Law Times

May 7, 2012

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OVERTIME RULING Certification denied in CIBC case P3 LOOK AHEAD Book offers insight into profession's future P7 FOCUS ON Personal Injury Law $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 16 ntitled-2 1 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE • WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM 7/7/11 9:10:05 AM BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times announcement during Convocation proceedings on April 26. According to his update, 15 per cent of appli- cants were without an articling position this year. That' T Task force chairman Tom Conway made the up from 12 per cent last year. That means roughly one in seven law students will be unable to find an articling position by 2013. " s engaged and we need time to consider everything we heard during the consultation process and thoroughly study all the submissions we've received, "The task force is very pleased with the interest shown and with the quality of written submissions." The law society created the articling task force in June 2011 in a bid to address a continuing decline in articling positions across the province. Since then, it has released several reports with the " said Conway. most recent submitted to Convocation in February. In addition, it has held 10 consultation sessions across the province and received more than 100 written submis- sions for consideration in its final report. It has now put off releasing the final report until this fall after earlier planning to do so this spring. While the latest figures are concerning, the incom- Articling is an issue in which the profession is fully Report shows three-percentage-point increase in applicants without jobs " says Albert Lin. L AW TIMES Articling crisis gets worse ntitled-4 1 he Law Society of Upper Canada's articling s articling shortage task force has reported a three-percentage- point increase in Ontario' this year in a grim forecast that has left law students and lawyers grappling for answers. professional development and competence committee, alternatives to articling, such as a practical legal training course, may help close the gap. Ontario Bar Association president Paul Sweeny says that while a course and other solutions offered by the task force may help with the shortage in the interim, the profession needs to come up with more permanent answers. "It seems to be a problem that is growing and it has to be addressed," says Sweeny. "We'll have to look into how According to a draft report for the law society's " deeply the shortage is impacted by the economy and what role the increasing number of law students plays in the current articling shortage. I think right now articling experiences can be varied, but consistency and care will have to be taken with any new approach." According to the draft report, large- and medium- P8 May 7, 2012 12-03-20 10:44 A articling crisis. "The number may not seem like much but it could actually be quite misleading, and when you take into account the number of students who weren't able to find articling positions last year, combined with those who will not find them this year, the number could really be much larger. "The effects of the articling shortage occur over time ing president of the University of Toronto Students' Law Society suggests they could be masking an even larger The shortage of articling positions is even greater given the number of graduates from past years who couldn't find one and are still looking, says Albert Lin. Photo: Robin Kuniski Hall Law School dean Lorne Sossin. "When they've tried everything they could think of and nothing works, per- haps its time to turn to the model itself. That model is currently creating a bottleneck between supply and Bar divided over judge who 'bullied' litigant I Judges should be able to speak bluntly in set- tlement conferences, says James Morton. BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times n a ruling that's provoking div- judge who "eff ectively bullied" an Iranian family law litigant into ac- cepting his ex-wife' ided reaction among the bar, the Divisional Court has set aside the order of an Ottawa support. "I think the judge was trying to s position on give Mr. Rastegar a reality check," says James Morton of Steinberg Morton Hope & Israel LLP of Siahbazi v. Rastegar. "Th at is the job of a judge in and what will lead them to the best settlement some of his comments were per- haps out of line, but I would venture to say many were not." But noted lawyer Clayton Ruby sees the issue diff erently. "It's ter- rible," says Ruby. "I don't think it's for both parties. Yes, a case of the judge being blunt. I think it' ant. It shouldn't happen." Th e comments follow the Divisional Court's ruling in Siahbazi s a problem of being ignor- that set aside Superior Court Justice John McMunagle' settlement conferences: to be blunt and direct. Th ey are there to give their advice about what they be- lieve will be the best path for the individuals involved given the law der in the case. According to the Divisional Court, the judge had "crossed the boundary of appropri- ate judicial comment." Th e April ruling found s May 2011 or- McMunagle had used his personal experiences and opinions about Iran to make inappropriate refer- ences to Majid Rastegar' "belittled and criticized" him with- out giving him a fair opportunity to comment, misinformed him about the law, and denied him pro- cedural fairness. McMunagle was presiding over s culture, ference brief had asked for a tem- porary order for child support but didn't seek one at all for spousal support. According to the Divisional a settlement conference between Rastegar and his ex-wife, Mojgan Siahbazi, at the time of the com- ments. Siahbazi' s settlement con- sized law firms currently offer the bulk of articling positions in Ontario with smaller firms failing to play a significant role in the job market. The law society has attempted to change that but hasn't been successful so far. "Law students are left facing a wall with no real ability to scale it and it's getting worse over time," says Osgoode See Dean, page 5 Court, the trouble arose for McMunagle when he approached the conference "determined from the outset to fi nally resolve the issues." See Judges, page 5 Childview_LT_Jan24_11.indd 1 1/19/11 11:04:05 AM PM #40762529

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