law societies should be promoting mandatory pro bono work among lawyers.”

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