Alain Roussy wants to know if more can be done to protect language rights in the Rules of Professional Conduct.
The University of Ottawa law professor was one of two people recently awarded academic fellowships through the OBA Foundation this year. He plans to use the $15,000 he was granted to review the history and adequacy of language rights provisions in the rules.
Rules 3.2-2A and 3.2-2B say a lawyer shall, when appropriate, advise a client of their language rights, and that a lawyer cannot handle the matter of a client who wishes to retain a lawyer in their own language if they are unable to provide the service in the chosen language.
“My question is whether that is sufficient,” says Roussy.
“Are they specific enough and are they broad enough?”
The OBA Foundation annually awards two fellowships that concern legal ethics and professionalism studies.
Paul Michell, of Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP, was awarded the other $5,000 fellowship to look at what he calls the “ethical consequences of disaggregation in the legal practice.”
“A lot of the ethical rules that govern lawyers assume a sort of traditional law firm model, where a client hires a law firm and all of the legal work for that particular mandate is done by that firm internally,” he says.
“That’s not really the way at least some kinds of legal work are increasingly being done.”
As in-house departments get bigger, an increasing number of commercial clients want to do some of the work and farm out only certain portions to specialist external lawyers, Michell says. Others will ask a firm to manage a transaction, but they will insist that certain parts be farmed out to contract lawyers who are considered specialists, he says.
“The conflict rules and ethical rules that have traditionally applied don’t necessarily map very well on to the new practice structures and business realities,” he says.
TORONTO LAWYER ELECTED SECRETARY GENERAL OF INTERNATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION
The International Bar Association has elected a Miller Thomson LLP partner to serve as its next secretary general.
James Klotz, who is an international business lawyer, is only the third Canadian to be elected to the position at the IBA over the last 50 years.
“The IBA is the global thought leader of the profession of law, seeking to preserve and enhance the rule of law worldwide, and I am honoured to have been entrusted with the responsibility that comes with this position,” Klotz said in a press release.
Klotz, who specializes in anti-corruption and governance, has served on the IBA’s management board for five years.
LAO CALLS FOR LINDEN AWARD NOMINATIONS
Legal Aid Ontario is calling for nominations for the Sidney B. Linden Award.
The annual award is named after Justice Linden, who was the first chairman of LAO, and seeks to honour legal professionals who have shown a long commitment to helping low-income people.
Lawyers in the private sector, paralegals, academics, LAO employees, community legal clinic staff and people who work at a student legal aid services society are all eligible for the award.
For more information or nomination forms, visit www.legalaid.on.ca.
LAO is accepting nominations until Nov. 4 at 5 pm.
LAW TIMES POLL
Law Times recently reported that the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled an illegal immigrant will not get provincial compensation after a vehicle accident.
Readers were asked if they agree with this decision.
Almost 62 per cent said yes, illegal immigrants to Canada should not receive compensation for injuries sustained in a vehicle accident in Ontario because it’s the law.
More than 38 per cent said no, illegal immigrants to Canada should receive provincial compensation for injuries sustained in vehicle accidents that happen within Ontario.