Law Times

June 20, 2016

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Page 2 June 20, 2016 • Law Times to the Divisional Court and beyond. It originated in com- plaints made about his conduct during his defence of former Bre-X Minerals geologist John Felderhof in an insider-trading trial. At the time, the Ontario Securities Commission had complained to the trial judge about Groia's conduct but did not submit a complaint to the LSUC, according to the deci- sion. Despite the fact that the trial judge had already ruled on the OSC's complaints, the law society started its own pro- ceedings against Groia and eventually determined he had breached the Rules of Profes- sional Conduct. He was originally given a two-month suspension and or- dered to pay $247,000 in costs, which was later reduced to one month and $200,000 on appeal. The lawyer now intends to seek leave to appeal the case to the country's highest court. "It's just another step in a very long road," Groia says. In the 2-1 Court of Ap- peal decision, Justice James MacPherson also supported the law society and Justice David Brown was the lone judge to side with Groia.In his dissent, Brown argued that while civil- ity is "not merely aspirational," in the legal litigation system, Groia's conduct was not profes- sional misconduct. He added that the trial judge in the case had already ruled on the com- plaints the OSC filed in court and that the appeal panel "failed to take into account, in any meaningful way, how the trial judge ruled." "My proposition is a simple one," he said in his dissent. "Under our constitution it is the independent judiciary that controls what takes place in a courtroom." Groia says Brown's decision helped him to come to the deci- sion to seek leave. "On the one hand, I'm dis- appointed that the two judges did not allow the appeal, but I'm also very grateful for Justice Brown's dissent. It gives me a lot of encouragement," he says. In the proceedings, Groia cited Canada v. Federation of Law Societies of Canada, 2015, saying the law society should not impose duties on lawyers that in- terfere with their own ability to advocate for their client. The Su- preme Court decision held that a lawyer's duty to a client's cause is "an enduring principle that is essential to the integrity of the administration of justice." Allan Rouben, a lawyer rep- resenting the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, who were interveners and took no posi- tion in the case, says the issue is whether Groia breached the Rules of Professional Conduct and that the Federation deci- sion does not give a lawyer the right to do so. "The question still comes down to whether the conduct at issue breached the Rules of Professional Conduct," Rouben says. "If it did, then there isn't anything in the Federation of Law Societies [ruling] that al- lows for that." If Groia is grant- ed leave, Rouben says it is likely the Supreme Court will want to hear the case, as it raises novel issues about when a regulator should step in and discipline a lawyer for trial conduct. LT gaining assistance from assess- ment officers in other regions where they may not have such waiting times," he says. Another challenge is the province's approach to assisted dying while federal legislation makes its way through Parlia- ment. As the federal government's June 6 deadline — set by the Su- preme Court — to approve an assisted-dying bill passed, the province instructed people to go through the courts to get the necessary approval. The provin- cial government then walked that back, but a recent Superior Court decision said Ontarians must apply to the courts, fur- ther complicating the province's position. In the decision, O.P. v. Can- ada, a man with terminal brain cancer applied for court approv- al for medically assisted death to ensure that the doctors who would help him die would not be prosecuted. "In my opinion, pending the enactment of legislation by the federal government to regulate physician-assisted death, this constitutional right is available only by court order," Justice Paul Perell wrote in his decision on June 15. When asked wheth- er the province is now advising people to seek court approval before going ahead with assisted dying, the attorney general says the ministry is still reviewing the decision and awaiting advice from counsel. "We want to make sure that in the interim until federal leg- islation is passed that we've got clarity and certainty as to what the process in Ontario is and that's what we're ensuring until we know what the law in Cana- da is going to be," he says. Naqvi says that during the interim period people seeking to end their lives should consult their physicians. "My advice would be to, of course, for any individual to seek assistance from their phy- sician and then the physician based on the guidelines that have been outlined by the col- lege of physicians and surgeons will know exactly the process to pursue," he says. He added that it would be premature for him to comment on whether medi- cal practitioners will face pros- ecution if they help someone die without court approval, as the O.P. decision is a "very fresh decision." "What does that mean? What is the scope of that rul- ing is something we are in the process of determining," Naqvi says of the decision. Manitoba was the only other province that required court approval for assisted dying after the June 6 deadline passed, and it also re- canted that requirement. LT NEWS Continued from page 1 Lone Court of Appeal judge sides with Groia Continued from page 1 Talk to doctor about assisted death GPLLM Global Professional Master of Laws [Get a Master of Laws] Because business issues are legal issues. So if you want to get ahead in business, get the degree that gets you there faster. ONE YEAR – PART - TIME – NO THESIS – FOR L AWYERS AND NON - LAWYERS Untitled-8 1 2015-03-02 11:15 AM

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