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This Week's Issue

Should lawyers deliver clothes to clients?

Yamri Taddese - Monday, February 23, 2015

What happened to Laura Liscio, a criminal defence counsel recently arrested at the Brampton, Ont., courthouse, could happen to any lawyer “but for the grace of God,” colleagues say.
Police arrested Liscio, who’s facing charges of smuggling drugs into the courthouse, after she delivered a change of clothing to a prisoner there. Lawyers say the incident raises new concerns around the risk they run in helping families get court-appropriate clothes in the hands of clients in custody.

Lawyers who know Liscio describe her as a “hardworking” criminal lawyer who wouldn’t intentionally attempt to smuggle drugs into a courthouse.

“But for the grace of God, any of us could be caught like that if we’re not alert to checking the clothing,...

Read more

Youth want bigger voice at Convocation

Solicitors aren’t the only ones concerned about their level of representation at Convocation. A few young lawyers running in the election say they also want in with one of them starting a Twitter hashtag, #younglawyerswantin, to press the issue.

IBC wants regulation for personal injury lawyers

The Insurance Bureau of Canada says it would like to see regulatory oversight of how personal injury lawyers structure their contingency fees due to what it calls a major gap in transparency in the auto insurance system.

Court rejects attempt to blame articling student for delay

Highlighting the relationship between lawyers and their articling students, a Superior Court master, in upholding an order dismissing a personal injury action as abandoned, has taken issue with a law firm that laid blame on a student with mental-health issues.

Editorial: Defence lawyers’ outrage justified

Lawyers are rightfully expressing outrage over the circumstances surrounding the arrest of defence counsel Laura Liscio at the courthouse in Brampton, Ont., this month.

Speaker's Corner: In support of the Law Practice Program

In the Feb. 2 issue of Law Times in response to critics of Ryerson University’s Law Practice Program, editor Glenn Kauth suggested giving it more time before rushing to judgment. He referred to concerns about unpaid internships; the potential to reduce paid articling positions; the high proportion of racialized students more likely to turn to the Law Practice Program; and the issue of student loans. However, both Kauth’s editorial and public pronouncements by those for and against the program fail to mention the most significant element: the quality legal skills training gained by the participants.

Focus: Spouses warned against spying on former partners

While the use of social media in family law cases is common, questions linger over a spouse’s access to other digital information relating to a former partner as privacy and evidentiary considerations make snooping on someone’s online world a tricky and potentially costly exercise.

Inside Story

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Law Society Tribunal has suspended a lawyer on an interlocutory basis for misappropriating funds belonging to orphaned children.

Lawyer Peter Borkovich misappropriated $150,000 in estate funds that belonged to children who had lost their parents, according to a hearing panel that considered the matter.

“In this case, the evidence of misappropriation is clear,” wrote hearing panel chairman Peter Wardle, who added that over a period of two years, Borkovich took funds belonging to the clients and used them for his own benefit.
“This was not an isolated event,” wrote Wardle.

“There were 36 separate withdrawals of funds on account of legal fees that were not earned.”

The lawyer paid his personal taxes through funds from the estate and used the money to make up for losses arising from “improper loan activity” that arose in another estate, according to Wardle.

“The victims of this misappropriation were orphaned minor children. The amounts are significant.”

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Law Times poll

Should defence counsel refrain from delivering court clothes to clients in light of lawyer Laura Liscio's arrest?
Yes, it's a major risk.
No, there's no other option.
Unsure. We still don't know the full facts of the case.