Contract on toilet paper slammed by Saskatchewan Law Society

Lawyer was unhappy with being asked to furnish a retainer agreement

CBC News Posted: Jun 24, 2014 5:30 AM CT Last Updated: Jun 24, 2014 5:30 AM CT

A Saskatchewan lawyer who submitted a piece of toilet paper as proof of a contract with his client has been sharply rebuked by the province’s law society.

In a decision recently published to an online legal database, Ron Cherkewich, from Prince Albert, Sask., has been ordered to pay a fine and investigative costs totaling $10,500 for the ill-advised stunt, which the law society said amounted to conduct unbecoming a lawyer.

According to the decision, Cherkewich’s behaviour — described as “rude and provocative” — took place in 2011 while he was representing a client who had filed a claim under Canada’s Indian Residential Schools Settlement agreement.

The full story

R N M Graham: Legal Ethics: Theories, Cases, and Professional Regulation (3rd Edition)

Randal N. M. Graham’s casebook: Legal Ethics: Theories, Caes, and Professional Regulation (Emond Montgomery Publications, 2014) available soon.

Order through Emond Montgomery Publications

From the website:

Legal Ethics: Theories, Cases, and Professional Regulation, 3rd Edition is the only Canadian legal ethics text to focus specifically upon the approach applied by regulators in practice, presenting lawyers’ ethical obligations in direct relation to the concepts that are of greatest concern to regulators. This casebook delivers a structured and rational assessment of ethical decision-making by tying it to predictable and measurable costs and benefits, and examining the impact of decision outcomes on the social functions of the legal system.

The third edition of Legal Ethics: Theories, Cases, and Professional Regulation has been adapted to reference the Federation of Law Societies’ Model Code of Professional Conduct as its primary source of ethical rules, so that it may apply to all Canadian jurisdictions. It features an expanded section on the Good Character requirement that applies to students on their admission to the bar, as well as a new section on Civility, and recent developments in the expanding Duty of Loyalty. The regulatory approach presented by the author demystifies nebulous notions of “ethics” and “morality” by examining the efficient functioning of the legal system, the effect of rules on self-interested actors, the goals of deterrence and compensation, and the implications of a self-governing profession.

Throughout this edition of Legal Ethics: Theories, Cases, and Professional Regulation, surprising theoretical situations are introduced to illuminate the intricacies of legal ethics and demonstrate how they are applied in practice. Extensive sample questions, illustrative scenarios, and hypothetical case studies will provoke lively classroom discussion and thoughtful analysis of the ethical principles being considered. This casebook delivers a thorough and methodical account of legal ethics that will equip students with the insight and analytical capacity to apply their knowledge in a wide variety of practical and professional contexts.

Workshop: Ethics and Civility in the Practice of Law

A 1/2 day program on Ethics and Civility in the Practice of Law for the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. The program will be held in Edmonton at the Sutton Place Hotel on September 26, 2014 from 8:30am -12:30pm.

From the flyer:

A half-day, hands-on, practical seminar addressing some of the more intractable ethical issues lawyers, judges, and tribunal members must deal with in practice: Do the courts, and law societies have a role in regulating civility and, if so, how do their roles differ? What role is there for professional bar associations? What unique ethical and civility issues arise in the context of administrative proceedings? What special ethical and civility issues apply to and arise for in-house and government lawyers?

Agenda and additional information

T Farrow: Civil Justice, Privatization, and Democracy

Trevor Farrow, Civil Justice, Privatization, and Democracy (University of Toronto Press, 2014)


Privatization is occurring throughout the public justice system, including courts, tribunals, and state-sanctioned private dispute resolution regimes. Driven by a widespread ethos of efficiency-based civil justice reform, privatization claims to decrease costs, increase speed, and improve access to the tools of justice. But it may also lead to procedural unfairness, power imbalances, and the breakdown of our systems of democratic governance. Civil Justice, Privatization, and Democracy demonstrates the urgent need to publicize, politicize, debate, and ultimately temper these moves towards privatized justice.

Written by Trevor C.W. Farrow, a former litigation lawyer and current Chair of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Civil Justice, Privatization, and Democracy does more than just bear witness to the privatization initiatives that define how we think about and resolve almost all non-criminal disputes. It articulates the costs and benefits of these privatizing initiatives, particularly their potential negative impacts on the way we regulate ourselves in modern democracies, and it makes recommendations for future civil justice practice and reform.


A Dodek’s new book: Solicitor-Client Privilege

Adam Dodek’s new book Solicitor-Client Privilege (Lexis Nexis, 2014) has finally been published.

Details for the book launch:

  • in Ottawa in conjunction with the County of Carleton Law Association and the Cavanagh LLP Professionalism Speaker Series on Tuesday June 24th  Please register for this event; and
  • in Toronto on Thursday, June 26th from 5:30-7:30 pm at the LSUC.  The Honourable Stephen T. Goudge will provide introductory remarks and refreshments will be served.  RSVP to to let me know if you can make it.

Description from the LexisNexis website:

Solicitor-client privilege is the oldest and strongest legally-sanctioned safeguard protecting confidential communications. Yet, lawyers today know very little about the ways in which solicitor-client privilege can be overridden or rendered inapplicable. Most practitioners assume that all lawyer-client communications are protected – they aren’t.

Solicitor-Client Privilege is the only Canadian textbook of its kind to explain key aspects of lawyer-client confidentiality. With a Foreword written by former Supreme Court of Canada justice Ian Binnie, this distinctly Canadian law textbook analyzes the exceptions to privilege, conditions where privilege is unclear, and situations of competing interests that might bring into question the application of privilege.

Especially useful is the examination of privilege in specific contexts, such as in civil litigation, administrative law, corporate settings, and government. Portable and immediately accessible, this useful hardcover book gives lawyers the answers they quickly need, and assurances as to when they can rely on solicitor-client privilege and when they can challenge it.

 For more information, and to ORDER