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This Week's Issue

Auto insurance rancour heats up

Yamri Taddese - Monday, April 20, 2015

The rancour among personal injury lawyers and the insurance industry continues to heat up with both sides trading accusations over who’s responsible for high insurance premiums in Ontario.
Earlier this month, a study commissioned by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association suggested Ontarians had overpaid for auto insurance by about $3.1 billion between 2001 and 2013. The Insurance Bureau of Canada, meanwhile, accused lawyers of being behind the high costs, arguing they received $500 million from injury claimants out of their insurance settlements in 2013.

“If the lobbyists and well-heeled lawyers want to know who is driving up insurance costs, they n...

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ABS firm’s expansion offers new fodder for Ontario debate

The recent news that Australia’s Slater & Gordon, the world’s first publicly listed law firm, was buying the professional services arm of the British insurance claims processor Quindell for the equivalent of $1.16 billion is bound to give Ontario opponents of alternative business structures plenty of grist for the mill.

Hamalengwa ‘will go to my grave’ denying overbilling was intentional

Following his disbarment for overbilling the Ministry of the Attorney General, lawyer Munyonzwe Hamalengwa says his actions were unintentional and blames the stress of defending Richard Wills for his mistakes.

Editorial: ABS not the only issue

With less than two weeks to go, there have been lots of interesting developments in the Law Society of Upper Canada bencher election campaign.

Speaker's Corner: Tarion’s model offers many benefits

Tarion Warranty Corp., like other organizations designated by statute to administer consumer protection, has the authority to operate with oversight but also with a measure of independence that benefits the delivery of services. The government conceptualized and implemented this decision on a proven model and created the delegated administrative authority model to provide for the effective delivery of services while removing the risk to taxpayers.

Letter: A call for a balanced Convocation

We are members of the Ontario Solicitor Network, a group of lawyers who believe that a more diverse Convocation that includes a larger and fairer number of solicitors is in the best interests of the legal profession and the public.

Letter: Memorial to communist victims supported

In Richard Cleroux’s article about the conflict between Canada’s chief justice and the prime minister, you point out that in addition to the problem of judicial appointments, there is a clash of views over the proposed monument to the victims of communism that is to be built next to the Supreme Court building in Ottawa (see “Communist memorial yet another source of discord with judges,” Feb. 2).

Focus: Antitrust trilogy goes beyond competition cases

The trilogy of cases surrounding the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2013 decision in Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp. is perhaps best known for its rejection of the American doctrine prohibiting antitrust class actions against indirect purchasers.

Bencher election: Push to elect more solicitors gathers steam

As the campaign for the Law Society of Upper Canada bencher election nears the end, some lawyers are hoping voters will send more solicitors to Convocation this year.

Inside Story

Monday, April 27, 2015

The attorney general has awarded the David Walter Mundell medal to University of Ottawa Faculty of Law Prof. Elizabeth Sheehy for excellence in legal writing.

Sheehy’s “extensive body of work” includes a recent book titled Defending Battered Women on Trial: Lessons from the Transcripts, according to the Ministry of the Attorney General.

“The book addresses issues of gender equality and the challenges of the criminal justice response to violence against women,” the ministry said in an announcement last week.

“Exceptional legal writing has the power to move and inspire us to take action,” said Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur.

“Professor Sheehy’s work has made an outstanding contribution to our knowledge of the broader social and legal implications of violence against women.”

Lawyers can battle it out on a different kind of court this summer as two law firms announce this year’s Law Slam tennis challenge this June.

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Law Times poll

Who's right in the continuing battle between personal injury lawyers and the insurance industry over who's responsible for high auto insurance costs?
Personal injury lawyers. The insurance industry makes plenty of money.
The insurance industry. Lawyers push up costs through generous contingency fees.
Neither. Both groups are in it for themselves.