Law Times

June 6, 2011

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Follow on 416-487-4447 • Untitled-3 1 $4.00 • Vol. 22, No. 19 5/5/10 3:55:30 PM Inside This Issue 5 Return To Practice Covering Ontario's Legal Scene ADR Connect: Find an ADR Professional Arbitrators ntitled-4 1 Gold Standard Mediators June 6, 2011 5/11/11 4:17:11 PM Articling crisis set to grow Stats show jobless candidates double as law schools expand BY MICHAEL McKIERNAN Law Times 6 A SCC Exposé? 8 Focus On Internet / E-Commerce Law Quote of the week "I'm a big believer in the philosophy that law is too complicated for the average person, so it's important to explain each party's obligations in the contract as narrowly and as simply as possible." — Rob Hyndman, Hyndman Law Professional Corp., See Online, page 9 spike in applicants fi ghting it out for a static pool of articling positions has created a crisis in the province. And Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer Laurie Pawlitza has decided to act, announcing to Convocation on May 26 that she'll establish a working group to look into the issue of articling. Pawl- itza intends to sit on the working group herself and will announce the rest of its members in the near future. "For some years, the law society has been concerned with issues relating to articling and, in particular, the growing number of unplaced candidates," she said. "Th is is a discussion that will overtake Convocation for some months." According to a staff report done for the law society's professional development and competence committee, the number of registrants in the LSUC's licensing pro- gram has steadily increased over the last fi ve years to 1,750 in 2010 from 1,400 in 2006. Yet the number of articling po- sitions available hasn't kept pace with that rise, leaving an increasing number of ap- plicants on the sidelines. In 2008, 5.8 per cent of applicants ended their fi rst year in the licensing process without an articling position. In 2011, that rate had more than doubled to 12.1 per cent. Lawyers without a place at the end of the year must then fi ght it out with a brand-new cohort of law school school churning out an extra 100 gradu- ates starting next year. Even further down the line, Lakehead University's planned law school received an endorsement earli- er this year from the law society, while the University of Montreal is also planning a new common law program. Ontario has also become a popular des- tination for foreign-trained lawyers, with a "dramatic spike" in applications from Australia, Britain, and other countries, ac- cording to Bencher Th omas Conway, who chairs the professional development and competence committee. "Th e market for articling positions in Ontario cannot absorb the extra number of students who are required to obtain ar- ticles," Conway told Convocation. "Th is trend is going to continue and the crisis is going to be exacerbated in the next couple of years if we continue along the course that we're on at the moment." Robert Shawyer, a 2006 call who ran in the recent bencher elections, says the articling gap threatens the stability of the licensing pro- cess. "To me, it's quite serious," he tells Law Times. "We're basically not training enough young lawyers to replace the older lawyers." Shawyer is glad to see the law society Robert Shawyer recently hired an articling student after discovering he needed only three years of experience to become a principal. graduates, which exacerbates the shortage. Th e problem will only get worse in the next few years, with the University of Ottawa's law paying attention to the articling problem but remains dubious about how much of a diff erence it will make. "When I hear the words working group, what I hear is they're paying lip service to the issue and not do- ing anything concrete," he says. See LSUC, page 4 Arbitration system 'dysfunctional' BY MICHAEL McKIERNAN Law Times proach arbitration in order to save a dysfunctional system, says a new vice chairman of the On- tario Labour Relations Board. Larry Steinberg, a former la- E bour lawyer and partner at Kosk- ie Minsky LLP appointed to the board in April, said arbitration has changed beyond recognition since the post-war era, when it was an informal, effi cient, and relatively straightforward prob- lem-solving process for disputes over collective agreements. "Culture really is at the root of mployers, unions, and la- bour lawyers all need to change the way they ap- is not fast, which is not effi cient, and which can actually exacerbate problems in the workplace rather than solve them," Steinberg said in a keynote address to lawyers and human resources professionals at Norton Rose OR LLP's sixth an- nual employment law conference on May 31. "One of the reasons arbitration has become dysfunc- tional is that parties don't take the long view most of the time. Th ey are looking for the quick win." An acrimonious atmosphere at arbitration will result in a less productive workplace, while short-term victories rarely trans- late into long-term gains, ac- cording to Steinberg. "What goes around comes TitlePlus_LT_Jan12_09 12/23/08 11:07 AM Page 1 what ails arbitration today, which around in labour relations. Even- tually, the parties will meet in another case where the boot is on the other foot, and more sig- nifi cantly, the parties will have to meet in collective bargaining and actually sit across the table, rea- son together, and try to come up with a deal." Rather than getting bogged down in process and scoring points, Steinberg said parties should view arbitration more like a family dis- pute in "recognizing that you have to live together after the problem is solved." In the past, he noted, parties would avoid taking certain positions in order to reduce the im- pact on the ongoing relationship. "We have to get back to the idea that the arbitration process is fundamentally a problem-solving process. If we don't get back to See Companies, page 4 Together we have all the tools To ensure your clients get the most comprehensive coverage in one title insurance policy, take a look at the TitlePLUS Program , your Bar-related real estate partner! ® ® PROTECTION AS GOOD AS IT GETS 1-800-410-1013 ® TitlePLUS, the TitlePLUS logo, OwnerEXPRESS and LAWPRO are registered trademarks of Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company. ® BAR-RELATED Mark is a registered Mark of North American Bar Related Title Insurers used by LAWPRO under License. 1 Please refer to the policy for full details, including actual terms and conditions. The TitlePLUS policy is underwritten by Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO®). 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