Law Times

September 28, 2009

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

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Your Financial Security! uthrie_LT_June29_09.indd 1 $3.55 • Vol. 20, No. 30 6/23/09 9:45:57 AM Inside This Issue 2 Pressing On 6 A Criminal Mind 8 Focus On Business/ Competition Law Quote of the week "I am cautiously optimistic that with the credit markets opening up a little more, with valuations coming more into line with expec- tations of what valuations should be, that what we're seeing is a return to histori- cal activity levels." — Vanessa Grant, McCarthy Tétrault LLP partner See Lawyers, page 4 Covering Ontario's Legal Scene www.twitter.com/lawtimes September 28, 2009 Law presidents push LSUC reform Changes would address 'exclusiveness and elitism,' law prof says BY ROBERT TODD Law Times move forward with reforms to its gover- nance structure, saying it's the best way to defend the profession's independence. CDLPA chairman Randall Bocock tells T Law Times that a report issued through the Law Society of Upper Canada's ongoing governance review "is a gentle nudge from a friend" that includes ending life bencher positions by introducing term limits. He describes the law society as a privately run institution acting in the public interest and suggests it needs a governance structure that is familiar to the public, accountable to lawyers and paralegals, and transparent. "If you don't have governance structures that meet that test, people are going to start to question why a private organization is administering the regulation of a very im- portant profession in the public interest," says Bocock. Th e CDLPA submitted its proposals to the law society following a recent consul- tation process and released them publicly this month. Th e LSUC has been seeking the profession's input on a number of gover- nance questions, such as the bencher election process, the size and nature of Convocation, and the separation of benchers as adjudica- tors and regulators. Th e review could have major implications for the profession. Lawyers in England and he County & District Law Presi- dents' Association is calling on the law society to "stop studying" and to Convocation but each year would decide how many of them would sit on either the governing council or the discipline bench. A new deputy treasurer would act as the chairperson of the discipline bench. Th e CDLPA also wants the LSUC to in- troduce term limits, proposing that bench- ers serve no more than three four-year terms. After that, they could serve a fi nal four-year term as a bencher emeritus. Th e proposal would phase out life benchers by permitting them a fi nal four-year term. Th e association proposes as well that non-benchers from "stakeholder groups" be placed on certain Convocation committees and working groups, an idea University of Toronto law professor Lorne Sossin says is potentially the most critical reform. "Th is whole notion of getting specialized CDLPA chairman Randall Bocock says it's 'time to stop studying and it's time to get on with the reforms.' Australia have lost the right to self-gover- nance due in part to the perception that their regulatory bodies weren't adequately serving the public interest. Th e CDLPA proposals call for a splitting of benchers to work exclusively on either governing or disciplinary matters. Under the plan, benchers would continue to be elected expertise in from the broader community to enhance the eff ectiveness of the benchers is a very positive move and deserves to get highlighted for praise, and I hope the law society takes that to heart," he says. "I think it will make it a much more vibrant but well ventilated organization. Th ere is a sense of exclusiveness and elitism that it has gotten in many quarters in the profession, and I think this is a great way of dealing with that concern." Besides recommendations on term limits and outside expertise, the CDLPA suggests that Convocation appoint two additional benchers to deal with any "representational defi ciencies" apparent after elections. Convo- cation could appoint non-elected members to See Benchers, page 3 From squatters to the 'great Canadian love story' I BY ROBERT TODD Law Times t was while working in New York watching lawyers help squatters move into better housing that Carole Brown fi rst got the urge to study law. At the time, Brown was a student Carole Brown singles out diver- sity in the profession as a top pri- ority during her year as president of the OBA. working for the summer in the City of New York's housing and develop- ment department. Her job was con- centrated in Harlem, an experience that inspired her to do more. "I had determined that what I was doing that summer in New York was always a Band-Aid solu- tion, whereas lawyers could help to eff ect change in society," she says. Now, in the midst of a career that has brought her from her American roots to work in some of Canada's biggest law fi rms, Brown has just taken the helm of one of the country's largest legal organiza- tions, the Ontario Bar Association, as president. It's a job colleagues and friends say she is well suited for given her reputation as a high-ener- gy lawyer with impeccable charac- ter and a will to succeed. "She's got soft hands in the sense of being able to work with people," says Brown's close friend, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP civil litigator Fay Brunning. "I've always watched her earn people's respect and admiration. She's patient for people to be able to understand her style of leadership, and I really think that she'll do well this year." Brown, 59, is a partner at Bor- den Ladner Gervais LLP in Ottawa who was called to the bar in 1984. Follow on Away from her practice, she has slowly worked her way through the OBA ranks since becoming a member as a law student. She has served as an offi cer, executive member, and council member. Brown says she was drawn to the association due to the role it plays as a provider of professional devel- opment, as a voice to government, and as a forum to build networks. "It also permits us to exit from our own practice focuses, to focus on larger issues related to the pro- fession at large," she says. She singles out diversity in the profession as one of her top priori- ties in the year ahead. "Th e face of our country is multicultural, but the face of our profession has not kept pace," she See Brown, page 3 Click here to subscribe today to LAW TIMES www.lawtimesnews.com Photo: Paul Lawrence

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