Law Times

April 15, 2019

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LAW TIMES 16 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE | APRIL 15, 2019 www.lawtimesnews.com GRAD LICENSED, OF GOOD CHARACTER The administrative tribunal of the Law Society of Ontario has ruled in favour of an applica- tion for licensing as a lawyer by a University of Toronto law school graduate who berated court- house staff and posted offensive comments online about police, Crown prosecutors and judges, all while articling. Though pleased with the rul- ing, the young female applicant, Nadia Guo — an avowed escort with an explicit website that pro- motes her services — says her case illustrates the many shortcomings of Canada's legal education system. Guo ran afoul of the LSO in 2015 when the first of four complaints were filed against her over a six-month period. Those complaints ranged from her conduct at a civil clerk's office, leading to her being escorted out by a security guard, to her posting many derogatory comments about lawyers online, including mocking a partner in a law firm who didn't know what a PDF file was. More ominously, she was accused of making derogatory remarks about legal professionals and justice system workers on Twitter. The adjudicators noted that at the December hearing that Guo's lawyer, Kris Borg-Olivier, provided evidence that his client has ac- knowledged her misconduct and taken steps to better deal with her stress and anger. She notably saw a licensed psychotherapist who provided a letter saying Guo "had good insight" that would help her to understand and better express her feelings. NEW LEGAL TECH CEO Toronto start-up Willful, which helps users create wills online, an- nounced a new CEO on April 9. Erin Bury replaces husband Kevin Oulds in the role. The service says it is "more convenient and afford- able than visiting a lawyer." The company's legal advisors include three Ontario lawyers: Scott Allison, Hala Tabl and Neil Milton, its website says. SUSPENDED LAWYER STILL ON BALLOT Suspended lawyer David Grant Isaac will appear on the ballot for the bencher election, said Law Society of Ontario communications advisor Susan Tonkin in an email to Law Times. Isaac was sched- uled to have a Law Society Tribunal motion hearing on April 3 and April 5 regarding his disciplinary record. As of April 9, he remained suspended, said Ivy Johnson, communications officer for the Law So- ciety Tribunal. "On eligibility for election, By-Law 3 provides that no candidate shall be elected as bencher if, at the time of his or her election, the can- didate is no longer licensed to practise law in Ontario as a barrister or solicitor or the candidate's licence is suspended," Tonkin said in her email. LAW TIMES POLL There is some discussion at Queen's Park around not allow- ing the legal profession to self- regulate, according to bencher candidate John Nunziata, who has said he has heard the dis- cussion. Law Times asked readers if they thought the profession should be self-regulated. The majority, 63 per cent of readers responded that the legal profession should be self-regulating." A minority, 37 per cent of re- spondents, disagreed that the profession should be self-regulated and said this is something that should change. LT The Inside Story BY VIOL A JAMES A CBD CUP OF TEA? NEW YORK — New York state officials told food growers and processors in mid-December that they had the state's blessing to produce and sell tea and chocolates laced with CBD, the can- nabis derivative reputed to ease anxiety and other ills without marijuana's high, reports Reuters. But since then, New York City health inspectors have seized thousands of dollars worth of CBD-infused food and drinks at the Fat Cat Kitchen and other local cafes and restaurants, and warned owners to stop selling them or face penalties. The crack- down came just weeks after federal law explicitly made CBD le- gal across the country. The New York City crackdown highlights the inconsisten- cies that have emerged in federal, state and local rules governing CBD, bewildering the small but growing number of businesses selling edibles in New York and other states. "I'm trying to be compliant with the law, but no one seems to be fully aware of what the law is and isn't," said C.J. Holm, the owner of the Fat Cat Kitchen, which touts CBD coffee and cook- ies on a sidewalk chalkboard. Consumer interest in CBD tinctures, topical creams and ed- ibles has grown in recent years in step with the piecemeal legal- ization of marijuana, which is now permitted as either a medical or recreational drug in 33 states while still banned by the federal government. In 2018, U.S. consumers spent an estimated US$300 mil- lion on CBD food and drinks, according to a report by Cowen Washington Research Group. The Coca-Cola Company and other food giants have expressed interest in the sector. The 2018 Farm Bill, enacted in December, was intended in part to clear up the legal status of CBD by legalizing cannabis extracts derived from strains of the plant, known as hemp, that contain very low concentrations of THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. But the law also created new confusion for businesses want- ing to sell CBD food or drink. For some, it is impossible to follow one set of regulations without being in breach of another. In New York, for example, officials at the state Department of Agriculture issued guidance in December saying it was legal to sell "CBD tea," "chocolates with CBD drizzle" and other CBD edibles, so long as the products are made and marketed as di- etary supplements, which are governed by more stringent stan- dards than ordinary food. But the department also warns that doing this will run afoul of rules issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which said it was unlawful to add CBD to food or to market it as a dietary supplement. That is because the agency, for the first time last year, had approved a drug that contained CBD as the active ingredient. New York City health inspectors have taken the FDA rule se- riously. At the Fat Cat Kitchen, Holm was startled when a health inspector impounded her CBD powder, honey, snacks and raw cookie dough in February. Similar scenes played out at four oth- er eateries in the city. Soon afterward, Holm and other restaurateurs received a let- ter from the department saying inspectors would resume the seizures after July 1. It is unclear whether the city's Health De- partment will allow cafes and restaurants to sell CBD edibles even as a dietary sup- plement, despite New York state of- ficials saying such products are le- gal. When asked, Michael Lanza, a Health Department spokesman, repeated the department's posi- tion that it is following the FDA ban on CBD food and drink in any form. An FDA spokesman declined to comment on New York's regulations. LT BREXIT-HUNGRY MEDIA TURFED LONDON — After months of gruelling political perma-crisis, Brexit is taking its toll on the British political establishment — not least the small patch of grass opposite parliament that has be- come a makeshift home to the world's media, reports Reuters. Parliamentary authorities have decreed that the media encamp- ment — the source of thousands of Brexit despatches broadcast all over the globe — be temporarily dismantled this week to allow the downtrodden turf to be repaired. An email sent to media outlets last week said urgent action was need- ed to re-turf and reseed damaged areas, preserve the grass in the less-damaged parts and maintain f lowerbeds. Normally reserved for occasional major political events such as general elections and budget announcements, the number of broadcasters based on the green has become a barometer of the state of the nation: The more cameras, the bigger the drama. MORE CHARGES FOR CHEATERS BOSTON — U.S. prosecutors filed fresh conspiracy and mon- ey-laundering charges on April 9 against 16 parents charged with paying bribes to secure their children seats in elite universities in the largest college admissions scam uncovered in U.S. history. Parents including "Full House" actor Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli had already been charged with racketeering conspiracy for their alleged role in the scheme, in which parents paid some US$25 million in bribes to secure their offspring places at universities including Yale, Georgetown and the Uni- versity of Southern California. Fourteen parents, including "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman, pleaded guilty April 8 to taking part in the scam, masterminded by Califor- nia college admissions consul- tant William "Rick" Singer. Singer last month pleaded guilty to facilitating the cheating scam and bribing coaches to pres- ent the parents' children as fake athletic recruits. Prosecutors have not yet charged any applicants. Colleges have begun revok- ing the admissions and pursu- ing expulsion of students who obtained their seats as a result of the fraud. LT Nadia Guo says her case illustrates the many shortcomings of Canada's legal education system. Bizarre Briefs CREDIT: DIAN ELVINA/SHUTTERSTOCK Visit www.store.thomsonreuters.ca or call 1-800-387-5164 for a 30-day, no risk evaluation ONTARIO LAWYER'S PHONE BOOK 2019 Ontario Lawyer's Phone Book is your best connection to legal services in Ontario with more than 1,400 pages of essential legal references. More detail and a wider scope of legal contact information for Ontario: • Over 26,600 lawyers listed • Over 8,700 law firms and corporate offices listed • Telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, office locations and postal codes Perfectbound Published December each year On subscription $87.50* One time purchase $91* Order No. L7798-8405 ISBN 978-0-7798-8405-6 Multiple copy discounts available Plus applicable taxes and shipping & handling. (prices subject to change without notice) CONNECT INSTANTLY TO ONTARIO'S LEGAL COMMUNITY Untitled-2 1 2019-04-04 10:40 AM 63 % YES, I AGREE 37 % NO, I DO NOT AGREE

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