Law Times

April 23, 2012

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GLOBAL ADR Two new firms open in Toronto Follow on $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 14 Untitled-3 1 P2 PARROT CASE Condos can still recover their costs P7 FOCUS ON IT/Telecommunications Law COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE • WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM Motion at AGM calls for it to become Ontario Law Society Should LSUC change its name? 5/5/10 3:55:30 PM ntitled-4 1 BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times T brought by federal government lawyer Th omas Vincent on May 9 at its annual general meeting. Th e motion asks to change the name to the Ontario Law Society. If the motion is successful, the name change wouldn't he Law Society of Upper Canada will con- sider a motion to change its name next month aſt er more than 200 years under its current moniker. Th e regulator will hear a formal motion of us who are more traditional." formally take eff ect until July 1, 2017, the 150th anniver- sary of Confederation. Vincent says he brought the motion forward in an at- tempt to modernize the law society's image. "We're com- ing up to the 150th anniversary of the Confederation and it seemed to me it was time for the law society to be modernized. Th e motion was intended to generate more conversation about the topic and to off er a realistic and modern refl ection of Canada' Vincent, who began a petition to change the law soci- ety's name last month and sought signatures of support s current geography." from several fellow government lawyers, adds that while he feels it' name will change at some point. "When I was called to the bar, I remember thinking how strange the name was. It's been that way for over 100 years, and while traditions tend to hang and most people seem quite satisfi ed with the name, I was hoping for modernization." But not everyone agrees with Vincent' Alan Heisey, a lawyer at Papazian Heisey Myers, says s approach. s unlikely the motion will pass, he hopes the changing the law society's name would erode its proud legal history. "I think anyone can agree that the name is quaintly archaic," says Heisey, who opposed the idea of a name change when he ran as an LSUC bencher candidate last year. "I'm a traditionalist, so I think it speaks to the legal history of the province and the many traditions that we should be proud of. It' s a personal thing among those names of their law societies in favour of more modern titles, that doesn't mean Ontario should do the same, ac- cording to Heisey. "We have to make our own decisions," he says. "I think While other jurisdictions have long since changed the when we forget our history, we lose a very important part of who we are, a part that we should celebrate and be proud of. But Duaine Simms, a lawyer at the Department of Jus- " tice, says such an approach could limit a law society that has already been working to change in other ways. "In all other areas, law societies are identifi ed by their province, he says. "It appears as if we are a bit of a relic, and I think we should fall into the same practice. " the law society has been considering and has enacted many other changes, a new name would be a logical next step in that process. "Th ey've begun regulating paralegals and introducing Simms, who signed the petition, believes that because " Changing the law society's name would erode its proud legal history, says Alan Heisey. Photo: Robin Kuniski of issue that the profession should decide as a whole. "Th is really is an issue that should be decided by every- one at the law society and not just benchers," he says. Family law case to feature testimony via Skype BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times Justice delivered an unusual decision allowing testimony by Skype under the Family Law Rules. Writing in P. v. C., Justice Ellen Mur- O be one step closer to tech- nological advancement aſt er the Ontario Court of ntario's justice system may ray determined the Internet-based vid- eo-conferencing program Skype could be used, despite the lack of clarity in the Rules on the issue, during cross-examinations in family court matters in situations where a judge sees fi t. Th e Rules don't specifi cally address cross- examination via video conferencing during trial but do allow judges to make decisions about using technology in court. "Th e Family Law Rules do not address Steven Benmor opposed the Skype motion. conference," wrote Murray. participate in a motion for temporary relief by video conference. Rule 1.08 of the Rules of Civil Procedure deals with participation by video conference at any stage of a case. If a matter is not adequately covered in the Family Law Rules, Rule 1(7) of the allows reference to the Rules of Civil Procedure to assist in deciding the issue by analogy. "Rule 14(8) does allow a party to and cross-examinations by Skype. But it's the fi rst time a judge has issued an order for it in a fam- ily court matter, according to a lawyer involved in the case. It' what's to come, lawyers say. TitlePlus_LT_Jan12_09 12/23/08 11:07 AM Page 1 the issue of participation in a trial by video s a decision that may provide a sign of will be given by Skype but it is the fi rst in family law to clearly look at the technology, what checks and balances are in place, and determine that "It's not the fi rst case where evidence-in-chief It's not the fi rst time the province's courts have allowed evidence-in-chief " family law should keep up with technology," says Philip Epstein, a partner at Epstein Cole LLP who represented the applicant, L.V. P., in the case. "I think it' more and more of as more people begin to reside outside Ontario. ing in Demark, had sought an order allowing her and her spouse to testify by Skype at trial in order to determine access to two daughters she had with a former spouse. She cited her lack of income and diffi culty in travelling as barriers to attending the trial in Toronto. Th e court ordered the father to have no ac- Epstein's client, a mother of three currently liv- s certainly something we'll be seeing " L AW TIMES P9 April 23, 2012 12-03-20 10:44 A a number of other changes, so this seems like a another positive step toward modernization," he says. Heisey, meanwhile, says the name change is the kind See Legislative, page 5 cess to the children and to pay child support af- ter L.V.P. alleged he was a violent alcoholic and cocaine addict who endangered the life of one of the kids. Th e father, M.E.C., has since sought access to his children and maintains he has completed treatment for substance abuse. 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