Law Times

May 27, 2013

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DNA ORDERS LEGAL DRAMA Lawyers take to stage for Nightwood Theatre e: ntitled-2 1 Columnist offers up primer for defence counsel P6 L aw TIMes NO COST STORAGE Ask Us How. $4.00 • Vol. 24, No. 18 P3 FOCUS ON P8 Criminal Law CO V E R I N G O N TA R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W. L AW T I M E S N E W S . CO M May 27, 2013 Report touts clinic mergers 13-05-22 10:16 AM ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 A Organizations at 'crossroads' as LAO seeks system revamp BY YAMRI TADDESE Law Times A Legal Aid Ontario report on the future of clinic law suggests legal clinics will be larger and fewer in number in the years to come. "Larger clinics could be better positioned to leverage technology and/or develop partnerships that actually expand client access to clinic law services," the report states. "LAO does not have a fixed view of how many larger clinics would be desirable. However, LAO believes that larger clinics can be responsive to local conditions and client needs if they are structured appropriately." Some of the work has already begun, according to Legal Aid Ontario. For example, three clinics in Hamilton, Ont., recently merged. Two of the clinics closed while the third became a larger organization covering a bigger area. It's an idea most legal clinics in Toronto, too, have already started to embrace, says Stewart Cruikshank, executive director at East Toronto Community Legal Services. "I think that's a good idea. In a larger office, you can get more important stuff done as opposed to a lot of administrative stuff. Not everybody agrees with that, but most people in the clinics realize that's our limitation — it's the scale of the clinics." The best way to redesign the clinic system is to imagine a blank slate and organize legal clinics based on an updated understanding of community needs, according to Cruikshank. Clinic borders date back years, he says. "A lot has happened in Toronto since the '80s. Our population has really changed over the last 20 to 30 East Toronto Community Legal Services is among the many clinics that will be watching Legal Aid Ontario's next moves on reforming the system. Photo: Robin Kuniski years and that's become more exaggerated in the last 10 years. So there's a concern that the resource isn't being properly distributed. The current clinic borders don't really reflect the need in the city of Toronto." Marjorie Hiley, executive director at Flemingdon Community Legal Services in Toronto, has worked in clinic law for 29 years and says there's no denying the system needs an overhaul. "Frankly, we're at a crossroads now," she says. "We need to really be looking at being smarter with our scarce resources and that probably does mean having to consolidate so that we have bigger teams of workers that can deal with situations as they arise. So whether it will end up being a lot of bigger clinics, we're in the process of determining that." The LAO report also discusses doing more with legal clinics. "LAO and others need to commit to a multi-year effort to expand services, increase the number of clients served, leverage the impact of clinic law services across Ontario's justice system, and do so with significantly increased cost-effectiveness," the report states. While the ideas the paper discusses are hard to dispute, the report is "short on details," says Cruikshank. "It seems to be put together fairly quickly without a lot of consultation." While clinics aren't against doing more, the concern is LAO will be asking them to take on more tasks without adequate funding, he says. The report talks about expanding services but doesn't say much about how funding will change to accommodate that, he adds. See Will, page 5 Lawyer awarded $5,000 for age discrimination Law Times Illustration: Shutterstock/Alita Bobrov A Lawyer Peter Weiss sought redress from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario after he lost out on a job at CCH Canadian Ltd. n Aurora, Ont., lawyer has won $5,000 in damages after a successful age discrimination lawsuit against legal publisher CCH Canadian Ltd. Peter Reiss, a 60-year-old former senior counsel at a bank, applied for a legal writing job with CCH in 2011. To prevent discrimination based on his age, he redacted some of the dates of his previous employment and the year of his call to the bar from his application. According to the recent Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision in Reiss v. CCH Canadian Ltd., Rita Mason, director of editorial for legal and business markets at the company, noticed the missing information and asked Reiss to provide it. Once the company had the full information, Mason said in an e-mail to a colleague that she found it strange Reiss would apply for a legal writing job after so many years of practice and would ask for a lower-thanaverage salary. While she said she was fine with his career change, she noted she wished "he had been more up front about how senior he was in practice and provided a more convincing reason in his covering letter as to why he wants to make such a big change at this time." "I have no problem with the change, it's just that he's not very forthcoming about it that I find problematic," she said in an e-mail to Peter Schon, a human resources consultant with the company. Mason also asked Schon to put Reiss' application "on hold." In response, Schon e-mailed Reiss and informed him his application wasn't selected. When Reiss asked Schon if his credentials were out of date, Schon replied: "I don't have all the feedback on everyone yet, individually, but it is looking like they are moving toward candidates that are more junior in their experience and salary expectation." HRTO vice chairman Brian Cook found the information PM #40762529 BY YAMRI TADDESE See Partial, page 5 ONTARIO LAWYER'S PHONE BOOK 2013 YOUR MOST COMPLETE DIRECTORY OF ONTARIO LAWYERS, LAW FIRMS, JUDGES AND COURTS More detail and a wider scope of legal contact information for Ontario than any other source: 26,000 lawyers 9,000 law firms and corporate offices OLPB_LT_Feb11_13.indd 1 Visit or call 1.800.387.5164 for a 30-day no-risk evaluation 13-02-06 12:58 PM

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