September 2009

Civility Forum Invitation
Lawyers, paralegals and articling candidates are invited to a series of meetings across the province to participate in a forum on how we can address the civility challenge. Treasurer W. A. Derry Millar will chair a discussion about the importance of civility and professionalism in the administration of justice. Speakers will include local judiciary and regional senior practitioners. The objective of these meetings will be to provide an open forum through which to promote dialogue with the profession about the importance of civility and to discuss how the profession, the Law Society and the judiciary can take a more proactive and collaborative approach to raise the standards of professionalism.
More details .

New benchers elected
New benchers Lawrence Eustace and Carl Fleck were elected at September Convocation. Mr. Eustace of Fort Frances replaces Melanie Aitken and Mr. Fleck of Point Edward replaces Joanne St. Lewis.

Law Society thanks Attorney General for his work on legal aid
Convocation endorsed the comments of the Alliance for Sustainable Legal Aid (ASLA) in their letter to the Honourable Chris Bentley, Attorney General of Ontario . Convocation thanked the Attorney General for his work to increase Legal Aid Ontario's funding.


Civility Complaints Protocols established
The Law Society and the Ontario Courts have established Civility Complaints Protocols designed to improve civility and professionalism among lawyers and paralegals appearing in court proceedings.

The Civility Complaints Protocols were developed following consultations with the Chief Justices of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice.
News release .

LAWPRO insurance premiums
Convocation accepted LAWPRO's report outlining the Law Society's professional liability insurance program for 2010. The base premium for professional liability insurance coverage for Ontario lawyers in 2010 will be $2,950 per lawyer.

Post-call Professional Development requirement to commence January 1, 2011
Convocation approved a change in the commencement date for the 24 hour professional development requirement for new lawyers. The requirement will commence on January 1 of the year immediately following a lawyer's call to the bar, beginning January 1, 2011. The date was changed from June 10, 2010 to harmonize reporting dates and address other administrative concerns.

The requirement for lawyers to take 24 hours of professional development within the first 24 months of entry into private practise was one of several recommendations of the Licensing and Accreditation Task Force final report adopted by Convocation in September 2008.
Full report .

By-law amendments
By-Law 3 [Benchers, Convocation and Committees] was amended to include the procedure for the first election of paralegal members of the Paralegal Standing Committee and paralegal benchers. Convocation approved the election procedure at its June 2009 meeting.
Full report .

By-Law 6 [Professional Liability Insurance] was amended to provide for an exemption from the payment of insurance premium levies for a lawyer otherwise exempt from the payment of levies whose practice is restricted to the provision of pro bono legal services for LAWPRO-approved Pro Bono Law Ontario programs. This exemption had previously been approved by Convocation.
Full report .

By-Law 15 [Certified Specialist Program] was amended to reflect changes to the 'recent experience' requirement of the Certified Specialist program approved at April 2009 Convocation.
Full report .

Summary Hearing Process expansion approved in principle
Convocation approved an expansion of the summary hearing process to provide that a single member of the Hearing Panel may hear cases involving failure to report to LAWPRO and breaches of By-Law 8 [Reporting and Filing Requirements]. By-Law 8 includes certain reporting and filing requirements such as the requirement to notify the Law Society of bankruptcy or insolvency.

To implement this decision, Ontario Regulation 167/07 will have to be amended to add these two new matters to those in the Regulation that may be heard by a single bencher. The Regulation provides that as an exception to the requirement for a three-member panel, a single member of the Hearing Panel may hear certain cases, including those that are straightforward or time sensitive. The summary hearing process was first approved by Convocation in 2005.
Full report .

Compensation Fund Committee Report
The decision items in the Compensation Fund Committee report were referred back to the committee.

The following benchers were appointed to the Inter-Jurisdictional Mobility Committee: Paul Henderson (Chair), Glenn Hainey (Vice-Chair), Thomas Conway, Carl Fleck, Susan McGrath.

Bencher Carl Fleck was appointed to the Access to Justice and Professional Regulation Committees.

Bencher Lawrence Eustace was appointed to the Professional Development and Competence Committee.

The following people were appointed to the Hearing Panel:)

Alan Gold (Chair)
Thomas Conway (Vice-Chair)
Bob Aaron
Andrea Alexander
Raj Anand
Constance Backhouse
Larry Banack
Margot Blight
Marion Boyd
Jack Braithwaite
Christopher Bredt
John Campion
James Caskey
Abdul A. Chahbar
Dan Chilcott
Austin Cooper
Paul Copeland
Marshall Crowe
Aslam Daud
Mary Louise Dickson
Adriana Doyle
Paul Dray
Susan Elliott
Seymour Epstein
Lawrence Eustace
Abraham Feinstein
Neil Finkelstein
Carl Fleck
Patrick Furlong
Avvy Go
Gary Lloyd Gottlieb
Jack Ground
Michelle Haigh
Glenn Hainey
Jennifer Halajian
Susan Hare
Carol Hartman
Thomas Heintzman
Paul Henderson
Vern Krishna
Barbara Laskin
Brian Lawrie
Doug Lewis
Margaret Louter
Gavin MacKenzie
Ronald Manes
Dow Marmur
Susan McGrath
Jacques Mnard
Janet E. Minor
Daniel Murphy
Ross Murray
Stephen Parker
Laurie Pawlitza
Maurice Portelance
Julian Porter
Judith Potter
Nicholas Pustina
Jack Rabinovitch
Sydney Robins
Allan Rock
Heather Ross
Linda Rothstein
Clayton Ruby
Mark Sandler
Arthur Scace
Paul Schabas
Baljit Sikand
Alan Silverstein
William Simpson
Catherine Strosberg
Harvey Strosberg



Compensation Fund Committee

  • Proposed Amendment to By-Law 12

For Information

  • Recommendation to Fund Levy for Paralegals and Lawyers


Paralegal Standing Committee

  • By-Law 3 Amendments Re: Paralegal Election

For Information

  • 2009 Paralegal Annual Report
  • Expansion of Summary Hearing Process
  • Information from First Paralegal Annual Report
  • Response to the Code/LeSage Report

Professional Development and Competence Committee

  • Commencement Date for Post-Call Professional Development Requirement ("24/24 Requirement")
  • By-Law 15 Amendments Respecting Certified Specialist Program Definition of "Recent Experience"

Professional Regulation Committee

  • Expanding the Summary Hearing Process
  • Amendment to By-Law 6 [Professional Liability Insurance]

For Information

  • 2009 Lawyers Annual Report
  • Update on Initiatives and Response to the Code/LeSage Report
  • Professional Regulation Division Quarterly Report

Report of the Director of Professional Development and Competence

  • Deemed call candidates


Access to Justice Committee

  • Update on Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project

Audit Committee

  • Second Quarter Financial Statements for General Fund, Compensation Fund, LibraryCo and LAWPRO
  • Changes to Law Society Financial Reporting
  • Investment Compliance Reports

Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee

  • Professor Fiona Kay Studies
  • Equality Series Calendar 2009 - 2010