BARE BONES BRIEFS: OCA reverses heroin trafficker’s conviction after judge delays reasons for 4 years | Woman lawyers working 100 more hours than men | 90% of UK lawyers resisting return to office | EU pushes gig workers’ rights | Top 5 law firm bulletins & webinars

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By Julius Melnitzer | December 6, 2021

JUDGE TAKES FOUR YEARS TO DELIVER REASONS AFTER THREE-DAY TRIAL

The trial involved only three days of evidence. But Judge Kofi Barnes of the Ontario Superior Court took four years to deliver reasons. And that was some 31 months after Shane Artis appealed his conviction and 10-year sentence on heroin-related charges.

The “extraordinary” delay combined with the “complex, triable issues” had eroded the Court of Appeal’s confidence in the reasons. Barnes’ logic did not reflect “the actual path to the verdicts” but amounted to “justification of the verdicts in the face of an appeal.” As “the presumption of integrity and impartiality have been rebutted”, the court ordered a new trial.

Related Article: SCC to decide whether Jordan applies to disciplinary cases

WOMEN LAWYERS WORKING ABOUT 100 MORE HOURS ANNUALLY THAN MEN

A Thomson Reuters global study of 1,170 lawyers’ showed that women worked some 2,200 hours annually, 100 more than men.

“The report says law firms need to ‘tune in’ to persistent discrepancies between men and women’s experiences,” according to The Law Society Gazette.

Related Article: “Mediocre” male managers hold women back

LAWYERS GIVE REGULAR OFFICE HOURS DECIDED THUMBS-DOWN

P. S. Practice Source reports that less than 10 percent of UK lawyers embrace a return to regular office hours: they prefer to spend two days a week at home. This according to a Thomson Reuters survey that has 63 percent requesting flexible working hours; just 22 percent did so before the pandemic.

Some 80 percent also wanted to limit client contact, with one-fifth of this group seeking seclusion on weekends. Some 20 percent of the group objected to clients contacting them between 11 PM and 7 AM on weekdays – – – which means they’re still available for 16 hours daily. Lawyers, it seems, have a skewed perspective on work-life balance.

Related Article: Survey: Full-time remote work off the table

EU: GIG WORKERS SHOULD BE EMPLOYEES, NOT INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

Bloomberg reports that the European Commission will be releasing a proposal imposing a “rebuttable presumption of employment” on companies who control gig workers by determining pay and communication with customers, and to whom they offer future work based on previous performance, as employees. The presumption would apply regardless of contract wording. Food delivery and ride-hailing companies are pushing back: they say the proposal will cost jobs. Deliveroo PLC, an online food delivery platform, has already left Spain, leaving thousands jobless after the country imposed strict rules on relationships with gig workers.

Related Article: Uber drivers are employees

TOP LAW FIRM BULLETINS

Energy: Cassels Brock, Regulatory Affairs: Best Practices for Working with Counsel on Corporate Renewable Energy Deals

Environmental: Gowling, BC’s Changing Landscape for Industrial and Commercial Property Transactions: What you need to Know about the Recent Amendments to BC’s Contaminated Sites Regime

Labour Law: Miller Thomson, When are COVID-19 Vaccination Policies enforceable in Unionized Workplaces? A review of recent arbitration awards

Privacy: McMillan, Bill 64: A Checklist to help Businesses Comply with Modern Privacy Requirements in Qu├ębec

Trademarks: McMillan, Protection of Virtual Goods through Tokenized Technology

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at julius@legalwriter.net or https://legalwriter.net/contact.

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