Law Times

August 25, 2008

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A.NEUMAN ASSOCIATES INC. Call 416.223.5991 www.IFAccountant.com Investigative & Forensic Accounting Specialists Proven Expertise ntitled-6 1 $3.55 • Vol. 19, No. 26 8/18/08 11:06:52 AM Inside This Issue BY ROBERT TODD Law Times Covering Ontario's Legal Scene ntitled-6 1 New rules aim for consistency 3 CBA tackles conflict confusion CBA President 6 Bencher's Diary 9 Focus On Health/ Sciences Law Quote of the week "You could appoint 50 more judges, but if I as a litigant can't afford to go to court, what difference does it make to me? What we have to strive for is to find a system that will reduce legal fees." — Justice Thomas Granger Ontario Superior Court of Justice see Get, page 5 QUEBEC CITY—The Canadian Bar Association has amended its code of pro- fessional conduct, adopting 21 recommen- dations from a report that aims to guide lawyers as they increasingly run up against conflicts of interest. "Our hope is that ultimately there will be a consistent code of conduct that applies right across Canada," Scott Jolliffe, national manag- ing partner of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and chairman of the CBA's task force on conflicts of interest, tells Law Times. While the CBA council passed a resolution at its annual conference, adding the new rules to the association's own code, the group now hopes provincial law societies will implement them. "I think it will take them a lot further, a lot faster, if they adopt it," says Jolliffe. The CBA will pass the report along to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, which it hopes will use the report in an ongoing review of its own code of conduct, to create consistent rules across the country. New CBA president Guy Joubert, who replaces Montreal lawyer Bernard Amyot as leader, lists promotion of the report's recom- mendations atop his priorities for the year. "At the end of the day, it's really an access issue, because what it means is that it can create delay for clients in getting legal representation," the Winnipeg lawyer says. "Especially if there's a situation where there are conflicts and then someone's not too sure how to handle the con- flict, and then opts not to act for the client." The 259-page report includes an 80-page tool- kit with dozens of sample materials that lawyers August 25/September 1, 2008 1/8/08 3:28:10 PM Photo: Robert Todd CBA task force on conflicts of interest chairman Scott Jolliffe holds a T-shirt picturing a flow chart from the group's report outlining steps lawyers should take on considering possible conflicts. The CBA council passed the group's report. can use when pondering conflict situations. The 21 recommendations cover duty of loyalty to cli- ents, duty of confidentiality, guidance on who the client is, and engagement letters. Jolliffe, speaking at a media briefing follow- ing the report's release, said, "Vague, complex, and inconsistent conflict-of-interest rules cast an unnecessarily wide net." He noted that many clients can't use their preferred lawyer, or even find one within their community, due to rules set out in law society codes or court decisions. Jolliffe said conflict rules are a particular headache for clients in remote areas of Canada, where it can be nearly impossible to find a law- yer to work on a business transaction or family See CBA, page 2 Toronto lawyer acquitted of drug charges V BY ROBERT TODD Law Times eteran defence lawyer Edmund Schofield is free of drug trafficking charges after a federal prosecutor chose not to present evidence at the 74-year- old former FBI agent's trial. "I think it's essentially being Photo: Vince Talotta/Toronto Star Edmund Schofield has been cleared of Don Jail drug charges. in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the lady guard misin- terpreting what happened," Scho- field responded when asked how he — a highly respected lawyer of 40 years with an impeccable repu- tation — ended up facing accu- sations of smuggling drugs to an inmate at Toronto's Don Jail. "Absolutely everybody was shocked. It was shock and disbe- lief," Brenda Lawson, Schofield's lawyer, tells Law Times in describing the reaction to the charges. "Having had an unblemished career, to have these allegations that he was traf- ficking in marijuana and cocaine — no one believed it to be true." Schofield was arrested on March 27, 2007 after meeting the prisoner. A guard saw the inmate adjusting his pants during their discussion. The likable lawyer spent the night in jail before being released the next morning on $10,000 bail from friend and lawyer David O'Connor. "It was horrible," Schofield, who was an FBI agent from 1960 to 1966 and Ontario prosecutor in the late 1960s, tells Law Times in an interview. "If that's the way they treat prisoners, it's totally wrong — on a cast iron bed with no blankets, no pillows. You're sit- ting there freezing and just stressed out of your mind. It was my worst night in 74 years." He adds that the security guards at Old City Hall, where his bail hearing was held, "couldn't have been nicer to me." Schofield was cleared of the two trafficking charges when Ot- tawa prosecutor Luc Boucher told Superior Court Justice Maureen Forestell the Crown would not show evidence at the trial. "It's good to have it over," a visibly relieved Schofield told the judge. Boucher said outside court there was no reasonable prospect of con- viction after the evidence presented at a preliminary inquiry. One of Schofield's four daugh- ters, Toronto psychiatrist Sally Schofield, says she believes there was contradictory testimony at the preliminary inquiry. See There, page 2 www.lawtimesnews.com Advocate_LT_Aug25_08.indd 1 8/18/08 10:47:42 AM

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