Law Times

March 26, 2018

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BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times A s the number of bench- ers who govern the Law Society of Ontario has swelled to 100, the pro- vincial regulator is considering reforms to make it a leaner entity. An LSO task force is explor- ing how the governing board can be shrunk into a more manage- able size, as benchers have said the group has become too large to function efficiently. The law society recently con- firmed that there are 100 benchers in total. Of the law society's 100 bench- ers, 40 are elected lawyers, five are elected paralegals and eight are appointed lay benchers. The rest include ex-officio benchers and honorary benchers. There are 60 benchers who can currently speak and vote at their monthly meeting, Convoca- tion, while the rest of the group has varying speaking and voting rights. There are often 50 to 60 bench- ers who attend Convocation to debate issues, resulting in cum- bersome meetings, benchers say. "When you have that many people speaking who don't have the right to vote, it bogs [things] down," says Bencher Rocco Galati. In comparison, the Law Society of British Columbia has 25 lawyer benchers who are elected and up to six non-lawyers appointed by the lieutenant governor. The Law Society of Alberta has 24 benchers and the Barreau Du Quebec has a 16-member board of directors. Bencher Janet Leiper, who is chairwoman of the LSO gov- ernance task force, says having a larger board and committees inevitably slows things down as there are many interested, en- gaged benchers who want to be involved. "It's interesting that some of our standing committees are as large as some of the boards for other law societies," she says. "And so with that many people, there's more to discuss [and] there is more to say. The same phenome- non can happen at Convocation, al- though we have managed it to some extent with a consent agenda." The task force, which was con- vened in 2016, recently released a report saying it would be look- Former client suing family lawyer over report BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times A Whitby, Ont. man is su- ing his former family lawyer for allegedly fail- ing to take proper steps to exclude a report written by an unqualified witness that contrib- uted to him losing custody of his children. Mr. S is claiming lawyer Eliza- beth Saad was professionally neg- ligent in how she represented him in a custody battle, as she alleg- edly failed to alert the court to the limitations of the qualifications of Gregory Carter, a psychological as- sociate. Law Times is withholding Mr. S's name to protect the identity of his children, who are still minors. Carter submitted a report in court that contended Mr. S had a personality disorder and should not have custody. The College of Psychologists of Ontario later found Carter was guilty of pro- fessional misconduct for holding himself out as a psychologist in the matter. Carter also faced criminal charges for fraud, obstruction of justice and perjury, but he was later acquitted. According to a statement of claim filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Saad took "little or no effort" to tell the court about Carter's lack of qualifications after Mr. S alerted her to the issue. These allegations have not been proven in court. A judge first ruled in his wife's favour after considering Carter's report, but Mr. S now has custody of his children after a years-long ordeal in the family court system. He is now seeking damages for what he says were unnecessary le- gal costs he had to pay to resolve the matter. George Callahan, the lawyer representing Mr. S in his claim against Saad, says it is a vital part of family law practice to stop wrong information from making its way to the continuing record. CIVIL CASE TIMELINES Inefficient for matters to take years P7 FOCUS ON Litigation P8 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 29, No. 11 March 26, 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 JUNK FOOD AD BILL Intellectual property lawyers voice concerns P4 See Law, page 2 See Man, page 2 Task force looks at cutting number of benchers Janet Leiper says a Law Society of Ontario task force is looking at how the regulator can shrink the size of Convocation. Photo: Robin Kuniski Follow A Whitby man is seeking $47,000 that he paid to his former lawyer, in addition to a number of other damages. & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM KEEPING PACE WITH THE CHANGING LEGAL COMMUNITY • an up-to-date alphabetical listing • contact information • legal and government contact information ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY! Call 1.800.387.5164 or visit for a 30-day no-risk evaluation CANADIAN LAW LIST 2018 Hardbound • Published February each year • L7798-7859 • On subscription $179* • One time purchase $199* Multiple copy discounts available * Plus shipping/handling and applicable taxes Untitled-2 1 2018-03-14 2:11 PM

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