BARE BONES BRIEFS: OCA upholds $2.5 million award to human rights lawyer | Jeremy Diamond appeals from de facto suspension and $100,000 fine for professional misconduct | Are law firms paying ransomware? | Report: Lawyers are high on AI extinction list | Unaware council passes ChatGPT-drafted law |

By Julius Melnitzer | December 17, 2023


The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a $2.5 million award to Geraldine Sanson, a “highly respected human rights lawyer” whose career ended when a car struck her as she was cycling home from work in 2012. The trial judge found that she was likely “in the minority of patients who continue to suffer from mild traumatic brain injuries on an ongoing basis and her injuries had persisted to the point that they would now be regarded as permanent.”

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Jeremy Diamond of Toronto personal injury boutique Diamond and Diamond Lawyers LLP has appealed the three-months restrictions on his practice – which were tantamount to a suspension -, the $100,000 fine and the costs order imposed by the Law Society Tribunal, which had refused his request to withdraw his misconduct admissions after rejecting a joint submission that the panel impose a reprimand as a penalty for his impugned activities. Diamond’s appeal to the Law Society Tribunal Hearing Division calls the penalties imposed by the LST “excessive and unfair”.

Related Story: Law Society of Ontario refuses Jeremy Diamond’s plea to withdraw misconduct admissions


Asked to comment by the Law Society Gazette whether it paid ransom to have cyberattackers remove data stolen from the firm in a November hack, Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy refused to comment. Suspicion arose that the firm had done so because LockBit, the group that claimed responsibility, removed the data before the deadline it had set. “What we can confirm is that we are working closely with forensic and other specialists to do everything we can to minimise impact to clients arising from this illegal cyber intrusion” is all the firm would say.

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The U.K.’s Department of Education has released a report ranking solicitors as second on the list of occupations most exposed to AI, behind only telephone salespersons. But they’re not the only professionals on the hook: according to the Law Society Gazette, the report also concludes that “more professional occupations, particularly those associated with more clerical work and across finance, law and business management roles” are among the highest at risk.

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Politicians in Porto Allegre, a city of 1.3 million in Brazil’s south, were surprised to discover that an ordinance they passed was written entirely by a chatbot. Several months after the enactment of the measure, aimed at preventing the city from charging taxpayers to replace stolen water consumption meters, the councilman who put the measure forward, Ramiro Rosário, bragged on social media that OpenAI’s ChatGPT had written the law, which he had presented to council with nary a single change or revealing its origin. According to Practice Source, Rosário explained that his proposal “wouldn’t even have been taken to a vote” had he revealed its origin earlier. The ordinance took effect on November 23.

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Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or

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