Last week Lexpert held the inaugural event for its Zenith Awards Celebrating Leading Women Lawyers. In a room sparkling with cool acrylic chairs and brilliant crystal chandeliers, brighter still shone the accomplishments of the 23 extraordinary women who were honoured for their outstanding achievement in the legal profession. Click here to see the list of recipients and to learn more about the Zenith Awards.
Award winners were surrounded by the women and men who supported them throughout their careers and continue to do so. Navigation of the labyrinth takes dedication, smarts and resolve, true; but a little help can’t hurt every now and then. Support from peers is a gender neutral need that is undiminished by the passage of time or the accumulation of awards. In recognition of the necessary value of that support, at the heart of the Zenith Awards was the dedication of the recipients to mentoring. Honourees were paired with young women who, over the next year, will benefit tremendously from their mentor’s experience, support and network.
Mentoring is not only a useful “nice-to-have” for Mentees; it is the fundamental component of excellence in the profession. We have a collective obligation to our peers and society to provide the guidance and support required to ensure we continue to flourish as a respected profession.
Many thanks to Lexpert, a Thomson Reuters Business, Editor-in-Chief extraordinaire Jean Cumming, and the incomparable Paula Todd, Emcee, for providing a spectacular evening of celebration.
A little motivation for a "Mentoring Monday" as you start your week!
Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.
There are several interesting continuing legal education (CLE) events coming up in September and October 2008 that I wanted to mention as summer draws to a close and we look to the fall.
One is an Ontario Bar Association (OBA) full day program on September 23, 2008 commencing at 9:00 a.m. entitled “Trusts, Trustees, Trusteeships III – All you need to know and more”. This is the third year that this program on Trusts is running. The use of Trusts and Trust drafting are said to be the primary focus of this year’s program.
Topics include: Valuation Issues and Discretionary Trusts, The Effect of Bankruptcy on Estate Planning, Testamentary Trust Planning, The Use of Trusts as a Will Substitute, Charitable Gifts made by a Trust, Trust Variations, Insurance Trusts and Declarations, Judicial Supervision of the Exercise of Trustee Discretionary Powers and Trust Drafting.
Recently, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down an arbitration clause in a retainer agreement.
In Jean Estate v. Wires Jolley LLP 2008 CanLII 14538, an estate trustee and sole beneficiary of an estate entered into a retainer agreement with counsel that provided for a “success fee” of 10% of the value of the estate. The retainer agreement also provided that any dispute relating to the success fee was to be determined by an arbitrator.
A dispute arose, and the solicitors sought to have the dispute resolved through arbitration. The client applied to the court to have the notice of arbitration struck out, and to have the dispute resolved by the court.
Madam Justice Low granted the application. She held that the provisions of the Solicitors Act applied prima facie. She went on to conclude that even though the parties had previously agreed to an arbitration provision, and could agree to keep private commercial disputes private, the relationship between lawyers and clients is “one which transcends a mere commercial transaction. The profession has a monopoly over the provision of legal services and the occasions upon which lawyers interact with members of the public occur often when the latter are in the most vulnerable of circumstances. There is therefore an overarching public interest to be served in the court’s supervision of the profession’s monopoly.”
As the arbitration provision was a derogation of the client’s statutory right to have the court scrutinize the propriety of the fees, it was not upheld.
Thank you for reading.
Listen to Compensation for work done by estate trustees and solicitors.
This week on Hull on Estates, Paul Trudelle and Diane Vieira discuss compensation for work done by estate trustees and estate solicitors.
Rooney Estate v. Stewart Estate 2007 WL3019262 (Ont. S.C.J.), 2007 CarswellOnt 650
Listen to The Formal Passing of Accounts.
This week on Hull on Estate and Succession Planning, Ian and Suzana talk about the specifics of what happens when you have to go to court to formally pass accounts.
Listen to Issues in Estate Administration: Tax Filing.
This week on Hull on Estate and Succession Planning, Ian and Suzana discuss tax issues surrounding the administration of an estate.
Read the transcribed version of "Interim Support in Dependent Support Claims"
During Hull on Estates Episode #65, Sean Graham and Paul Trudelle discuss some of the practice and legal issues that arise regarding interim support in dependant support claims.
Section 64 of the Succession Law Reform Act is referenced, as is the Puliver case and the Manninon case.
Listen to "Powers of Attorney Defined"
Read the transcribed version of "Powers of Attorney Defined"
They define "Power of Attorney", and cover the responsibilities that accompany this role. The steps to take if you decide to revoke your Power of Attorney are also discussed, as well as the regulations of the Substitute Decisions Act which sets out some of the duties involved in Power of Attorney
Listen to "Joint Accounts"
Read the transcribed version of "Joint Accounts"
In Hull on Estates Podcast episode #59, David Smith and Jason Allan discuss the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions on joint accounts in Pecore v. Pecore, 2007 SCC 17, and Madsen Estate v. Saylor 2007 SCC 18.
These two decisions concern joint bank accounts and the decision of right of survivorship, as well as the question of presumptions resulting trust and advancement.