Candidate bio description
Kristin Hutton was called to the Ontario bar in 2002 after completing his L.L.B at the University of Ottawa. While at the University of Ottawa, Kristin worked at the Department of Justice (Health Canada) Prior to law school, Kristin graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science from East Carolina University (Greenville, North Carolina) while juggling the responsibilities of playing on the varsity tennis team. He was the recipient of several academic awards at his university including, The Rivers Scholarship, the Catherine Hirsch Memorial Award and Cecil Todd Scholarship. Kristin is included on the Best Lawyers list for Canada in the practice area of construction law for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Kristin's reported cases appear in The Ontario Civil Code by Watson and McGowan, The 2015 Annotated Ontario Construction Lien Act by Duncan Glaholt and the Annotated Canadian Criminal Code. In his spare time Kristin enjoys playing golf and tennis and traveling to watch his school's football team (the East Carolina Pirates) play throughout the Southeastern United States during the season. Kristin also acts as a Mentor for the Ryerson University Law Practice Program (2016-present) that offers an innovative alternative to traditional articling through a rigorous and demanding eight-month program combining on-line training and experiential learning with a hands-on work term.
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
The Bench has respectfully lost complete touch with the real barriers faced by the common individual trying to access our justice system and the pragmatic life a lawyer has to endure just to make financial ends meet each month.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
We have an exemplary court staff and judiciary - but our legal system is still grounded in byzantine procedural rules that keep all but the well versed and monied - out. We are also churning out lawyers from law-schools at an unattainable rate relative to the economy.
What would be your first priority upon election?
As an elected Bencher it would be a three pronged approach to promote true access to justice and ensure a lawyer in the Province of Ontario is first, foremost and only a licensed lawyer - with no inherent conflicting undisclosed duel capacity roll. 1. Expunge revisionist history and permit the use of The Law Society of Upper Canada (1797); 2. Invoke a new Rules Committee to streamline the judicial process and update the terminology for the 21st Century; 3. Advocate for the creation of procedural mechanisms to investigate all lawyers and law-firms to determine if they operate with a “duel-capacity” conflict of interest and - by way of open forum – bring this issue to the public light for discussion and direction.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
The integrity of the legal system and of solicitor-client confidentiality is of paramount importance to the foundation of our legal system and of an open and democratic society. These tenants are specifically recognized and espoused in our Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 3.3 – Confidentiality and Rule 3.4 – Duty to Avoid Conflicts of Interest). We must ensure that all licensed lawyers and legal firms adhere to these tenants and hold no undisclosed secondary “duel-capacity” rolls that inherently conflict with our Rules of Professional Conduct. As an elected Bencher I promise to ensure that all lawyers and legal firms shall remain from being under the influence of - or accepting funds to influence conduct (in any form or guise) from any organization whose mission statement and operations inherently conflict with the duties and undertakings of a lawyer licensed in the Province of Ontario. As an elected Bencher I will advocate for the creation of procedural mechanisms to investigate all lawyers and law-firms to determine if they operate with a “duel-capacity” conflict of interest and - by way of open forum – bring this issue to the public light.
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
Skyrocketing fees, duel capacity firms and lawyers and true access to justice by the regular individual.
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?
Yes - If the statement of principles promotes the true independence of the lawyer from outside bias and influence.