Evidence-based promulgation: reconsidering the rulemaking process for rules of professional conduct

Much like the indomitable Pippi Longstocking, the legal profession has succeeded for decades in asserting its right to self-regulate. Judges play a key role in this regulatory regime, serving as both rulemakers and enforcers. Indeed, prompted by the efforts of the organized bar, the judiciary claims the inherent—and exclusive—right to regulate the practice of law…

The Regulation of Paralegals in Ontario: Increased Access to Justice?

The legal profession throughout most of Canada enjoys the privilege of self-regulation and a (purported) monopoly over legal practice. In Ontario, the Law Society must regulate so as to facilitate access to justice and protect the public interest. Critics argue that self-regulation is anti-competitive it allows the profession to control the market for legal services,…

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Sustainability of self-regulation scrutinized in Ontario

Bencher candidate John Nunziata says he thinks the provincial government may have to intervene in the legal profession’s self-regulation model following the bencher election ending April 30. Nunziata told Law Times that he has heard the proposition of reviewing the Law Society Act discussed among Ontario’s members of provincial Parliament who watch the legal profession. However, Law Times requested interviews…

Governance Gone Wrong: Examining Self-Regulation of the Legal Profession

England and Australia have abandoned self-regulation of the legal profession yet Canadian law societies continue to function on this basis. This article argues that the self-regulatory model on which the Law Society of Ontario (the “LSO”) operates represents an inadequate form of governance in terms of the accountability it yields. When compared to other organizations, including law societies…

The Case for Proactive Management-Based Regulation to Improve Professional Self-Regulation for US Lawyers

This article argues that the American Bar Association (ABA) should recommend, and the state courts should adopt, proactive management-based regulation (PMBR) programs to supplement the existing complaint-based systems of professional discipline. The article discusses the New South Wales program, highlighting the requirement that incorporated legal practices designate Legal Practitioner Directors, and non-adversarial collaboration between regulators and…

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