Blog Posts

Regulatory Governance Reform – LSO missing golden opportunity

Though it is not surprising that governance is on the agenda of regulators, the coincidence of three of Ontario’s largest regulators looking at the issue at the same time is unusual. Within a couple of weeks the topic is on the agenda of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (see p 95 at https://www.cpso.on.ca/CPSO/media/documents/Council/Council-Materials_2018Dec.pdf ), the Ontario College of Teachers (https://www.oct.ca/-/media/PDF/Governance%20Review%20Report/Governance%20Review%20Report.pdf ) and the Law Society of Ontario ( p. 114 at https://lawsocietyontario.azureedge.net/media/lso/media/about/convocation/2018/convocation-governance-task-force-2016-report-november-2018.pdf ) Each of the Reports and the

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Canadian Law Societies should pay attention to Stephen Mayson’s work

Will it be déjà vu all over again? In the early 2000s, there was a high degree of angst among Canadian law societies as concerns about the ‘loss of self-regulation’ were ever present. Largely as a result of the work of Sir David Clementi in England and the proposed stripping of regulation from the Law Society and Bar Council, Canadian legal regulators were worried a similar result might happen in Canada. The Legal Services Act 2007 was passed; the Solicitors

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When public interest work isn’t very public

What are the issues occupying Law Societies’ Boards of Directors these days? I thought finding them would be a relatively straight forward search, assuming all would make their meeting materials, or at least a summary of their deliberations, publicly available. In that way any interested lawyer or other observer could see what the legal regulators are up to. For bodies that work in the public interest, that would be the obvious way to keep the public and the profession abreast

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Why do regulators present awards?

Last week, in Nova Scotia, the medical regulator, the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia, presented a whole series of ‘best doctor’ awards. It made me wonder why does a public interest regulator do this? Is it a relic from days when regulators, acting like professional associations, focused on promoting the profession? Is it seen as a means of earning ‘member respect’? Or is it simply an example of mission drift that results when someone has a good

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Law Society Strategic Priorities

How do law society strategic priorities align with the fact that in Canada practice is often national in scope, lawyers are mobile and practice in multiple jurisdictions, and the issues facing the regulators across the County are almost uniform? Though they share a broad obligation to regulate the legal profession in the public interest, a role confirmed clearly last week in the Supreme Court’s TWU decision, the ways they envision that to be done, besides ensuring effective day-to-day regulation varies considerably. Here are their current priorities as descried on their websites:
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Does Legal Regulation Have a Future?

Introduction When Isaac Pitblado practised law, legal regulation was much simpler. In 1890 Pitblado became a member the 13-year-old Law Society of Manitoba. Like all Canadian law societies it was an association of lawyers, whose primary purpose was to advance the best interests of the profession. To call it a regulator would not be an accurate description. Pitblado witnessed the adoption of first and very basic canons of ethics from the CBA in 1920, but by the time a formal

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