Law Times

January 29, 2018

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times T he Law Society of Ontar- io is looking to reinvigo- rate its role when it comes to legal aid. LSO benchers approved a num- ber of recommendations at their January meeting that commit the law society to being more involved in legal aid going forward. This includes taking a more active role facilitating better com- munications between the private bar and Legal Aid Ontario, which lawyers say have eroded in recent years. "The law society looks to play an intermediary role and see if we can help the communications be- tween the two," says Bencher John Callaghan, chairman of the Legal Aid Working Group, which was convened to look at the issue. When the law society relin- quished control of the adminis- tration of legal aid in 1999, the regulator stepped back to allow the implementation of the new system that would be run by Legal Aid Ontario. Michael Lacy, president of The Criminal Lawyers' Association, says this led to the law society be- lieving it would not be appropriate to take an active role in the way in which LAO was interacting with lawyers. "My perception is that this meant that, often, associations like ours were left to fend for our- selves in terms of meetings and discussions with governments and legal aid as the law society feared they would be encroaching upon LAO's turf," he says. Lacy says the report, which CLA supports, recognizes the overlap between the two organi- zations where LSO can be an im- portant voice in the discussion. He says that having the law so- ciety further facilitate communi- cation should result in the con- cerns of stakeholder groups tak- ing on even greater importance, as the LSO has a larger voice than individual associations. He adds that CLA sees the re- port as a first but very welcome step in the right direction. The relationship between the private bar and LAO has soured in recent years, as the organization has increasingly hired more staff duty counsel and in-house coun- sel, much to the dismay of the Lawyer alleged to have broken advertising rules BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times T he Law Society of Ontario has initiated disciplinary proceedings against a real estate lawyer for allegedly misleading advertising practices. In a notice of application, the law society alleged that lawyer Shayle Rothman has used content on his website — Real — that has been "misleading, confus- ing, deceptive or likely to confuse, mislead or deceive." According to the allegations, Rothman pushed the boundaries of advertising rules, which have recently been tightened by the law society as part of a larger initia- tive to further regulate advertising practices and fees. From October 2016 until around January 2017, his firm's website con- tained false statements, claiming the firm had been serving Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area for 40 years and had successfully closed more than 35,000 transactions, the law society alleged. The website also suggested that Rothman's firm was larger than it is by listing four retired lawyers and claiming the firm has 32 loca- tions across the province. The law society claims 29 of those locations are virtual office spaces or meeting locations. In an email to Law Times, Rothman says this investigation was initiated by the law society internally, rather than by a client's complaint, and that his firm has worked with the provincial regula- tor over the last several years to ad- dress marketing issues. He says that his firm has always strived to ensure strict compli- ance with the law society's Rules of Professional Conduct and that the regulator has no mechanism for assisting proactive lawyers who reach out for guidance to make sure their advertising complies. "In our view, none of the allega- tions of the law society are reason- able, especially considering that this investigation is wholly internal CLASS ACTIONS Better notification system needed P7 FOCUS ON Tax Law P8 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 29, No. 4 January 29, 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 WHISTLEBLOWER HELP Further feedback sought by OSC, province P5 See Regulator, page 2 The Law Society of Ontario alleges Shayle Rothman's website is 'misleading.' See Competitive, page 2 LSO examines its role in legal aid John Callaghan says a report about the law society's role in legal aid is just a beginning. Photo: Robin Kuniski Follow Fresh Canadian legal news and analysis available on any device. Get More Online ntitled-4 1 2018-01-09 3:15 PM Legal News at Your Fingertips Sign up for the Canadian Legal Newswire today for free and enjoy great content from the publishers of Canadian Lawyer, Law Times, Canadian Lawyer InHouse and Lexpert. Visit THE LATEST NEWS THE BEST COMMENTARY DELIVERED WEEKLY FOR READING ON ANY DEVICE Untitled-2 1 2018-01-23 11:05 AM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - January 29, 2018