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Mark J. Freiman

Toronto Office 130 Adelaide Street West, Suite 2400

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Meet Mark J. Freiman

Commercial Litigation Lawyer

"Effective litigation is all about perspective. In order to be successful we have to put ourselves in our client's shoes to understand their perspective, and then we have to put ourselves in the decision maker's shoes to understand their perspective. Legal analysis and litigation strategy mean little when disengaged from perspective."

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Professional Highlights

  • Partner, Lerners LLP (2010)
  • Partner and Leader of Public Law Practice Group, McCarthy Tetrault LLP (2004-2008)
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law (2004)
  • Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister responsible for Native Affairs (2000-2004)
  • Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Legal Services, Ministry of the Attorney General (1999-2000)
  • Counsel to Joint Parliamentary Committee on 1987 Constitutional Accord (Meech Lake)
  • Commission Counsel to the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies

  • Business and Contractual Disputes
  • Administrative and Public Law, Tribunals and Commissions
  • Defamation
  • Constitutional and Charter Challenges and Remedies
  • Appearances before all levels of court up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as before a wide range of administrative tribunals

  • Acting for Ontario Premier, the Honourable Kathleen Wynne in a defamation action against Ontario Progressive Conservative party leader, Tim Hudak and Energy Critic Lisa MacLeod. The claim alleges that they made false and defamatory statements about her in a news conference, in a media release and on Twitter, that those statements were made with malice and that they constitute a libel against the Premier.
  • Acting on behalf of three Ontario doctors who treated Ashley Smith at the Coroner’s Inquest in the death of Ashley Smith.
  • Acted for a Canadian victim of a suicide bombing, executed by individuals who received material support from Iran, who sought leave to intervene in ongoing proceedings commenced by United States (US) plaintiffs in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeking orders recognizing the enforceability in Ontario of judgments they obtained from a US court against Iran totaling approximately $370 million. The ultimate argument to be made was that the US judgments were unenforceable in Canada and that she had an interest in the Ontario proceedings because recognition of the US judgments would wipe out all Iran’s assets in Canada and deprive her of any possibility of recovery. The motion for leave to intervene was dismissed, the Court of Appeal agreed to hear the appeal on an expedited basis within 6 days and ultimately overturned the decision of the motion judge and granted leave to appeal. The matter then settled out of court.
  • Royal Commissions, Parliamentary Committees and Commissions of Inquiry including, Lead Commission Counsel for the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182; lead counsel to the Military Police Complaints Commission in a Public Interest Hearing into the investigations related to the death by suicide of Corporal Langridge who served in Bosnia and Afghanistan; counsel to The Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies; and counsel to the Joint Senate/Parliamentary Committee on the Meech Lake Accord.
  • The first case in the Canadian Courts dealing with Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Acted on numerous Charter cases including precedent-setting cases addressing issues such as whether there is aright to duty counsel; whether there is a right to life-saving medical treatment; and, currently, whether Canada’s electoral laws violate the right to freedom of expression.
  • Numerous precedent-setting cases dealing with the Law of Defamation, including cases on the limits of "fair comment:" the proper legal test for determining whether a statement is capable of a defamatory meaning; and the proper procedure for bringing an early conclusion to legal deficient claims.
  • Important Human Rights cases both in the Canadian court system and before the European Court of Human Rights including, cases on Hate Propaganda; on Metis rights; on compensation for violent attacks on ethnic minorities; and currently a case dealing with definition of “racial profiling”.
  • Precedent-setting litigation in the Supreme Court of Canada dealing with tort liability for intoxicated patrons.
  • Litigation in the Supreme Court of Canada establishing the proper legal principles applicable to claims arising from boating accidents on Canada’s inland waters.
  • Complex litigation dealing with ownership of one of Canada’s national private broadcasting networks.
  • Litigation dealing with the Confederation Bridge, based on issues arising from Environmental Law and from Constitutional principles.

  • Recognized by peers as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the field of Public Law in both Best Lawyers in Canada and Lexpert.
  • The recipient of numerous academic and community awards, Mark has published widely on matters related to the media, constitutional law and human rights.
  • Co-author of The Litigator’s Guide to Expert Witnesses (Canada Law Book)
  • Mark has taught at the university level in both Law and the Humanities.

  • “Combating Hatred in the Twenty-first Century: Legal Remedies” hosted by Ontario Court of Justice and University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, February 2010
  • “Trail by Anecdote: a review of Shakedown by Ezra Levant”, Literary Review of Canada, June 2010
  • “The Holocaust and the New Antisemitism” Global Forum on Combating Antisemitism, Jerusalem, December 2009
  • Appeared before Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to combat Antisemitism and gave evidence on the “New Antisemitism” and responses to be taken by government.
  • Appeared before Justice Committee and provided evidence on the statutory structure for protection against the dissemination of hate on the internet, October 2009
  • “Litigating Health Care under the Charter”, (2007) 23 N.J.C.L. 171
  • “Litigating Hate on the Internet”, Canadian Human Rights Commission Conference “A Serious Threat: A Conference on Combating Hate on the Internet and Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act”, December 2005
  • Review: “Bora Laskin: Bringing Law to Life”, Literary Review of Canada, September 2005
  • “The Public Law Consequences of Private Disputes: Néron v. CBC and the Law of Defamation”, Supreme Court of Canada Law Review 2005, 2nd Series, May 2005
  • Review: “The Hateful and the Obscene”, Literary Review of Canada, April 2005
  • “Convergence of Law and Policy and the Role of the Attorney General”, Supreme Court of Canada Law Review, 2002, Second series, Vol. 16
  • The Litigator's Guide to Expert Witnesses (Canada Law Book) 1997
  • “The Estey Commission Report” (1987) 1 BFLR 365
  • “Review: Kroker, Innis, McLuhan, Grant” (1985), University of Toronto Quarterly
  • “Consumer Sovereignty and National Sovereignty in Domestic and International Broadcasting Regulation” in Cultures in Collision (Praeger: 1984)

  • Admitted to Ontario Bar 1985
  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours), University of Toronto, 1983
  • Ph.D. (Distinction) Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University, 1976
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Toronto, University College, 1969

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