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Monday, March 23, 2015

LSUC SEEKS $400K IN COSTS FROM KOPYTO

The Law Society of Upper Canada is seeking costs of $400,000 from Harry Kopyto in relation to his unsuccessful bid for a paralegal licence.

Calling it “the longest licensing hearing ever held,” the law society wants Kopyto to shoulder the costs of the 51-day proceeding.

“The 51 days of hearing on the merits were almost all consumed by the candidate’s daily and meritless complaints and attacks on the law society, his disrespectful refusal to comply with the panel’s rulings, and his general lack of respect for the law society’s process,” the law society argued in its cost submission.

“Particularly during the 18 days when he gave direct evidence, the candidate came to the hearing without any notes or any plan for the day. His evidence was rambling, unfocused, and repetitive,” according to the law society.

Following his disbarment in 1989, Kopyto continued to provide paralegal services and, when the Law Society of Upper Canada began regulating paralegals in 2007, he applied to continue practising under the grandparented provisions included in the new rules. The law society then brought good-character proceedings to determine whether he could practise as a paralegal. In a ruling last month, the Law Society Tribunal denied his application for a paralegal licence, a decision Kopyto has vowed to appeal.

LAWYER TO SERVE AS PARAPAN OMBUD

A B.C. Ministry of Justice litigator will serve as the ombudsman for Team Canada during the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Peter Lawless, currently a litigator in the health and social services group of the Ministry of Justice, will provide guidance and counsel to Canadian Parapan and Paralympic team members in order “to quickly and effectively resolve disputes and issues,” according to the Canadian Paralympic committee.

Lawless, a chartered professional coach, teaches sports and law courses at Camosun College and the University of Victoria Faculty of Law.

“I’m incredibly proud to have been selected as part of the leadership team for the Canadian paralympic team as we look to deliver more amazing athletic performances in our home games in Toronto this summer and beyond,” said Lawless.

CHERNIAK, LEM HONOURED BY TLA

The Toronto Lawyers Association presented its 2015 awards to lawyers Earl Cherniak and Jeffrey Lem last month.

Cherniak, a prominent litigator and senior partner at Lerners LLP, received the association’s award of distinction in recognition of “his contributions to the legal profession and to the Toronto legal community over the course of his long and distinguished career.”

Lem, a real estate lawyer and director of titles for the Ontario government, received the Honsberger award in recognition, according to the association, “of his selfless support of his colleagues through decades of mentoring countless young lawyers, his dedication to the legal profession, and leadership as a diverse lawyer.”

POLL RESULTS

The results of the latest Law Times online poll are in.

According to the poll, 58 per cent of respondents agree with Ontario’s plan to address sexual violence and harassment through an enhanced prosecution model, independent legal advice for victims, and changes to limitation periods.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s three-year action plan, dubbed It’s Never Okay, includes a proposal that would see Crown counsel and police receive mentorship and training on how to deal with cases of sexual violence. In addition, the scheme would see an amendment to rental-housing legislation to allow victims of sexual assault to break their lease if they’re fleeing violence.

NEPEAN LAWYER DISBARRED

The Law Society Tribunal has disbarred a Nepean, Ont., lawyer for knowingly participating in mortgage fraud.

The tribunal revoked Luigi Savone’s licence to practise law after finding he had assisted in fraudulent real estate transactions in which purchasers obtained mortgage proceeds under false pretenses over a period spanning from February 2000 until October 2003.

“We conclude that revocation is the appropriate penalty, given the gravity of the misconduct that we have found,” wrote hearing panel member Ross Earnshaw in the March 11 decision penalty.

“The evidence heard in the penalty phase of this application fell far short of the standard of compelling evidence that would credibly indicate not only that the professional misconduct was out of character for Mr. Savone and was unlikely to recur, but also to explain why it occurred in the firstplace,” wrote Earnshaw.

The tribunal also awarded $100,000 in costs against Savone.

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