Law Times

March 23, 2015

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

It ' s back 2015 CANADIAN LAWYER'S LEGAL FEES SURVEY Complete the survey online at and let us know what you are charging for various transactions and services in multiple practice areas. Survey closes March 30 Untitled-4 1 2015-03-16 11:59 AM Lawyers confused at stance on document review As LSUC investigates, some still unsure of the rules they must follow BY YAMRI TADDESE Law Times he Law Society of Upper Canada is investigat- ing lawyers who work for document review companies to ensure what they're doing isn't legal work outside of an authorized law firm, but how it's applying the rules has confused some people. "Whether document review services constitute legal services depends on the specific nature of the review being done," said LSUC spokeswoman Susan Tonkin. "The Law Society Act defines legal services as the appli- cation of legal principles and legal judgment." The determination depends on several factors, she noted. "As set out on LawPRO's web site, document review- ers who assess privilege, determine relevance, and identify documents which are beneficial or prejudicial to the cli- ent's or other parties' legal position are likely engaged in the provision of legal services. Conversely, document review- ers who review documents only for specific words, dates or names are likely not providing legal services." With few exceptions, Tonkin said the law society's Bylaw 4 provides that only licensees can practise law or provide legal services in Ontario. In addition, licensees can only practise law or provide legal services in Ontario through "certain types of business structures." But the way the law society has applied the rules has been ambiguous, according to some lawyers. Shireen Sondhi was working for ATD Legal Services PC, a docu- ment review company, before its acquisition by Deloitte LLP. While ATD had deemed her to be performing legal OTTAWA SEX SCANDAL Trudeau gets high marks for actions on MP case P7 FOCUS ON Restructuring & Insolvency P8 Shireen Sondhi received a letter from the Law Society of Upper Canada saying what she was doing didn't qualify as legal work. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Profession, page 4 PM #40762529 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 10 March 23, 2015 Follow LAW TIMES on L AW TIMES T MOBILE JUDGES Can member of Ontario bench sit in Alberta? P5 Controversies put lots on plate for Muslim women lawyers BY YAMRI TADDESE Law Times hen Legal Aid Alberta lawyer Amna Qureshi walks into court, the hijab on her head is the last thing on her mind. There are cli- ents to fight for who may be homeless or suffer from mental illnesses and can't afford a lawyer. But when a Quebec judge recently cited the requirement for suitable dress in court as she told a Muslim woman she wouldn't hear her case unless she took off her hijab, Qureshi felt a need to comment on the issue. "I am a hijab-wearing Muslim woman in court every single day," says Qureshi, adding her head covering has never been a problem for her on the job. "I felt I was in a unique posi- tion because I did know the law around free- dom of religion in the courts and I felt what had happened in that Quebec court was an infringement on our law in Canada." Qureshi is one of many Muslim women who have taken to Twitter to push back against the judge's remarks and post pictures of them- selves in their hijabs while holding signs that declare they are indeed suitably dressed. "It's extremely troubling that such basic civil liberties have to be continuously defended," says Qureshi. "I have more important things to spend my time on than this issue, but that doesn't mean I'll stop talking about it." Between controversy over the hijab in court and the debate on wearing the niqab during Canadian citizenship ceremonies, the Canadi- an Association of Muslim Women in Law has had much to respond to lately. But Fathima Cader, a founding member of the association, says it's "a waste of time" for the government to appeal a Federal Court ruling that found it's against the law to ban the niqab during the citizenship ceremony. W 'I am a hijab-wearing Muslim woman in court every single day,' says Amna Qureshi. See Group, page 4

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - March 23, 2015