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Lloyd Garmadon

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SISIP Updates 2013 - scroll to end -
« on: August 10, 2012, 04:05:45 PM »
From Peter Driscoll - Negotiations with the Department of Justice, No. 3

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Lloyd Garmadon

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Recours collectif du R.A.R.M. Mise a Jour le 10 aout 2012
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 04:14:51 PM »
Recours collectif du R.A.R.M. Mise a Jour le 10 aout 2012






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Veterans worry legal fees could eat up pension clawback settlement
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 05:49:41 PM »
Veterans worry legal fees could eat up pension clawback settlement

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1241443--veterans-worry-legal-fees-could-eat-up-pension-clawback-settlement



OTTAWA—There’s growing concern among veterans a big chunk of a planned multi-million settlement over the clawback of military pensions could be gobbled up by legal fees.

One member of a class-action lawsuit has written to Defence Minister Peter MacKay, asking that the federal government pay the cost of lawyers over and above any out-of-court compensation that arises from upcoming negotiations.

“I hope that you make a separate reasonable payment to lawyers in accordance with the reasonable fees set by precedent in the courts,” wrote Louise Gagnon, a retired major.

“This payment should not come from the monies contractually and honourably owed us.”

The federal government announced in June it would not appeal a Federal Court of Canada ruling that rejected clawbacks from the pensions of disabled veterans. Defence Minister Peter MacKay ordered a stop to the practice on July 1.

A class-action lawsuit was filed in March 2007 on behalf of Dennis Manuge and 4,500 other disabled veterans whose long-term disability benefits were reduced by the amount of the monthly Veterans Affairs disability pension they receive.

He argued it was unfair and unjust to treat pain and suffering awards as income.

The federal government recently appointed Stephen Toope, the president of the University of British Columbia, to lead the discussions with Manuge’s legal team to arrive at a settlement, including retroactive payments.

Internal government estimates have suggested that the settlement could run as high as $600 million, depending upon how many years back the federal compensation plan will go.

Gagnon told MacKay that settlement scheme was proposed by the government and “it would seem reasonable that you repair this tort out of your own funds.”

Information from Veterans Affairs Canada suggests legal fees could be included in whatever final agreement is made.

“By agreement with the representative plaintiffs, counsel fees may be calculated at 30 per cent of any amounts recovered,”said the department’s website.

“If a settlement, judgment, voluntary payment or execution or other benefit is obtained, the lawyers will apply to court for approval of a fee that is consistent with the terms of this agreement, or some lesser amount. The court will decide what amount is fair.”

In the case of a $600-million settlement, Gagnon said lawyers could net up to $180 million, if the 30 per cent formula is upheld.

“This has caused growing alarm with myself and many disabled veterans who could hypothetically be required to pay 30 per cent or more of our (long-term disability) monies for legal costs,” she wrote.

“Having the class members foot any bill for legal fees would be tantamount to subjecting them to a second clawback.”

A spokeswoman for MacKay was not immediately available for comment.

Even though the clawbacks ended in July, there are still some veterans who still face the deduction. Ex-soldiers whose additional rewards and payments exceed the limit of 75 per cent of their military salary — often those who were most severely injured — say they’re still not being treated fairly.

Those veterans with the most grievous injuries are entitled to receive the maximum benefit, particularly since many can’t work, advocates have said.
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SISIP Update - August 31, 2012 (english)
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2012, 05:48:51 PM »
Update to SISIP meeting Aug 23 2012.

MEMORANDUM

TO: Members of the SISIP Class Action
FROM: Peter Driscoll
DATE: August 31, 2012 File No.: PF-101

RE: Negotiations with the Department of Justice No. 4

We write further to our meeting with the Department of Justice and Stephen Toope on Thursday, August 23, 2012, concerning the implementation of the Order of the Honourable Justice Barnes dated May 1, 2012 finding the deduction of VAC disability benefits from SISIP LTD payments is in breach of Section 24(a)iv of the SISIP policy.

We are pleased to report that significant progress was made at the meeting of August 23, and that both sides are working as quickly as possible to bring this matter to a conclusion.
Progress of Settlement

We have made significant progress on an agreement in principle to resolve all outstanding issues arising from the decision of Justice Barnes, although there remains work to be done and instructions to be taken by both sides.
As far as timing for notice to the Class of any proposed settlement and the approval of any settlement, we are making best efforts to target delivery of a notice to the Class by October 31, 2012, and have a target for an approval hearing date of the first week of December 2012. Of course, this all depends on achieving agreement of the few remaining issues. À

While both sides would like to implement the Order sooner in order to start the flow of further monies to disabled veterans, and are sensitive to the needs of disabled members, the following factors will require some processing time:

1. All financial data flowing from SISIP must be verified and is being vetted by the office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) for accuracy;

2. A number of federal department agencies must be consulted by both parties in order to obtain the necessary information to implement the global settlement. For example, the tax implications of the retroactive payments are of great concern to us, and we have sought assessment of the tax implications with Canada Revenue Agency (the “CRA”); and

3. Consultation with relevant departments and agencies affected by the resolution must be, completed, and government approval is required.
These issues represent some of the challenges in finalizing and approving the Order of Justice Barnes. From our experience with these cases however, these resolution discussions are moving at an incredibly rapid pace compared to other class actions.
Moving to some of the specific issues we are working on:
Limitation Period

We are very pleased to report that, subject to reaching agreement on all other terms, it appears that the government is open to extending the reimbursement of offsets beyond limitation periods.
Taxability

The parties have discussed the principle of an additional payment to each eligible member of the Class representing a notional “gross up” of the payment to cover interest on income tax payable on the retroactive lump sum payment. Government appears receptive to this. In addition, we are seeking a comfort letter from the CRA that any legal fees deducted should be tax deductible by the member.

Interest
There will be pre-judgment interest payable on all monies owed from 1992 to May 1, 2012. By statute, the Government is not required to pay interest prior to 1992. The parties continue to negotiate, but we are hopeful that our most recent offer will be accepted.

Support and Recognition for Veterans Most Impacted by the Offset
We continue to negotiate with the Department of Justice and Mr. Toope concerning recognition of the impact that the offset has had upon members of the Class.

Qualification & Eligibility for Payments

All members of the Class should receive the amounts offset by SISIP for the first 24 months of their disability, assuming that their payments would not otherwise have been reduced to zero by reason of other offsets.
We are also seeking to set up a mechanism whereby those who are totally and permanently disabled from any occupation after the first 24 months who have had their SISIP benefits completely offset (the “zero sum” members) will be automatically assessed by SISIP as disabled if they received any of a number of “proxies”. We have identified a number of “proxies” that the Government is currently in the process of reviewing.

The intent of the “proxies” is to reduce the number of disabled veterans who have already been determined to be totally and permanently disabled on the evidence readily available to SISIP, who have to go through a process of historical medical assessment or providing historical medical information.
T
hat being said, not having a proxy does not mean the zero sum member will not get paid. Rather, we have also proposed a mechanism for the zero sum members entitlement to be

evaluated using traditional SISIP rules, but in a simplified manner. Further we have proposed that any dispute about eligibility be determined by a third party adjudicator independent of SISIP.

So, in addition to being automatically assessed by SISIP as against possible “proxies”, a class member may also establish SISIP entitlement through the traditional test, with the protection of an independent adjudication process.
The Defendant is currently evaluating this proposal.

Conclusion

We know from experience that each memorandum we send raises questions on process that cannot adequately be addressed in a general memorandum to the entire class. However, we want to emphasize that significant and favourable progress was made on resolving all issues (both retroactive and prospective) and that both sides are working in good faith to resolve all issues as quickly as possible.

The aim of both parties is to streamline the process so as to get monies into the hands of those disabled veterans who need it the most as quickly and efficiently as possible, with as little paperwork as possible.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us as follows:
By email: SISIPClassAction@mcinnescooper.com
By phone: (902) 455-8140
Peter Driscoll
/amh

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Update on Class Action Negotiations - Nov 13, 2012 (english) + (FRANCAIS)
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 08:04:14 AM »
Class counsel have had, and continue to have, numerous in-depth meetings and discussions with the Department of Justice and Professor Stephen Toope. The meetings have been positive. The parties reported their progress to the Court on the afternoon of October 23, 2012. 

A Case Management Conference is scheduled for the first week of December.  We continue to target January 15 and 16, 2013 for the settlement approval hearing. If these dates do not allow for the required notice period to Class members, we have reserved back up dates of February 14 and 15, 2013.

The terms of any proposed resolution will be set out in a Court approved notice and delivered to all Class members at the same time.

Therefore, we cannot provide any further updates on the negotiations until a proposed resolution is finalized.  This situation is temporary and to assist the negotiation process and to prevent rumours and misinformation from circulating. It also ensures that all members of the Class are fully informed at the same time.

While we would prefer to keep Class members informed of the status of ongoing negotiations at all times, we emphasize that the recent meetings were positive. Any proposed resolution will be completely transparent and sent to all Class members once proper notice is approved by the Court.

After receiving notice, Class members will be permitted to make submissions, either positive or negative, to the Court on the proposed resolution.

As we have advised from the beginning, no resolution is final unless the Court determines that it is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the Class. 

 

New Contact Information:

Please note that we have a new telephone number for members to contact us regarding the class action.  The new number is (902) 444-8417.

As always, please feel free to contact us by email as well at:

SISIPClassAction@mcinnescooper.com

Peter Driscoll

/amh


FROM http://leavenovetbehind.com/news/view/42
----------------
Les avocats du recours collectif ont tenu, et continuent   tenir, de nombreuses réunions et discussions approfondies avec le ministère de la Justice et le professeur Stephen Toope. Les rencontres ont été positives. Les parties ont donné un compte rendu de leur progrès   la cour, le 23 octobre 2012, en après-midi. 

Une conférence de gestion des cas est censée avoir lieu la première semaine de décembre. Nous continuons   cibler les 15 et 16 janvier 2013 comme dates de tenue de l’audience d’approbation du règlement. Si ces dates ne nous permettent pas de respecter la période d’avis requise pour les membres du recours collectif, nous avons réservé les 14 et 15 février 2013 comme dates de réserve.   

Les dispositions de tout règlement proposé seront établies dans un avis approuvé par la cour et envoyé en même temps aux membres du recours collectif. 

Par conséquent, nous ne pouvons vous fournir d’autres mises   jour sur les négociations jusqu’  ce que le règlement proposé soit finalisé. Cette situation temporaire ne pourra qu’appuyer le processus de négociations et prévenir la propagation de rumeurs et de renseignements erronés. De cette façon, nous pouvons également nous assurer que tous les membres du recours collectif sont entièrement informés au même moment.   

Bien que nous préférions tenir les membres du recours collectif au courant des négociations actuelles en tout temps, nous voulons insister sur le fait que les rencontres récentes ont été positives. Tout règlement proposé sera entièrement transparent et envoyé aux membres du recours collectif une fois que la cour aura approuvé l’avis approprié.

Après avoir reçu l’avis, les membres du recours collectif pourront soumettre leurs commentaires   la cour, qu’ils soient positifs ou négatifs, au sujet du règlement proposé.

Comme nous l’avons mentionné dès le début, aucun règlement n’est final   moins que la cour ne le juge équitable, raisonnable et établi dans l’intérêt supérieur du recours collectif.

 

Nouvelles coordonnées :

Veuillez noter que nous avons un nouveau numéro de téléphone que les membres peuvent composer pour communiquer avec nous au sujet du recours collectif. Ce numéro est le 902-444-8417.

Et, comme toujours, n’hésitez surtout pas   communiquer avec nous par courriel si vous le souhaitez : 

SISIPClassAction@mcinnescooper.com

Peter Driscoll

/amh

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Sylvain Chartrand CD

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Re: SISIP Update - Dec 14th Settlement Approval Hearing
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 04:20:03 PM »
Settlement Approval Hearing Scheduled for February 14 & 15, 2013, in Halifax Dec 14, 2012
 

Dear Class Members:

We are pleased to report that negotiations with the Department of Justice have concluded as of Tuesday, December 4, 2012, with face to face meetings in Ottawa.  Notice of the proposed settlement will be reviewed by the Court on January 9, 2013 and, if approved, promptly provided to Class Members.  The settlement approval hearing is scheduled to be heard in the Federal Court in Halifax on February 14 & 15, 2013.

We are also pleased to advise that additional individuals were identified as “zero sum” recipients.  This group is comprised of those “zero sum” individuals who did not submit evidence of continued total and permanent disability after 24 months.  These individuals will receive correspondence from Manulife Financial advising them to submit medical and/or financial information.

In closing, we acknowledge the length of time that it has taken to arrive at the final resolution of this case, but we assure you that it was necessary, unavoidable and reasonable given the breadth of issues that were under discussion.  There are significant administrative challenges in resolving an issue that affects so many people and that has existed since 1976.  We, as counsel to the class, are very pleased with where we are in the negotiations and the process going forward.  As the negotiations are complete, the Court must now approve the manner in which the proposed settlement is communicated to the Class.  We therefore cannot outline the terms of the proposed resolution until the Court permits us to do so at the January 9, 2013, hearing.  We look forward to being able to share the proposed resolution with you in January.

Peter Driscoll

/amh

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SISIP - Proposed Agreement - Settlement
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 02:51:41 PM »
Proposed Agreement

Class members, approximately 7,500 disabled Canadian military veterans, have been wronged for far too long. The proposed agreement takes class members one step closer to getting what they’ve long deserved, returns the money that was wrongly taken from them and ensures that they will receive the rightful amount in the future.

The estimated total value of the proposed settlement is up to $887.8 million. This includes $424.3 million in retroactive payments, which in turn includes $82.6 million in interest.

The proposed agreement includes:

    Full retroactive payments dating back to 1976, including interest;
    A clear understanding of future payments; and
    Access to a $10 million Scholarship Fund for Class Members or their family members.

As well, Class Counsel will donate $1 million to the charity for support of access to justice initiatives for veterans, and $50,000 to lead plaintiff Dennis Manuge for all the work he has done in advancing this case on behalf of all veterans.

For full details of the settlement, the notice to the class, and the history of the litigation, please click on the links below.

[pdf]http://leavenovetbehind.ca/content/Proposed%20Order.pdf[/pdf]

[pdf]http://leavenovetbehind.ca/content/Preliminary%20Notice.pdf[/pdf]

[pdf]http://leavenovetbehind.ca/content/Affidavit%20of%20Peter%20Driscoll%20%28Sworn%20Jan.%207_13%29%20-%20With%20Exhibits.pdf[/pdf]

[pdf]http://leavenovetbehind.ca/content/Affidavit%20of%20Dennis%20Manuge%20%28with%20Exhibits%29.pdf[/pdf]

[pdf]http://leavenovetbehind.ca/content/Affidavit%20of%20Kristine%20Hunter.pdf[/pdf]

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Veterans' disability case to net lawyers $66M in legal fees
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 07:02:44 PM »
Veterans' disability case to net lawyers $66M in legal fees

The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 4:33PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 4:40PM EST


Dennis Manuge, the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit over military pension clawbacks, talks with reporters at a law office in Halifax on Wednesday, Jan.9, 2013. Lawyers representing the veterans say they've reached a tentative settlement with Ottawa worth up to $887.8 million. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Andrew Vaughan)

OTTAWA -- Lawyers who fought a clawback of military pensions all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada are in line for a $66-million payout when a judge later this week considers a settlement agreement for thousands of disabled veterans.

Justice Robert Barnes of the Federal Court of Canada in Halifax will review an $887.8-million settlement negotiated between the Harper government and roughly 7,500 ex-soldiers who are part of a class-action lawsuit launched by former army veteran Dennis Manuge.

Part of that settlement involves a request to the court to pay the legal fees of the attorneys at McInnis-Cooper, who've carried the case since its inception in 2007.
Related Stories

    Settlement over military pension clawbacks worth up to $887.8M
    Conservative changes to veterans disability claims 'fall short': ombudsman

The cash would come out of the $424 million set aside for retroactive payments to veterans, who since 1976 have seen their long-term disability benefits reduced by the amount of their monthly Veterans Affairs disability pension.

Ward Branch, one the attorneys, said the fee would have been much lower had the government chosen not to drag out litigation, especially with a reference to the country's highest court over the legality of the class-action certification.

"Who has made this fee that high? It's the government," Branch said in an interview.

Some of the veterans involved in the lawsuit are angry the fee is coming out of their pockets.

Ron Cundell, a retired sergeant, said he doesn't begrudge what the lawyers are getting paid. Rather, he believes the federal government should be picking up the tab, not veterans.

"So please tell me what did I win?" Cundell said. "The government of Canada was found guilty of stealing from disabled veterans. They stole $424 million. Yet the victims have to pay lawyers to get back money that was theirs to begin with."

The most severely disabled veterans will pay the most under the retroactive plan because the more money owed to them, the higher the lawyer payment, he said.

"So what is the government's legal punishment for this theft? Nothing," said Cundell, a longtime veterans advocate.

But Branch said the legal-fee structure was determined at the outset by Federal Court rules, which give the option for each side to agree not ask each other to cover their costs.

The case dragged its way through the courts for years, and accumulated some weighty political support along the way, including condemnation from the military ombudsman, the Senate, and a motion in the House of Commons urging the government to halt the clawback.

Branch said at every hearing he'd approach the Justice Department lawyers and ask to talk about a settlement.

"And they just kept blowing us off, over and over again," he said.

The Harper government never talked settlement until last spring when the Federal Court rejected all the legal arguments put forward by federal lawyers and said it was unfair of Ottawa to treat pain and suffering awards as income.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said there would be no appeal, and appointed a negotiator to cut a deal with the disabled veterans.

If the judge signs off on the settlement during the two-day hearing Thursday and Friday, the legal fees will not set a record. The settlement of the class-action suit in native residential schools could see as much as $85 million to $100 million paid to lawyers handling those claims.

The tainted-blood scandal saw a $52-million legal bill.

In both of those cases, Branch said, federal lawyers did not force a reference to the high court, let alone pick a fight over a procedural issue.

"They made us litigate ... all of the way to the Supreme Court of Canada," he said. "Usually if you go to the Supreme Court of Canada, it'll be on the merits of the case."

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/veterans-disability-case-to-net-lawyers-66m-in-legal-fees-1.1153898#ixzz2KjUP7TpN


Sylvain Chartrand CD

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SISIP: Statement by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 06:28:17 PM »
February 13, 2013

Statement by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 13, 2013) -

"Our Government has enormous respect for the men and women who have sacrificed in service of their country. Government officials have concluded discussions with the class' legal team to come to an agreement in principle in the class action of Dennis Manuge v. Her Majesty the Queen regarding the offset of Pension Act disability benefits from the Service Income Security Insurance LTD Plan (SISIP). The current estimated value of the settlement is approximately $887.8 million.

Obviously, in settling the case, we expect that as much of that settlement as possible reaches its intended beneficiaries, the veterans themselves. The Crown informed the judge that the Government of Canada will oppose the amount of legal fees ($66.6M) being sought by class members as excessive and unreasonable. Class counsel are entitled to recover reasonable legal fees for their work; however, the legal fees sought, which equates to a top hourly rate of $13,487.50, are so far beyond what can be characterized as reasonable as to be grossly excessive.

The Crown has filed submissions oppose the amount of legal fees that are being sought by class counsel on the basis that they are excessive. The issue of legal fees for class counsel was not part of the settlement agreement and will be decided separately by the Court. Our government continues to reflect and improve upon its programs dedicated to supporting Canada's ill and injured military personnel and veterans, and to provide the care that our personnel and their families deserve."

________________________________________
CONTACT INFORMATION:
Information: 1-866-377-0811/613-996-2353
www.forces.gc.ca

-------------------------

WOW, what a bunch of BS. They are trying to get the credit. If they are so outraged on lawyers fees, why did they take so long to settle, why did they settle before. BS...


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Letter from a Vet to MND, PM on the Statement of MND for legal fees
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 01:59:40 AM »
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Joe Beauchene <pnjbeau@shaw.ca>
To: peter.mackay@parl.gc.ca
Cc: May Elizabeth MP <Elizabeth.May@Parl.gc.ca>; Casey Sean <Sean.Casey.A1@parl.gc.ca>; Strahl Mark <Mark.Strahl@parl.gc.ca>; Stoffer Peter <Stoffer.P@parl.gc.ca>; HARPER STEPHEN PRIME MINISTER <stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca>; Rae Bob <info@bobrae.ca>;thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca; Blaney.S@parl.gc.ca
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 6:52:47 PM
Subject: Re: SISIP: Statement by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence + FR
Mr Mackay
 
The conservatives created this situation with the shameful "see you in court attitude" displayed towards veterans.  And now you complain that the veteran's legal fees are excessive.  They are high because of your government, for years, delayed and dragged out this case at every step of the way.   Instead of standing up for veterans, the conservative government fought them.
 
 If you want to talk about excessive, how about mentioning the outrageous, questionable wages and expense accounts our so called honourable senators enjoy.  The majority of these senators cannot hold a candle to a veteran with regards to serving their country, yet they are provided with lavish expense accounts and are treated like they are royalty.  And the kicker is, these senators do absolutely nothing for the betterment of Canada. 
 
The government has no problem supporting this "red herring chamber" with a budget of approximately  $900 million dollars a year, yet they do everything possible to swindle our sons and daughters out of what they are legally entitled to.  All government department's budgets were greatly reduced, leaving thousands of people without a job, in the quest to reduce the deficit.  We were told budget restraint was necessary.  Every department had tighten their belts, except for the sacred MP pension plan and the red chamber's budget and pension plan.   It is obvious that excessive does not apply when it comes to expenses for parliament and senate.
 
 The Conservative Government has been a complete failure with regards to respect and treatment of veterans.
 
Joe Beauchene MMM, CD
Retired Master Warrant Officer
Chilliwack BC
604 858 8804

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SISIP UPDATE 14 Feb 2013
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 09:06:53 PM »
From Lory

Here are my notes, learned facts and interpretations of the proceedings in point form for ease:

In no particular order just as I wrote them:

- Dennis Manuge has been through hell since 2006 when he commenced this case. He has been involved and done immense work on all our behalf. Dennis deserves the honorarium more than $50,000 and will likely get one. It does not come from our pockets it will come from legal contingency amounts.

-We are fortunate that the Crown did not take this to trial as we would have received less ultimately, fewer vets would be entitled to the settlement as the GoC was being fair when they allowed case to go back to 1976 and this came from Judge Barnes. It would take another 2-3 litigation years. Meanwhile the Feds (this is very important to remember and has occurred previously with other class action suits based on evidence today by Ward Branch) that it could likely get legislated out and we could have no case at that point. It has occurred with other class action cases again brought forth today this fact and actual cases noted.

-For those vets that are concerned they will not be reinstated by sisip or there are any calculation disputes there will be Independant Administrator name Laura Burns paid by the firm and not from vets in any way made available for us to work with sisip.

- Sisip will also be monitored by an independant firm name Deloits who will look over sisips shoulder at all times again paid by McInness Cooper and from their pockets not ours.

- Historically based on what was presented today by McInnes Cooper, their fees are well within line of any class action case and statistically are infact less.

- taxes can not be changed and statistics show class actions don't even try to help class however our lawyers took an extra step to help us.

BASED ON WHAT I LEARNED TODAY FIRST HAND WE HAVE BEEN TREATED FAIRLY BY LEGAL AND HAVE RECEIVED THE BEST DEAL POSSIBLE. THEY WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT THEY HAD TO DO FOR US.

What we need to know is there are alot of items in the agreement that was worked for us that did not have to be put in place in such a manner that it was.

-Taxes not likely going to change.

-Judge Barnes only says yes or no at this point to the agreement as stands.

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NPD-CVA Press Conf on SISIP Legal Fees 14 Feb 2013
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 05:02:09 PM »
NPD-CVA Press Conf on SISIP Legal Fees 14 Feb 2013

HRES:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/S8A3FTAMjZg[/youtube]

LOW RES
[youtube]http://youtu.be/I_SPt3pDbsc[/youtube]

[youtube]http://youtu.be/XSEK1d_Xqi4[/youtube]

[youtube]http://youtu.be/uD80mnTiLls[/youtube]

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SISIP UPDATE - 15 feb 2013
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 05:03:03 PM »
SISIP UPDATE 15 Feb 2013

Lory Ann Reilly-DeCoste
The Education Fund came into action because legal could not get damages from the Feds because it was legally not possible in any fashion whatsoever and this was the best they could do with the Crown. This was stated by both sides and the Justice concurred. I accept that damages were not ever on the table legally and therefore the Education Fund is what it is a proxy and something that is available for current and future vets. I chose to look at it for what it is.

Cpl Lory DeCoste

Lory Ann Reilly-DeCoste
Yes, the decision from Justice Barnes will be one final decision at such time approx. weeks, not months. In the decision he will rule on the only matters that he can which are a) accept or decline the settlement as it stands now, he can not strike or add or detract anything from the proposed agreement that is presently in his hands. b) he has the discretion to make changes to Dennis's honorarium however he did express concerns with amending that amount based on the fact that it was presented by legal in that amount and due to not hearing from all 7500 class members directly, he is hestitant to change it now to prevent future issues members of the class may have if he does. However, legal can do what they want with their contingency fees so one can only assume that option is available. Legal made it very clear that they will suport any decision on increasing Dennis's stipend.
c) It is my understanding from what I heard that the Justice could decrease the legal fees. If anyone in attendance could confirm for me the three points would be appreciated but it was how I read it all.

So no Justice can not and will not amend the agreement nor can he ask the Feds to pay legal or any part of legal and no damages possible. And the Crown is not going to offer to pay legal or part there of in my opinion. Justice can decline the offer and then it goes to trial. I hope that does not occur and unlikely to either.

Cpl Lory DeCoste

Lory Ann Reilly-DeCoste
Justice said weeks, not months for the announcement officially...As recalled he said he has other commitments on his agenda and needs the time to research. But yes, he will make his decision with a week or two but then he indicated that it will have to be announced in both official languages and therefore will take 2-3 additional weeks as Ottawa translates maybe 2 pages a day if I recall what was said this morning.
Cpl Lory Ann DeCoste

Sylvain Chartrand CD

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Entente sur les prestations des vétérans: les frais d'avocats frustrent Ottawa

PC  |  Par Alison Auld, La Presse Canadienne Publication: 15/02/2013 18:47 EST  |  Mis à jour: 15/02/2013 19:06 EST

HALIFAX - Des avocats fédéraux ont argué vendredi que les avocats ayant remporté un recours collectif pour des anciens combattants handicapés ne devraient pas recevoir 66,6 millions $ en honoraires, malgré des critiques, de la part des vétérans, selon lesquelles Ottawa est l'unique responsable du fait que cette affaire ait traîné en cour.

Des dizaines d'anciens combattants et leurs conjoints ont entendu les déclarations de clôture, en Cour fédérale, à propos de l'entente de 887,8 millions $ entre les vétérans et le gouvernement fédéral à propos de leurs prestations grugées par l'État.

Le juge Robert Barnes a pris en délibéré la décision d'approuver ou non l'entente, qui a été conclue le mois dernier après cinq années de procédures judiciaires.

La Couronne a affirmé que les trois avocats qui se sont chargés du dossier au nom de 7500 vétérans facturaient 21 fois le taux horaire normal pour leurs services au cours des cinq années. Un ancien combattant a toutefois rejeté cette allégation, soulignant plutôt que le gouvernement fédéral avait lutté à chaque étape du dossier, et rejeté les tentatives répétées de s'entendre à l'amiable avant d'aller en procès.

Dennis Manuge a intenté la poursuite en 2007 en son nom et au nom d'autres anciens combattants handicapés dont les prestations à long terme pour handicap ont été réduites du montant de leur pension mensuelle pour handicap.

La Cour fédérale a ultimement jugé, au printemps dernier, qu'il était injuste que le gouvernement fédéral considère des prestations pour handicap comme un revenu. Le ministre de la Défense, Peter MacKay, a annoncé que le gouvernement n'irait pas en appel de la décision et a nommé un négociateur pour parvenir à une entente.

Les honoraires des avocats sont devenus un sujet de discorde, la semaine dernière, après que M. MacKay eut affirmé qu'il étaient «grandement excessifs», un point de vue repris par l'avocat de la Couronne Paul Vickery lors de la dernière journée des audiences.

Ward Branch, un avocat des vétérans, a indiqué que son cabinet a volontairement réduit ses frais à 7,5 pour cent du montant total versé, en baisse par rapport au taux original de 30 pour cent. Il a ajouté qu'un salaire horaire aurait pu faire augmenter les coûts.