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Monday, May 15, 2017 @ 1:37 PM

Motion on paralegal licensing knee-jerk reaction to Bonkalo report | Joseph Griffiths

On March 6, 2017, the report of former chief justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, Annemarie Bonkalo, titled “Family Legal Services Review” was released. Seventeen days later, a motion was filed with the Law Society of Upper Canada by a group of lawyers wanting to amend the paralegal licensing guidelines to require future paralegal licensing candidates to possess “an undergraduate degree along with training equivalent to that provided by law schools in family law, tax and evidence.” Since both the Law Society and the Attorney General’s office are still seeking feedback from the public until May 15 in response to Justice Bonkalo’s report, the motion appears to be something of a knee-jerk and pre-emptive reaction to her recommendations, most notably a controversial recommendation that paralegals be permitted to provide specific family legal services under the terms of a “specialized license.” ... [read more]

Monday, May 15, 2017 @ 8:46 AM

Inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls fatally flawed | Pamela Palmater

It looks like those who advocated for the long-awaited national inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women and girls will be waiting a little while longer. But, as problematic as all the administrative mess is – and it could very well unravel the inquiry – it is relatively minor in comparison to the fact that the inquiry, legally speaking, is fatally flawed. ... [read more]

Friday, May 12, 2017 @ 12:16 PM

Tax Views: Capital gains exemption for corporate shares | Vern Krishna

The Canadian income tax system provides substantial advantages for small businesses to grow, and their owners to retire upon sale of the business. The rules, however, are written in tax language, which has a different grammatical style than ordinary English and should be parsed with care only by professionals trained in the language. ... [read more]

Friday, May 12, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

Hi-Tech: In a digital world, paper still matters to law firms | Luigi Benetton

Chuck Rothman has heard of law firms whose offices could be cited by the fire marshal. “They have bankers boxes lining every hallway,” he said. ... [read more]

Friday, May 12, 2017 @ 10:46 AM

Ontario rent controls an opportunity lost for legal profession | Julius Melnitzer

Rent controls and funeral homes have a commonality. Both represent opportunity in the legal market; rent controls, an opportunity lost, and funeral homes an opportunity seized. They also represent the great divide that exists between the headspace of lawyers on this side of the Atlantic and that of the profession in the United Kingdom. ... [read more]

Monday, May 08, 2017 @ 7:19 AM

Access to Justice: Public engagement vital for improving access to civil, family justice | Thomas Cromwell

Lawyers understand that an effective civil and family justice system is a key component of civil society. We know that the security of property, of commercial transactions, of intellectual property and even the safety and well-being of children and families depend on our civil and family laws enforceable, when necessary, with the help of independent lawyers before independent judges. ... [read more]

Sunday, May 07, 2017 @ 11:24 AM

Wellness: The stress of graduating $150,000 in debt | Darryl Singer Law graduate chained to debt

The cost of my entire post-secondary education, from university through law school and the Bar Admission Course, 7 years in all, was less than $11,000. Now, taking into account inflation and purchasing power, the reality is that articling and associate jobs pay more or less the same today as they did 20 or 25 years ago. Yet, with university tuition running about $8,000 to $10,000 a year and law school at my alma mater, Osgoode, now $26,000 per year. That’s just the tuition; then there’s rent, computer, internet, phone, groceries, and transportation. Where is the beer and pizza budget? Bottom line: It is not uncommon for students to be getting called to the Bar, before earning a single penny as a lawyer, with a debt load of $150,000. ... [read more]

Friday, May 05, 2017 @ 8:57 AM

Reciprocal insurance exchange raises ethical, access to justice questions | Julius Melnitzer

Whether lawyers have class is open to question. But a select group does have CLLAS. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 @ 1:27 PM

The Coach: Start small to implement change | Gary Mitchell

Have you ever gone through the process of creating a strategic plan for your firm, or practice group only to have all efforts stalled when it comes time to act on the plan? You are not alone. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

Fine line between plain language and inappropriate commentary in judicial decisions | Michael Spratt

Judges have a duty to provide reasons for their decisions. This would seem to be self-evident. But it wasn’t — at least not until 2002 when the Supreme Court of Canada was called upon to review the sufficiency of the trial judge’s reasons for convicting a young man named Colin Sheppard. ... [read more]