Law Times

August 24, 2015

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Diamond & Diamond refutes 'full frontal assault' By Shannon Kari For Law Times n Ontario Superior Court judge is urging the Law Society of Up- per Canada to provide more clarity about the rules for lawyers practising independently yet also in association under a common business name. The suggestion came out of a motion heard on Aug. 17 related to the business structure of Dia- mond & Diamond Personal In- jury Lawyers, a high-profile firm based in Toronto. Justice James Diamond (no re- lation to the law firm) stated that the law society might "revisit" its decision not to provide some guidance on the questions raised in the motion before the court. Aviva Canada Inc. invoked a section of Rule 21 of the Rules of Civil Procedure in asking the court to determine a question of law in an ongoing automobile ac- cident-related litigation. The statement of claim filed on behalf of plaintiff Alannah Cautius lists the firm as Diamond & Dia- mond Personal Injury Lawyers and counsel as Corey Sax. In correspon- dence related to the proceeding, a letter sent last year had the firm's name at the top of the page and referred to "CJS Law Professional Corporation, Practising Indepen- dently and not in Partnership." After an inquiry this spring by Aviva's lawyer, Alan Rachlin, a re- sponse sent by Sax indicated the letterhead had been amended. It now states he's practising in asso- ciation and not in partnership. "Who is legally accountable?" asked Rachlin, a partner at Rach- lin & Wolfson LLP. "What should be on a document when you have lawyers practising in association, which is now more common? The rules have not been amended to re- f lect that," he said in court last week. The public face of Diamond & Diamond is Jeremy Diamond, who appears prominently in ex- tensive advertising in the media, at professional sports events at the Air Canada Centre, and on the back of public transit buses. Its web site lists its official name as "Diamond & Diamond Person- al Injury Lawyers" and shows its 10 lawyers pictured under the head- ing "The Diamond & Diamond team" with brief biographies. Provincial records show that "Diamond & Diamond" is regis- tered under the Business Names Act and the corporate owner is Sandra Zisckind Law PC. On her personal LinkedIn page, Zisckind, who's married to Jeremy, refers to herself as the managing partner of the firm. Rachlin told the court that the full name currently listed on its web site and in its correspondence isn't registered as a business. "It doesn't exist," he said. Adding "Personal Injury Law- yers" to its name "may be part of the marketing," the judge re- sponded. "I am not sure it means anything" in terms of the legal is- sues before the court, he added. legal expertise? 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Untitled-3 1 2015-06-22 4:32 PM Liberalization inevitable: McLachlin SCC chief urges lawyers to accept change, embrace innovation By Glenn Kauth Law Times ALGARY — As the Ca- nadian Bar Association conference got underway this month with a focus on innovation and building a better lawyer, Chief Justice Bever- ley McLachlin opened with a keynote speech emphasizing the need to ba- lance the pressing need to change the delivery of legal services with lawyers' professional obligations. "Flexibility and innovation, yes. Abandonment of core professional va- lues, never," said McLachlin in an Aug. 14 speech aimed at addressing the cha- llenges facing the legal profession due to rapidly changing technology and client demands for lower costs. In her speech, McLachlin focused on the major challenges facing the le- gal profession while outlining what she sees as new opportunities that provide some optimism for different ways of doing business. "Legal systems everywhere are ex- periencing an access to justice crisis and are responding in different ways," she said, suggesting Canada has done a good job of trying to address the is- sues by looking for ways to make legal services more accessible. But efficiency and affordability, she added, will be key. "The time-honoured legal phrase 'with due deliberation' has no place in the new world in which we live and practise," she said, suggesting lawyers would also have to con- sider a loosening of their dominance over the delivery of legal services to make room for others to offer them more cheaply. "In the age of the Internet, people are questioning why they, the consumers of legal product, should be forced to go to expensive lawyers working in expensive office buildings located in expensive urban centres. Why, they ask, should a client re- tain lawyers, when integrated professional firms can deliver accounting, financial, and legal advice?" she said. "The old assumptions are being ques- tioned," she added, noting the question isn't whether there will be liberalization but how it will happen. "We must not close our mind to the changes that are being increasingly forced on us." McLachlin spoke in Calgary as the CBA conference got underway with a significant focus on how lawyers could meet the cha- llenges of the future. When it came to the practical realities of innovation, lawyers heard a lot about artificial intelligence du- ring a session at the conference on Aug. 15. Storied hiStory Georgetown firm readies for 130th anniversary P4 uber's insurance Analysis shows serious issues with coverage P7 FoCUS oN Pensions Law P8 Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin emphasized the need for lawyers to accept the realities of technological change and libera- lization of legal services in a speech at the Canadian Bar Association's legal conference this month. Photo: Glenn Kauth See Firms, page 2 See Artifical, page 2 PM #40762529 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 26 August 24, 2015 Follow LAW TIMES on www.twitter.com/lawtimes L AW TIMES C A

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