Law Times

February 2, 2015

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Lawyers question prof's critical findings on ABS By yamri Taddese Law Times hile a new study commissioned by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Associa- tion has poured cold water on the outcomes of alternative business structures in Britain and Austra- lia, critics say the report's narrow criteria for measuring the results misses other potential benefits of new ways of offering legal ser- vices. The findings of the study, con- ducted by University of Windsor Faculty of Law Prof. Jasminka Kalajdzic, are consistent with the association's position that there's a dearth of evidence to suggest non- lawyer ownership of law firms "directly or indirectly" leads to improvements in access to justice. "While it is true that some ABS like Slater & Gordon [in Aus- tralia] have been successful in branding, using innovative tech- nologies, achieving economies of scale, and increasing the number of personal injury claims, there is no data documenting a decrease in the cost of legal services or the rate of self-representation," wrote Kalajdzic in the study released by the association last week. "Furthermore, there is no evi- dence of a significant impact on areas of civil justice needs that are currently most acute in Ontario." But Jordan Furlong, principal of consulting firm Edge Interna- tional, says the legal profession has to decide what its goal is in considering alternative business structures. The obvious one, of course, is increased access to justice. But ac- cording to Furlong, it's possible to define access to justice in ways other than just lower legal fees. "Accessibility does not only mean affordability," he says. "It's a big part of it, no ques- tion, but accessibility is also about not just how much does this cost but where can I find it and how easily is it explained to me. The convenience of finding your legal services where you're already go- ing anyway to do some shopping is, I think, a reasonable aspect of access." Kalajdzic tells Law Times her study looked at literature that's 2015 ONTARIO LAWYER'S PHONE BOOK THE MOST COMPLETE DIRECTORY OF ONTARIO LAWYERS, LAW FIRMS, JUDGES AND COURTS Perfectbound Published December each year On subscription $77 One time purchase $80 L88804-677 Multiple copy discounts available . Plus applicable taxes and shipping & handling. (prices subject to change without notice) With more than 1,400 pages of essential legal references, Ontario Lawyer's Phone Book is your best connection to legal services in Ontario. Subscribers can depend on the credibility, accuracy and currency of this directory year after year. More detail and a wider scope of legal contact information for Ontario than any other source: ȕ 0WFS27,000 lawyers listedȕ0WFS9,000 law firms and corporate offices listed ȕ 'BYBOEUFMFQIPOFOVNCFSTFNBJMBEESFTTFTPGȮDFMPDBUJPOTBOEQPTUBMDPEFT 7JTJUDBSTXFMMDPNPSDBMMGPSBEBZOPSJTLFWBMVBUJPO OLPB_LT_Dec8_14.indd 1 2014-12-03 11:56 AM Study shows ease of inducing false confessions Researchers astonished as participants recalled crimes that never happened By yamri Taddese Law Times esearchers are questioning police interview- ing techniques after a recent study showed how easy it can be to manipulate people into recall- ing vivid details of committing a crime they never took part in. "We were astonished at the rate of false memories of crime that developed. We weren't anticipating anywhere near this kind of vulnerability in the average person," says University of British Columbia Prof. Stephen Porter, who undertook a joint study published online recently in Psychological Science with British researcher Julia Shaw. The pair collected background information on 126 students at the university from their caregivers through a questionnaire. They kept the responses to the question- naire secret from the participants. During three 40-minute interviews, the researchers asked the participants to recall two events from the time they were between the ages of 11 and 14. One of the events came from the caregiver questionnaire and involved something that actually happened. The second event, however, was a manufactured story about the participant committing crimes such as assault and theft. Predictably, the participants quickly recalled the event that did take place and didn't at first remember the false event. But through some persistent and manipulative techniques, such as the mention of an actual friend and the place where the participants actually lived, the re- searchers eventually obtained a "full-blown visual mem- ory" of a criminal event that never happened 70 per cent RIGHT TO SUE Constitutional challenge launched over Bill 15 P5 JUDICIAL DIVERSITY Lawyer explains why it matters P7 The issue of false memories is a particular concern in cases involving child deaths, says James Lockyer. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Access, page 4 See False, page 4 The research so far offers little to suggest alternative business structures improve access to justice, says Jasminka Kalajdzic. PM #40762529 RIGHT TO SUE Constitutional challenge launched over Bill 15 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 4 February 2, 2015 Follow LAW TIMES on L aw TIMes R W FOCUS ON Intellectual Property Law P8

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