Focus On



Tuesday, November 16, 2021 @ 12:06 PM

Is Law Society of Ontario dangerously underfunded? | Michael Lesage

As licensees may be aware, the Law Society of Ontario, as a pure regulator, is unburdened by considerations of commercial reasonableness. This freedom has allowed Convocation to generate a steady stream of good, workable, ideas — from Alternative Business Structures (ABS) to the Statement of Principles (SOP) to subsidizing a regulatory sandbox to benefit non-licensees. Now, as the economy recovers, the law society has a great opportunity to expand the scope and breadth of regulation across many additional areas of private practice. The only real roadblock may well be the failure of Convocation to increase the budget quickly enough to accommodate all of the new regulations in the pipeline. Convocation’s failure to act swiftly in this regard creates the risk that the law society may find itself dangerously underfunded. ... [read more]

Monday, November 15, 2021 @ 1:30 PM

Very scary story | Ken Hill

Let me tell you a scary story (said in a Rod Serling voice). Imagine a couple (let’s call them Ingrid and Tom) who get together in their late 20s. She’s divorced with a young son from her previous marriage. Tom is working hard in his own carpentry business, and it’s growing nicely. Having been through an unpleasant divorce, Ingrid is not keen on another wedding, but she and Tom are committed to each other and a common law union is okay with Tom. Soon a baby daughter is added to the family (call her Sally) and they are doing well enough to afford to buy a home. ... [read more]

Monday, November 15, 2021 @ 8:45 AM

Sanctuary city’s warning to Canada | Laurelly Dale

This morning as I entered a pharmacy, I noticed a homeless man stroll in a few steps ahead of me. As he set foot in the store, the clerk yelled at another worker — who  appeared to be no more than the age of 16 — pointed to the man and shouted, “That’s his third time today.” ... [read more]

Friday, November 12, 2021 @ 2:28 PM

Hippopotamous? Whynotamous? | Marcel Strigberger

In law there are now three types of persons: humans, companies and hippopotamuses. The latter is thanks to a U.S. Federal District Court in Cincinnati, Ohio, ruling. Curious? Read on. ... [read more]

Friday, November 12, 2021 @ 1:29 PM

If employer’s conduct repudiates agreement, it can’t rely on termination clause | Stuart Rudner

There’s an old saying that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Frankly, I’ve never understood why else you would have a cake, but perhaps that’s beside the point. What makes more sense to me is the notion that you cannot disregard your contractual obligations and then insist that the other party abide by theirs. That is the one of the key points to take from the recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Humphrey v. Mene Inc., 2021 ONSC 2539. ... [read more]

Friday, November 12, 2021 @ 10:23 AM

The incompatibility of sitting judges as university chancellors | Agnès Whitfield

The recent appointment of Ontario Court of Appeal judge Paul Rouleau as the first chancellor of the Université de l’Ontario français (UOF) could be good news for Ontario’s new French-language university but the restraints imposed by the office of judge may not be compatible with UOF’s need for a strong public spokesperson. More specifically, the appointment poses an important ethical question: can sitting judges take on such high-profile non-judicial roles without compromising public confidence in judicial impartiality. Given the changing circumstances of universities, the answer, in my opinion, is no. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 11, 2021 @ 10:25 AM

Law libraries: Hard decisions in hard times | Joan Rataic-Lang

The 2022 Law Society of Ontario (LSO) budget reduces annual fees and restores funding to libraries. Some hard decisions had to be made, and as far as courthouse libraries are concerned, they took a step in the right direction. The LSO has a responsibility to regulate the legal professions in the public interest. That’s no small feat when there are over 65,000 legal professionals (lawyers and paralegal licensees) in the province, most of whom are in sole practices or small firms. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 @ 12:04 PM

Significance of the Ward judgment | Julius Grey

 A lawyer need not necessarily believe completely in his client’s cause and I have pleaded cases where I had doubts. However, in the case of Ward v. Human Rights Commission not only was I a passionate believer in my case but had grave fears about the future of democracy if it failed (Ward v. Quebec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse), 2021 SCC 43).   ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 09, 2021 @ 12:11 PM

Ford’s highways to hell paved with bad intentions? | David Israelson

If Doug Ford wants to go down in history as Ontario’s most destructive premier, he’s well on the way with his plans for paving hideous highways to hell across the Greenbelt. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 09, 2021 @ 9:26 AM

Criminal justice wish list | Murray Fallis

There’s a new Public Safety Minister in town — Marco Mendicino. He’s a lawyer. A former Crown. For those of us in the criminal justice community, we are overjoyed by his arrival. ... [read more]