Law Times

Sept 2, 2013

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CAR INSURANCE ROYAL SUCCESSION Law grad appealing after court denies standing Issue may yet haunt Wynne government P6 Class Actions l Aw TIMes Follow LAW TIMES on www.twitter.com/lawtimes $4.00 • Vol. 24, No. 27 P5 FOCUS ON P10 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 September 2, 2013 ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM Law school still yields big ROI, report finds As Lakehead adds to graduate ranks, study finds legal field gives good returns BY YAMRI TADDESE Law Times A s Canadian students gain one more law school to choose from this September, a new study released last week says studying law still yields one of the best returns on investment in education. "Across subjects, the biggest bang for buck comes from specialized and professional fields such as medicine, law, and engineering," says a study by CIBC that looked into recent statistics. "Compare that with life sciences, humanities, and social sciences where the ROI [return on investment] is much lower." A legal education is second only to medicine in how well it pays off, according to the CIBC report. For women, the return on investment is greater than men's "not due to higher future earnings, but reflecting the lower foregone income of female students." The report comes as Lakehead University is set to usher its inaugural class into its brand-new law school this month. The legal profession has expressed concerns that law schools are producing more graduates than the industry can accommodate. But when it comes to Ontario, that "mismatch" between graduates and job opportunities is a greater problem for cities in the south of the province than elsewhere, says Jason MacLean, a faculty member at Lakehead's new law school. "A lot has been made of the recent sort of mismatch between the number of graduates, particularly in Ontario, and the number of articling positions, but I think if you start to The mismatch in the number of law school graduates and available jobs 'doesn't have the same resonance in the north and many other parts of the province,' says Jason MacLean. crunch the numbers a little bit more and start to listen to practising lawyers across the province, the mismatch is largely a southern Ontario problem," he says. "The mismatch doesn't have the same resonance in the north and many other parts of the province." There are also a number of lawyers in smaller communities who have more than enough work but are preparing to retire and would like to accept younger practitioners to apprentice with them and eventually take over their practice, says MacLean. Even if graduates don't practise law, they'll still have the skill sets they need for other professions, he suggests. "A legal education is great education because it's great preparation for a whole host of different careers. It's great preparation for public policy; it's a great profession for [journalism]; it's a great degree for people who want to go into business." MacLean knows about the different trajectories in the legal field. He surprised his colleagues at Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto when he decided to leave his litigation practice and move up north to teach law at Lakehead. While at the law school, he plans to spend about 10 to 20 per cent of his time practising pro bono. "I really love practising law and I don't want to give it up entirely," he says. In Thunder Bay, Ont., lawyers are excited about a law school opening there, says John Atwood, who has been practising law in the city since 1975. "It was time," he says. "It was time for there to be another law school." Besides adding "another dimension" to the city, the law school also means a more affordable opportunity to See Local, page 4 Court sends message about lawyers sharing duties with clients W Lawyers sharing duties with clients must clearly outline the scope of their responsibilities, says Allan Rouben. Photo: Laura Pedersen hen lawyers are sharing duties with their clients, they must draw a "bright line" in delineating the responsibilities, the Ontario Court of Appeal said in a ruling last week on a law firm's negligence in a real estate matter. In Outaouais Synergest Inc. v. Lang Michener LLP, the firm, which has now merged with McMillan LLP, lost its appeal of a 2011 Superior Court ruling on the matter. Lang Michener lawyer Charles Saikaley had been representing the purchaser of an Ottawa property who, after buying it, found out there was a restrictive covenant on the land that allowed the city to collect money from the buyer as cost recovery for roadwork done in the area. If the buyer didn't pay the money, the deal had it that the city would own a 0.3-metre reserve along the boundaries of the property. The purchaser, according to the appeal court, had bought the property for $850,000 and, to its "considerable surprise," found itself asked by the city to pay an additional $433,466 before it could have road access to it. The court found the defendant to have been negligent for not discovering that this agreement existed and awarded $290,000 in damages. In the appeal, Saikaley said he had made an agreement with his client, Marc Brunelle, that Brunelle would take care of matters related to the development of the property and the cost-recovery issues were part of his responsibilities. The court of appeal didn't accept that argument. "Legal matters relating to title and to ingress and egress are not normally matters that are delegated to the client, at least not without a clear delineation of responsibilities by the lawyer, and the client's acceptance of those responsibilities," wrote appeal court Justice Robert Blair on behalf of a three-judge panel. In coming to its conclusion, PM #40762529 BY YAMRI TADDESE Law Times See Lawyers, page 4 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 carswell.com or call 1.800.387.5164 for a 30-day no-risk evaluation 13-02-06 12:58 PM

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