Law Times

January 11, 2016

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Truth and reconciliation makeover Law schools ponder how to teach aboriginal law BY NEIL ETIENNE Law Times W ith almost 100 recommendations and calls to action contained within the 4,000-page final Truth and Reconciliation report released just last month, the legal profession has been put on notice it must better educate itself on the nation's aborigi - nal people, the foundations of their laws, history, and the leg- acy of the residential school system. Under Recommendation 28, the reconciliation commis- sioner, Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice Murray Sin- clair, called on law schools to require all law students to take a mandatory course that would include a study of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the various treaties, aboriginal rights, and the historic Crown- aboriginal relations with skill-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism. Douglas Sanderson, a University of Toronto faculty of law associate professor and a member of the Cree nation from northern Manitoba, says it's a laudable and vital philosophi - cal recognition of the need to change how the legal profession is educated. He also says it's an intense amount of information that one mandatory, first-year course will not be able to ad- dress in the short term and the U of T plan is to build aborigi- nal law aspects into every legal course the university provides starting as early as the upcoming fall. "ere is a symbolic aspect to a mandatory course that says we're taking this seriously and we all have to do this and that's not something we can just dismiss, but if the only advantage is symbolic, then maybe we want to think about how we get to the spirit of the recommendation and doing the work the Concern about referral fees, misleading ads Law Society zeroes in on lawyer advertising BY NEIL ETIENNE Law Times A call for input by the Law Society of Upper Canada on legal advertising has raised some interesting issues and concerns that the legal regulator needs to sink its teeth into before it can wrap its collective head around potential solutions. Malcolm Mercer, chair of the LSUC's professional regulation committee, says a few legal profes - sionals are even calling for a full stop on all legal advertising, while others sway to the side of lesser regulation. Either way, he suspects 2016 will bring about new policy for market - ing legal services in Ontario. Mercer says the rules used to be quite clear — no legal advertising at all — but adds that changed to ad- dress the public's right to know what services they have available to them. e question he and his committee will have to address is how far has the pendulum swung and how to balance the public's right of access to information against overzealous or unprofessional advertising. "We're sorting out what we're go - ing to do about the broader ques- tions," Mercer says. "ere's an appe- tite to have the issues addressed, but they're complicated matters, so there needs to be a genuine, thoughtful examination before we jump to con - clusions." Bencher Michael Lerner, a part- ner at Lerners LLP, broached the is- sue during the December Convoca- tion meeting, saying he hoped there would be a report or recommenda- tions coming forward soon. Mercer says one will come to the table for re- view at some point in 2016; however, he adds there is a lot of information and issues to filter through before those recommendations come for - ward for discussion. "I'm old enough to remember when there were absolute restric- tions on advertising, so we've cer- tainly come a long way with pro- fessional advertising. But in some instances, I now think we've come too far and some of the ads are false, misleading, or exaggerated, and MASTERS REPORT Commission urges salary increase P3 HAIR-TESTING FALLOUT Judith Beaman to oversee next steps P5 FOCUS ON Insurance Law P9 'If we want to take the recommendations seriously, it's hard on its face to figure out how we'd squeeze all of that into one class,' says Prof. Douglas Sanderson. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Fine, page 2 See Proponents, page 2 'I now think we've come too far and some of the ads are false, misleading, or exaggerated, and those ads demean the profession,' says Michael Lerner. PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 27, No. 1 January 11, 2016 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 ARE YOU RECEIVING CANADIAN LEGAL NEWSWIRE? Keep abreast of essential legal news, opinions and analysis with our electronic newswire. VISIT OUR WEBSITE WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM SIGN UP FOR FREE From the publisher of and CLNW_LT_Nov2_15.indd 1 2015-10-28 8:33 AM TORONTO | BARRIE | HAMILTON | KITCHENER 1-866-685-3311 | cLeish Orlando_LT_Jan_20_14.indd 1 14-01-15 3:15 PM Follow LAW TIMES on

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