Law Times

August 11, 2008

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Law Times Earlug Ad 1/16/08 4:06 McKELLAR STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS INC. www.mckellar.com 1-800-265-8381 www.mckellar.com ckellar_LT_Jan14_08.indd 1 $3.55 • Vol. 19, No. 251/8/08 3:03:02 PM Inside This Issue 3 Women In Law 6 Class Actions 9 Focus On Corporate/ Commercial Law Quote of the week "When it comes to the criminal justice system, we as criminal lawyers tend to observe the vulnerability of children. We encounter children as witnesses, complainants or defendants. Children's fiction writing is a wonderful escape from that world. It allows me to focus on the strength and power of children." — Lisa Joyal, author and assistant Crown attorney See Toronto, page 5 he creation of Ontario's new Human Rights Legal Support Centre in To- ronto may be good news for those fac- ing discrimination, but the lure of dramati- cally higher salaries for essentially the same work has caused a brain drain of lawyers from legal aid clinics in the area. "The impact on the community in terms of access to justice has been dramatic," says Judy Welikovitch, executive director of West Toronto Community Legal Services. Her clinic has lost both of its staff lawyers and one support worker to the legal support centre. "It's got to be affecting other clinics as well, because I know of at least a half-dozen other lawyers from clinics who have left for the Hu- man Rights Legal Support Centre." The centre has hired lawyers from the Ad- T vocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, the Indus- trial Accident Victims' Group of Ontario, the North Peel & Dufferin legal aid clinic, the Le- gal Aid Ontario clinic resource office, and the African Canadian Legal Clinic, says Weliko- vitch. All of those clinics are funded by LAO. "That's a lot of people to be losing from the clinic system," she says. "Clinics provide service to the marginalized communities across the province. In order for those communities to have high-quality ac- cess to justice, we need good lawyers, we need committed lawyers." But, she says, "It's gotten to the point now where we're so uncompetitive that even the most committed of lawyers are taking sec- ond looks and leaving for other opportunities. 'The impact on the community in terms of access to justice has been dramatic,' says Judy Wlikovitch, whose legal aid clinic has lost both of its staff lawyers and a support worker to the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. We need to even the playing field here." In his recently released report on the prov- ince's legal aid system to the Ministry of the Attorney General, University of Toronto Fac- ulty of Law Prof. Michael Trebilcock focused largely on an immediate increase to the legal aid tariff to $110 per hour from the current $73 to $92 per hour in terms of lawyer remu- neration. But he also made reference to the fact that fewer young lawyers are going into legal Covering Ontario's Legal Scene titleplus.ca 416-598-5899 1-800-410-1013 TitlePLUS title insurance and you, together we make real estate real simple. August 11-18, 2008 Legal aid brain drain Lawyers leaving for new human rights centre BY ROBERT TODD Law Times Photo: Robert Todd aid work, and found that recruitment and re- tention of legal aid lawyers, duty counsel, and clinic lawyers is due to low salaries. He noted the "under-compensation of ser- vice providers, on the supply-side, cannot be fully realized without a substantial infusion of additional financial resources into a system that has been chronically underfunded for decades." The salary comparison is stark between has overturned a Law Society of Upper Canada appeal panel ruling against a Toronto lawyer accused of professional misconduct. The panel ordered a new hear- ing panel be created to deal with the allegations against Toronto general practitioner Joseal Igbinosun. The Divisional Court majority used words such as "inexplicable," "per- plexing," and "mystifying" in refer- ence to an appeal panel's decision to uphold a professional miscon- duct finding involving allegations of sexual assault. A law society spokesperson tells Law Times in an e-mail LSUC is Divisional Court slams LSUC discipline decision T BY ROBERT TODD Law Times he Ontario Divisional Court, in a strongly word- ed majority decision, seeking leave to appeal the decision. "The decision speaks for itself," Igbinosun, who obtained a stay from the Divisional Court after the appeal panel decision and con- tinues to practise, tells Law Times. "I'm grateful. I have faith in the system. We'll just move on." Igbinosun was accused of sexual assault by three women in February 1998, but those criminal charges were stayed in December 2003 on grounds of delay, says the court's written judgment released recently in Toronto. Allegations of professional misconduct stemming from the al- legations came forward in March 2004, and in September 2006 a hearing panel found him guilty of professional misconduct. He was disbarred and ordered to pay the society $82,042.80. In October 2007, an appeal panel dismissed Igbinosun's appeal, while reducing the cost award. While Divisional Court jus- tices Anne Molloy and John Jen- nings in a majority decision ruled the matter should be sent back to a hearing panel, dissenting Jus- tice Romain Pitt found that the matter should be stayed. Specifically, the majority ruled that Igbinosun was not given enough time to prepare for a penalty hearing, and that an adjournment application should have been granted. "I was very disappointed with what I saw in this case, in terms of process," says Igbinosun's current lawyer, Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd of Gardiner Roberts LLP, who was not involved in the case until it reached Divisional Court. "The whole case . . . creates a very disappointing picture for See Employees, page 4 those of us who are supposed to be the defenders of the rule of law." According to the Divisional Court ruling, none of the com- plainants were clients of Igbino- sun, but "all came in contact with him in his role as a lawyer." The law society's proceedings authorization committee in Febru- ary 2002 approved an investigation into the allegations. The criminal charges were stayed in December 2003, and in February 2004 PAC approved the closure of the moni- toring file. But the complainants approached the law society the next month and said they wanted to go ahead with their allegations at the law society, says the judgment. Igbinosun was told about the investigations in October 2004, and the judgment states, "No See Lawyer, page 5 Value your time? Then you'll value our technology! Tel: 416.322.6111 Toll-free: 1.866.367.7648 www.doprocess.com Industry leader in legal software for real estate, corporate and estates for over a decade www.lawtimesnews.com

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