The Law Society Tribunal is an administrative tribunal that impartially processes and adjudicates regulatory cases about Ontario lawyers and paralegals under the Law Society Act and Regulation.
It applies the Rules of Practice and Procedure approved by Convocation. Matters are heard in the Hearing Division and may be appealed to the Appeal Division.
Tribunal adjudicators are benchers and other appointees. These include lawyers, paralegals and members of the public. Tribunal staff process cases and support the adjudicators’ work.
The Law Society Tribunal replaces the Law Society Hearing Panel and Appeal Panel. It was formally established on March 12, 2014, by the Modernizing Regulation of the Legal Profession Act, 2013. This is part of Convocation’s plans for an independent Chair (David A. Wright) and two bencher Vice-Chairs.
Recent Tribunal decisions affecting paralegal licensees include:
Esimaje Awani – Toronto
The Paralegal was suspended for one month commencing after the termination of his administrative suspension and continuing indefinitely until specified conditions are met.
Jay Rudolph Bradley – Toronto
The Paralegal is suspended for two months and two weeks. If the Paralegal pays a fine of $5,000 to the Society no later than 25 days after the commencement of his suspension, the duration of his suspension will be one month instead of two months and two weeks.
Antonio D.R. Lacaria – Vaughan
Decision: The Paralegal is granted permission to surrender his licence to provide legal services.
Kerlan Garfield McLean – Brampton
Decision: The Paralegal shall pay a fine of $2,000.
Francesca Pagotto – Vaughan
Decision: The Paralegal was suspended for one month, commencing after her return to practice and continuing indefinitely until specified conditions are met.
Roland Spiegel – Richmond Hill
Decision: The Paralegal’s motion was dismissed and he shall pay costs to the Law Society of $2,000.
Robert George Vanderploeg – Hamilton
Decision: The Paralegal was suspended for 31 days and fined $2,000.
Law Society Tribunal page – Information, resources, hearings
Decisions from the last 60 days
Reasons – On CanLII, where available
Summary – Legislation and principles applicable to conduct orders related to professional misconduct: Law Society of Upper Canada v. Vannavong, 2013 ONLSHP 165 (CanLII), 2013 ONLSHP 165.
Tribunal Statistics – Third Quarter, 2013