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Oct 22, 2012

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PRETRIAL CUSTODY Diverging court rulings prompt appeal $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 33 Covering ontario's legal sCene • www.lawtimesnews.Com October 22, 2012 Minority rejects main proposal, calls for radical revamp Dissent on articling task force L AW TIMES P5 Opposition about anti-democratic rules P7 R BY HEATHER GARDINER Law Times gram in favour of doing away with articling altogether. " to move on with a different process," says Bencher Peter Wardle, a member of the minority on the articling task force that opposed the report' ing last week's proposal for a law practice pro- Articling has really outlived its usefulness and it's time recommendations to resolve the current articling crisis in Ontario. It also included opposing views from some of its members who want to abolish articling and implement a two- to three-month "comprehensive transitional preli- censing program" that would consist of online learning and exams to assess the core competencies lawyers need to have. The remaining members of the task force want to a new law practice program. The task force released its final report last week with s main recommendation of aising concerns about the potential for a two- tiered system under a new licensing option for law graduates, a minority on the Law Society of Upper Canada' s articling task force is reject- is now," he says. introduce a five-year pilot project, to begin in 2014, for a law practice program as an alternative option to the current articling system. The report suggests that option would provide a way for unplaced candidates to gain the necessary practical skills. Under the new system, licensing candidates would still have the option to article. The majority on the task force also called for a final assessment for all candidates, regardless of the option they choose, to test their practical skills before receiving their licences. The law practice program, to be delivered by one or ntitled-4 1 that the status quo can't continue. It' more third-party providers, would combine a skills- training component and a co-op work placement for a total of eight months. One issue the entire task force agreed on is the notion ticling positions available for all licensing candidates. In its report, the task force acknowledged that as of March 2012, approximately 15 per cent of all licensing candi- dates were unable to secure articling positions. But Wardle, a partner at Wardle Daley Bernstein LLP, says it's not necessary to study articling for an- s common knowledge that there aren't enough ar- other five years. "The time to make the hard decisions about articling Tom Conway, task force chairman and LSUC trea- surer, believes it's important to take things slowly in order to ensure that whichever solution emerges provides effec- tive practical training. "This is really the first time that we're aware of in North Horvat, Vern Krishna, Paul Schabas, and Wardle — dis- agrees with the proposed pilot project, insisting that there should no longer be an articling requirement. The new process, said the minority, should be the 'The time to make the hard decisions about articling is now,' says Peter Wardle. Photo: Robin Kuniski same for everyone. "We don't like the idea of having what is essentially a two-tiered system," says Wardle. New judge known for political links, colourful comments BY SHANNON KARI For Law Times W Toni Skarica has come under fire for comments about Roma refugee applicants. Photo: Courtesy of Hamilton Spectator eral government has now named at least a dozen people to the Ontario Superior Court in the past two years who have links to the Con- servative party either as former candidates or elected politicians or through political donations. The most recent example was ith the recent ap- pointment of a former Conserva- tive MPP, the fed- of Mike Harris has continued to donate to Conservative candidates in recent years and was the lead Crown attorney in a high-profile RCMP investigation dubbed Proj- ect Opapa. Eight people ultimately pleaded guilty earlier this year to human trafficking-related offences in a criminal enterprise that en- listed people from Hungary and forced them to work in a family' the Oct. 5 appointment of Ham- ilton, Ont., Crown attorney Toni Skarica as a Superior Court judge in Brampton, Ont. The former Progressive Conser- vative MPP under the government construction business. The ring- leader, Ferenc Domotor, received a nine-year sentence. Media outlets widely quoted s Skarica about the prosecution and alleged there was a foiled assassi- nation plot to kill him, two RCMP officers, and Crown witnesses. "I took it seriously but I wasn't going to let it stop me from doing my File your 2013 LAWPRO® work," Skarica told the Hamilton Spectator in April. "I' old man in a nursing home in a dia- per, d rather die that way than as an " he added. Skarica, who will be sworn in Nov. 1, tells Law Times it's "no se- cret" that he has Conservative ties but says that shouldn't disqualify him from the bench. "I would think most people who have been appointed to the bench have been involved politically at some time, he says. "In fairness to me, you can ask anyone about my ability and courtroom experience. I am not afraid of the answers. " plot, Skarica had earlier said Con- servative MP Joy Smith informed See Skarica, page 2 On the issue of the assassination " insurance application online by Nov. 1 and save $25 per lawyer Untitled-1 1 Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company 12-10-12 11:41 AM America certainly that a law society or a regulator of the legal profession has actually decided that it will try to apply the latest in objective assessment techniques to measure the effectiveness of a practical training program," he says. The minority — consisting of benchers Jacqueline 12-03-20 10:44 A WIND POWER POLITICS FOCUS ON Trusts & Estates Law P9 See Convocation, page 2 Pm #40762529

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