In-House Counsel & Ethics

Matters of interest to lawyers working for companies and the ethical questions they face, as well as ethical issues relating to lawyers generally

Reciprocal insurance exchange raises ethical, access to justice questions

Friday, May 05, 2017 Whether lawyers have class is open to question. But a select group does have CLLAS. CLLAS is not a typo. It is the acronym used by an elite group of about 15 law firms comprising some 5,000 lawyers who have banded together to incorporate a reciprocal insurance exchange, known as the […]

Judicial independence and the media

Thursday, May 18, 2017 Is there an “unstated compact” between the judiciary and the media? Should there be? And if so, what should it be? The notion of an “unstated compact” found its way to me from a bit of a distance, emanating from a speech given by Justice Barry Leon, who sits on the […]

Branding, skillful mergers the keys to Big Law success

Friday, June 02, 2017  It used to be that beyond name recognition — logos and the like — branding served only a limited purpose for law firms who sold services based for the most part on the individual expertise of their lawyers or their practice groups. But as personal contact declined in a globalized, connected […]

Efforts to cool hot housing markets target ‘foreigners’ instead of speculators

Thursday, June 22, 2017 In an era where anti-immigration policies are picking up steam, “foreign” is a dangerous word. And therein lies the problems with the Ontario and British Columbia measures that impose additional taxes on non-residents buying residential property in the Toronto and Vancouver regions. Notice that, on a quick reading, it appears that […]

Paralegal debate: let’s settle for ‘better’ not ‘perfect’ access to justice

Thursday, July 27, 2017 The current debate about paralegal representation in Ontario’s family courts, and the degree of opposition to it in the bar and judiciary, exemplify just how far the profession is removed from reality. The lawyers and judges opposing the change rest their case on the belief that “quality of service” will erode […]

Groia case highlights tension between a lawyer’s duty to both client and court

Monday, August 14, 2017  A hint of what awaits Joe Groia could very well be gleaned from the Supreme Court of Canada’s treatment of Quebec criminal lawyer Robert Jodoin, against whom the court upheld a personal costs award for bringing “unfounded and frivolous” motions alleging bias against a Quebec Superior Court judge. It’s worth a […]

Along with the name change, law society should also look at title insurance

Thursday, October 19, 2017 The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) will be changing its name. Let’s hope it doesn’t use the occasion to toss its sticky if not seamy underside into the compost bin. What remains unexplained in the rush to judgment that culminated in LSUC’s new advertising and referral fees — a stampede […]

CBC doc on forced resignation of Justice Le Dain a scathing look at legal profession

Friday, January 12, 2018 One Judge Down, CBC Radio’s revealing documentary about the shocking circumstances surrounding former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Gerald Le Dain’s abrupt resignation from the court in 1988, is both a sorrowful reflection about how even the most enlightened among us treat mental illness and an eye-opener about misplaced values that still […]

The devil is in the details of the #MeToo Movement

Friday, February 02, 2018  The #MeToo Movement, a cause so noble in its aim of correcting the historical abuse heaped on women, should never have become mired in the controversy that now threatens it. But it did, the day that some of the movement’s proponents and publicists overstepped the boundary between “MeToo” and “YouToo.” It’s […]

Lack of law profession transparency preventing necessary culture change

Tuesday, February 27, 2018  If you’re Law Society of Ontario (LSO) treasurer Paul Schabas, you’ve got to be frustrated by the results of the recent LSO survey that prompted 20 per cent of responding articling students to reveal that they had received “unwelcome attention.” The results evidence the culture of a profession lagging precariously behind […]

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