Secondment Reports 2010

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The following students have elected to participate in external secondments as part of this year's summer program:

Roy Bornmann Ontario Securities Commission 
Thomas Brook  Royal Bank of Scotland 
Dylan Chochla Pro Bono Law Ontario 
Laverna Chow Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc. 
Sarah Goodwin  Ornge 
Jesse Harper  British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London, UK 
Fida Hindi Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc.
Graham Hood Yahoo! Canada Co.
Katie Ionson Pro Bono Law Ontario
Margaret MacInnis Ontario Securities Commission
Mira Ortved Barrick Gold Corporation
Nicole Park CTVglobemedia
Natasha Prasaud Vancouver Office
Marc Rodrigue Ontario Human Rights Commission
Philip Turi Canadian Embassy, International Trade Section, Washington, DC

Roy Bornmann - Ontario Securities Commission

This summer I had the opportunity of spending my secondment with the Ontario Securities Commission, Enforcement Branch. Located at Queen and Bay in Toronto, the OSC regulates Ontario's capital markets ensuring that investors are protected from fraudulent practices, while maintaining confidence in Ontario's markets.

Upon arrival, I was immediately made to feel like I was a member of the team and was put to work assisting litigation counsel in preparing for different court and tribunal hearings. This included examining evidence and legal principles and combining the two to form cohesive and effective arguments that could be presented in oral and written submissions. I also had the opportunity of watching the fruits of my labours in Court where counsel relied on my work in preparing and making their presentations.

A particularly memorable portion was the final two weeks of my secondment. These were spent in court with OSC counsel examining and cross-examining witnesses in a criminal trial where the OSC was acting as prosecution counsel. Thank you to everyone at the OSC, and especially Derek and Eden, for making the opportunity so worthwhile, educational and enjoyable. Thank you also to the Fasken Student Committee for arranging the opportunity. 

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Thomas Brook - Royal Bank of Scotland

This summer I was given a great opportunity to work with the Compliance team at the Royal Bank of Scotland, N.V. (Canada) Branch (the "Bank"). The Compliance department at the Bank addresses a wide variety of legal matters and ensures the Bank's operations comply with several regulatory bodies.

From the second I walked through the door I was welcomed as a fully contributing member of the team. The work, which I was given, was diverse, challenging and enjoyable. In my first week, I found myself knee deep in privacy law. The next week I was helping revise branch policy, creating training documents and reviewing and commenting on various contracts. During every interaction my opinion was not only requested but valued.

At the beginning of my third week I dove head first into the wild world of financial messaging. I was asked to summarize the issues that might occur if certain changes were implemented. This project not only allowed me to collaborate with multiple departments within the Bank but also gave me the opportunity to better understand how the Bank operates. It was uniquely challenging and very rewarding.

I wrapped up my secondment with the creation of a comprehensive memo on competition law. Seeing the application of this research to the operations at the bank gave me a sincere appreciation of the value that I could provide after being called to the bar.

I would like to thank Christiane Vachon, FVP, Legal & Compliance, for her expert guidance and the creation of a warm, welcoming and collaborative work environment; my colleagues at the Bank for their patience, humor and willingness to share their knowledge; and Robert Elliot, a senior partner at Faskens, for arranging this opportunity and providing the mentorship necessary to succeed during the summer term.

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Dylan Chochla - Pro Bono Law Ontario 

I chose to be seconded to Pro Bono Law Ontario (PBLO), and particularly to their Law Help Ontario project. Law Help Ontario is a non-profit program which was created by PBLO to provide free legal services to self-represented litigants in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and Small Claims Court.

My experience at Law Help Ontario was invaluable to my professional development; my tasks were varied, and included conducting client intake, aiding clients draft legal documents, and shadowing volunteer lawyers at Small Claims Court trials and settlement conferences.

In addition to being a useful learning experience, my time at Law Help Ontario was also very rewarding. I have a firm belief in equal access to justice, and the support being given by Law Help Ontario to unrepresented litigants ensures that they are able to better navigate our complex legal system. I look forward to volunteering at Law Help Ontario in the future, and helping them continue the wonderful work that they do.

Lastly, I truly enjoyed working with all of the staff at Law Help Ontario, and alongside all of the volunteer lawyers who participate in the program. Specifically, I would like to thank Matt, Brian, Laurine, Mehreen, and Michael for helping to make my experience at Law Help Ontario so enjoyable!

Fasken Martineau's Summer Student Secondment Program provides students with a great opportunity to view the practice of law through a different lens. Students are given a variety of secondment choices, and can inevitably find one that suits their interests. I would highly recommend the secondment program to any future students, and would suggest the PBLO secondment for anyone interested in litigation. 

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Laverna Chow - Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc.

As part of my summer experience at Fasken Martineau, I had the privilege to be seconded to Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc. Paired with an interest in intellectual property law and a love for music; I was very keen to begin my secondment with such a leading and global music company.

The Legal and Business Affairs Department at Sony Music is responsible for all contracts related to Canadian licensing, distribution and recording agreements. The department consists of three lawyers: Judy Naiberg, Thiago Kurtz and Sylvana Chan. Working under their supervision, I was able to gain hands-on experience on a breadth of assignments, including: drafting contracts (e.g. co-sponsorship agreements, rules and regulations and waivers) for a number of contests and reviewing artist contracts and license agreements.

Another highlight of my secondment was the work environment. From seeing Juno awards in staff desks and offices to hearing live performances from up-and-coming artists at weekly meetings, the energetic and dynamic work environment at Sony Music was very contagious! The staff was incredibly helpful and welcoming, which allowed me to learn about a number of different departments at Sony Music and to gain more exposure into the music industry.

I am very grateful to Judy, Thiago and Sylvana who were excellent mentors and who provided me with such a rich and memorable experience at Sony Music. Thanks also to the Student Committee at Fasken Martineau for arranging the opportunity to catch a glimpse into such an exciting area of law. 

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Jesse Harper – British Institute of International and Comparative Law

I feel lucky to have been able to spend my secondment at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, a leading research group in London, England. Specifically, I worked within the Private International Law area of the Institute, getting involved in a number of interesting research projects. A majority of my time was spent on issues regarding transnational securities class actions, an area in rapid development due to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. However, I also spent some time working on projects involving the imposition of mandatory laws of the forum and jurisdiction clauses in contracts.

I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such great minds while on secondment. From the permanent Research Fellows at the Institute to the visiting Fellows to the other Interns, there was no shortage of interesting discussions and work being carried out daily. Additionally, the international reach of the Institute permits a coming-together of leading researchers from across the globe, a phenomenon that is not easily achieved. Though my time at the Institute was ultimately short, I feel it will be of great benefit in developing my growth in an area of interest at this point in my career.

I was also able to attend a Public International Law event organized by the Institute debating the (just-released) International Court of Justice's decision on Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia. It was fascinating to be amongst a number of leading academics and practicing lawyers in the field in one room discussing the implications of the decision.

I would like to thank the Student Committee at Faskens for being completely supportive of this amazing opportunity throughout the process. Also, Professor Valerie Oosterveld and Andrea Streufurt for helping organize my secondment and Professor Stephen Pitel (all at Western) for helping set up the position. Finally, from the Institute, Eva Lein for supervising me during my time there, and Professor Robert McCorquodale and Geoffrey Sautner for accommodating and organizing my secondment.

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Fida Hindi - Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc.

This summer I was seconded to the Legal and Business Affairs Department at Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc. I worked with three lawyers named Judy Naiberg, Thiago Kurtz and Sylvana Chan. All three lawyers are remarkable people who made me feel very welcome at Sony and part of the legal team.

I was given great learning tasks including drafting contest rules and regulations, waivers, co-sponsorship agreements and memorandums. I also reviewed license agreements, distribution deals and attended departmental meetings. In addition I was invited to join a business meeting with an artist, which allowed me to see the initial stages of creating a partnership between a record label and an artist.

Judy Naiberg, Thiago Kurtz and Sylvana Chan ensured that I was exposed to the legal work they faced everyday in the music industry. All other staff members in the building also welcomed me and ensured I was involved in all social activities. I was exposed to new and emerging music and felt that I was thrown into a world I had known nothing about. It was a wonderful experience!

I would like to thank Judy Naiberg, Thiago Kurtz and Sylvana Chan for the great learning experience. I would also like to thank the Fasken's Student Committee for arranging this secondment. 

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Katie Ionson - Pro Bono Law Ontario

In mid-July, I left the Fasken offices for a four week secondment to the Law Help Ontario. The Law Help Ontario centres are walk-in clinics for individuals with legal problems. The clients, all of whom are self-represented litigants, have access to 40 minute drop-in appointments with a volunteer lawyer who answers their legal questions. Clients also receive assistance with drafting court documents and navigating the court process from the knowledgeable staff at the clinic. The Law Help Ontario centres are virtually the only place where self-represented litigants for civil matters have access to free legal advice. As a result, they help fill a significant void in our justice system.

There are two Law Help Ontario centres: one in Small Claims Court and one in Superior Court. My time was divided between the two. At both, I helped clients identify and clarify their legal issues before their meeting with a lawyer, and I sat in on client-lawyer consultations. I assisted with research and became familiar with drafting many common court documents.

One of the best things about my time at Law Help Ontario was hearing about the clients' varied legal problems and learning how to solve them. The cases ranged from suing a television company for the unauthorized production of a documentary of the client's life to fighting the seizure of one man's retirement savings under the Civil Remedies Act. A secondment to Law Help Ontario is an exciting opportunity to learn a lot about litigation, while interacting with clients from all walks of life and working with a great team of people. 

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Margaret MacInnis - Ontario Securities Commission

For the last five weeks of my summer with Faskens, I was seconded to the Enforcement Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission, a regulatory body that oversees Ontario's capital markets. During my summer at Faskens, I chose to focus on corporate law, and as I had little experience in litigation and administrative law, I knew seconding with the Enforcement Branch was going to be an interesting and challenging experience.

From my first day with the Commission, I began work on several files, all at various stages of the enforcement process, from investigation to hearings in front of a Commission panel to court proceedings. Within days, I was attending court alongside Derek Ferris, senior litigation counsel. Like most law students, I have attended court in a strict observation capacity, but I was pleased to discover that I would have a much more involved role during my time at the Commission. I was quickly immersed in preparation for the proceedings by reading witness transcripts, summarizing evidence, attending examinations-in-chief and cross-examinations and assisting in drafting the submission on the merits to the court. It is difficult to describe the sense of exhilaration and accomplishment I felt by being a part of this process.

I was also pleased to find that while I was actively involved in a large file, I was also encouraged to participate in other matters, and as such, I attended meetings with Commission litigation counsel and investigators, conducted legal research on various issues, read investigative reports, statements of allegations and other related documents and attended several hearings before the Commission.

I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to second at the Ontario Securities Commission, where everyone was friendly, supportive, and knowledgeable - it was exciting to work with and learn from experts in the field of securities litigation. I would especially like to thank Derek Ferris, Alexandra Clarke and Eden Williams, of the Ontario Securities Commission, as well as the Faskens Student Committee, for allowing me the opportunity to gain such practical and invaluable experience.
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Mira Ortved - Barrick Gold Corporation

For the last four weeks of my summer with Fasken Martineau I had the opportunity of being seconded to the Barrick Gold Corporation. Barrick is the largest gold mining company in the world with its headquarters in Toronto. It was a true privilege to be invited to work in a Canadian company that has been so successful.

During my time at Barrick I was immersed in the in-house legal team. I conducted a survey of disclosures made by leading mining companies that very much highlighted for me Barrick's status as an industry leader. I also worked on several projects related to the implementation of key contracts the corporation was a party to. I created presentations explaining what mine operators must do to comply with contract covenants. In this respect I learned a great deal about both the practical side the law and the relationship between in-house counsel and other branches of business. It was for this reason that my secondment was such a rewarding experience, I now think differently about the drafting of contracts.

The wonderful people I worked with at Barrick enhanced my experience. I would like to thank to Sybil Veenman and her whole team who were warm and welcoming to me from start to finish. I would also like to thank the Fasken Martineau Student Committee for arranging this meaningful opportunity.

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Nicole Park – CTVglobemedia

Just over one month into my summer at Fasken Martineau, I was off to my incredible four week secondment at CTVglobemedia. Having majored in communication studies with a focus in mass media, I was eager to learn more about the legal practice inside one of Canada's most prominent multimedia companies.

My experience with CTV was more than I could have ever expected! The legal team was extremely welcoming and intent on giving me the most fulsome experience. I received a variety of corporate assignments that both challenged me and helped me further develop my legal reasoning and writing skills. Such tasks included contracts involving contests, international sports organizations, insurance, international television programming, asset purchases, property licences, content rights, and advertising. Additionally, I had the privilege to sit in on conference calls and attend lunch n' learn sessions on timely regulatory issues. This broad exposure left me with a much better understanding of corporate law, in-house practice and the media industry.

Throughout my time at CTV, I had the opportunity sit down one-on-one with a number of brilliant and charismatic lawyers who each took the time to share their expertise and knowledge of the field. Through their guidance and supervision I gained valuable skills and experience, which will certainly help me throughout my career.

I would really like to thank Kevin Assaff, David Bross, Toby Lang and Alexis Wiseman of CTVglobemedia for all their guidance and for providing with an unforgettable learning experience. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Roxanne McCormick, corporate partner at Faskens, and the Student Committee for helping arrange this incredible secondment.

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Natasha Prasaud - Vancouver Office

This summer I was very lucky to have the opportunity to spend my secondment at Faskens' Vancouver Office. I had never been out West before , but the 2010 Winter Olympics made me very keen to visit Vancouver.

As soon as I stepped into the firm, I was warmly welcomed by Bibi Bysterveld, the Student Program Manager and by the other students. Not only were the students incredibly welcoming and friendly, the lawyers and staff at the office were equally kind and warm throughout my time at the Vancouver office - always giving me tips on exciting places to visit and restaurants to eat at while I was in Vancouver!

At the office,I worked in the Labour and Employment Group where I was able to learn a lot about Western Canada's treatment of employment standards and labour codes. I did a diverse array of labour and employment work, including drafting memorandums, updating a client publication, familiarizing myself with the new civil procedure rules in B.C and learning all about an area of law that I was previously unfamiliar with. I was also able to attend a series of practice area lunch and learns where I learned a lot more about the different practice areas in the Vancouver office.

One of the highlights of my secondment was to participate in an extremely fun client event with the Insolvency Group at the firm, where we went to Seattle for a Mariners game. It was very interesting to be exposed to the client development and marketing aspect of the business.

Part of the fun of never having been to Vancouver was to be able to be a tourist while I was there. While I was here I was able to shop on Robson Street, enjoy the public market at Granville Island, be dazzled by the Celebration of Lights Fireworks festival, bike around Stanley Park, did the infamous Grouse Grind (which I don't recommend!), visited Whistler and Victoria, and also ate my way around the city--the sushi is as good as they say!

I would like to thank the Toronto Professional Development Committee and Bibi Bysterveld for organizing such a wonderful secondment. I would also like to thank all the students, lawyers and staff at the Vancouver office, especially those in the Labour and Employment Group for making me feel like I was a part of the FMD Vancouver family!
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Marc Rodrigue - Ontario Human Rights Commission

Thanks to the Fasken Martineau Summer Student program, I had the incredible opportunity to meet the people and learn about the issues behind Ontario's human rights system at the Ontario Human Rights Commission this summer. It really could not have gone any better; on my first day, standing at the security doors, the Chief Commissioner herself, former Toronto Mayor Barbara Hall was the first to welcome me and take me on a tour!

During my secondment with the Commission, I found myself thrust into the ever changing and always-complex legal world of human rights, which helped me appreciate their implications in our every day lives. I was fortunate enough to work with the Commission's staff lawyers on some of their cases before the Human Rights Tribunal in Toronto and Ottawa, delving into issues of stereotypes, racial profiling, religious persecution, and public servants' political rights. On top of that, I was lucky enough to arrive at the Commission during a period of renewed interest in disabilities and disability awareness, and had the opportunity to hone my research skills mining all the courts and Tribunals in Canada for commentary and analysis. The issues I was able to delve into were complex; the fact that my research was relied on first hand in front of the Tribunal and in crafting Commission policies made the secondment particularly rewarding.

I would like to thank all my hosts for their time, energy and guidance this past summer. Though one month with the Commission may be too short of a time to get a true appreciation of all the work the Commission does, it was because of your team that I now have a clearer picture and appreciation of our province's efforts to be a more inclusive and tolerant society.
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Philip Turi – Canadian Embassy, Trade Policy Section

I was extremely fortunate to have spent my secondment at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Upon my arrival, I was most impressed by the young, dynamic and compassionate group of Canadians assembled at the Embassy; each with their own unique story and Canadian pride. The Embassy itself is distinguished from other embassies in Washington for both its size and it proximity to Capitol Hill. Not to mention, the view from the 6th floor is the best in the city. While it may be difficult at times to be heard in D.C., Canada has definitely figured out how to be seen.

I was also most impressed by the range of issues diplomats and foreign service officers encounter at the Embassy. Naturally, the Embassy serves as a hub for intelligence gathering on legislative developments both in Congress and the Administration. As such, employees at the Embassy, including interns, are encouraged sit in on Committee hearings, caucus meeting and related speaking engagements. I was lucky enough to sit in on a Senate hearing in my first week on the job. In addition, I was impressed by the unique advocacy role played by the Embassy and its staff. As my secondment progressed, it became increasingly clear that working with American policymakers on behalf of Canadians required an in depth understanding of the U.S. political system. Perhaps more importantly, it requires creative messaging that serves to elicit the domestic benefit to be gained from listening to and working with Canada.

The Trade Policy branch of the Embassy was also a great place to work. I was again fortunate to have been working on what I found to be an extremely interesting file. Part of the Canada-U.S. Agreement on Government Procurement (signed in February 2010), was a commitment by both Countries to engage in further negotiations on government procurement prior to the Agreement's expiration in 2012. As such, I worked with a small team of very impressive and charged individuals in a supportive capacity for Canada's negotiators at DFAIT. In addition to preparing state level research on trade with Canada, I was tasked with preparing a large report on the Federal Highway Administration. The information gathered in this report will be used by Canada's negotiators in the coming months in their dealings with the U.S. Trade Representative.

Finally, I thought the city itself was great. The very European architecture mixed with modern design and what is obviously some great city planning makes for a beautiful cityscape. I took in all of the Smithsonians (which are free), ball games, National monuments and surrounding sites such as Old Alexandria, Arlington and Baltimore. I also met some great people at the Embassy who I know I will stay in touch with in the future. I would like to thank the FMD Student Committee as well as Professor Valerie Oosterveld and Professor Andrea Streufert from Western Law's ILIP program for facilitating this unforgettable experience. In addition, I must also thank Kevin Thompson and Paul Robertson at the Embassy for their mentorship and hospitality.
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