Law Times

Sept 3, 2012

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DIFFICULT BALANCE Practice demands challenging for election candidates $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 27 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE • WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM September 3, 2012 L AW TIMES P2 Details you need to know P7 BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times A eventually followed by a surrender. Th ere is a point where every alcoholic throws their hands up and says, 'I have to give up this fi ght.' Th at was the turning point for me." In fact, Bryant' as a lawyer, I wasn't necessarily an alcoholic," he tells Law Times. "My experience was a lot of self-delusion that was work and personal life for more than a decade but he says that even when he began to admit to himself that he was an alcoholic, he struggled to tell anyone else. Th at all changed last month when Bryant released s addiction to alcohol loomed over his his memoir about his deadly encounter with cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard and his battle with alcoholism in 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy, and Hope. In the book, Bryant describes his battle with alco- hol as something that leſt him "miserable and para- noid" until he hit rock bottom, woke up one morning six years ago aſt er a night of heavy drinking, and real- ized he could no longer control his addiction. Alcohol, Bryant writes in his memoir, had become the most important thing in his life. According to Bryant, he' turning point. s been sober ever since that Many lawyers 'think they don't have the luxury of having feelings,' says Doron Gold, who works for a counselling and assistance program for lawyers. Photo: Robin Kuniski s a successful legal professional, former attorney general Michael Bryant strug- gled to accept that he was an alcoholic. "I constantly fooled myself into thinking that because I was functioning Stress leaves lawyers prone to addiction Bryant's story highlights difficult issue for legal profession ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 A TARION ADDENDA FOCUS ON Class Actions P9 Assistance Program, says denial oſt en plays a large role in alcohol dependency among lawyers. "Oſt en, lawyers who abuse alcohol think of it as a victimless crime," says Gold. Doron Gold, case manager at the Ontario Lawyers' they are on a precipice that they realize they need help. Hovering over all of it is this idea that they are lawyers. Th ey believe they can fi x anything and if they admit they have a problem or show that they are having a problem, they believe they'll be seen as weak. Th ey think they don't have the luxury of having feelings. So they won't tell anyone and will try to hide the problems that come from it because they've been trained to solve problems." Jill Fenaughty, another case manager at the Ontario "Th ey are hesitant to get help and oſt en it's only when Lawyers' Assistance Program, notes that working long hours, the pressures of billing, and high-confl ict work environments can also contribute to the stress that sends some legal professionals looking for a release. "Many lawyers use alcohol as a coping mechanism as it is readily available, quick, and eff ective at reducing stress and pain," says Fenaughty. "Moreover, consuming alcohol at celebratory dinners, aſt er corporate closings, and aſt er a win or loss of a trial is part of the legal culture. Still, Bryant says that for an alcoholic, being in the le- " gal profession likely doesn't help or harm the addiction. "It' Ontario Lawyers' Assistance Program relate to alcohol dependency. At the same time, it estimates that at least 20 to 25 per cent of legal professionals have alcoholic tendencies. s an addiction," says Bryant. "It was always there." In Ontario, roughly nine per cent of the calls to the See Criminal, page 5 Appeal court reinforces ADR clauses in family law cases BY SIOBHAN McCLELLAND For Law Times sion late last month that it won't vary spousal support in cases where there' T 'I think there would have been a very serious mischief had the court not intervened,' says Harold Niman. he Ontario Court of Appeal has reinforced the validity of arbitration provisions with its deci- tario Court of Appeal reversed the motion judge' that the courts don't have jurisdic- tion to vary spousal support terms in a separation agreement when it includes an exclusive arbitration provision. "I think there would have been s decision and found ment containing an exclusive arbitration clause. In Grosman v. Cookson, the On- s a separation agree- a very serious mischief had the court not intervened, old Niman, a family lawyer at Ni- man Zemans Gelgoot LLP in To- ronto, who acted for Penny-Lynn Cookson. "It' " says Har- respect agreements between par- ties," says family lawyer Philip Ep- stein, a partner at Epstein Cole LLP. "It clearly refl ects the court' s very important that courts sire to permit parties to manage the resolution of their issues outside of court if they so contract," says Rob- ert Halpern, head of the family law group at Torkin Manes LLP. Th e case arises from the end of s de- the 34-year marriage between Bri- an Grosman and his former wife, Cookson. Th e couple entered into a separation agreement in February A DAILY BLOGOF CANADIAN LEGAL NEWS [WWW.CANADIANLAWYERMAG.COM/ LegalFeeds-BB-LT-Apr23-12.indd 1 DS ] 2004 that set out that Grosman would pay $8,500 per month. Another term of the agreement is that if either party seeks to vary the amount of support, Stephen Grant would act as the mediator or arbitrator. On March 30, 2010, Grosman spousal support of advised Cookson of his intention to retire as a partner from his law fi rm at the end of the year and proposed a variation of spousal support. Th e parties attended mediation in September 2010. Th e eff ort failed. On Feb. stopped making spousal support payments, the appeal court ruling noted. As a result, Cookson fi led the separation agreement with the See ADR, page 5 1, 2011, Grosman CANADIAN LAWYER & LAW TIMES POWERED BY 12-04-16 11:56 AM PM #40762529

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