Law Times

September 26, 2016

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

Recent decision raps Crown for third time BY SHANNON KARI For Law Times A decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal ordering a new trial on drugs and weapons charges is the third time in the past three years that a court has made critical find- ings about the conduct of a Bramp- ton-based Crown attorney. The ruling in R v. Dhaliwal, issued Aug. 28, stated that the actions of David D'Iorio were "sufficiently prejudicial" that it de- prived the defendant of a fair trial. Last year, a Superior Court judge in Brampton issued a cor- rective instruction to the jury after D'Iorio's opening address to a jury in a murder trial. Three years ago, the Court of Appeal ordered a new trial because of im- proper cross-examination of the defendant by D'Iorio, who joined the Crown office in Brampton in 2007, a year after being called to the bar. According to Michael Lacy, a vice president of the Criminal Law- yers' Association, the findings raise questions about training, mentor- ship and the prosecution culture within some branches of the Min- istry of the Attorney General. Lacy says that while there are many skilled and ethical Crown attorneys in the province, these are not the only examples of im- proper conduct. "The issue to me is why does this keep happening? It should not be about winning at all costs. It makes you wonder about over- sight," says Lacy, a partner at Brauti Thorning Zibarras LLP. In its decision in Dhaliwal, the Court of Appeal ruled that Su- perior Court Justice David Price should not have allowed D'Iorio to cross-examine the defendant on his "theory" of the case. The line of questioning "under- mined the presumption of inno- cence," wrote Chief Justice George Strathy, with Justices Sarah Pepall and William Hourigan concurring. As well, the appeal court took issue with a phone call that D'Iorio LEGAL TECH FORUM Use data to express value better to clients P5 THE LPP SHOULD STAY Lawyer weighs in on program's benefits P7 FOCUS ON Intellectual Property Law P8 See Judge, page 4 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 27, No.30 September 26, 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 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM Michael Lacy says he's concerned the Ministry of the Attorney General argued in the Dhaliwal appeal that a Crown's actions were not improper. Follow LAW TIMES on BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times A long-awaited report on the barriers racialized lawyers and paralegals face has recom- mended the Law Society of Up- per Canada lead by example in snuffing out systemic racism in the legal work- place. In addition to recommending a num- ber of new requirements for licensees, the report recommends that the law society conducts its own internal diversity assess- ment of its governing body and provide equality and inclusion education to Con- vocation on a regular basis. The report says information gathered by the committee shows "widespread bar- riers experienced by racialized licensees within the legal professions at all stages of their careers," with some participants not- ing that they believed "racialized licensees were more likely to go into sole practice as a result of barriers faced in other practice environments." "Systemic racism has existed in the province and this country for a very long time and the efforts to attack it — which I'm proud we're doing — are not new in other contexts," says Raj Anand, a co-chairman of the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group, which was assembled to determine what the law society can do to tackle challenges faced by racialized licensees. "We wanted to determine as best we could what would be most effective and what is the appropriate role of the law society in this because this isn't gov- ernment. This is not the management committee of a private firm. It's the regulator." If approved, the recommendations will require every lawyer and paralegal in the province to adopt a statement of prin- ciples "acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclu- sion," and to participate in educational diversity training every three years. The working group recommends that the law society require a representative of legal workplaces of at least 10 licensees to implement a diversity policy to encour- age "fair recruitment, retention and ad- vancement." If approved, the recommendations would also require those representatives to complete "an equality, diversity and inclusion self-assessment" of their work- place that will be submitted to the law so- ciety every two years. Every year, the law society would also provide workplaces of 25 licensees or more with quantitative self-identification See Systemic, page 4 Raj Anand says research done by an LSUC committee on racialized licensees confirmed anecdotal evidence experienced by some licensees. Photo: Alex Robinson Education, internal diversity assessment recommended 'Widespread barriers' for racialized licensees A DAILY BLOG OF CANADIAN LEGAL NEWS LEGALFEEDS.CA FEEDS LEGAL POWERED BY POWERED BY LegalFeeds_LT_Sep26_16.indd 1 2016-09-20 2:19 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - September 26, 2016