Christopher Hicks

Lawyer Bencher Candidate – Toronto Region

Priorities

DISCIPLINARY MATTERS
We need to ensure that the LSO takes a more collaborative and progressive approach to self-governance. A heavy-handed approach to disciplining lawyers doesn’t necessarily work; consultation, mentoring, and rehabilitation should be the primary factors in our pursuit of high professional standards.

OMBUDSPERSON
Additionally, we need an Ombudsperson system for negotiation and conflict resolution. Disputes and conflicts between lawyers or groups of lawyers should have a path to resolution and reconciliation without a complaint to the Law Society.

As well, an Ombudperson would be of use to women barristers who have experienced incidents of sexual harassment or abuse, or visible minority barristers who have experienced racial incidents.

These lawyers would also benefit from an intervention by the Office of the Ombudperson short of a complaint to the Law Society.

MENTORING NETWORK
As the composition of the Bar changes, and fewer lawyers are absorbed by existing firms and become sole practitioners, the Law Society must institute a network of mentors who these younger, solitary lawyers can contact for instant and experienced advice.

THE FUTURE
We need to ensure the LSO is respected and of assistance to members of the Bar, as opposed to being feared and loathed as presently too often is the case. New ideas, new systems, new structures and new benchers are required

Background

Since my call to the bar in 1981, I have practised criminal law exclusively, both trials and appeals at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. My practice is now comprised of appeals and murder trials.

I have been a sole practitioner, a partner in a small firm and now a senior partner in one of the largest criminal law firms in Canada.

These varied experiences have given me an understanding of the professional and administrative demands and pressures of the practice of law.

I have served clients in a number of jurisdictions in Ontario. As a result, I have become familiar with the views, resources, challenges and needs of a significant number of practicing counsel both within the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere in the province.

These informative experiences and my years at the bar give me confidence that I can bring a fresh and informed perspective to our future challenges.

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website

christopherhickscandidate.ca

I gave an interview to Advocate Daily which summarizes my profile and position. Please follow this link to learn about me:

https://www.advocatedaily.com/profile/christopher-hicks-lso-needs-to-be-more-progressive-hicks.html

email

chicks@hicksadams.ca

social media

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The Bar has an obligation to the surrounding community to help find solutions to this grave problem. While pro bono work by all members may help provide a remedy, the Law Society can assist by determining a system of awards for participating lawyers, such as an honorarium in the form of a reduction of annual fees.
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Artificial Intelligence in Legal Service Delivery

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Reconciliation and Indigenous Communities

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Specific Enhancements to Licensing System

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Diversity and Inclusivity Priorities

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The Bar is more and more diverse ethnically, and increasingly reflects the larger community. Firms need to be encouraged to bring aboard culturally and ethnically diverse articling students.

Women also greater consideration. Female members of the Bar are raising the issue of with workplace harassment. The ombudsperson approach could help to resolve the problems faced by women in the profession as well as those socially marginalized.

The LSO should also address maternity leave concerns – not with the thought of enforcing standards, but with the intent of providing guidance to firms that employ women to ensure they return to the profession.

I am pleased to say that my firm has an equal number of female and male lawyers with considerable diversity as well. We also top up maternity leaves and have medical benefits for our staff. Encouraging other firms to do the same will help to keep women in the practice of law.

Scope of practice for paralegals and non-licensees

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FOLA asks: Thoughts on Funding Staffed Local Law Libraries

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