Law Times

February 11, 2019

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

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BY ANITA BAL AKRISHNAN Law Times LATE nights studying at the University of Ottawa's law li- brary may not be for everyone. But for Clifford Lincoln, who graduated from the University of Ottawa last year with an LLM and also celebrated his 90 th birthday, it brought his career full circle. "I just turned 90 last year in September," Lincoln says. "So, going to school among people one-third of my age and [who] could be my grandchildren, I was a little apprehensive at first. I shouldn't have been, because it was wonderful." Lincoln had already capped an illustrious career as a law- maker, leaving Parliament in 2004 after 25 years in the pol- itical sphere as a liberal repre- senting Lac-Saint-Louis, Que. But one thing he hadn't ac- complished was completing his legal education. Lincoln studied law in his birth country of Mauritius and later in Cape Town, South Africa, BY SHANNON K ARI For Law Times LAWYERS' groups in Ontario are hoping the Ministry of the Attorney General will move forward in the months ahead to reform and expand the simpli- fied procedure process to try to reduce the backlog in the civil courts. "We all recognize that chang- es are needed," says Michael Winward, the newly elected chairman of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations. "We would like the attorney general to come out and spe- cifically state the changes she is considering to the process and then ask for feedback. The ball is in their court," adds Winward, a partner at Mackesy Smye LLP in Hamilton, Ont. Ron Bohm, president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Associa- tion, agrees that proposals such as increasing the maximum claim that can proceed under Rule 76, which sets out the rules for simplified procedure trials, would be beneficial. Lawyers' groups push government for change Michael Winward says it's recognized widely that reform is needed in the simplified procedure process to reduce backlogs. BY ANITA BAL AKRISHNAN Law Times LAWYERS say they are looking to the Law Society of Ontario for guidance on technology issues, particularly cybersecurity and access to justice. But at the same time, bar members and bencher hopefuls disagree on how far the LSO should go in creating new rules to enforce technological competency. "There are sole practitioners and smaller law firms that have been practising in a paper-based practice for a long time and there are ways to balance the obliga- tions around being cost effec- tive and timely," says Lisa Danay Wallace, an associate at Weir- Foulds LLP in Toronto, who is not running for bencher but says technology plays an important part in her practice. "I don't think it has to be a hard and fast rule that either you're completely up to date on technology or you're not." While there seem to be new digital resources available for lawyers, there is no explicit rule that lawyers in Ontario must be competent in the use of technol- ogy. "The law society needs to take a leadership role to guide the profession in this direction, and to date they haven't taken a very good role," says Toronto lawyer Mitch Kowalski, who is running for bencher. He says lawyers are looking for "actual guidance, as opposed to a CPD event." "Every day there are press releases and announcements and committees — and it gets so noisy that it is impossible for a sole practitioner or a small firm to keep on top of their practice, keep on top of the law and now these technology things," he says. Two years ago, a committee at the Federation of Law Societies PM #40762529 Tech debate hits bencher election See Guidelines, page 2 See Former, page 4 See Reform, page 2 Real news matters Federal election coming page 6 Pot trademark Legal battle waged page 5 COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE | FEBRUARY 11, 2019 | WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM | VOL. 30, NO. 6 | $5.00 What not to do Partial summary judgment page 7 Focus on Family Law page 8 Lisa Danay Wallace says there doesn't need to be a hard and fast rule on how up to date lawyers are on technology. Photo: Laura Pedersen Going to law school in your 80s Learn more at or call 1.800.653.0925 Untitled-2 1 2018-11-07 12:10 PM & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM The Bencher Election is Coming Visit our new micro-site devoted to the upcoming LSO Bencher Election with news coverage, candidate profiles and advertising opportunities for bencher candidates. Connect with all facets of the bencher election and make an informed decision by visiting today. Untitled-1 1 2019-01-30 9:22 AM

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