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Imperfection rules

Editorial Obiter

If much of modern technology focuses on extracting the messiness and toil out of life (like automated cars and artificial intelligence, for example), then one could assume that the law exists to clarify matters when things, indeed, go wrong. And go wrong they will.

As a colleague of mine recently said to me — humans are, by their very nature, imperfect. Our courts system is imperfect. Lawyers themselves are imperfect.

This issue of Law Times delves into some complex issues, but it also points to how laws (or rules) can help create order in a world where confusion and disinformation can be widespread.

A column by lawyer Renata Laubman looks at networking in the #MeToo era.

It’s a phenomenal read that shows how the Rules of Professional Conduct have relevance for lawyers in situations outside the office.

Another story focuses on how three Waterloo police officers are heading to the Ontario Court of Appeal after a Superior Court judge denied them class action certification.

They allege that the Waterloo Regional Police Services Association failed to provide a workplace free of gender-based discrimination and harassment.

“I have considerable sympathy for the plaintiffs’ desire to have this litigated in court. Even on the limited and contradictory evidence before me, it is apparent that this case raises serious, triable issues relating to the workplace culture,” said the ruling.

Then there’s the story on how the Law Society of Ontario tribunal has allowed a lawyer to surrender his licence in a decision that included a lengthy analysis of the lawyer’s mental health issues.

In the decision, the tribunal said it recognizes the duty under the Ontario Human Rights Code to accommodate disability to the point of undue hardship.

Laws and rules can restore order to a world where messiness — no matter how hard we try — pervades.

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The Law Society of Ontario’s recent decision to further cull the number of benchers at Convocation means that several longtime members will lose the rights either to speak or vote in the next few months. Do you agree with this move?