Law Society reappoints Tribunal Chair David A. Wright for four-year term

Toronto — David A. Wright has been reappointed as Chair of the Law Society Tribunal for a four-year term, commencing September 2017. He was first appointed as the independent organization’s first full-time non-bencher Tribunal Chair in 2013, as part of the Law Society’s enhancements to its adjudicative process for discipline, licensing and other regulatory matters.

The Law Society Tribunal hears and decides regulatory cases about Ontario lawyers and paralegals in a manner that is fair, just and in the public interest.

“The Law Society is very pleased to reappoint David Wright as Tribunal Chair,” says Law Society Treasurer Paul Schabas. “His leadership and innovation have furthered our commitment to a hearing process that is transparent, fair and effective for both the public and the affected licensees.”

Under Wright’s leadership, a new scheduling process was established to maximize hearing date options and reduce vacated and continuation dates. The enhanced use of pre-hearing conferences has also resulted in significant improvements in case management, with fewer adjournments — and hearings that generally take less time. As well, a new, dedicated website was developed to enhance transparency of Tribunal proceedings and provide resources for the public and parties appearing before the Tribunal.

To build the Tribunal’s distinct identity, Wright and his team developed a set of core values for the organization: fairness, quality, transparency and timeliness.

Wright has also introduced a number of other innovations, such as the Chair’s Practice Roundtable — a forum which provides the Tribunal and its stakeholders with an opportunity to share and receive input on Tribunal processes, policies and developments.

Wright oversaw the relocation of the Tribunal in 2015 from Osgoode Hall to 375 University Ave., Toronto, as part of the Law Society’s commitment to foster an independent adjudicative tribunal and improve the Tribunal’s hearing rooms. “I am extremely happy to be reappointed as Tribunal Chair and I look forward to continuing to build the Law Society Tribunal as a leader in the administrative justice community,” says Wright.

He notes that plans for 2017 include updating and modernizing the Tribunal’s electronic filing system and an update of the Tribunal’s Rules of Practice and Procedure.

David Wright holds an LLM from the New York University School of Law (2000) as well as an LLB and BCL from the McGill University Faculty of Law (1998). He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2001.

Prior to his appointment to the Law Society Tribunal, he served as Associate Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. He also practised as a bilingual litigation and labour lawyer, appearing before a variety of administrative tribunals and all levels of courts.

He is a member of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario and the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators.

In 2015, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals and has spoken about administrative justice to other organizations and regulatory bodies, including TAG – The Action Group on Access to Justice, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, the Manitoba Council of Administrative Tribunals and the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario — to name just a few.

More information about the Law Society Tribunal is available at www.lawsocietytribunal.ca.

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a duty to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner. 

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Media contact: Susan Tonkin, Communications Advisor, Media Relations, 416-947-7605 or stonkin@lsuc.on.ca.

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