Strong showing for Osgoode in Canadian Lawyer’s top 25 ranking

CanadianLawyer-VOsgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin (LLB ’92), grads David Brown (LLM ’05), Norie Campbell (LLB ’95, LLM ’03), Michael Geist (LLB ’92), Brian Greenspan (LLB ’71) and Honorary Degree recipient Rosalie Abella (LLD [Hon.] ’91) are on Canadian Lawyer magazine’s 2013 list of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada. The list was published in the August 2013 issue of the magazine.

“The Top 25 is about a level of respect, the ability to influence public opinion and help shape the laws of this country; contribution to the strength and quality of legal services; and social and political influence and involvement,” writes Gail Cohen, editor of Canadian Lawyer magazine, in her introduction to “The Top 25 Most Influential”.

For the second year in a row, Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Sossin made the list in the Changemakers category. Sossin was praised for his important role in Canadian legal education with the magazine making a special note of his leadership role in experiential education. “With the Law Society of Upper Canada planning radical changes to legal licensing in Ontario, Sossin’s novel and creative approaches to legal education promise to play an important role in the profession in the coming years,” noted the magazine.

Justice David Brown, a judge on the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto, was also included in the Changemakers category. Brown was lauded for his colourful delivery and outspoken judgements. Canadian Lawyer magazine noted Brown’s criticism of “the motions culture” in which he decried the actions by “lawyers preferring to bring complex motions rather than settle matters through a civil trial”.

Making the list as part of the In-house Counsel category, Osgoode grad Norie Campbell, top legal counsel for the Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank, leads a team of more than 60 lawyers. She also appears on the top 40 under 40 list. Canadian Lawyer made special mention of Campbell’s important role in the bank “at a time when TD is making serious inroads into the US market”. Campbell is also active in the United Way.

In the Corporate-Commercial Law category, University of Ottawa Professor and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, Michael Geist, is marking his third year on the Canadian Lawyer list. His column appears in the Toronto Star and Ottawa Citizen newspapers, and he is an author and blogs regularly on copyright law. “Through his academic work and public outreach, Geist illuminates issues surround copyright law and the Internet,” noted the magazine.

Appearing in the Criminal Law/Human Rights category, Osgoode alumnus Brian Greenspan, a partner in the Toronto firm Greenspan HumphreyLavine, made the list for his continuing leadership in Canadian criminal law. The publication referred to his work to help “redefine the scope of the defence of duress now available to all accused”. Greenspan appeared on the magazine’s first top 25 list that was published in 2010.

Also appearing in the Criminal Law/Human Rights category is Justice Rosalie Abella, a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada. Abella was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1991 by York University for her leadership role in human rights law. “Abella was the sole dissenter in the 2012 case of R. v. N.S.,” noted the publication, “where she argued that requiring a witness to remove her niqab would effectively force her to choose between her religious beliefs and participating in the justice system.”

Full details are available on the Canadian Lawyer magazine website.