Candidate bio description
I was born in Costa Rica to Nicaraguan refugees, and was raised in Hamilton where I proudly continue to reside. Prior to law school, I took a B.A. and a Master’s degree in history, a subject I continue to study during spare time. I obtained my Juris Doctor from the University of Alberta in 2012. In 2014 I was called to the Bar in Ontario and carried on a private practice in commercial litigation until I joined The City of Brantford’s in-house legal team in 2017.
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
I am afraid that the LSO is losing its way and it's up to regular lawyers to correct its course. The Statement of Principles requirement is indicative of the undue regulatory expansion and over-reach that will continue unchecked unless the LSO reassess its priorities. Important issues facing the profession are numerous, such as the need to adopt new technologies, mental health and addiction problems, lack of resources and support in small centers, the virtual non-existence of mentoring for most new lawyers. These issues are complicated and confronting them requires a sustained focus and disciplined effort.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
There are many issues of equal importance, such as those mentioned above. These problems are made more difficult to address by the threat to the independence of the profession and its licensees posed by ideologically driven policy and regulation of the LSO.
What would be your first priority upon election?
My priority would be to refocus the LSO’s efforts on its mandate, which is regulating licensees in matters of competence and ethics and to protect the public interest.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
I will work with fellow benchers to identify practical and measurable areas to reduce unfair barriers to professionals and the public, improve access to justice and implement fiscal restraint. I will also work to repeal the Statement of Principles requirement and resist any similar over-reaching initiatives.
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
Brantford faces unique challenges with mental health and addiction and lack of resources and infrastructure for legal professionals. The region as a whole faces similar challenges, but also includes articling shortages, lack of court-house funding and stretched judicial resources.
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?
No. It is an illiberal and arbitrary requirement that violates the most fundamental freedoms, and it is not in the public interest. Further, there is no evidence as to what effect compelled speech, such as the SOP requirement, has on racial discrimination. Addressing arbitrary barriers in the profession, including bigotry, is a laudable goal. However, we must seek alternative solutions.