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December 10, 2018

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PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 29, No. 40 December 10, 2018 L AW TIMES C O V E R I N G O N T A R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W . L A W T I M E S N E W S . C O M Longtime LSO benchers take stand on governance Vern Krishna says the law society may risk losing more than it gains from recent governance changes. Photo: Laura Pedersen SIMPLIFIED RULES Make proposed changes a reality P7 FOCUS ON Trade Law P8 BY ANITA BALAKRISHNAN Law Times T he Law Society of On- tario's recent decision to further cull the number of benchers at Convoca- tion means that several longtime members will lose the rights either to speak or vote in the next few months. Former LSO treasurer Vern Krishna, counsel at TaxChambers LLP in Toronto and law professor at the University of Ottawa, says the law society may risk losing more than it gains from the chang- es, which take effect after the up- coming bencher elections on April 30, 2019. "Institutional memory comes into play when something is on the table. You can't just create a binder labelled 'institutional memory' and hand it off — it is a more f luid concept," says Krishna. "The loss of corporate memory is unfortunate because it shifts the balance of pow- er. In a democratic body, you have to balance many interests. An elec- tion is only one of those interests." The law society board of bench- ers is currently composed of sever- al groups: eight provincial govern- ment-appointed or "lay" bench- ers, 20 Toronto lawyers elected by members of the profession, 20 elected lawyers from the rest of Ontario, five elected paralegal benchers and a group of ex-officio and honorary benchers. Changes approved by the law society on Nov. 30 affect ex-officio and honorary benchers. The group of ex-officio and hon- orary benchers currently include former treasurers, Ontario attor- neys-general, "emeritus" benchers and "life benchers." An LSO Governance Task Force report said that there were 40 ex- officio benchers, including the current treasurer and the current attorney general, and 17 of the ex- officio benchers who "participate regularly," the report said. These 17 benchers will be most affected by the changes approved on Nov. 30. Thornhill lawyer Alan Sil- verstein, who will lose his title of emeritus bencher next year, noted that emeritus benchers have al- ready had minimal roles in Con- vocation since the previous gover- nance reform, which he supported. "I never felt entitled to be a life bencher," says Silverstein. "I voted in favour of the [early-2010s gover- nance] changes because I thought See A reduction, page 2 Parkdale legal clinic may have to move BY ANITA BALAKRISHNAN Law Times P arkdale Community Legal Services says it may be out of its location on Queen Street West. The organization received a termination notice on Oct. 16 to vacate its lease by Jan. 1, 2019, said Johanna Macdonald, clinic direc- tor of Parkdale Community Legal Services. Macdonald says the clinic did not know the termination notice was coming and that PCLS had an agreement at one point to move to the third f loor of the building from the ground f loor. "We knew that the building was under construction and we had an agreement — and still have an agreement — to remain in the building through that construc- tion period or be compensated if we couldn't operate. So that was an unexpected notice [of termination to vacate the lease]," says Macdon- ald in a Law Times interview. "We are certainly open and encouraged that we are speaking with the landlord now on what our options are, based on that agree- ment." The future of the clinic is un- certain as it has secured neither an interim nor a permanent new location, but the clinic is working to prevent any service disruptions, says Jayne Mallin, a vice president at Legal Aid Ontario, which funds PCLS. "We are open to whatever space that can be found on an interim that makes sense," says Mallin. "What we have suggested is we have some allocated space at one of our locations at 55 University Avenue, so we had offered that 2,900-square-foot space free so they wouldn't have to pay rent for that period of time. It's not in Park- dale, and we are aware of that, and it is also not sufficient for the entire student program. So, we also sug- gested that we would support the clinic to find space in the commu- nity . . . whatever that would look See Working, page 2 Follow cLeishOrlando_LT_Oct29_18.indd 1 2018-10-25 7:52 AM THE ULTIMATE SOURCE For Today's Legal Profession | 416.609.3800 | 1.800.387.5164 Online Free preview Subscribe today! ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION INCLUDES: • 10 issues print and digital editions • FREE exclusive access to Canadian Lawyer digital edition archives • FREE weekly e-newsletter: Canadian Legal Newswire THE TOP MOST INFLUENTIAL $ 1 1 . 9 5 A u g u s t 2 0 1 8 MAKING AN IMPACT MEET THE CANADIAN LAWYERS AND JUDGES WHO ARE SPECIAL SECTION: CANADIAN LAWYER 4STUDENTS P.51 CHANGEMAKERS HUMAN RIGHTS, ADVOCACY AND CRIMINAL CORPORATE COMMERCIAL YOUNG INFLUENCERS GOVERNMENT/ NON-PROFITS/ ASSOCIATIONS PM AGREEMENT # 40766500 Untitled-3 1 2018-12-04 3:00 PM ACQUITTALS ORDERED Case features a strongly worded dissent P5 Jayne Mallin says Parkdale Community Legal Services has secured neither an interim nor a permanent new location.

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