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CLA Litigation Committee Update

The members of the CLA Litigation Committee met recently to discuss ongoing litigation/intervention briefs, requests for litigation and the future direction of the committee. The Committee is committed to transparency, accountability and communication with the membership as well as promoting diversity and equality among those chosen to act as interveners for the association. This committee has a mandate to promote and protect the interests of the members of the CLA.

We will be updating the website to provide current information about cases where the CLA has intervened including posting the facta filed. Experienced appellate counsel will generally be invited to intervene on behalf of the CLA but the committee has expressed a renewed interest in maintaining the junior mentoring program for lawyers with 3 to 7 years’ experience with a demonstrated interest in appellate advocacy. The committee may also consider applicants falling outside these experience requirements in exceptional cases in order to achieve our mandate of equity and diversity.

The objective of the junior roster is to offer young appellate counsel with mentorship opportunities by pairing them with experienced counsel on intervention matters at all levels of court including the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. All members of the junior roster were provided an opportunity to act on at least one Supreme Court of Canada intervention last term.

Any current CLA members wishing to be considered for the CLA junior intervention roster should provide an introductory letter setting out their relevant experience and interest if you are not already on the roster. Application for the Junior Roster for the 2018-2019 term should emailed directly to the co-chairs (Daniel Brown and Apple Newton-Smith) and received no later than February 15, 2018.

The Committee will meet bi-monthly in person/phone but will consider litigation/intervention requests on an ongoing basis. We have established an email address entitled litigation@criminallawyers.ca that will be forwarded to all members of the committee. The email address can be used to communicate requests for intervention/litigation. The policy of the CLA is, generally, to only intervene at the Appellate level. Exceptionally, the CLA will consider intervening at first instance although the nature of those interventions will be rare (originating Charter applications seeking declaratory relief are an example). Where the intervention committee flags a case as being a contentious one for the CLA (where members may not agree on the position that should be taken) we will ensure that the Board is involved in approving any position.

As the Litigation Committee, we will also actively seek out and consider being Applicants on cases that are of broader significance to the membership and our clients.

The committee members are: Daniel Brown (Co-Chair), Apple Newton-Smith (Co-Chair), Michael Lacy, Anil Kapoor, Mark Halfyard, Jill Presser, Ingrid Grant, Margaret Bojanowska, Howard Krongold, Megan Savard, Matthew Gourlay and Bradley Greenshields.