NEWSLETTER – March 2007
Reisa Teitelbaum, President
Steven Slimovitch & Allen Mendelsohn, Editor(s)
Message from the President
On March 22nd, we will be welcoming the Honourable James Farley, Q.C. who will speak on “Globalization and the Future of the Practice of Law….or, The Good Old Days Are Over”.
The lecture will include a discussion on the benefits (and potential dangers) of globalization and the fact that there is no going back to the “good old days”. Given the increase in world trade and investment – coupled with the “instantaneous” way that commerce now works, how best can the legal community assist business and society in coping with cross-border problems, both preventive and remedial in “real time”. The topic will be of great interest not only to those involved in the insolvency field but to all of us involved in other areas such as class actions, securities litigation and corporate/commercial disputes.
Justice Farley joined McCarthy Tétrault following an illustrious 17-year career as the supervising judge of the commercial list of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. He has been at the forefront of many major commercial insolvencies, including Air Canada, Eatons, and Stelco.
I look forward to having you all join me for the evening with the Honourable Mr. Justice James M. Farley.
I would also like to take the opportunity of wishing you all a happy Passover, which holiday is soon upon us. Passover is a celebration of renewal and freedom, our freedom from slavery in Egypt. Let us not forget to celebrate our freedom and work towards the freedom of all mankind.
THE IMPACT OF THE PEOPLES DECISION – A Review of the Annual Students Dinner
On February 13th, the Lord Reading celebrated its annual student dinner with an informative and insightful panel discussion of Corporate Governance in Canada in light of the SCC’s decision in Peoples v. Wise.
Society President Reisa Teitelbaum began the evening focusing on student and stagiaires by joking that it was “the only night this year when our average age goes down.” She went on to celebrate scholastic achievement by introducing and congratulating the Lord Reading scholarship winners, John Brighten from McGill and Julien Gratton from Université de Montréal.
The panel was introduced by Justice Benjamin Greenberg, who was the trial judge in the case. Of course, given his duty of judicial reserve, he said he could not add anything to the discussion.
Gerald Kandestin, who acted for Ernst & Young (Peoples’ trustee), explained the background of the case, including the CBCA articles and the appropriate provision of the Bankruptcy Act that got them into Bankruptcy Court. Eric Lalande, who acted for Wise, explained the facts from his perspective, and described the importance of the decision with respect to directors liability in bankruptcy matters, and explained how the SCC held that a fiduciary duty is owed to the corporation exclusively.
Ian Rose, who acted for Chubb Insurance, explained the Business Judgment Rule, upheld by the SCC, and how it means that the courts will support the decisions of directors. There is no violation of the CBCA provisions in question if the business decisions were reasonable, and if reasonable due diligence was performed. So it was concluded that the case would not open the floodgates for directors’ liability.
The panel was thanked by Mark Schrager, and another successful student dinner was over. The Society would like to thank the students and stagiaires for attending, and we hope to see them return in the future and become full-time members of the Lord Reading.
March 22 2007
The Honourable James Farley, Q.C., Globalization and the Future of the Practice of Law….or, The Good Old Days Are Over
June 7, 2007: Me Edward S. Goldenberg, Program TBA
An Invitation to the Israel Bar Conference
You are cordially invited to take part in the Israel Bar Conference which will be held from the 27th until the 31st of May 2007 in Eilat.
The plane ticket in economy costs approximately $1500 and 5 stars hotels in Eilat costs between $100 with $150 U.S., based on double occupancy.
In 2006, Me Teddy Goloff and Me Annie Kenane took part in this conference and described their experience as being most positive, meeting lawyers from USA, Kosovo, France, Switzerland, Israel and other countries. Not only will be able to contacts with some very interesting colleagues from around the world but Eilat with a wonderful city on the Red Sea known for its sun and fun.
April 1997 – A Kinder, Gentler Old Judge
From U.S. Senior District Judge Lucius D. Bunton, III – who bills himself as “a kinder, gentler old judge” in the newsletter he writes for the district judges of the fifth circuit – this excerpt:
The Court: Mr Henry, two things. Donna is a great court reporter, and I’m sure she got all that down, but I’ve told you before my hearing aids can just listen so fast.
Mr. Henry: All right.
The Court: And I was in Portland, Ore. last week, and I lost one of those things. So if you see me cocking my head to the right, it’s not because I like to look at that jury over there in the box; it’s because the only hearing aid that I have left is in my right ear. So if you’ll just slow down a little bit, I think I can get most of it in that right ear.
Then later, in the closing arguments:
Mr. Mears: Your honor, if I appear to wink at you it’s because I have got a problem. I lost a contact last night. So, like you, I’m working on half of what I need. And sometimes I have to blink in order to see through these glasses.
The Court: I’ll turn my deaf ear to your blind eye.
Mr. Mears: I’m sure there are a lot of people who would think that would be progress.
NEWS FROM THE MISHPAUCHAH
To The Honourable Mark Peacock, on his appointment to the Superior Court of Quebec.
To Lavery de Billy and Kugler Kandestin for their sponsorship of the February 13th dinner-meeting.
To Leon Jeidekin following his recent hip surgery.
To Jeffrey Boro on the passing of his brother
To H. Laddie Schnaiberg, C.R., on the death of his brother