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Monday, November 19, 2012


Patrick Monahan leaves York University next week to become Ontario’s new deputy attorney general.

Monahan, currently vice president academic and provost at York, takes the position with the Ontario government on Nov. 26. He began his career at York as a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and became dean from 2003-09. He has been in the vice president role for the last three years.

Monahan takes the position of deputy attorney general following Murray Segal’s departure from the role this spring. On June 1, Segal, who had served as deputy attorney general since 2004, became counsel at Simcoe Chambers in Toronto.

Replacing Monahan at York for the balance of his term is Rhonda Lenton.

“I have personally appreciated Patrick’s guidance and advice and wish him all the best as he takes on this new role,” said York president and vice chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri in announcing Monahan’s departure.


Sen. Hugh Segal has joined Aird & Berlis LLP as a senior adviser.

Segal, who served as chief of staff to former prime minister Brian Mulroney in the 1990s and once ran for leader of the federal Progressive Conservative party, will advise clients on regulatory and broad public policy frameworks in his new role at Aird & Berlis. As a senator, he can’t make any representations to federal departments or agencies.

Formerly president of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Segal has also worked in the private sector in executive positions in the brewing, food processing, and investment management industries. He has been a senator since 2005.


The Ontario Human Rights Commission should start providing services to respondents on human rights issues, a Toronto lawyer is recommending in his review of reforms to the system.

In his review released by the Ontario attorney general this month, Andrew Pinto of Pinto Wray James LLP says the new system is working well.

“Overall, I conclude that the Ontario human rights system is working better in many respects than under the previous code; but I would declare the reforms a ‘qualified success’ since there remain a number of challenges in the revised system,” he writes.

Among other things, Pinto notes a “perceived imbalance” in the human rights system since alleged victims of human rights violations can get representation from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre while respondents have to defend themselves. Providing summary human rights advice, he writes, “fulfils an important gap in the effectiveness of the revised code. Many respondents are unclear about their human rights obligations and would like to receive prompt advice and information.”

The provincial government appointed Pinto to review the system just a few years after it changed it to provide applicants with direct access to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario rather than having to wait for the commission to look into and decide whether to take on their case.

On the downside, Pinto says the legal support centre is struggling to meet the demand for its services. It represents just 12 per cent of applicants before the tribunal, he noted.


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

According to the poll, 59 per cent of respondents oppose amendments to the Barristers Act to make it clear that paralegals can sit past the bar.

The poll follows a court action by paralegal Marian Lippa in response to a justice of the peace’s order that she remain in the body of the court and wait for lawyers to finish their matters first. In addition, a recent review of paralegal regulation submitted to the provincial government called for changes to the act to clarify paralegals’ status. But just 41 per cent of respondents to the poll agreed with that recommendation.

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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?