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Law school star makes third attempt at becoming a lawyer

|Written By Kendyl Sebesta

A 30-year old law graduate is launching his third attempt to become a lawyer after a bitter dispute with his condo board derailed his previous applications to the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Law society spokesman Roy Thomas confirmed the process for a good-character hearing in relation to Ryan Manilla has begun with a conference held on July 9 in Toronto. The parties set a date of Aug. 7 for a practice-management conference in order to determine a hearing or pre-hearing conference date.

Manilla, a law school star who did summer work at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP’s New York office and later completed his articles at Pinkofskys in Toronto, has been battling to become a lawyer since a 2010 good-character hearing stemming from his battle with several members of his Vaughan, Ont., condo board over fee hikes. Manilla had been the board’s president.

According to a hearing panel’s ruling in September 2010, Manilla had at one point sent threatening e-mails to board members and the condo’s management saying they “run the risk of being shot by the residents in the building.”

In addition, Manilla had sent letters to condo residents alleging the board was receiving kickbacks from the developer, the panel decision noted.

The incidents eventually led to charges against Manilla of four counts of criminal harassment, intimidating a witness, and threatening death. The charges were dropped in June 2009 on conditions that included selling his condo.

While Manilla apologized to board members, gave a donation to charity in their names, and took part in therapy and anger management, the hearing panel determined not enough time had passed since he began therapy to be confident his character had changed. Manilla unsuccessfully appealed the panel’s ruling in 2011. He made his latest application to become a lawyer in June.

For more, see "2 law grads continue fight to become lawyers" and "LSBC gives law student with sketchy academic history a second chance."

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