Monday, April 1, 2019

Award Recognizes Non-Profit Akazaki Slated For Bencher LAO Duty Counsel Unionize Law Times Poll

Monday, April 1, 2019
Pamela Cross, legal director of Luke’s Place, won the LSO’s Laura Legge Award.

AWARD RECOGNIZES NON-PROFIT

Luke’s Place, a non-profit in Ontario’s Durham Region that helps train lawyers to work with clients leaving abusive relationships, was recognized with annual awards from both the Law Society of Ontario and the Ontario Bar Association in March 13 announcements.

Pamela Cross, legal director of Luke’s Place, won the LSO’s Laura Legge Award. The award, to be presented on May 22 at Osgoode Hall in Toronto, recognizes “women lawyers from Ontario who have exemplified leadership within the profession,” the LSO said on its website.

“To me, one of the things that is important in terms of both of these awards is to reflect back on where this work is rooted. The work is rooted in the experiences of women who have been subjected to violence and the women who have had the courage to say, ‘No more, that’s enough. I’m out of here,’” says Cross, a lawyer whose body of work outside Luke’s Place was also recognized by the Laura Legge Award.

Luke’s Place also won the OBA Foundation Award for “exceptional contributions to the improvement of the justice system through public legal education, innovative research or other means.”

“Although our work started out as direct service for women, increasingly, our work has moved in the direction of supporting and assisting lawyers who want to work with those clients,” she says.

AKAZAKI SLATED FOR BENCHER

Lawyer Lee Akazaki is in line to become a bencher at the Law Society of Ontario following the appointment of bencher Janet Leiper to the bench. 

Akazaki, a partner at Gilbertson Davis LLP in Toronto, would officially become a bencher if confirmed by benchers at Convocation on April 25, just five days before the April 30 close of voting in the election for the new set of benchers. In the last bencher election in 2015, Akazaki received 2,385 votes, according to the Law Society of Ontario’s published results.

LAO DUTY COUNSEL UNIONIZE

The Society of United Professionals, IFPTE 160, now represents 400 legal professionals, after the addition of Legal Aid Ontario’s supervisory duty counsel lawyers.

The majority of the 24 duty counsel lawyers voted to join the organization, which already represented more than 300 lawyers and articling students at LAO, the Society of United Professionals announced on March 26.

LAW TIMES POLL

Last week, Law Times asked bencher candidates from remote and rural areas, as well as outside the Greater Toronto Area, about issues facing lawyers. Law Times asked readers if the Law Society of Ontario needs to pay more attention to the needs of lawyers outside Toronto and other urban areas.

The majority of respondents, 90 per cent, said yes, the LSO needs to pay more attention to the needs of lawyers outside Toronto, as the needs of lawyers practising outside urban centres are largely ignored.

About 10 per cent said no, the regulator does not need to pay more attention to the needs of lawyers outside urban areas and the LSO is doing a good job of addressing the needs of lawyers across the province.

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