Chelsea Rasmussen is an articling student at Dentons in Toronto, Canada. Chelsea completed her J.D. at the University of Windsor. Prior to law school, Chelsea obtained an Honors Specialization in Political Science and a Minor in French from the University of Western Ontario. While at law school, Chelsea was actively involved with the law school community and held a variety of leadership positions. In 2012, Chelsea received the Judge Juanita Westmoreland-Traore Leadership Award.
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently provided clarity on the sentencing principles in Occupational Health and Safety Act cases. The court clarified that just because jail terms are rare does not mean that they should not be imposed. In its decision, the court discussed the principles of sentencing for regulatory offences at length and recognised the primacy of fines over incarceration in sentencing (ie, in most cases, fines will be more appropriate than jail time).
We have all heard the expression 'wakey, wakey', but imagine representing a client who has waited years for his or her case to reach trial only to find out that the trial judge falls asleep from time to time. What obligations, if any, does counsel have to a client at trial when the trier of fact is 'asleep at the wheel'?
Litigators in Ontario have found themselves in the midst of what some jurists have called a "cultural revolution" with respect to the manner in which the courts expect litigants and their counsel to behave. One of the driving forces behind this has no doubt been the proliferation of protracted interlocutory disputes over the sufficiency and adequacy of documentary production that has hamstrung the court, spawning scheduling bottlenecks.