Law Times

January 18, 2010

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McKELLAR STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS Billions of dollars invested, not a penny lost. 1-800-265-8381 $3.55 • Vol. 21, No. 2 cKellar_LT_Jan18_09 1 1/11/10 1:02:38 PM Inside This Issue 2 Feeling The Pain 6 Bargaining Legal Aid 9 Focus On Real Estate Law Quote of the week "News at the time was of economic Doomageddon and depression and so forth. So that seven-per-cent increase reflects the fact that we're not going to have a symmetric decline in 2010 like we had in 2009, where sales in January of 2009 bottomed out at the lowest level in 20 years." — Gregory Klump, Canadian Real Estate Association See 'Semi-optimistic,' page 11 Covering Ontario's Legal Scene January 18, 2010 ainmaker_LT_June2_08.indd 1 5/28/08 10:43:29 AM 'Self-defeating' lawyer can practise Panel overturns licence suspension as man shows insight into disorders BY TIM SHUFELT Law Times A Toronto lawyer who says psychologi- cal disorders led him to ignore clients and repeatedly defy the Law Society of Upper Canada has received the green light to resume his law practice. At a hearing last week, Yaroslav Mikitchook convinced the LSUC to terminate the indefinite licence suspension imposed on him after his sev- enth finding of professional misconduct. "We understand he has been seeing a psy- chiatrist approximately twice a week, and it is our understanding that will continue," said panel chair Paul Schabas. The panel relied on psychological reports indicating that Mikitchook suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as self- defeating personality disorder, also known as masochistic personality disorder. "They concluded Mr. Mikitchook made the errors he did for psychological reasons," Schabas said. Counsel for the law society and the hear- ing panel agreed that Mikitchook's progress in therapy represented a material change of circumstances. Mikitchook's lawyer, David Cousins, said his client had attended approximately 140 therapy sessions. "The picture has changed for him to the point where he is now ready to return to practice," Cousins said. Last January, the law society deemed Mikitchook had once again engaged in A Law Society of Upper Canada disciplinary panel reinstated Yaroslav Mikitchook's licence last week after hearing evidence of psychological issues that include self-defeating personal- ity disorder. professional misconduct, the seventh such finding since the early 1990s. Among the allegations, the panel heard evi- dence he had delayed issuing a statement of claim for a client's 1999 auto accident until 2004. He also failed to issue a statement of claim for the same client in a separate 2005 collision. When the client terminated the retainer, Boycott expansion raises alarm BY TIM SHUFELT Law Times I mminent plans to expand the legal aid boycott to in- clude additional charges and other levels of court could debili- tate Ontario's justice system and undermine public confidence in it, according to legal observers. Negotiations between the Crim- inal Lawyers' Association and the province, set to expire next week, have yet to produce anything close to an agreement, according to the CLA. "It's time to turn up the heat," says CLA president Paul Burstein. "It will be a swift, no- ticeable, and provincewide ex- pansion of the boycott — other cases and other levels of court." Burstein wouldn't reveal specif- ics of the CLA's resolution for a broader boycott, which so far has included only first-degree murder and guns-and-gangs cases. While the proceedings stalled by the boycott involve the most serious of charges, it has affected only about 100 cases until now. "Go to your typical Ontario court, and it's absolutely business as usual," says James Morton, head of litigation at Steinberg Morton Hope & Israel LLP in Toronto and an adjunct professor at Os- goode Hall Law School. However, if boycotting lawyers begin to refuse legal aid cases in- volving lower levels of court, the impact could be dramatic, he says. "The Ontario Court of Justice level is balanced on a knife edge. Even a small delay somewhere along the line in the Ontario Court of Justice level is going to affect pro- cedure enormously," Morton says. Those holdups could have a "traffic-jam effect" in which delays could trickle down to proceedings for all types of charges. "That could very quickly have a snowball effect across the prov- ince," Morton says. The duration of the boycott, now in its seventh month, should also have the province concerned about the courts throwing charges out for undue delay, something he calls a chilling prospect consider- ing the severity of the cases that have been languishing. "People can accept, in a general sense, fairly minor crimes being dismissed because Mikitchook failed to pass the file on to his new lawyer or respond to repeated correspon- dence, the ruling said. When a complaint against Mikitchook was filed, he neglected to respond to the LSUC. He then failed to show up for his disciplinary hear- ing, instead choosing to go on a holiday with his See Disorder, page 5 'If this were health care, it would be difficult, but the government would solve the problem,' says David Scott. See Set, page 5 Tel: 416.322.6111 Toll-free: 1.866.367.7648 Industry leader in legal software for real estate, corporate and estates for over a decade

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