D Wiseman: Alternative Business Structures and Access to Justice

Posted to SLAW on August 28, 2014.  Full post HERE

The Canadian legal profession is currently engaged in a much-needed debate about the future of legal services in general and whether to allow the use of so-called alternative business structures (ABSs) more particularly. Thankfully, the issue of access to justice is figuring prominently in the general debate, as evidenced by the recently released CBA Legal Futures report and the ongoing work of the Action Committee on Access to Justice. Beyond that, the potential for ABSs to improve access to justice is being put forward as a key reason for allowing them, as can be seen in Slaw columns of Malcolm Mercer and in the work of the Law Society of Upper Canada’sWorking Group on ABSs that he co-chairs. However, in relation to the ABS debate, it is necessary to ask: access to justice for whom? The answer is: mostly, the middle class – which, in my view, is good, but not quite good enough.

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.

 

R Devlin and O Morison: Access to Justice and the Ethics and Politics of Alternative Business Structures

Richard Devlin and Ora Morison have published an article: “Access to Justice and the Ethics and Politics of Alternative Business Structures” (2012) 91:3 Canadian Bar Review 483.

The Abstract:  Despite ongoing concern about access to justice in Canada, the problem persists. Meanwhile, the basic model for legal practice in Canada is the same as when the profession first emerged centuries ago in England. Only lawyers can own and control legal practices. This is not the case in other common law jurisdictions where rules have evolved to allow non- lawyers to own the companies that provide legal services. Based on a comparative analysis of the development of these alternative business structures (ABSs) in Australia and the United Kingdom, and the non- development of ABSs in the United States, the authors argue that ABSs may be at least a partial solution to the access to justice problem in Canada. Recent developments indicate ABSs will eventually come to Canada, at which point, the authors argue the legal professional societies will have a crucial role to play in developing appropriate regulation to ensure ABSs improve access to justice.

T Farrow, Civil Justice, Privatization, and Democracy

By Trevor C.W. Farrow
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2014
World Rights
400 Pages

30% discount when you buy the book online; link to publishers website HERE.

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.

Lawyer Deregulation for Access to Justice – Professionalism Speakers Series – Ottawa

“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

Noel Semple
Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto’s
Centre for the Legal Profession

When: October 30, 2013
Room number: FTX 351

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.

M Mercer: The Access to Clothing Crisis

Malcolm Mercer just posted a piece on the SLAW website.

(Before you query its relevance for the CALE website, read it – it is not really about access to clothing … )

Access to Clothing[1] is a complex issue that seems almost impossible to effectively address. Some consider it one of our most pressing issues[2]. The well-off continue to be able to afford appropriate clothing for all occasions. The least fortunate amongst us are able to access free or subsidized clothing to be worn during the most important events in their lives. The middle class cannot afford to purchase clothing at all.

To the great discomfort of businesses, restaurants and hosts and hostesses everywhere, most members of the middle-class have given up wearing purchased clothes entirely. Many people now wear home-made clothing that is barely adequate[3] for most occasions. Public policy analysts refer to this group as the self-clothed. Many other people eschew clothing entirely. These are the unclothed.

For the rest of the article, click HERE.

Seizing the Opportunity: Lawyer Licensing and Legal Education for the Future

From Blogging for Equality, and posted on November 3, 2012

Seizing the Opportunity: Lawyer Licensing and Legal Education for the Future

Professor David Wiseman
The Ontario legal community is being presented with an historic opportunity to forge a new partnership between legal regulators and educators on the nature and content of professional licensing and education. To seize this opportunity, we need to bring together all the stakeholders at a table that is set for open identification of wants and needs(and interests and impacts), meaningful engagement with issues, difficult discussions about resources and collaboration on innovative problem-solving.  The law schools and legal regulators should have equal seats at the table, which ought to be at arms-length from both, and which should also include law firms and lawyers, practitioner associations, Legal Aid, legal clinics, pro bono law, law students, equality-seeking groups and the general public(to name the most obvious).  The results could usher in a new horizon of experiential legal education with integrated lawyer licensing that harnesses the profession’s practical expertise and promotes knowledge and skills for systemic advancements in access to justice.  Imagine!
For the full post, click HERE.

M Trebilcock, A Duggan and L Sossin, eds, Middle Income Access to Justice

We are delighted to announce the publication of Middle Income Access to Justice, edited by Michael Trebilcock, Anthony Duggan, and Lorne Sossin. This highly anticipated book is a collection of papers presented at last year’s colloquium. If you are interested in ordering a copy, please see the information below.

Online: www.utppublishing.com

By email: utpbooks@utpress.utoronto.ca

By mail:

University of Toronto Press

5201 Dufferin Street

Toronto, M3H 5T8

By phone: 1-800-565-9523 (North America)(416) 667-7791

By fax: 1-800-221-9985(North America)(416) 667-7832

A Salyzyn: Opinion: Technology on Trial

Opinion: Technology on Trial

Written by Amy Salyzyn for Precedent Magazine

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Walk into any civil courtroom in this province and you will likely find a space that looks as it would have 50, if not 100, years ago. The usual suspects will be there: a raised judge’s bench, a witness box, a few counsel tables, some seating at the back for the public and maybe a royal coat of arms for good measure. What you won’t see is much technology — save perhaps for the requisite BlackBerrys in the hands of lawyers and a laptop or two. Continue reading

Lack of articling placements an access-to-justice issue

From: Canadian Lawyer Magazine

Panel says more opportunities needed in social justice lawyering

Written by Devanne O’Brien

Posted Date: October 31, 2011

A panel at the University of Ottawa’s law school said the Law Society of Upper Canada’s articling task force ought to focus on the lack of social justice articling opportunities available to recent law school graduates.

“The articling task force was set up in response to a perceived and actual shortage of articling positions in Ontario,” explained Suzanne Bouclin, who moderated the Oct. 26 panel discussion. “[T]he critical problem is less a shortage of articling positions, but specifically articling positions in career paths more oriented towards social justice.”

The shortage described by Bouclin was a key finding in a law society report published in May. It showed that 12.1 per cent of those seeking articles in the 2010-11 licensing year went unplaced, a big jump from a rate of 5.8 per cent three years ago.

University of Ottawa law professor David Wiseman said he sees the shortage as related to “the other crisis” in articling: a distribution of articling positions that is not conducive to social justice.

The task force, he suggested, is an opportunity to “put access to justice on the table.”

For the full story, click HERE.

For more on the panel from Adam Dodek, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, commenting at http://www.slaw.ca on November 2, 2011, click HERE.

For more on articling from Jeff Gray, law reporter for the Globe and Mail, reporting on November 1, 2011, click HERE

For information on the consultation process and the Task Force Report, click HERE.