LSUC HONOURS FORMER TREASURER CONWAY
Thomas G. Conway has been selected to receive a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the Law Society of Upper Canada, at a Call to the Bar ceremony in Ottawa on June 23.
Called to the bar in 1989, Conway was first elected as a bencher of the LSUC in 2007.
He went on to become the law society’s 64th treasurer in 2012.
“I am very grateful to the?benchers for granting me this?honorary doctorate, but am more?grateful still for the confidence?that they showed in me when they gave me the singular opportunity of leading the law society during a memorable time in its history,” Conway told Law Times in an email.
LSUC Treasurer Paul Schabas will award the honorary LLD to Conway, who will then deliver the keynote address to the 256 new lawyers attending the ceremony.
COURT RULES CLASS ACTION CAN PROCEED
The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that a class action lawsuit against personal injury law firm Neinstein LLP can proceed.
In a recent decision, the court upheld almost every part of a Divisional Court ruling certifying the suit, which alleged the firm’s contingency fee agree- ment with clients did not comply with the Solicitors Act.
The plaintiff, Cassie Hodge, retained Gary Neinstein and his personal injury firm after she suffered injuries in a car accident in 2002.
After her claims were settled, she brought her application alleging the contingency fee agreement she signed was improper and that the firm took unauthorized fees without the permission of a judge.
From an “all-in” $150,000 settlement that was reached in 2010, Hodge received just $41,906. The firm took $20,325 in legal fees, $30,000 for a “party- and-party costs portion” and $48,924 for disbursements.
Hodge contended that the agreement was in violation of s. 28.1(8) of the Solicitors Act, which holds that lawyers cannot take fees from costs.
While the firm argued that the application fails to disclose a cause of action, the Court of Appeal found that “it is not plain and obvious that a cause of action relying on s. 28.1 has no reasonable prospect of success.”
FINDING SKILLED PROFESSIONALS HARD
Seventy-one per cent of Canadian law firms surveyed by Robert Half Legal say finding skilled professionals such as lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants is challenging.
Of the survey’s 150 respondents, 32 per cent will be expanding or adding new positions and 44 per cent are worried about losing staff in the coming months to other jobs.
LAW TIMES POLL
A Law Times columnist says that, given the responsibility to uphold the Charter of Rights and its associated values, Cana- dian lawyers should respect and defend press freedom. We asked readers if they thought press freedom in Canada was under threat.
Thirty-eight per cent said yes, there are ongoing criminal cases involving journalists doing their jobs that concern them.
Another 62 per cent said no, considering the international climate, Canada is a free, fair and open place when it comes to press freedom.