Law Times

May 12, 2008

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Law Times Earlug Ad 1/16/08 4:06 P titleplus.ca 416-598-5899 1-800-410-1013 TitlePLUS title insurance and you, together we make real estate real simple. $3.55 • Vol. 19, No. 16 Inside This Issue 3 New Responsibilities 7 Family Practice 10 Focus On Securities Law Quote of the week "This is as legally perverse as asking the guy in the electric chair, 'Would you like AC or DC?' An appropriate analogy, because whether it's a wrongful dismissal or constructive dismissal, the employee is history." — Eugene Meehan lawyer, Lang Michener LLP See Decision page 3 Covering Ontario's Legal Scene Call 416.223.5991 www.IFAccountant.com Investigative & Forensic Accounting Specialists Proven Expertise ntitled-6 1 We ain't no stinkin' licensees A Motion says moniker 'demeaning' BY ROBERT TODD Law Times for the governing body to ditch its use of the term "licensee" when referring to lawyers. Many lawyers scrambled into the meeting in rare overflow crowd turned up last week at the Law Society of Upper Canada's annual general meeting, where a majority voted the Osgoode Hall dining room at the last minute, after receiving notice of the motion via an Ontario Bar Association mass e-mail. The motion — the first since 1997 to be introduced at a law society AGM — was passed by a majority vote of 54-40. The term "licensee" was introduced in 2006 with changes to the Law Society Act, as part of the Access to Justice Act, which brought paralegal reg- ulation under the law society's purview. An LSUC spokesman says the government adopted the term as a generic reference to all individuals who are part of the society — both lawyers and paralegals. The term is now found in the Law Society Act, as a substitute for "member," in reference to those licensed to practise law in Ontario as a barrister and solicitor, or anyone else licensed to provide le- gal services in the province, such as paralegals. Toronto immigration and criminal law lawyer Mary Boyce submitted the motion at the law soci- ety AGM. It states that "it is demeaning to lawyers to be treated as a class of licensee." society's bylaws to replace the term "licensee" with "lawyer" or "barrister and solicitor," and asks that lawyers in good standing be called "members." It asks the law society to repeal any changes made to the barristers' oath, ensure that it is administered only to admittants to the bar, and for consultation to the profession before any future changes to the barristers' oath. The motion calls for amendments to the law 'Words matter; they are our stock and trade,' says Mary Boyce, adding that, for some, use of the word licensee seems to be 'a lowering of the bar.' Boyce told the meeting that she first no- ticed the use of the term "licensee" in her member's annual report. "For some, it seemed to be a lowering of the bar, a demeaning of the bar," she said. "Words matter; they are our stock and trade." Many lawyers at the meeting voiced their concern with the change in language. Karen Andrews said she keeps a copy of the we practise, and now it's gone," she said. A lawyer who identified herself as a provincial Lawyer strung clients along with phantom cases BY ROBERT TODD Law Times n what's believed to be a first in Canada, a Toronto lawyer, who made his mark early in his career battling the Ontario government over the rights of autistic children, has admitted to professional mis- I conduct for stringing clients along with phantom cases. Jonathan Wade Strug's licence to practise law was terminated by a Law Society of Upper Canada hear- ing panel May 6 after he was found to have engaged in 16 counts of professional misconduct. failure to commence legal proceed- ings for seven clients despite being retained to do so; misleading a Dur- ham District School Board lawyer by telling her he wasn't involved in a legal matter; and failing to act in good faith with a partner at his own law firm by misleading her about the The misconduct included his was a classic case of an overworked lawyer who "couldn't fathom" ad- mitting he couldn't take on more work and viewed doing so as a failure, he says. Trudell says lawyers too often take work home with them, and when they don't, they're thinking about the cases they're working on. In my opinion, Jonathan's actions were unconsciously driven, self-defeating acts perpetrated by him at a time when he was severely depressed, emotionally exhausted, and professionally burned out. TPLawTimes1CBlue fin 8/22/06 11:47 AM Page 2 status of files he was working on. William Trudell, Strug's lawyer at the hearing, tells Law Times in an in- terview that the case is a cautionary tale for the profession. "It's an enormous tragedy for ev- eryone involved," says Trudell. Strug's professional misconduct profession," he says, adding that many lawyers need to learn to ask for help when overwhelmed. Strug, who was called to the bar in 2002 and is 35 years old, began working as an articling student in 2000 with the firm Eberts Symes "It's a disease we get into in this Street & Corbett, according to a set of agreed facts. He worked with law- yer David Corbett, and later Mary Eberts, on the highly publicized R. v. Wynberg trial at the Ontario Superi- or Court of Justice, a case that pitted families with autistic children against the Ontario government over the provision of expensive therapy that the government refused to pay for. Strug worked on other files in tandem with his work on Wyn- berg. In one case involving a cli- ent identified as CB, who was the parent of an autistic child, Strug was retained after the par- ent was impressed with his work on the Wynberg trial. The mother retained Strug to commence legal proceedings against the Durham District School Board for support and accommodation of her child. See Case, page 2 THE HOUSE OF HER DREAMS. Unfortunately it comes with a $10,000 nightmare. SHE JUST FOUND TitlePLUS title insurance and you, together we make real estate real simple. Visit titleplus.ca or call 1-800-410-1013 for more information Protect your clients. Recommend TitlePLUS® * Underwritten by Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO® Law Times – Nightmare (Front Page Base Bar 1C) www.lawtimesnews.com title insurance.* ). Contact LAWPRO for brokers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. ® Registered trademark of Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company. barristers' oath at her desk. "This is fundamental to who we are and how See Large, page 9 Photo: Robert Todd May 12/19, 2008 1/8/08 3:28:10 PM A.NEUMAN ASSOCIATES INC.

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