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February 7, 2011

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Follow on $4.00 • Vol. 22, No. 5 Untitled-3 1 5/5/10 3:55:30 PM Covering Ontario's Legal Scene Kopyto's long battle with LSUC Third hearing panel convenes in good character matter BY MICHAEL McKIERNAN Law Times H arry Kopyto faced off against his old nemesis, the Law Society of Upper Canada, last week in an appearance before a third separate hear- ing panel in his attempt to be licensed as a paralegal. More than 20 years after the activist law- yer was disbarred, Kopyto needs to show the regulator he has the good character necessary to be grandfathered as a paralegal and continue the practice he started after his career as a lawyer came to an end. Kopyto plans to use the hearing to mount a challenge to the law society's ju- risdiction to regulate paralegals, arguing it violates the Constitution and federal com- petition laws. Th at has bogged down progress as the law society struggles to deal with Kopyto's wide-ranging requests for disclosure related to his own case and the decision-making process that ended with the law society's takeover of paralegal regulation in May 2007. Kopyto was disbarred in 1989 for over- billing Ontario's legal aid plan by $150,000. He admits his billing practices were defi - cient but maintains he never got any more money than he was due from legal aid. "I've got my own story to tell," he says. "If you're Harry Kopyto, there's kind of a per- ception of who you are, what your past has been, and what your character is like that I Harry Kopyto's good character hearing has become bogged down in procedural matters. don't think is consonant with reality." Kopyto claims the law society has dam- aged access to justice by cutting off practices like his own and limiting the scope of parale- gals who had years of experience. "It actually restricted access to justice by giving lawyers a monopoly for legal services and legal ad- vice and eliminating the more aff ordable competition, the paralegals," he says. "Th ey claim they took over because paralegals were committing criminal acts and were in- competent. I want to see that evidence but I don't think it exists. It was no worse with paralegals than it was with lawyers. Th e real reason they did it was to advance their own economic agenda." Th e fi ght, he adds, is one he's prepared to take all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. Th e law society has turned to two non- benchers in the most recent iteration of its hearing panel. Margot Blight, a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, chairs the panel, while Michelle Tamlin, a licensed paralegal from Whitby, Ont., was also ap- pointed from outside Convocation. Th ey will sit with lay Bencher Baljit Sikand. Th e move follows the dissolution of two previ- ous panels in the wake of repeated accusa- tions of bias by Kopyto. Kopyto received his notice of hearing in June 2009. Th e fi rst panel was formed in late 2009 to hear a motion from Kopyto seeking directions on disclosure by the law society. Kopyto asked panel member Paul Dray to recuse himself because some of the correspondence he wanted access to actu- ally involved Dray in his roles as president of the Professional Paralegal Association of Ontario and chairman of the law society's See 20, page 2 asking the Competition Tribunal to dissolve CCS Corp.'s acquisi- tion of Complete Environmen- tal Inc., owner of the proposed Eyebrows raised at bureau's merger challenge T BY JULIUS MELNITZER For Law Times he Competition Bureau has fi led its fi rst merger challenge since 2005 by the credit card companies," says Anita Banicevic of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. "But this is the fi rst merger review in quite a while, and that's why it's attracting so much attention." Th e bureau maintains that the acquisition of the Babkirk site would leave CCS as the only secure landfi ll operator in the re- case, and prevent cases are harder to prove." Linda Plumpton of Torys LLP, who with colleague Jay Holsten represents CCS, told media the transaction didn't require man- datory pre-merger fi ling. It ap- pears CCS fi led voluntarily and delayed closing so the bureau could complete its review. I suspect that the bureau concluded it probably couldn't meet the test for an injunction, especially in the face of CCS' offer to hold separate. Babkirk Secure landfi ll in north- eastern British Columbia. "Th e bureau's action is consis- tent with the increased enforce- ment activity we've seen recently, most notably against the Cana- dian Real Estate Association and gion. "Th e bureau isn't arguing that CCS took out an existing competitor but rather that it's unlikely that other competitors will emerge given the high entry barriers in this sector," Banicevic says. "It's what we call a prevent THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA E 2011 Bencher lection Th e bureau concluded there were competition issues with the deal, but CCS disagreed and completed the merger on Jan. 7. At that point, the bureau made its application to the tribunal in its fi rst merger review since willingness February 7, 2011 vorceMate_EAR_LT_June21_10.indd 1 6/18/10 10:23:20 AM Inside This Issue 5 Helping Kids 6 Scrutinizing Experts 9 Focus On Family Law/ Trusts & Estates Quote of the week "In so many cases now, the parents are self-represented. The judge could use some help sorting it all out." — Alf Mamo, McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP, See Courts, page 14 it attempted to block a deal be- tween Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Inc. and James Richardson In- ternational in 2005. What's clear from court docu- ments is that Melanie Aitken, the commissioner of competi- tion, showed a to negotiate, a trait that's becoming her trademark style. On Dec. 22, 2010, before CCS shareholders had even voted on the transac- tion, she accepted the company's off er to hold the Babkirk facility separate after closing until the tribunal ruled on the case. Aitken's alternative would have been to seek an injunction delaying closing. "Th e bureau's general policy has been not to accept hold-sepa- See Bureau, page 2 to subscribe today to LAW TIMES PREFERRED ADVERTISING RATES FOR CANDIDATES Special print and online opportunities from February 14th through April 29th LT Digital version.indd 1 SAVE MORE THAN 50% OFF REGULAR RATES FOR ALL PRINT AND WEB BOOKINGS For more info, contact: Karen Lorimer, Director 905-713-4339 Canadian Lawyer/Law Times Media, a Thomson Reuters business • 240 Edward Street, Aurora, ON L4G 3S9 6/25/10 12:59:47 PM Click here LAW TIMES

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