Law Times

March 11, 2019

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BY PATRICIA CANCILL A AND GABRIELLE GIRODAY Law Times RECENTLY, when Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Richard Wagner addressed a Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers conference in Toronto, he took on the subject of pro bono work by lawyers. At the conference, Wagner told hundreds of people at- tending that the entire legal profession needs to make a commitment to taking on pro bono work. "[W]e need lawyers to do more pro bono work," he said. "I know this is a controversial statement. You know, I've heard what people are saying, in the media and on Twitter. This is not an easy issue, particularly in the context of the high tuition and bar fees . . . and I recognize that not all lawyers are in the same financial position or doing the same kind of work. Any pol- icy response needs to account for this reality. But lawyers also BY ANITA BAL AKRISHNAN Law Times CANDIDATES for the Law Society of Ontario's board are split on if and how a fee to sup- port pro bono services should be incorporated into annual fees. Late last year, Pro Bono On- tario came close to shutting down help centres in the three courthouses due to lack of sus- tainable funding, but it was able to continue operations after an inf lux from the private sector and the federal government. Some candidates for the law society's board, which elects new benchers on April 30, say the law society should provide a sustain- able source of funding for PBO going forward, even suggesting a $25 levy on each licensee. Others question whether funding PBO may lead to unintended conse- quences, including bencher can- didate Shalini Konanur, executive director and lawyer at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. "I have a few concerns," says Konanur, who, if elected, would like more information on the financial organization of Pro Bono Ontario before approving any funding. PM #40762529 BY ANITA BAL AKRISHNAN Law Times THE province's decision to alter a renewable energy program was not misfeasance of public office, a judge said, despite the failure of a small business involved in the program. Lawyer David Elmaleh, a part- ner at McCague Borlack LLP, who represented Ontario Power Au- thority in the case, says the judge's finding shows that the tort of mis- feasance in public office is unique and a tough tort to establish. "The detailed decision by the trial judge provides an excellent outline of the law in this tort and how it can be applied to matters that proceed to trial. As most re- ported decisions involving this tort are preliminary pleadings motions, this case may be par- ticularly interesting to litigators," says Elmaleh, one of three law- yers that represented the then- OPA. The Feb. 25 decision, Capi- tal Solar Power Corporation v. The Ontario Power Authority, 2019 ONSC 1137, was written by No bad faith in province's green energy cuts David Elmaleh says the tort of misfeasance in public office is difficult to establish. PBO seeks funding for help centres Candidates weigh possibility of Pro Bono Ontario levy Online chatter on pro bono See Bencher, page 2 See SCC, page 4 See Case, page 2 Statement of principles Good thing to do page 6 New commissioner Eye toward Big Data page 5 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE | MARCH 11, 2019 | WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM | VOL. 30, NO. 9 | $5.00 Pay equity Important to achieve page 7 Focus on Privacy Law page 8 Shalini Konanur has concerns over proposals for the Law Society of Ontario to fund Pro Bono Ontario. Photo: Laura Pedersen The Bencher Election is April 30th Visit our new micro-site devoted to the upcoming LSO Bencher Election with news coverage, candidate profiles and advertising opportunities for bencher candidates. Connect with all facets of the bencher election and make an informed decision by visiting BencherElection.ca today. Untitled-1 1 2019-03-05 1:51 PM ntitled-2 1 2019-03-08 10:14 AM ntitled-2 1 2019-03-08 10:14 AM

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