Lawyers as the public conscience of their clients

On October 16, as part of their joint professional development seminar, Current Topics in Ethics & Professionalism, the Toronto Lawyers Association and University of Toronto’s Centre for the Legal Profession will be staging “A Great Debate:  Should Lawyers Consider Themselves the Moral Conscience of their Clients?”  I will be debating in favour of the resolution. If… Read More

The Ambiguity of Merit ~ Le Mérite et son ambiguité

Is it earned? Or is it an entitlement?  We never quite get our mind around the concept of merit, although it is among the most recurring themes in Canadian law, and despite its importance to every lawyer’s career.  In this month’s Accidental Mentor column, the writer takes the plunge into the ambiguous meaning of merit.  Click on the… Read More

Why the Rock needs a Law School

Archetypally, Newfoundlanders are the lawyers of Canada: proud, passionate, and fiercely loyal in temperament despite historically being the butt of bad jokes. Now, once again, Memorial University is considering a law school.  (Click on the Memorial logo – above right – to read the story.) A law school is a living monument to hope and… Read More

Does Linguistic Diversity Matter in Law?

During a bilingual hearing in the Court of Appeal, an unrepresented party made an objection to the use of the court-appointed translator.  When this occurred, the presiding judge on the panel asked whether the parties were content to hold the hearing in French only. It turned out the only one who demurred was the lawyer… Read More

My Choice for “Best New Blog” in the #clawbies2012 Awards

My Choice for CLawBies 2012 Best New Blog?  The Law Society of Upper Canada’s Treasurer’s Blog. Not because the idea of a Treasurer’s blog is “cool.”  (Do we even want that?  No one outside of Ontario know he is actually the President of the Law Society, and we cling on to the misnomer to prevent… Read More

Van Gogh et le prochain juriste

Septembre marque le véritable début du calendrier de l’avocat. En Ontario, nous ouvrons nos tribunaux judiciaires au cours de ce mois.  Le cycle post-estival commence également pour les cabinets d’avocats et les services juridiques. Pour de nombreux nouveaux avocats après leur admission au barreau en juin, la fin de l’été signifie que les mentors et… Read More

Winning at a meeting

Clients hire lawyers to fight their battles, but ultimately they want you to show them the peace, and to take them there. Unfortunately, we teach our lawyers to be technical wizards but leave it to chance whether they learn the law’s most basic skill: how to mobilize a gathering of people.  In 2012, winning does… Read More

An academy of criminal law for Ontario

This is my final post on the Law Society of Upper Canada’s articling consultation.  During the last few months, some interesting ideas have emerged from various quarters. (la version française suit) First, the “articling” crisis is perceived to be a Toronto-centric problem.  It has long been known to be a predominantly Ontario problem, probably because… Read More