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Diana Miles, LSO CEO

Candidates notified of investigation as LSO digs into cheating on licensing exams

Monday, July 18, 2022 @ 9:20 AM | By Amanda Jerome


As part of its investigation into cheating on the November 2021 barrister and solicitor licensing examinations, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has notified a “number of candidates” that “evidence obtained to date strongly supports the conclusion that they breached the law society’s rules and regulations” regarding the exams.

“Further investigation is ongoing in relation to other individuals. At the same time, candidates against whom the current evidence does not support a continuing investigation are being notified,” a release, issued July 15, explained.

Diana Miles, the LSO’s CEO, said “the law society’s investigation into licensing examinations is firmly rooted in protecting the public interest and ensuring the integrity of the licensing process and the legal professions.”

Diana Miles, LSO chief executive officer

“Public confidence and trust in the licensing process is paramount. As regulator, our actions are focused on upholding our public service mandate,” she added in a statement.

When asked how many candidates have been notified about an investigation, Wynna Brown, LSO spokesperson, told The Lawyer’s Daily that “the investigation is ongoing at this time.”

“We expect to be able to provide more details about the scope and outcomes upon its conclusion,” she added.

According to the LSO release, candidates who have been notified are “being provided with a further opportunity to respond to investigators, should they choose to do so.”

“After which, they may face a range of outcomes based on the Law Society’s mandate to protect the public interest, maintain integrity of the licensing process and public confidence in the legal professions,” the release added, noting that there are three outcomes under consideration.

These outcomes include:

  • “Deeming the results of the November 2021 barrister and/or solicitor licensing examinations to be void: the candidate will receive a ‘Fail’ result for the voided examination and it will count as an examination attempt.
  • Deeming registration in the Law Society’s licensing process to be void: all previous examination attempts along with the completion of any form of experiential training, such as articling, may be voided. Individuals whose registration is voided will no longer be candidates in the Law Society’s licensing process.
  • Licensing hearing: the candidate’s application for licensing may be referred to the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal.”

The release also noted that the law society, in “assessing appropriate outcomes,” will “consider a candidate’s written submissions, evidence provided by the investigative team, the forensic analysis, and the individual’s candour and cooperation with the investigation into cheating.”

“The investigation into misconduct in the licensing examination process is ongoing; further updates will be provided as information is available. In-keeping with its public interest mandate, the Law Society continues to share information with other Canadian law societies about specific candidates under investigation,” the release added.

As previously reported by The Lawyer’s Daily, the LSO announced the cancellation of the spring barrister and solicitor exams on March 5 as the regulator received information “which strongly indicates that examination content has been improperly accessed by some candidates, compromising the integrity of the upcoming examination period.” The exams had been moved to an online format in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The investigation led the organization to move the date and location of the exams, announcing on April 7 that licensing exams would be done in person instead of online.

On May 25, the LSO announced it is taking legal action against NCA Exam Guru and its principal, Aamer Chaudhry, as part the ongoing investigation into cheating on the exams.

If you have any information, story ideas or news tips for The Lawyer’s Daily please contact Amanda Jerome at Amanda.Jerome@lexisnexis.ca or call 416-524-2152.