Sylvie Patenaude

Lawyer Candidate – East Region

Priorities

My biggest concern is to ensure that regulations affecting our daily practice as solicitors have a more balanced and practical approach to them… not just based on a “pie in the sky” theory of how practice should be and what ideally we should be doing in a perfect world… but actually based on real life issues such as 4:50 pm house closings on a Friday afternoon when your purchaser is waiting for keys with his movers and you need to get the closing funds which have finally arrived from a B Lender to the vendor’s counsel quickly….

Background

Lawyer & Mom. My two greatest passions.
I’m not a politician. I just want to bring real life solicitor practice experience to the Law Society’s approach on governance so that there can be a balance between regulations and their use or hindrance to the actual practice of law.

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

Candidates I support

I encourage everyone to vote. Solicitors are so woefully under-represented that I encourage you to support solicitors: Sylvie Patenaude (East), Antoine Collins (East) Rene Larson (Northwest), Quinn Ross (Southwest), Radan Rusev (Central West), Cheryl Siran (Northwest), Jerry Udell (Southwest), Sid Troister (Toronto), Ian Speers (Toronto), Jeff Lem (Toronto), Robert Adourian (Toronto), Craig Carter (Toronto), Ian Daley (Toronto), William Friedman (Toronto), Pranav Patel (Toronto), Geoff Pollock (Toronto), Yigal Rifkind (Toronto)

Something the LSO does that it should stop doing

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

LISTEN… to its members

website

www.spatenaude4bencher.com

email

lawsyl@spatenaude4bencher.com

social media

Twitter: @lawsylvie LinkedIn: Sylvie Patenaude

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

Expand to read Sylvie's views
All of us need to work together (LSO, paralegals, lawyers,) and fight to ensure that the most vulnerable people in our society get access to justice.
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We are over regulated as it stands. What we need, is to concentrate on enforcement – not creating more regulations.
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Costs of a legal education has now attained the level of INSANITY. There has to be a better way to deliver the product in a more effective and cost efficient manner.
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I have said in other platforms that the Statement of Principles is simply a re-affirmation of the Oath that all of us took when we were called to the Bar. Sometimes, some of us need a little more reminding then others to evolve with the times.

Artificial Intelligence in Legal Service Delivery

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AI will not put us out of work. When it comes to the practice of law, the one overriding factor in the solicitor client relationship is exactly that: the relationship. AI and technology have their place and should allow us to become more efficient – which is in the best interest of our clients. But the clients will not quickly abandon the relationship of trust and experience that is created over time for an AI only model.
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LSO need to be decisive and agree on what are the clear steps to become licensed, as opposed to trying to create multiple licensing scenarios. Law schools need to also adapt.
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Aren’t lawyers already doing this? For example, client comes in with a Small Claims matter. Cannot afford full representation at a trial from beginning to end, but would like help preparing the claim (or the defence). Would like help preparing its case. Nothing wrong with that. Any steps taken to help clients have access to justice in a meaningful yet affordable way such as limited scope retainers should be continued and enhanced. We’ve been doing it for years… just never gave a fancy name to it.
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Honestly, not sure what this issue relates to.
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Why would the LSO have to obligate lawyer to become competent with technology? It goes without saying that technology has changed the practice of law. I need to adapt or get left behind. Do I really need a rule to tell me to adapt and be competent?

Reconciliation and Indigenous Communities

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I honestly cannot profess to have a position on this. I am open-minded and would certainly entertain feedback from our indigenous communities.
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Several years ago, I wrote to the LSO Treasurer and pointed out that Ontario is the ONLY province (including Quebec) where family members cannot be shareholders in my professional corporation. I campaigned for this to be changed. Something more wonderful is coming I was told… Then came the budget changes that affected everyone. And the famous debate on ABS was launched. Now, we have accounting firms competing with us and creating law departments.
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The rules are there. We don’t need more. And if we are obligated to be open and share our fee arrangements, then we should not be limited in the sources of revenues we seek to enhance our delivery of services. Providing legal services is a business. We need to be treated like any other business. A restaurant can seek advertising revenues from any and every source possible. Would anyone be surprised that Coke or Pepsi have exclusive arrangements with certain chains? No. Why is the business of providing legal services any different, provided that conflict of interest rules are respected.

Specific Enhancements to Licensing System

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I have tutored students who do not pass the Solicitor Exam for the last 25 years. More and more, what I see that is needed: PRACTICAL COURSES… it is one thing to read LSO materials the size of a phone book.. and answer a multiple choice exam under very tight time constraints – it is another thing to actually be taught how the practice laid out in that phone book actually unfolds and how those concepts are actually applied in real time.

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Given the deficit experienced by the LSO, if you think of LSO as a Corporation, we are its shareholders. Let’s ask questions and find out where are dividends are, so to speak. Essentially, there are so many other competent entities offering CPD, does the LSO really need to spend money on creating CPD programs?
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Examples of how to support licensees: 1) better manage the license fee and licensing process 2) enforce the existing rules, seriously – as a deterrent to those who my become tempted to flirt or skirt the rules 3) Support your licensees by injecting common sense in the early rejection of frivolous or vexatious complaints!
Expand to read Sylvie's views
Having a daughter who has had serious challenges with mental health, I am glad to see that the stigma, while still there, is certainly taking a beating! However, I do not believe that it is the responsibility of the LSO to provide costly program to enhance mental health. LSO cannot be the be all and end all to everybody. The LSO is a licensing body. Not a mental health care provider.
Expand to read Sylvie's views
Again, thinking of the LSO as a Corporation, we are its shareholders. We need to determine where money is being spent and whether or not it is a wise use of our moneys. To do so, we need to seriously nail down what the LSO’s mandate is and should be, once and for all and then, operate within that lane.

Diversity and Inclusivity Priorities

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Please refer to my answer on the Statement of Principles. The legal community needs to be representative of the community as a whole. Making someone feel included is not just about having a policy that says they should feel included… there needs to be action behind the words.

Scope of practice for paralegals and non-licensees

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Paralegals and lawyers can co-exist. It has taken a long time for some to accept that paralegals have their place in the legal community to ensure that a broader range of client have access to justice. The training and scope of their services, just like that of lawyers, needs to be properly thought out and laid out for all to follow.

FOLA asks: Thoughts on Funding Staffed Local Law Libraries

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If the LSO is “our” LSO (as their slogan says) then it must take steps to ensure that local law libraries are funded to ensure that legal services providers in smaller towns\cities outside of Toronto have access to a menu of services and programs that would not otherwise exist.

Other topics

Candidate contributions on additional topics

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Other topics

Candidate contributions on additional topics

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Other topics

Candidate contributions on additional topics

Expand to read Sylvie's views