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May 2015 Convocation



New benchers begin term

Eighteen new lawyer benchers and 22 incumbent lawyer benchers began the 2015-19 bencher term with today’s Convocation. The lawyer bencher election took place April 30.  View election results.

Isfahan Merali was elected as a lawyer bencher at May Convocation. Ms. Merali fills the vacancy created by the election of Janet Leiper as regional bencher for Toronto. Ms. Leiper fills the vacancy created by Janet E. Minor, who following her re-election as regional bencher, resumes her position as Treasurer.

Suzanne Clement of Ottawa and Gisele Chrétien of Sudbury also joined Convocation as newly appointed lay benchers. The Government of Ontario appoints eight non-paralegal, non-lawyer benchers to Convocation, and six were also re-appointed.

The paralegal bencher election took place in 2014.

By-Laws to be amended re: law student experiential learning

With Convocation’s approval, the Law Society is moving forward with amendments to ensure its by-laws enable law student experiential learning, provided law students are adequately supervised. Law schools have increasingly included experiential learning as part of their curricula. The learning takes place through a number of programs, including clinical placements, student legal aid service programs, Pro Bono Students Canada and Legal Aid Ontario law student programs. The by-law amendments, to be provided for Convocation’s consideration in June, will ensure that all aspects of these programs are in compliance with Law Society regulations. Full report.

Practice Direction re: Tribunal Book of Authorities approved

Convocation approved a Practice Direction respecting a Tribunal Book of Authorities to assist parties and reduce costs. As some cases are cited frequently in Law Society Tribunal proceedings, the Practice Direction and the introduction of the Tribunal Book of Authorities will mean that a party relying on any case included in it need not reproduce that case in its own book of authorities. Full report.

Human Rights Monitoring Group Interventions approved

Interventions in the following cases were approved by Convocation: 

  • Lawyer Intigam Aliyev – Azerbaijan
  • Lawyer Azza Soliman – Egypt
  • Lawyer Samiullah Afridi – Pakistan

Full report.

Audit and Finance Committee report

Convocation approved a new banking resolution related to the Law Society's Errors and Omissions Insurance Fund. Full report.

William J. Simpson Award Selection Committee

Convocation approved the expansion of the selection committee for the William J. Simpson Paralegal Award to include two additional members: one justice, or retired justice, of the Ontario Court of Justice and one Justice of the Peace or member of a judicial tribunal. Full report.


Bencher Christopher Bredt was appointed as Vice-Chair of the Appeal Division and Raj Anand was appointed as Vice-Chair of the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal. Members of the Appeal and Hearing Divisions of the Tribunal were also appointed at May Convocation. Full report

Bencher Joseph Groia was appointed to the Compensation Fund Committee. Bencher Jeffrey Lem was appointed a Vice-Chair of the Professional Development and Competence Committee. The following benchers were appointed to the Proceedings Authorization Committee: Paul Schabas, Chair;  Jacqueline Horvat;  Brian Lawrie;  Jeffrey Lem; Jonathan Rosenthal and Gerald Sheff.





Consent Agenda

  • Confirmation of Draft Minutes of Convocation – April 23 and May 19, 2015
  • Motion – Appointments
  • Report of the Director of Professional Development and Competence - Deemed Call Candidates

Motion– Appointments to the Law Society Tribunal

Professional Development and Competence Committee Report

  • Competence Enhancement – Law Student Experiential Learning

Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee/Comité sur l’équité et les affaires autochtones Report

  • Human Rights Monitoring Group Interventions
  • For Information
    • Report of the Director, Equity
    • Reappointment of Equity Advisory Group Members
    • Equity Legal Education and Rule of Law Series Calendar 2015

Tribunal Committee Report

  • Practice Direction – Tribunal Book of Authorities

Paralegal Standing Committee Report

  • William J. Simpson Award: Composition of the Selection Committee
  • For Information
    • Update on Competence Initiatives
    • Update on Law Society Referral Service

Audit & Finance Committee Report

  • Law Society of Upper Canada Financial Statements for the three months ended March 31, 2015
  • Investment Compliance Reports

 Professional Regulation Committee Report

  • Professional Regulation Division Quarterly Report

Report from The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG)

Watch the archive of this month's Convocation webcast.

Terms or Concepts Explained