For the original post on the CJC website, click HERE
Ottawa, 22 November 2013 –The Canadian Judicial Council announced today that a Panel of three judges will undertake further review of the conduct of the Honourable Michel Déziel.
Allegations surrounding the conduct of Justice Déziel were raised in the context of an ongoing Commission of Inquiry and were brought to the attention of Council in May 2013. In accordance with the Complaints Procedures of Council, these allegations were considered by the Honourable Edmond Blanchard, Vice-Chairperson of the Judicial Conduct Committee of Council. Having considered all the available information, including the judge’s response to the allegations, Chief Justice Blanchard has decided that this matter would benefit from further consideration by a Panel of three judges. Continue reading
From the Canadian Judicial Council website:
Ottawa, 20 November 2013 –The members of the Inquiry Committee appointed to review a matter involving Associate Chief Justice Douglas have announced their resignation, effective immediately. The Committee has released reasons for its decision, which are available on the website of the Canadian Judicial Council. In its reasons, the Inquiry Committee notes a number of factors that led to its decision, and notes that the public interest would not be served by ongoing delays, public expenditures and uncertainty about the process itself.
Currently, the Federal Court is scheduled to hear a challenge from Associate Chief Justice Douglas about a number of issues. Some questions remain about whether these proceedings will go ahead as planned.
Council’s mandate and duty is to ensure that the review of allegations against the judge can proceed in accordance with the provisions of theJudges Act and with Council’s By-laws in a fair and expeditious manner, in keeping with the public interest. In due course, another inquiry committee may be appointed in respect of Associate Chief Justice Douglas.
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
(613) 288-1566 ext 302
The November 2013 issue of the Canadian Bar Review features two articles that deal with ethics:
“Settlement Conferences and Judicial Role: The Scaffolding for Expanded Thinking About Judicial Ethics” by Michaela Keet & Brent Cotter
“Solicitor-Client Privilege for Ethics Counsel: Lessons for Canada from the United States” by Stephen G.A. Pitel & Jordan McKie
The table of contents is at the link below but I think the articles themselves require a subscription to access.
“Lawyer Deregulation for Access to Justice: Silver Bullet or Blank Round? What does access to justice have to do with legal services regulation?”
Link to the Ottawa website is HERE
Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto’s
Centre for the Legal Profession
This program has been accredited by the Law Society of Upper Canada for 1.5 Professionalism Hours
** Lunch included – All are welcome **
*Photos may be taken at this event and it may be recorded for use on Faculty of Law websites/publications.
The call for papers for the next International Legal Ethics Conference July 10 – 12, 2014, in London, England is HERE.
Malcolm Mercer posted to SLAW
A decade ago, the Supreme Court of Canada introduced a new conflicts rule into Canadian law. The rule was fashioned from the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. This new “bright-line rule” generated substantial controversy within the profession. In July, the Supreme Court released its decision in McKercher which both restated and reformulated the “bright line” rule[i].
The “bright-line rule” as first articulated in Neil provided that a lawyer could not act in a matter directly adverse to the immediate interests of a current client without proper consent. The impact of this rule was said to be somewhat limited by the proposition that professional litigants, such as governments and chartered banks, could be taken as “broad-minded” such that their informed consent could be implied. Also, the Court emphasized judicial discretion as to remedy. Not all “bright-line” crossings would have consequences. For example, where a complaint was viewed by the court as tactical, a remedy could be denied.
The policy basis for the “bright-line rule” was reasonably clear. The rule guarded against impairment of client representation. The lawyer-client relationship might be compromised where a lawyer acted in a matter directly adverse to the immediate interests of his or her client. On the other hand, the lawyer might be tempted to “pull punches” so as not to offend the adverse client. The existing “substantial risk” principle might not fully protect against these risks.
For the rest of the article, click HERE
Simon Fodden posted to SLAW re. the Groia appeal.
Thanks to a comment Noel Semple on the legal ethics email list to which I belong, I was alerted to the fact that the Advocates’ Society has filed a factum as an intervener in the appeal by Joseph Groia of the finding against him of misconduct — “incivility,” principally — by the Law Society of Upper Canada. (See also the Advocates’ Society note on the matter.) The appeal has yet to be heard. The Advocates’ Society has also placed online Groia’s factum, that of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association as intervener and the respondent Law Society’s factum.
This important matter has been in the legal system for many years. Some time in 2000, during a trial in which the Ontario Securities Commission sought to convict John Felderhof of insider trading and misleading statements in the affairs of Bre-X Minerals Ltd., one of the defence counsel, Joseph Groia, made statements about the (role and) conduct of the prosecutor that were described by Justice Archie Campbell in a subsequent hearing about the trial judge’s possible loss of jurisdiction as “unrestrained attacks on [the prosecutor's] professional integrity.” Allegations of further incivility and improper conduct as an advocate led, only very eventually, to an application before a Law Society of Upper Canada hearing panel, noticed on November 18, 2009. The allegations are detailed in the notice of application. On June 28, 2012 the hearing panel, in a very lengthy decision, found that the Society had proven all of the allegations of misconduct. And on April 18, 2013 Joseph Groia was suspended for two months and order to pay $246,960.53 in costs. Groia has appealed the finding that his conduct amounted to “incivility” and the penalty imposed.
These documents (together with the Court of Appeal comments upon the appeal of Justice Campbell’s ruling) make a significant package of materials suitable for any teaching situation concerned with professional responsibility and the limits of an advocate’s role.
For the links and comments on SLAW, click HERE
Does LawPro owe a duty of confidentiality to an insured lawyer when it comes to disclosing materials relating to that lawyer to the Law Society for regulatory purposes?
For the decision, click HERE
Intervention in the Groia Appeal before the Law Society of Upper Canada Appeal Panel
The Advocates’ Society has been granted leave to intervene in the Groia matter and has now filed its factum with the Appeal Panel at the Law Society of Upper Canada. The Society sought leave to intervene in the appeal because the reasons for decision of the Hearing Panel which convicted Mr. Groia of professional misconduct raise important issues regarding professionalism and civility and regarding the discipline process.
For more information, go to the website here: http://www.advocates.ca/new/advocacy-and-practice/list-of-submissions.html
Mitch Kowalski posted to SLAW here: http://www.slaw.ca/2013/08/29/lawyers-and-conflicts-the-myopia-continues/
Yesterday, retired judge Dennis O’Connor resigned from heading up the Toronto Police use of force review. He did so because of a perceived conflict of interest over his role at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP; BLG represents the Toronto Police when they are sued.
According to the Toronto Sun, O’Connor said in a statement, “We were surprised by the objections raised by lawyers for some of the victims’ families to my conducting the review. We had thought that I could structure and conduct the review to satisfy any concern but apparently not….. I regret that this issue has arisen but I am of the view that if there is any possibility of concern in a matter such as this, it is best to address it at the outset.” Continue reading