Law Times

April 14, 2014

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 19

Visit or call 1.800.387.5164 for a 30-day no-risk evaluation )BSECPVOEȕ1VCMJTIFE'FCSVBSZFBDIZFBS 0OTVCTDSJQUJPOȕ- 0OFUJNFQVSDIBTFȕ- .VMUJQMFDPQZEJTDPVOUTBWBJMBCMF 1SJDFTTVCKFDUUPDIBOHFXJUIPVUOPUJDF]UPBQQMJDBCMFUBYFTBOETIJQQJOHIBOEMJOH CANADIAN LAW LIST 2014 :063*/45"/5$0//&$5*0/50$"/"%"Ȏ4-&("-/&5803, ȕ BOVQUPEBUFBMQIBCFUJDBMMJTUJOH ȕ DPOUBDUJOGPSNBUJPO ȕ MFHBMBOEHPWFSONFOUDPOUBDUJOGPSNBUJPO .03&5)"/"1)0/�, CLL-Dir_LT_Feb10_14.indd 1 14-01-31 12:11 PM No firm too big, too small to fail Pressure to adapt, find efficiencies affecting range of players ollowing the collapse of Heenan Blaikie LLP, a law fi rm consultant says that just as it's true that no law fi rm is too big to fail, none is too small to suff er the same fate either. "It has nothing to do with size; it's about atti- tude and a collective will to change," according to Kar- en MacKay, principal and president of Phoenix Legal Inc. and LawFirmKPI Inc. A recent report by Peer Monitor, a web-based plat- form for law fi rm benchmarking, says U.S. mid-sized fi rms risk failure unless they're able to "focus strategi- cally and genuinely address the concerns of clients for more effi cient, predicable, and cost-eff ective services." e report, which points to trends applicable to the Canadian market as well, notes an overall 2.7-per-cent decline in demand for services at U.S. mid-sized law fi rms in 2013. But to their benefi t, mid-sized law fi rms didn't see the wild swings in demand experienced by their larger counterparts from 2005-13, according to the report. According to MacKay, that's because mid-sized law fi rms do the bread-and-butter legal work o en on be- half of smaller clients that rely on them for everyday needs. " at work isn't going to go away," she says. But MacKay also notes mid-sized law fi rms aren't com- pletely immune from the volatile market conditions big law fi rms have to contend with. When their market slows down, big law fi rms do Panel considers bid for restorative justice for lawyers n what was the fi rst argument for restorative justice for a non- aboriginal person, a Law Soci- ety of Upper Canada hearing panel has considered — but ulti- mately rejected — a case for reha- bilitating a lawyer found guilty of misconduct related to real estate fraud. Instead of stripping his client of her licence to practise law, the lawyer for Renata Snidr asked the panel to consider scrapping its zero-tolerance policy and replac- ing it with "an approach that seeks to salvage fi rst-time or isolated off enders," according to a recent decision. A panel found Snidr, a Toronto lawyer, to have knowingly partici- pated in nearly a dozen fraudulent real estate transactions. Unless there are "exceptional circum- stances," the routine remedy for such a fi nding is revocation of the lawyer's licence. "To me, that read awfully close to a mandatory minimum, which nobody likes these days," says Sni- dr's counsel, Bill Trudell. It made "no sense," he says, that a person who co-operated fully with a law society investigation and is a re- morseful fi rst-time off ender who made a bad decision due to cir- cumstances couldn't benefi t from those factors at the penalty phase. Trudell cited research that showed circumstances have a b igger role in moral lapses than a person's inherent character. "Counsel for Ms. Snidr argued that applying revocation to virtu- ally all cases of mortgage fraud is to rest the law society penalty provisions on fl awed and 'archaic' notions of character and its role in future conduct," wrote panel chairwoman Janet Leiper. "It ignores the situational as- pects inherent in cases that in- volve exposure to temptation, client pressure or customary atti- tudes in the practice setting. "Mr. Trudell urges the panel to consider whether principles of re- storative justice can be applied even in a case where revocation is pre- sumptively required by the case law." LABOUR PUSHBACK Unions vowing to fight federal government P6 FOCUS ON IT/Telecommunications Law P8 'I don't pretend to know everything about what happened at Heenan Blaikie, but it's a lesson for everybody,' says Brian Grant. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Thoughtful, page 4 Automatic disbarment for real estate fraud sounds 'awfully close to a mandatory minimum,' says Bill Trudell. PM #40762529 $4.00 • Vol. 25, No. 14 April 14, 2014 L aw TIMes L aw TIMes ! ! Accounting and Practice Management ntitled-2 1 14-04-08 8:49 AM Civil Litigation A U T O M A T E D ! NEW "TICKLER" INCLUDED ntitled-2 1 14-04-08 8:13 AM BY YAMRI TADDESE Law Times BY YAMRI TADDESE Law Times F I See Size, page 4 ESTATE LAW Ruling leaves beneficiaries out in the cold P3

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - April 14, 2014