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Drawing the fine line between zealous advocacy and incivility

Friday, March 10, 2017 @ 8:51 AM | By Anna Wong

Like American politics, the legal profession has suffered a decline in civility.

Unlike politicians, lawyers are duty bound to be courteous and civil. At the same time, they are obliged to advocate their clients’ cause with zeal.

The tension between these duties lies at the heart of the Groia v. Law Society of Upper Canada saga heading to the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2012, the LUSC disciplined Joseph Groia for unfounded attacks he made against opposing counsel’s integrity during trial. Groia chalked it up to zealous advocacy,...