A Woolley, R Devlin, B Cotter & J Law, Lawyers Ethics and Professional Regulation

CALE members A Woolley, R Devlin, B Cotter & J Law have published a second edition of their book Lawyers Ethics and Professional Regulation.

From the LexisNexis website:

This text is a comprehensive discussion of the professional responsibilities of lawyers in Canada. The book addresses issues related to the “law of ethics and lawyering” and provides tools for assisting students and practitioners in exercising the moral judgment which underlies all ethical decisions by lawyers. Case law and case studies are used to illustrate points and suggest solutions to problems that lawyers typically face during their day-to-day practice. Continue reading

Protecting their ‘ethical obligations’ (re Government Lawyers)

Written by Luis Millan

Part 1 of a 4 part series in The Lawyers Weekly, August 17 2012 issue

When Quebec’s Crown prosecutors and government lawyers were embroiled in a bitter labour standoff with the province last year, a major roadblock in negotiations — ​​aside from salary and staffing matters — ​​involved ethical issues.

Concerns over the independence and impartiality of government lawyers and allegations from the frontlines that non-lawyer managers sometimes interfere with their work will be addressed by a employer-labour committee, says Sébastien Rochette, president of the Association des juristes de l’État, which represents nearly 1,000 lawyers, notaries, and other legal professionals employed by the Quebec government. Continue reading

The Snail’s Pace of Legal Discipline


For The Globe and Mail

Last updated Tuesday, Aug. 07 2012, 7:34 PM EDT

Conrad Black has been tried, convicted, jailed and released. But two of his former Toronto lawyers are still facing fallout from the collapse of his Hollinger media empire.

For more than two years, two lawyers from Torys LLP, minor players in the Hollinger drama, have been before a Law Society of Upper Canada professional disciplinary panel, accused of acting in a conflict-of-interest during corporate deals over a decade ago.

The pair, Darren Sukonick and Beth DeMerchant, are accused of breaking the profession’s rules by acting both for Hollinger International Inc., and for Mr. Black and certain Hollinger directors and executives when the group received $80-million in controversial “non-compete payments” in the sales of Hollinger’s Canadian newspaper empire in 2000.

The law society’s allegations centre on advice the lawyers allegedly gave about the need to disclose those payments. Lawyers for Ms. DeMerchant, who has since retired from the firm, and Mr. Sukonick have argued they acted properly and according to the rules.

The hearing, which followed a law society investigation that began almost seven years ago and has since hung over the pair’s careers, is just one of several complex, high-profile disputes as the country’s legal profession continues to grapple with the thorny issue of conflicts of interest for lawyers.

For the full story on the Globe and Mail website, click HERE.


Can lawyers reveal clients’ HIV status?

Can lawyers reveal clients’ HIV status?  Case shines light on ethical dilemmas when safety at risk

From Law Times, Monday, August 06, 2012 | Written by Siobhan McClelland

A recent criminal case in which a defence counsel disclosed her client’s HIV status to the court raises important ethical issues as to lawyers’ ability and obligation to divulge privileged information when public safety is at stake.

Lawyers can’t divulge information provided by a client in the course of the solicitor-client relationship without the client’s consent.

But in the recent case of R. v. Butt, criminal defence lawyer Heather Pringle did just that and drew praise from the court for doing so. Pringle’s client had pleaded guilty to sexual interference and received a sentence of 14 days in jail.

For the full story, click HERE.