Candidate bio description
Born in Kenora ON; live in Thunder Bay ON Married with three children and four grandchildren Lakehead University Hon. BA (Economics) 1969 Osgoode Hall Law School, York University J.D. 1973 Harvard Law School Mediation Workshop Osgoode Certificate Elder Law Called to Bar March 20, 1975 44th year of law practice Lecturer Bora Laskin Law School Lakehead University Sole practitioner in small firm with 3 associate lawyers Previously City Councillor in Thunder Bay; Many community boards Past President - Thunder Bay Law Association Northwestern Ontario Rep on Executive of Federation of Law Associations of Ontario (FOLA) (formerly CDLPA)
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
I am inspired by the crying need for more representation of sole practitioners and small firms in Convocation. I have practiced as a real estate, estates and corporate solicitor for 44 years and want to bring this perspective to the attention of fellow Benchers when issues are studied, debated and voted on.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
The current administration of the Law Society is too focused on militaristic regulation of lawyers, and has forgotten its role to help and support individual lawyers to become better able to do their job so that the public will be better served. LSO can help lawyers AND serve the public!
What would be your first priority upon election?
I want to tackle the LSO fiscal disaster. The number of LSO employees is 606, rising to 615 in the 2019 draft budget. Does that ring your alarm bells? Believe it or not, the LSO has an operating DEFICIT of $7.54M on expenditures of $136.64M in 2018, rising to $8.71M on projected expenditures of $142.54M in 2019. Lawyers’ annual fees of $2201 will continue to escalate into the stratosphere! I want to represent all the lawyers who are concerned about increasing annual fees and increasing numbers of employees every year at LSO.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
Balanced budgets with fewer employees at Osgoode Hall, and more help from LSO to individual lawyers!
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
Using an economical technology for remote court appearances to cut down on long travel times AND transitioning new young lawyers to take over the practices of baby boomers retiring over the next 5-10 years.
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?
Yes I think it is one of the methods that we use to reach our goals of equality and reconciliation within the profession and judicial system. Discrimination shall not be tolerated!