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    Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
    5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
    The Hamilton Club
    (6 Main Street East, Hamilton)

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    Thursday, May 30th 2019
    4:00 p.m.
    The Hamilton Club
    (6 Main Street East, Hamilton)

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    Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Kruger National Park
    with Go Ahead Tours 

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Latest HLA News

The HLA Endorses Janis Criger for LSO Bencher

Posted on: Mar 13, 2019



Even if you don’t vote for me, please vote.

The Hamilton Law Association has kindly offered space for Andrew Spurgeon and me to set out our Bencher Election 2019 platforms. Thank you for that and thank you for endorsing us both in this Bencher Election. I am pleased and honoured to have the Association’s support.

Thank you also to the people who voted for me in the 2015 election. I was very pleasantly surprised to be elected.

Now, the title. In Bencher Election 2015, less than 40% of lawyers voted. I can’t remember whether the percentage was 34 or 37 but, either way, it means about 1/3 of lawyers decided who would set policy and make rules for the entire profession for the next four years.

I want your vote. I am asking for your vote. I have very much enjoyed the 2015 – 2019 Bencher term, working hard with people I like and respect to do my best to govern the profession in the public interest. I would like to serve a second term. That’s why your vote is important to me.

Your vote is also important to you. It’s your chance to send people you believe will govern the profession in the public interest, fairly and competently. Voting opens in the second week of April, 2019 and closes on April 30, 2019.

Andrew Spurgeon and I would very much like you to vote for both of us as out of Toronto candidates. Andrew is an excellent Bencher. He and I both enjoy the work and I believe we have made a difference at Convocation and in Committees. Andrew and I know that Hamilton has a unique and valuable voice to offer at Convocation and Committees and we would like to continue being Hamilton Benchers.

Ross Earnshaw and David Howell, also excellent Benchers, are not candidates in this election. I regret that they will not be at Convocation in the coming term.

In this election, Andrew and I have been cross-endorsed by a number of Toronto candidates. We hope you will cast some of your Toronto votes for them. These are candidates we know will do good work at Convocation and who, although we do not always agree, debate the issues respectfully and knowledgeably. They are:

John Callaghan                        Rebecca Durcan                                    Atrisha Lewis

Isfahan Merali              Barb Murchie                        Sid Troister                   Tanya Walker

Let’s look at some issues.

Statement of Principles

I support the SOP. There’s nothing wrong with someone telling you to do something you were going to do (and are already legally obligated to do) anyway.

Under 10 years of Call Benchers in Governance

As a member of the Governance Task Force, I’m in favour of having more recent Calls (some people called are not necessarily ‘young’) participate in governance at the Law Society. I don’t believe it will serve the recent Calls, the public or the profession for them to become Benchers. Being a Bencher is a minimum commitment of about 5 weeks per year, even without preparation and travel time.

In my view, recent Calls should be invited to join one Committee. Committees are where policies are debated and developed. Committee discussion means the recent Call would be on the ground floor of decision-making, while retaining a balance between Law Society governance work, career and family. Having two recent Calls on each Committee, in my view, expands the number participating in governance without unduly burdening people with plenty of other things on the go.

Paralegals in Family Law

I don’t agree that paralegals should work in family law only under a lawyer’s supervision. I do agree that they should not advocate for clients independently in court. Andrew and I differ on this. In my view, regulation has greatly improved the overall quality of paralegals, although there are bad paralegals, just as there are bad lawyers.

I will watch carefully to see that paralegal scope in family law is properly and clearly defined, so that there can be no doubt about whether or not a particular activity is outside scope. I will also review the college curriculum as it is presented to the Access to Justice Committee, to ensure that the education is appropriate. The exam will also be presented to the Committee, and that too will bear careful scrutiny.

Libraries & Law Associations

I support continued proper, stable funding for law libraries. Law libraries perform vital functions for sole practitioners and small firms. Law Associations encourage collegiality, which breeds competence and civility.

Pro Bono Funding

I support proper, stable funding for Pro Bono Ontario but not by way of a levy on lawyers. First, 60,000 licensees should not be paying the whole of something that is the responsibility of all Ontario taxpayers. Second, a levy penalizes people who are already doing pro bono/low bono work as, no matter how low the levy, it is still a higher percentage of their income than it is of the person who does no pro bono/low bono work in a similar practice. Third, people who already do pro bono/low bono work would be paying twice.

Thank you again for your support in 2015. For more information, see: lsobencher.com/candidates and bencherelection.lawtimesnews.com (scroll down the page for candidates). Website coming soon. Twitter: @Thinqr1 (that’s a “Q” in the middle).

Janis Criger

Contact

View All Job Opportunities
FOLA News

The HLA Endorses Janis Criger for LSO Bencher

Posted on: Mar 13, 2019



Even if you don’t vote for me, please vote.

The Hamilton Law Association has kindly offered space for Andrew Spurgeon and me to set out our Bencher Election 2019 platforms. Thank you for that and thank you for endorsing us both in this Bencher Election. I am pleased and honoured to have the Association’s support.

Thank you also to the people who voted for me in the 2015 election. I was very pleasantly surprised to be elected.

Now, the title. In Bencher Election 2015, less than 40% of lawyers voted. I can’t remember whether the percentage was 34 or 37 but, either way, it means about 1/3 of lawyers decided who would set policy and make rules for the entire profession for the next four years.

I want your vote. I am asking for your vote. I have very much enjoyed the 2015 – 2019 Bencher term, working hard with people I like and respect to do my best to govern the profession in the public interest. I would like to serve a second term. That’s why your vote is important to me.

Your vote is also important to you. It’s your chance to send people you believe will govern the profession in the public interest, fairly and competently. Voting opens in the second week of April, 2019 and closes on April 30, 2019.

Andrew Spurgeon and I would very much like you to vote for both of us as out of Toronto candidates. Andrew is an excellent Bencher. He and I both enjoy the work and I believe we have made a difference at Convocation and in Committees. Andrew and I know that Hamilton has a unique and valuable voice to offer at Convocation and Committees and we would like to continue being Hamilton Benchers.

Ross Earnshaw and David Howell, also excellent Benchers, are not candidates in this election. I regret that they will not be at Convocation in the coming term.

In this election, Andrew and I have been cross-endorsed by a number of Toronto candidates. We hope you will cast some of your Toronto votes for them. These are candidates we know will do good work at Convocation and who, although we do not always agree, debate the issues respectfully and knowledgeably. They are:

John Callaghan                        Rebecca Durcan                                    Atrisha Lewis

Isfahan Merali              Barb Murchie                        Sid Troister                   Tanya Walker

Let’s look at some issues.

Statement of Principles

I support the SOP. There’s nothing wrong with someone telling you to do something you were going to do (and are already legally obligated to do) anyway.

Under 10 years of Call Benchers in Governance

As a member of the Governance Task Force, I’m in favour of having more recent Calls (some people called are not necessarily ‘young’) participate in governance at the Law Society. I don’t believe it will serve the recent Calls, the public or the profession for them to become Benchers. Being a Bencher is a minimum commitment of about 5 weeks per year, even without preparation and travel time.

In my view, recent Calls should be invited to join one Committee. Committees are where policies are debated and developed. Committee discussion means the recent Call would be on the ground floor of decision-making, while retaining a balance between Law Society governance work, career and family. Having two recent Calls on each Committee, in my view, expands the number participating in governance without unduly burdening people with plenty of other things on the go.

Paralegals in Family Law

I don’t agree that paralegals should work in family law only under a lawyer’s supervision. I do agree that they should not advocate for clients independently in court. Andrew and I differ on this. In my view, regulation has greatly improved the overall quality of paralegals, although there are bad paralegals, just as there are bad lawyers.

I will watch carefully to see that paralegal scope in family law is properly and clearly defined, so that there can be no doubt about whether or not a particular activity is outside scope. I will also review the college curriculum as it is presented to the Access to Justice Committee, to ensure that the education is appropriate. The exam will also be presented to the Committee, and that too will bear careful scrutiny.

Libraries & Law Associations

I support continued proper, stable funding for law libraries. Law libraries perform vital functions for sole practitioners and small firms. Law Associations encourage collegiality, which breeds competence and civility.

Pro Bono Funding

I support proper, stable funding for Pro Bono Ontario but not by way of a levy on lawyers. First, 60,000 licensees should not be paying the whole of something that is the responsibility of all Ontario taxpayers. Second, a levy penalizes people who are already doing pro bono/low bono work as, no matter how low the levy, it is still a higher percentage of their income than it is of the person who does no pro bono/low bono work in a similar practice. Third, people who already do pro bono/low bono work would be paying twice.

Thank you again for your support in 2015. For more information, see: lsobencher.com/candidates and bencherelection.lawtimesnews.com (scroll down the page for candidates). Website coming soon. Twitter: @Thinqr1 (that’s a “Q” in the middle).

Janis Criger

Contact

View All Job Opportunities

Message from the President

Firstly, let me thank the HLA staff for myself and Rob Hooper for making our job as presidents look simple and easy.  They are always there guiding us. Next, my fellow executive officers VP Mark Giavedoni (now of Gowlings) and Kanata Cowan deserve a much overdue thank you.  Lastly, the rest of the trustees have been very supportive of the many endeavors of the HLA by committing copious amounts of time and thoughtfulness to their responsibilities. CONTINUE READING


W Patric Mackesy, President 2018-2019

The Hamilton Law Association

The Association’s affairs are governed by trustees and officers who ensure that Association undertakings are within the mandate and in the best interests of our legal community. The many valued volunteers who are members of the numerous committees within the structure of the HLA strive to represent our membership consistently and effectively. The Anthony Pepe Memorial Law Library, operated within the scope of the HLA, is one of the largest law libraries in Ontario and houses over 30,000 volumes.

The Hamilton Law Association continues to strive to educate and support its membership in the practice of law as well as to advocate for their interests as lawyers...

The staff of the Hamilton Law Association (HLA) Library cannot provide legal advice or research to members of the public directly. The HLA Library is a private library for the use of its members, and members of the Law Society of Upper Canada only. For information on finding legal help in Ontario please try the Bora Laskin Law Library's Guide to Finding Legal Help in Ontario, or to search for a lawyer practising in the Hamilton area try the HLA Find a Lawyer page.

This Web site is not intended to provide legal advice. It is intended to supply general information to our members. The information contained and distributed on this site does not contain any legal opinions and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hamilton Law Association.

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