Monday, May 4, 2015

High-profile lawyer Joe Groia is among the benchers elected in the Law Society of Upper Canada bencher election last week.

Others elected in Toronto include current Treasurer Janet Minor, Janet Leiper, Raj Anand, Paul Schabas, Julian Falconer, Christopher Bredt, Sandra Nishikawa, Jeffrey Lem, Howard Goldblatt, Gina Papageorgiou, Sidney Troister, Rocco Galati, William McDowell, Barbara Murchie, Malcolm Mercer, John Callaghan, Peter Wardle, Avvy Yao-Yao Go, and Jonathan Rosenthal.

Outside Toronto, the elected benchers are Robert Evans, Andrew Spurgeon, Raj Sharda, Peter Beach, Jack Braithwaite, Fred Bickford, Teresa Donnelly, Susan McGrath, Jacqueline Horvat, Dianne Corbiere, Carol Hartman, Joanne St. Lewis, Susan Armitage Richer, Virginia MacLean, Michael Lerner, Ross Earnshaw, Paul Cooper, Janis Criger, Jerry Udell, and Anne Vespry.

Turnout in the vote was 34 per cent with 16,040 lawyers having cast a ballot for the 40 elected benchers.

Former Law Society of Upper Canada chief executive officer Malcolm Heins will chair an expert panel to look at the financial services industry in Ontario.

The expert panel will review the regulation of financial advisers and planners who help investors make financial choices.

Also on the panel is Anita Anand, a professor of law at the University of Toronto. Anand was previously the inaugural chair of the investor advisory panel for the Ontario Securities Commission.

“Unlike many financial service sectors in Ontario, financial advisers and planners are not subject to general regulatory oversight, which could leave consumers and investors vulnerable. This review will focus on addressing this gap by examining more tailored regulations,” the Ministry of Finance said in announcing the review.

The province has appointed justice of the peace Thomas Stinson as the new regional senior justice of the peace for the west region of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Stinson’s appointment became effective on April 22. He has served as a justice of the peace since 2009. Stinson replaces regional senior justice of the peace Bridget Forster in the role.

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

In the continuing battle between personal injury lawyers and the insurance industry over who’s responsible for high auto insurance costs, a large number of responders say they’re both to blame.

According to the poll, 46 per cent of poll participants feel both groups “are in it for themselves.”

Another 37 per cent of responders sided with personal injury lawyers, saying the insurance industry makes plenty of money.

The remaining 17 per cent of participants took the side of the insurers and said personal injury lawyers are driving up costs through generous contingency fees.

The poll follows a report released by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association that suggested drivers are paying far too much in premiums due to the excessive profits earned by insurance companies. The Insurance Bureau of Canada has responded that lawyers are to blame for high costs through high legal fees.   

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