Quinn Ross

Lawyer Candidate – Southwest Region

Priorities

To bring my skill and experience to the challenges faced by the professions and the LSO. Disruptive and supportive legal technology, Access to Justice, Diversity and Inclusion. I have been involved with these issues at a high level for over a decade. During my time with the Ontario Bar Association I have regularly participated in the preparation and delivery of submissions on the issues facing the professions in Ontario. I have liaised with benchers and staff of the LSO, MAG staff and the AG as these regulatory mandates unfolded. I have a genuine passion for the problems and opportunities facing the professions today and I am positioned to bring an informed and experienced perspective to bear.

Background

I am the immediate Past President of the Ontario Bar Association. There I acted as president and CEO of a membership organization representing 15,000 lawyers, judges and law students. We advocated for the profession on the very issues that are facing the LSO today. I currently chair the OBA Practice Innovation and Technology Committee and the Chair of the Alternative Business Structure Working Group.

I was called to the bar in 2005 and since 2014 I have been the managing lawyer at our 10 lawyer, 3 office full service firm in Southwestern Ontario. In that role have lead in the creation of paperless litigation and solicitor practices. I

I am a regular speaker at the LSO, OBA and law schools on issues of professionalism and technology and have been for the past decade.

Enjoy this candidate’s “Of Counsel” interview while you read more about them!

Candidates I support

Something the LSO does that it should stop doing

The current marketing campaign is questionable.

Something the LSO doesn't do that it should start doing

website

www.bencher2019.com

email

qmross@rossfirm.com

social media

Twitter – @QuinnMRoss

All Candidates were invited to comment on any or all of the following topics

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The solution is NOT asking lawyers to do more work for free. There are critical system failures in the courts and in the traditional delivery of legal services that need to be addressed if we hope to change the course of this socio-legal crisis.

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A diversity of experience, geography and background is necessary for the good governance of the almost 50,000 lawyers and paralegals in Ontario. To the extent further reform is required it should be focused on role and mandate.

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Prohibitive. Legal education is solely in the purview of the academy, but a conversation needs to happen whereby how people learn the law and what they are expected to do after law school lines up. As to the costs, we are losing students because the perceived ROI is no longer there.

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This is a small nod to intention and is barely perfunctory. It is a minimum from which to build, not a threshold to be met. I see no fundamental problem with it.

Artificial Intelligence in Legal Service Delivery

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Like it or not it’s coming. I believe it can and should be regulated. In the end, the delivery of legal services is a controlled act and should be subject to assurances of competency. Just because it says AI doesn’t mean it’s right.

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Experiential training is key to the transition from the current form of legal education into practice. There are two methods available. One is controlled by market forces and one is not. To the extent that the LSO’s mandate is to ensure the competency of licensees the mandate has been met.

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All avenues to making the delivery of legal services more accessible should be investigated and supported. There is a regulatory vacuum around this and legal coaching that should be filled so legal professionals feel comfortable undertaking the work.

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The bylaw amendment allowing entity based regulation has been brought to convocation for information purposes and accepted. It sits in limbo while opportunities to have a more dynamic, responsive legal profession are missed. In the age of process automation designed to increase efficiency and eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort on repeated tasks and project management, the ability to regulate the organization responsible for creating and operating those systems is essential. No one wants a single legal professional to be regulatory grist for the mill of the regulator by virtue of them following a process put in place by the entity in which they work. Not only is it unfair, but it fails to address the cause of the problem giving rise to the regulatory intervention. However, the additional burden on practitioners occasioned by the regulation must be a key consideration when developing the regulatory process.

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There should be a call for all of us to recognize the increasingly important role technology plays in the practice of law. An inability to use basic technology for communication, document preparation and research is no longer acceptable.

Reconciliation and Indigenous Communities

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This is absolutely fundamental to the legitimacy of the legal system in Ontario. If we do not recognize the harms done (often with full ‘legal’ authority) and work toward reconciliation our system of law falls into question.

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Once entity based regulation is in place, consideration of new ways to allow lawyers to organize their businesses should be considered. ABS writ large with coca-cola owning a mega firm is not a good model for the profession, but attracting and keeping non-licensee talent with an interest in a firm, might be.

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These issues have been robustly reviewed, consulted and reported on. The recommendations put forward on the issues largely meet the concerns raised. As with all things, monitoring and amendment where appropriate should take place.

Specific Enhancements to Licensing System

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Providing a clear regulatory framework that meets the needs of the public while giving legal professionals the guidance and space to do their work. There is robust resources on what a legal professional cannot do, more attention needs to be paid to support what they can do.

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Being a legal professional is an increasingly stressful and difficult way to earn a crust. Supports like the Members Assistance Program and the Coach and Advisor Network should be supported and expanded.

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The LSO has a duty to the public and in discharging that duty must take steps to facilitate access to justice. Funding should be directed in that manner. Mission creep is to be avoided as a matter of good governance.

Diversity and Inclusivity Priorities

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The recommendations of the Report of the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group need to be implemented in the near term. It is a road-map of minimums that we should treat as a starting point and direct concerted effort toward.

Scope of practice for paralegals and non-licensees

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Scope of practice should be informed solely with an eye to competency. If the training required to be licensed finds the licensee competent to practice, the test has been met. to this end, serious consideration of the opinions of those currently practicing the protected areas as well as the courts and the public should be given. While the panacea of an end to access to justice is an attractive siren call, it should not be heeded to the detriment of the very, often marginalized, public it seeks to assist.

FOLA asks: Thoughts on Funding Staffed Local Law Libraries

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In the non-urban settings I practice in, the staff at libraries are a fundamental part of the court process. Their loss would cause significant hardship to local practitioners.

Other topics

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