Candidate bio description
Originally from Brampton and a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, I'm now proud to call the Niagara Region Home. First licensed in Florida in 2006, my legal background is largely litigation based. Since 2015, I’ve run Michael’s Law Firm as a sole practitioner, so I'm familiar with the challenges faced by small firms, along with LSO impediments to practice. In my spare time, I like to spend time with family, bike around the Old Town, play hockey, squash, volleyball and ski a few days a year. I also enjoy visiting friends’ cottages during the summer.
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
I believe that the LSO is increasingly out of touch with the modern realities of the practice of law, and that new voices are needed to provide input and direction going forward.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
The biggest issue facing the profession is economic. The requirements of legal practice (staffing, technology, time, expert reports) are increasingly out of line with the value of matters in dispute, and clients are increasingly unable or unwilling to pay for this misalignment, which is bad for lawyers and bad for access to justice.
What would be your first priority upon election?
Taking the feedback received throughout the campaign from lawyers to the LSO.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
I want to be part of changing the direction of the LSO. I believe this means a rethink of the LSO's priorities and the means through which same can be achieved. I do not believe there is any justification for annual fees close to 15 times higher than teachers, who arguably, are better compensated in Ontario (and have valuable pensions, which many lawyers lack).
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?
No. I believe the LSO has authority to regulate certain conduct by its licensees, including conduct that is in violation of other legislation (such as the Human Rights Code). I do not believe that authority should extend to the regulation of thought, or the forced adoption of belief.