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Monday, August 21, 2017


Ontario recently announced the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee will be taking steps to increase diversity in the judiciary, including recruiting more judges from indigenous communities.

“Trust in the justice system requires a judiciary that reflects the community,” says Renu Mandhane, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

The JAAC is bringing in the OHRC to strengthen member training and education in the hopes of addressing any systemic barriers — such as unconscious bias — that may exist in the recruitment process. Mandhane says the commission will consult with the JAAC to “ensure that they are able to effectively recruit a diversity of new judges.”

Changes have been made to the judicial application form to give applicants the options to self-identify as belonging to a racialized community, an ethnic or cultural group, as having a disability, as indigenous and as LGBTQ2+.


The OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowships in Legal Ethics and Professionalism has selected two recipients for its 2017-2018 awards.

Brooke MacKenzie, co-founder of MacKenzie Barristers PC, has been selected to receive the Fellowship in Studies award.

Cristina Toteda, a faculty lecturer with McGill University’s Faculty of Law, has been selected to receive the Fellowship in Research award.

“Ms. MacKenzie will be researching motions for disqualification of counsel on the basis of conflicts of interest and Ms. Toteda will be researching to develop an immersive one-week module in legal ethics and professionalism for students that will serve as a catalyst towards more practical experienced-based legal ethics and professionalism in the Canadian context,” said Anton Katz, one of the trustees of the OBA Foundation.


Community Legal Education Ontario has added a section to its website to help non-profits and the lawyers who guide them regarding Ontario’s Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010.

“In 2014, Community Legal Education Ontario launched a website to help non-profits get ready for the ONCA,” according to information provided by CLEO.

“Since the ONCA is still delayed, a new section has been added to the site to help nonprofits navigate current law in Ontario.”

The new information can be accessed at


Law Times reported that an estate trustee who took an “egregious” position in litigation has been ordered to personally pay more than $140,000 in costs. Readers were asked if this ruling would serve as an appropriate caution to executors on how they conduct themselves in litigation.

About 87 per cent said yes, this will remind trustees of the potential exposure of significant awards being made against them personally.

About 13 per cent said no, it’s unlikely this ruling will dissuade executors from engaging in unreasonable conduct during litigation.

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Law Times Poll

The Law Society of Ontario is in the midst of a major overhaul of the role of paralegals in family law — and a proposal on the issue could become an imminent issue for the regulator’s newly elected benchers. Do you agree with widening the scope of family law matters that paralegals can address?