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CDN:--Self-Represented Litigants (SRL) in the Courts: How They Are Shaping the Jurisprudence

Post by Webscout » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:12 am

Self-Represented Litigants (SRL) in the Courts: How They Are Shaping the Jurisprudence

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http://www.slaw.ca/2018/12/13/self-represented-litigants-in-the-courts-how-they-are-shaping-the-jurisprudence/

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Quite the story-Apotex heirs face daunting decisions a year after Sherman murders

Post by Webscout » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:46 pm

Apotex heirs face daunting decisions a year after Sherman murders
ANDREW WILLIS

UPDATED DECEMBER 14, 2018
FOR Utopia

Jonathon Sherman’s first stint at Apotex Inc., his father’s generic drug company, lasted just seven months.

Fresh out engineering school at Columbia University, Barry and Honey Sherman’s only son took on a project installing new technology for Apotex’s pill packaging lines, then quit to do a 250-kilometre endurance race across the Gobi desert with one of his three sisters.

The 35-year-old’s second tour of duty at Apotex was born out of unimaginable tragedy and carries far larger expectations, but is helping strengthen the company financially in the face of widespread industry disruption.

It has been a year since his parents were found murdered in their Toronto home – no arrests have been made and the family is offering a $10-million reward to anyone who can help solve the crime. Jonathon Sherman joined Apotex’s four-person board early this year and has emerged as a key decision maker in a restructuring of one the world’s largest generic drug makers. The family owns approximately 90 per cent of Apotex through a trust controlled by Jonathon and sisters Lauren, Alexandra and Kaelen, while the remainder is held by employees. None of the sisters have worked at Apotex.

Along with Jonathon Sherman, brother-in-law Brad Krawczyk and 77-year-old chief executive Jack Kay joined the board last winter. Mr. Kay came out of retirement after the killings. In his new role, Jonathon Sherman has signed off on decisions that fly in the face of his father’s strategy.

“Jonathon has stepped forward as a mature businessman,” said lawyer Shashank Upadhye, who sat in the office next to Barry Sherman’s for five years as Apotex’s general counsel and is now a partner in a Chicago law firm that advises pharmaceutical companies. He said part of that process was Jonathon recognizing he can honour his father by helping steer the company while realizing no one can replicate his father’s vision and work ethic. Mr. Upadhye said: “Barry, first and foremost, was a brilliant and proud Canadian, who cared deeply for his people and his country.”

The founder’s name is still spoken with reverence within Apotex. The entire 11,000-employee company shut down on Friday to honour Barry and Honey Sherman’s memory. Yet changes overseen by Jonathon – such as culling the portfolio of drugs, resolving lawsuits and selling underperforming foreign operations – have boosted profit margins, according to insiders and advisers who are privy to the private company’s financial results, but not permitted to speak publicly. Apotex executives and a lawyer for Jonathon Sherman and the family declined requests for formal interviews.

Outside and inside Apotex, there’s a widespread expectation that the family and executive team are polishing up the business as the prelude to a sale. In the not-too-distant future, rival drug makers, pension funds and private equity firms are expected to take part in an auction in which bidding would start in the $4-billion range, according bankers and legal advisers familiar with the company.

If the company does change hands, one challenge facing Jonathon Sherman and his sisters is honouring their father’s patriotism by finding an owner willing to preserve approximately 2,000 domestic manufacturing jobs, mostly in Ontario. Larger rivals are boosting profit margins by operating out of lower-cost regions such as India. In a recent media interview, Mr. Kay said prior to Barry Sherman’s death, the two executives recognized they would eventually sell Apotex and considered taking less money to guarantee manufacturing remained in Canada. But Mr. Kay told Bloomberg Businessweek magazine: "You can’t rule from the grave.”

Apotex faces disruptive forces. In the U.S., a key market for Apotex, generic drug prices declined at a 7-per-cent annual clip in recent years, as institutional drug purchasers closed ranks and turned the screws on suppliers. Credit Suisse projects the trend will gather speed, with generic drug prices potentially falling by up to 12 per cent annually. Another study, from PwC, found pharmaceutical companies accustomed to simply selling directly to doctors will need to change their entire marketing strategy, and “the health-care system will focus increasingly on paying for the value rather than the volume of medical care; in other words, it will be a more consumer-facing industry.”

The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly about scale, with takeovers reshaping the landscape. While Apotex is Canada’s largest generic drug firm, it’s a relative minnow in global seas, with sales of $2.7-billion last year, compared with US$22-billion at industry leader Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Industry surveys rank Apotex as the No. 11 player in the key U.S. market and No. 15 globally.

In the face of increasing competition, dramatic changes played out behind the scenes at Apotex over the past year. It began less than a month after the founder’s funeral, with the resignation of CEO Jeremy Desai, who had been accused of industrial espionage by rival Teva. He was replaced by Mr. Kay, while veteran sales executive Jeff Watson was named president and the new four-person board was formed.

Mr. Watson is aggressively pruning Apotex’s portfolio of drugs, a project that began in the summer of 2017 when Barry Sherman was alive, then gathered speed last winter. The founder rarely abandoned a product or sold a patent. Mr. Watson has shut down or sold many of the company’s least profitable lines, although Apotex honours a policy of continuing to manufacture any drug where it is the sole producer. Apotex churns out 25 billion drug doses annually, and currently markets more than 300 products. Executives with rival firms say approximately 100 Apotex drugs were discontinued or put up for sale in the past year.

Barry Sherman was famously fond of litigation, part of his personal obsession with getting cheaper generic drugs to those who needed them as quickly as possible. That approach is history, according to sources in the legal community. A number of long-standing Apotex lawsuits were quietly settled in the past year. Apotex’s lawyers are no longer rushing to court to fight over every new drug. The approach is dramatically cutting legal bills that annually ran to $40-million or more. Resolving long-standing claims that can run to hundreds of millions of dollars also eliminates risks that would undermine the company’s value in a potential sale.

Another element of Barry Sherman’s vision was to provide generic drugs to the entire world, an admirable goal, but not always profitable. In the past year, Apotex scaled back back operations outside North America, while increasing spending on projects such as a $184-million factory in Florida. In May, the company announced plans to merge its businesses in Australia and New Zealand with those of its biggest rival, to create a market leader in the region. In July, the company said it would sell operations in five European countries to a pharmaceutical company based in India for $112-million. At the time, Mr. Watson said exiting Europe “is a positive move for our organization and enables us to further accelerate our efforts to drive additional growth in the Americas."

Early in his career, Jonathon Sherman honed business skills by making tough calls on his father’s unsuccessful investments. To the amazement of those who knew him, Barry Sherman backed a series of money-losing ventures from energy drink maker-cum-movie star Frank D’Angelo. One misadventure translated into a $100-million-plus haircut on craft beer maker Steelback Brewery. Jonathon Sherman took over the business from Mr. D’Angelo in 2008 after it filed for creditor protection and attempted a turnaround backed by beer industry veterans. After two years of hard slogging, it became clear there was no public thirst for Steelback, and he shut down the 40-employee brewery.

Tough decisions are coming on the family’s stake in Apotex, and there’s every indication the Shermans' four children value their mother’s tireless philanthropy over their father’s passion for pills. In a searing eulogy last December, Jonathon Sherman said: “Our family legacy, like so many others, emerged like a phoenix from the ashes of the European Holocaust, shattered and broken, only to rise and rebuild and to thrive ... My sisters and I pledge to rise again and to continue thriving and to continue building our parents’ legacy of loving life, caring for others.”

The same philanthropic theme dominated a short press release the Sherman family published on Thursday to mark the anniversary of their parents' passing. The note didn’t mention Apotex, but did say: “We also wish to re-affirm our family’s continued pledge to the many humanitarian causes to which our parents were deeply committed.” Jonathon Sherman and his sisters can fund an unmatched charitable legacy by cashing in on their father’s life work.

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Thanks for your votes for 2018 Best Legal Blog

Post by Webscout » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:15 am

Sunday, January 6, 2019
Thanks for your votes for 2018 Best Legal Blog - we made the top ten!
Lynne Butler


Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the Expert Institute's Top Legal Blog 2018 contest. We wanted to make the top ten, and we did. We came 7th in the Niche and Specialty section! We're really proud of that result, given that we were running against huge American blogs.

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Re: "Does every Will have to be probated?"

Post by Webscout » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:04 am

"Does every Will have to be probated?":

Q-I guess another common question that people may have is: if each spouse owns separate capital property under their name, and if they setup will designating the surviving spouse as the sole beneficiary. When one spouse passed away, does the property (not joint name) subject to probate? (Anonymous)

Ans-Yes, that is a common question. and yes, the property solely owned by a person is subject to probate if the person dies. Lynne Butler-Lawyer

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Can I probate a PDF copy of a will if the original can't be found?

Post by Webscout » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:34 am

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Can I probate a PDF copy of a will if the original can't be found?
Lynne Butler-Lawyer

Wills occasionally go missing. This can be problematic when the testator has passed away and nobody knows where he or she has stored the document, or even whether the will still exists. A reader recently sent me a note about this situation. The question and my response are below:

"If we can only find a copy (PDF) of the will, can it still be probated? Can the witness just sign an affidavit stating that it is true?"

It's not impossible to probate a copy of the will, but it is extremely difficult. There is no automatic or express process to do this. You would have to persuade a judge to grant the probate based on the facts of the situation.

The law requires that an original will be provided when someone applies for probate. There is a reason for this; the law presumes that if an original will cannot be found, the owner of the will destroyed it. This makes sense, because if you changed your mind about your will and tore it up, it would be a true miscarriage of justice if someone could take a copy of that destroyed will to probate.

This presumption is what makes it difficult to probate a copy of a will. The affidavit that you mention in your question would not be of limited use in terms of probating a copy. Yes, it might say that the copy was a true copy of the person's will (if the witness was someone who was familiar enough with the details of the original document), but it would not address the issue of the whereabouts of the original.

Whether or not a judge would be willing to allow you to probate a copy of the will would depend on the circumstances. For example, I recall a case in which I was successful in probating a copy of a will of a man who passed away. He and his wife had made their wills with a lawyer at the same time and the wills were in most aspects mirrors of each other. Not long after the wills were made, the man became ill and soon after that, was diagnosed with the early signs of dementia. To prove to the court that the deceased had not destroyed his will, his wife gave evidence that they had always done their planning together, that she had been managing the family's legal and financial matters for a while due to her husband's illness, and that he had had no wish and no opportunity to change his will. The original will couldn't be found but the wife deposed that she was positive it had been misplaced, not destroyed.

Other relevant facts in the case were that the copy had the (photocopied) signature and initials on it, the wife had searched extensively for the original, that the will left a large portion of the estate to the wife but not solely to her, and that the wife was not interested in pursuing a dependent's relief claim for the part of the estate she was not going to receive.

In that case, the judge believed the witness and allowed the probate to be granted. As I said, each case will have to be decided on its own facts, and on the issue of whether the evidence is strong enough to overcome the presumption that the testator destroyed his own will with the intention of revoking it.

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McDonald's, fancy dress, and a VW: Britons are doing death differently

Post by Webscout » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:53 am

Sunday, January 20, 2019
McDonald's, fancy dress, and a VW: Britons are doing death differently
Lynne Butler-Lawyer-East Coast-Canada

I recently read an article in w*w.theguardian.com (see links below) that talks about how the funeral industry is changing. Apparently as much as 40% of the population in Britain wants their final send-off to be something other than the traditional funeral. Some of the examples given in the article, which you can read by clicking here, include undertakers wearing red clown noses, VW camper vans instead of hearses, and attendees at the funeral being asked to wear bright colours instead of black.

I haven't seen a request for change to this extent in my own practice, but I live in a place that cherishes its cultural traditions, including those touching on death. Not that I haven't seen a few unusual final wishes lately. One client wants a full Viking funeral. Another wants to be cremated and her ashes put in a paper bag to be tossed off Signal Hill (into the Atlantic ocean). I have also seen a few trends emerge, such as the decline of open casket viewing, the popularity of cremation over burial, and an increased willingness to donate organs.

What has not changed is that whether you want something traditional, something completely weird, or something in between, you have to make those wishes known.

It's possible to include your wishes for your send-off in your will. Most lawyers will say that there is no point putting these instructions in your will because your will probably won't be opened until long after your body has been dealt with. To some extent, I agree. However I decided some years ago that I would begin putting the wishes into wills, for one simple reason: if there is a dispute about what to do with your body, your wishes can be known by reading your will.

If it's a dispute among the kids about what Mom or Dad wanted, seeing it in black and white in the will should resolve the issue.

Having these instructions in your will won't win a legal battle on their own. Your executor has the legal right to make whatever arrangements for your final disposition that he or she believes are appropriate, no matter what the will says. However, my experience is that in the vast majority of cases, executors and family alike want to honour those wishes, as long as they know what they are.

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https://www.theguardian.com/international
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/21/funeral-survey-britons-uk-celebration-life-mcdonald-s-fancy-dress-vw-camper-hearse

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How a font helped reveal a multi-million dollar fraud

Post by Webscout » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:04 am

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
How a font helped reveal a multi-million dollar fraud
Lynne Butler-East Coast Canada

Lawyers involved in wills litigation are used to having to prove or disprove the validity of documents. For example, handwritten wills are challenged as to whether they were really written by the deceased person. While the examination of written signatures is not going to go away any time soon, there is now a new tool to help courts determine the validity of documents: fonts.

In the case of Re: McGoey, a brand new case out of Ontario bankruptcy court, there was a question of whether trust documents were backdated or fraudulently dated. The facts are complicated, but boil down to whether Gerald McGoey, a telecommunications CEO and millionaire, had hidden assets from creditors. McGoey had transferred assets including a farm and a Muskoka cottage into trusts which he said were created in 1995 and 2004. The dates were important because things later went bad for Mr. McGoey. He was sued for breach of fiduciary duty arising from his role as CEO and board member. In 2017, the court found him liable for $5,565,696, plus $200,000 for legal fees. He then filed for bankruptcy. The trusts were being challenged on the basis that they were fraudulent transfers set up intentionally to keep assets out of the hands of creditors. To read the facts of the case in more detail, click https://w*w.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2019/2019onsc80/2019onsc80.html here.

The parties challenging the trust documents called a typography expert. He said that the 1995 document had been prepared using a font called Cambria and the 2001 document used a font called Calibri, neither of which was available to the public until 2007. Therefore the documents could not have been created when McGoey said they were.

While the use of these fonts was not enough on its own to convince the court that the documents were fraudulently back-dated, it was certainly taken into consideration as part of the evidence.

It's inevitable that as we rely more and more on technology, methods of keeping up with fraudulent use of technology will evolve. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that a case in Canada has involved the use of fonts to bust a fraudulent trust, but it has been done in other places around the world.

They say the devil is in the details. It certainly was for Mr. McGoey.

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Lawyers? Attorneys? Powers of Attorney? What's the difference?

Post by Webscout » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:13 am

Friday, February 8, 2019
Lawyers? Attorneys? Powers of Attorney? What's the difference?
Lynne Butler

Apparently I'm not the only person who becomes pedantic over language usage: I've recently read an article by Albert Oosterhoff, an eminent Toronto lawyer, in which he discusses the proper way to use the word "attorney" and the phrase "power of attorney".

In this article, Mr. Oosterhoff talks about the difference between the power of attorney, which is a document, and the attorney, which is a person who derives authority from a power of attorney. He notes that often the person is incorrectly referred to as being someone's "power of attorney" when they are not; they are actually the person's attorney. I hear people being referred to as "power of attorney" every day by clients, land registry staff, bankers, reporters, and lots of others. You might be glad to know that Mr. Oosterhoff is annoyed with lawyers for misusing these terms but really is okay with non-lawyers doing so. Click here

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http://welpartners.com/blog/2019/02/power-of-attorney-and-attorney-correct-usage/
to read the article.

This leads me to one of my own pet language peeves. Canadians are beginning to refer to lawyers as "attorneys" because they have heard that term so often on American TV. movies, and internet. In the USA, lawyers are called "Attorneys-at-law", which is usually shortened to "attorney". That usage is totally wrong in Canada because an "attorney", as you have seen above, is a person who is appointed under a power of attorney document.

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Re: The LEGAL/JUSTICE POST

Post by Webscout » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:39 am

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Mensa Canada has a brand new blog and I've written its first post.
Lynne Butler-Lawyer-East Coast Canada

Mensa Canada has launched a new project, namely a blog. They asked me to write the first post for this new project, so I did. Click here

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https://www.mensacanada.org/blog/2019/02/13/my-balancing-act/
? if you'd like to read my post about my experiences as the editor of Mensa Canada's national magazine (latest cover shown to the left). I called the article "My Balancing Act", since that pretty much describes how I get through my days. You don't have to be a member to read the post but the group is always open to new members joining.

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To get a lawyer's "special pricing", do our wills need to be exact mirrors?

Post by Webscout » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:16 am

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
To get a lawyer's "special pricing", do our wills need to be exact mirrors?
Lynne Butler-East Coast Canada

If you're thinking about getting your will done, you've probably looked around at prices offered by various lawyers and law firms. No doubt you've noticed that many lawyers will advertise a reduced price for a couple. A reader recently sent me some questions about that arrangement, as follows:

"I wonder if you could at some point address the question of whether (when?) it is advisable to have two separate lawyers when a couple wants to have their wills drafted.

I'm very perplexed about this. Our wills will need to be coordinated somewhat, especially with regard to provisions for the case where we die simultaneously, but I expect them to differ from each other in various details. I see lawyers advertising special rates for couples, but does that mean the wills must be exact mirror images of each other to qualify? If they are not, then, if one uses the same lawyer, may that lawyer not find him/herself in a situation where he/she is obliged to inform one spouse of another's action, but doing so would mean breaking lawyer-client confidentiality?

Where one lawyer is used for both wills, is it usual for both spouses to be present for one consultation, or can they be seen individually?"

It's not usually necessary for couples to have separate lawyers to have their wills prepared, though of course they can choose that if they want to. The reason most couples use the same lawyer is that they are hoping to make plans that are consistent with each other. They feel that it's a goal they both have, with a benefit to both of them. They want to make sure that they make consistent plans for passing on assets to the kids, naming guardians for minors, and taking care of other matters ranging from businesses to pets to aging parents.

This doesn't mean that the wills must be exact mirrors of each other. I often find that couples want the same thing for major decisions, such as what age children may inherit, but have different plans for other matters. For example, a wife may wish to leave jewelry to her sister even if her husband is still alive, but the husband's will might simply leave all to his wife. There are often differences in their wishes for funeral or cremation.

One of the biggest differences occurs when one half of the couple has children from a prior relationship and the other doesn't. This can mean that the one with children wants to divide his estate between his new wife and the children from the previous marriage, whereas his wife, with no children, may wish to leave her entire estate to her husband.

When a lawyer advertises a special rate for couples (and I am one of them), the special rate is lower than the cost of two individual people coming in separately and having completely different documents prepared. The special rate anticipates that the couple will attend a meeting together and that their wills are going to be substantially similar. The lawyer is able to offer a discounted rate because instead of two meetings of an hour each, there is one meeting of an hour. It's also because if there is, say, a complicated trust to be drafted that will appear in two wills, it really only needs to be drafted once. Because there is a time savings, the lawyer can pass on the savings to the client.

I would therefore assume that if you want to take advantage of a special rate for couples, you will be expected to attend a meeting together. In our office, we do not necessarily expect the couples' wills to be identical to use our special rate, but we do expect them to be more or less mirrors of each other. I would think you'll find most lawyers will operate this way. There is no point offering a couple's rate if we're actually doing two completely separate files.

You are correct that if a lawyer sees both of you and prepares wills for you both, it is considered a joint retainer. Neither of you can ask the lawyer to keep any secrets from the other. In my view, a lawyer who is asked to change a will for one half of a couple under these circumstances should only go ahead with the changes once the lawyer is sure that the other half of the couple is aware of the changes being made. If it can't be divulged to the other half, the lawyer shouldn't be doing the changes and the client should get a different lawyer.

I do sometimes see only one half of a couple to do a will, though it is unusual. When I do encounter this situation, it generally involves a couple who are blending their families. Each of them already has a lawyer who has assisted them with a pre-nuptial agreement and each of them wants to stick with the lawyer with whom they have a trusted working relationship.

These are the general rules. It's worth calling the office you're thinking of using to have a brief chat about their billing policies

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What is it like to be a lawyer in court, and hire another lawyer to defend you?

Post by Webscout » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:12 am

What is it like to be a lawyer in court, and hire another lawyer to defend you?

Michael Prete, Fordham U. School of Law, JD, 2003;once got Kennedy to admit SCOTUS is political
Updated Fri March 29/19
NOTE: I ADDED MORE INFO WHEN I SAW HOW MANY VIEWS THIS WAS GETTING.

Very very frustrating. In my case, I was arrested by a notorious corrupt PD for a DUI, when I voluntarily walked back into the station after while I was backing up against one of their unmarked cars. I had just been in there speaking to three officers on behalf of my father who was very ill, for about 30 minutes. Not one of them said a word about my speech or that I had difficulty helping my father up and down the stairs, or anything relating to my ability to drive. But when I was backing out, my father started making a gagging sound, and I got distracted as I backed out and hit the side of one of their cars, I believe. I could’ve easily just driven away as it didn’t seem like there was any real damage at all, but I decided to do what I thought was the right thing, walked right back into the station, and filed a accident report. The desk sergeant seemed very annoyed to have to deal with such a trivial matter, But when I told him that I thought it was one of their cars I hit, he hurried to the back and came out with eight officers that looked like military cadets, walking 2 x 2, goose stepping, and ordered me to show them where I hit their car.

To this day I have not the slightest doubt that I could have totaled a dozen cars in the parking lot, as long as they were civilian cars and not theirs, and they could have cared less and none of this would have ever progressed and they never would have even cared to come outside with me. This was solely about them being pissed that I had damaged one of their vehicles, a brand new one at that, and my father even heard one of the officers quietly saying to another, while he was sitting in the waiting room and they didn’t know who he was, “we’ve got to find someway to nail this fucker for what he did to the car. “

The officer who was asking was the same one who I had been speaking to all of that time. I had the misfortune of hitting the passenger door handle, and it caused it to stick a little. Then he started to say that I was slurring my words and that I was walking unsteadily. I could go through the entire set of events which I have explained here before, but after giving me FIVE standard field sobriety tests, with about 20 or 25 officers watching me, causing just a little bit of anxiety, I finally made a mistake while walking the white line, and I was immediately arrested. My good friend with the NYPD, a detective, told me that once you pass the first SFST, And if they happen to take a BAC sample and it is under .08, that is the end of the investigation. He had never even heard of an officer doing more than one SFST to a suspect. And of course, why on earth would I go back into the station if I were impaired?

In law school, when you do moot court, you get to see the basic facts of a case, and choose which one you want to take and if you want to be the prosecutor or the defense attorney. If I had seen the facts of this case, I would have grabbed this case as quickly as possible to be the defense attorney, as I have left out so much, and only the most idiotic or corrupt jury on the planet could have found me guilty. There were only about 25 areas of reasonable doubt, and as I said, this department was notorious for its corruption. I was actually only there because my parents had sold their house on Long Island and were moving to another house, but it was not ready yet, so they leased a house in this Inc. city on Long Island, one of two that not only had a court for their own traffic violations but also for misdemeanors. Which meant that I would be tried in their court, not the Nassau county courthouse. This also meant that the jury pool would come from only that small city, and The public constantly dealing with the police, my attorney said despite how incredibly strong my case was, he was weary of trying this case in front of a jury that we’re all from there, as if they acquitted me, it would have been like them calling the officers who testified, liars. And would come back to haunt them. He had previously had a DUI case in that city and even though there was a recorded evidence of the officers being told by dispatch that someone had complained about someone speeding, the officers were hard to say that they weren’t going to bother chasing him, and then the dispatcher described the car and the fact that the driver was black, and at that point the officers are heard saying that, “OK, Let’s get this nigger.” And despite all of that evidence and that tape being played for the jury, they convicted the driver. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the driver was never proven to have had a BAC over. 08 as he refused to be tested. Based on principle.

This happened to me on January 1, 2014. I figured, as this was something I ever dealt as an attorney, that this was not much more than a traffic ticket and that this thing would be wrapped up in a couple of weeks. Try 14 months. The district attorney of the county ran on a zero tolerance policy for all Dui arrests. She is now in Congress where she belongs. Anyway, in any of the other 62 counties in New York State, on a first time case like this, with no aggravated circumstances and no one hurt and no real property damage, the district attorney Would immediately offer a plea bargain down to a traffic violation. Here, she offered me three years of probation if I pled guilty. The judge already realized what a farce this was, and told my attorney that he wouldn’t give me any punishment other than the required license suspension, if I did plead guilty. There was no way I was pleading guilty to anything. This was something you could not even make up.

But my attorney kept coming back to the point about the jury. So I agreed that we would go with a bench trial as I trusted the judge. The only problem was that the judge had a son on the police department who was involved in my case. So without even realizing it, he might be deferential towards the prosecution. And I did not want to ask for the other judge, as he was supposedly corrupt as well.

So month after month after month I would appear in court and every single month the case was continued pending my toxicology report. Bottom line is that it basically showed nothing. But the county DA was still instructing the local DA to prosecute with no plea offer. I was so exhausted after just six months of this insanity then I probably would have taken a plea down to a traffic violation at that point. Considering how screwed I was.

I’d been debating with my attorney for weeks, wanting him to file a motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause. This is where it got difficult between the two of us. He did not want to file this motion, and thought it would alienate the DA. I was certain that it was a solid motion and that I had found a precedent for it. Finally he agreed, and submitted the motion that I had mostly written. A few days later he called me and told me that the Nassau district attorneys office called him, and offered to reduce it to a traffic violation. Clearly they thought they would lose the motion, and were trying to salvage something.

Like I said, I was having such difficulty with the idea of pleading guilty to anything, even jaywalking. But this was going on for over a year now, and I couldn’t take it anymore, so I am eventually took the plea offer, with the main importance being that it would not be a crime, not a misdemeanor on my record. The violation however required that I do 50 hours of community service. Normally I couldn’t have cared less about something like that, as I have probably done thousands of hours of community service, especially when I was younger, purely voluntarily as my entire life, even as an attorney, has been in public service. I was told before agreeing to this is that the worst it would be would be a kin to something like picking up garbage along the highway. You actually have to pay to do community service, so I learned that the entire thing is basically a racket for free labor. You go to an outside company that pays the county with the contract to get the service, They pay the county because you pay them; the more hours the more money. I was told my assignment would be to help a Mosque Refurbish its center. I couldn’t care less that it was a Mosque, but how does a private religious institution have anything to do with the community at large. Anyway, I decided that I would just knock off the 50 hours in one week, but I got vertigo and then got the beginnings of a very serious neurological illness, The one that my father had been very ill from and has since passed away. I presented numerous doctors letters to the county that I could not do the work they were requiring, which incredibly turned out to be heavy construction work. But they told me that if I did not complete the assignment, they would revoke the deal and enter a guilty plea of a DUI misdemeanor on my record. So I had no choice but to work while I was extremely sick as I had a very short timeframe to complete it. Below is the onot picture I could post performing Community Service that I was told it would be no more physically intensive then picking up garbage with a stick. And, incredibly I was required to sign a letter that if I were injured while working I had no means to sue the county even if it was their fault, something that obviously never would have agreed to, except I had already agreed to the deal so it was too late.


But more to the point of your question, there were constant battles throughout the 14 months between my attorney and I over how to handle the case and over the law and it was a very difficult situation. But as they say, an man who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

Somewhere in the archives of questions I have answered regarding being falsely arrested, I give the full details are the absolute insanity that was involved with this arrest, one that every colleague of mine from law school, fellow attorneys, judges I know, and probably the most respected legal mind, my former Dean at Fordham law school, John Feerick, who still teaches there, author of the 25th amendment, each and every one called it the most absurd arrest they had ever heard up in their careers.

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**Ontario Canada and Probate**

Post by Webscout » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:41 am

**Ontario Canada and Probate**

Effective January 1, 2015, new probate filing rules took effect for Ontario estates. This information is important for clients who are, or will be, executors of Ontario estates

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https://potvinfinancial.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/mm-tep-ontario-executors-probate-rules-en.pdf

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Top 3 Estate Planning Mistakes - watch on YouTube

Post by Webscout » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:09 pm

Friday, April 5, 2019
Lynne Butler, BA LLB
Top 3 Estate Planning Mistakes - watch on YouTube

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHeJe3xuMbU

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LEGAL SYSTEM VS. JUSTICE SYSTEM

Post by Webscout » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:08 am

Thursday, April 25, 2019
Being right doesn't matter if you can't prove it
LEGAL SYSTEM VS. JUSTICE SYSTEM
Lynne Butler, BA LLB

In my latest post on the Mensa Canada blog, I discussed why I always refer to a "legal system" and not a "justice system". My theory is that it matters what we call it, because talking about a "justice system" makes people think that good always wins over bad. Talking about a "legal system" makes it clear that it's not about who is good or bad, but about what evidence exists. Check it out here.

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 https://www.mensacanada.org/blog/2019/04/24/legal-system-vs-justice-system/ 
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Canada:Free Wills Month 2019-May

Post by Webscout » Wed May 08, 2019 8:55 am

Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Free Wills Month 2019
Lynne Butler, BA LLB-East Coast Canada


It's that time of year again. It's Free Wills Month, an event sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society. We are participating again this time around. Last year we did more than 40 free wills for folks over 55 who would have found it difficult to pay for wills, even though they have a house or other asset to pass on. It's our way of supporting the important work done by this charity, and of giving back to our community.

This event happens across the country, so check your local papers for ads in your area.

:?: EDitor---I wonder if the USA has something like this? :idea:

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