Michael W. Lacy, Greenspan Partners LLP – ”Paul has my 100 per cent support. We need benchers that are going to represent the interests of lawyers outside of the mainstream corporate/commercial firms. A bencher that understands the issues that most affect smaller firms and who has a proven track record for leadership and support for criminal lawyers. Paul is that Bencher.”
Muezzin Qureshi, KM Law PC – ” I am supporting Paul Cooper for the bencher elections. Paul has been assisting and mentoring younger members of the bar for many years. The Garage Series hosted by Paul has been a great learning and networking event for people joining the criminal defence bar. Paul has always made himself available to colleagues who needed advice or guidance on ethical and business issues.”
Frank Addario, Addario Law Group – ”Paul Cooper will be a fantastic bencher.”
Darren Sederoff, Darren S Sederoff & Associates – ”Paul is exactly what a bencher should be … passionate, focused, and down to earth”
Vince Scaramuzza, Barrister & Solicitor – ”I support Cooper for Bencher. We need people like Paul, who fight on a daily basis for others and is in the trenches like I am. We need our interests represented at Convocation. He understand the needs and challenges of being a sole practitioner. I wholeheartedly support Paul Cooper and encourage my colleagues to as well. Cooper understand not only the public duty but UNDERSTANDS US!”
Robert Lepore, LL.B. – ”Paul has my support and endorsement, it is about time that we have someone at convocation who can speak to the issues that confront small firms and sole practitioners.”
Nadia Liva, Barrister & Solicitor – ”A vote for Cooper is a vote for better education, better mentorship, better lawyering.”
Nadir Sachak, Law chambers of Sachak and Jamshidi – ”For over 20 years Paul has contributed to the well being of our Criminal Justice system. He has diligently , professionally and with passion fought for the rights of the poor, disadvantaged and disenfranchised. As a Federal Prosecutor he conducted himself with tremendous integrity, fairness and objectivity. Paul has for many years mentored numerous young counsel, and at his own expense held the ”Garage series lectures”. He will never hesitate to help, give insightful advice, and offer kind words of encouragement. The Criminal Bar , as well as all lawyers will be served well if Paul is elected to be a Bencher!”
Joseph Di Luca, Di Luca Barristers – ”Paul is a natural leader, with a strong and unrelenting belief in our honourable profession. He has dedicated countless hours to teaching and mentoring lawyers young and old. Paul is also fearless and dogged, two qualities that make him an excellent courtroom lawyer and also an excellent candidate. I have no doubt that if elected as a Bencher, he will work tirelessly to advance the causes and concerns that face our profession.”
Paul Burstein, Burstein Bryant Barristers – ”Paul and I went to law school together too long ago for either of us to really remember. Ever since, I have watched Paul build a thriving practice through cutting-edge and out-of-the-box thinking towards the ”business” of law. That skill alone should merit him a position in the governance of our profession. In addition, however, Paul’s commitment to developing affordable, useful and entertaining continuing legal education is unmatched. Just ask any of the hundreds of lawyers who have enjoyed one of the many FREE ”garage series” seminars he has organized (and funded) over the past 5 years. If you want a bencher who will help find ways to put more money in your pockets and who will provide cheaper, and more entertaining, legal education vote for Paul.”
Joanna Kourakos, CACEIS (Canada) Inc. – ”Paul is a dedicated lawyer who has already contributed a great deal to the profession.  He’d make a great Bencher!”
Lucy Cecchetto, MInistry of the attorney General – ”Paul is committed to education. His Garage Series is always instructive and informative. Providing this series for free demonstrates a genuine commitment to the betterment of the profession.”
Ricardo Federico, Ricardo G. Federico Barrister-at-Law – ”Vote for Paul Cooper!”
Greg Deakin, Deakin Law Office – ”Paul Cooper has demonstrated a commitment to mentoring new lawyers and protecting the interests of criminal lawyers across the province. He will make an excellent bencher!”
Sal Caramanna, Caramanna, Friedberg LLP – ”Paul has shown unparalleled commitment among criminal defence counsel to mentorship. He is a natural leader who understands criminal law issues – he is the logical vote for defence counsel. Paul’s breadth of experience and ability to connect with people make him the perfect choice, period.”
Peter Connelly, Peter Connelly Professional Corporation – ”Glad you’re running!”
Rano Daoud, Daoud Law PC – ”Paul Cooper has my full support. He is passionate about the profession, provides help and mentorship to new lawyers, and will provide great insight to Convocation.”
Riali Johannesson, Criminal Defence Law – ”Paul has my full support.  His integrity and commitment to the profession will be invaluable to Convocation.”
C. Stephen White, Derstine Penman – ”I have known Paul since first year law school in 1987.  He has always been a thoughtful and industrious person.  Personally and professionally I support his candidacy as Bencher whole-heartedly”
Marsha Kideckel, Marsha Kideckel – ”I am delighted to endorse Paul Cooper for bencher. I have attended many of his Garage Series sessions and find them both educational and entertaining. Paul Cooper is a very giving and approachable individual, always willing to listen and to act. His popular Garage Series, offered free to lawyers, is an example of how he saw a need and worked to be the solution. Marsha Kideckel”
Karen McArthur, McArthur Law Office – ”We need lawyers like Paul who are prepared to go beyond the courtroom to educate and shape the justice system.”
Benjamin Janzen, BTZ – ”I’m a mere law student and have been impressed by Mr. Cooper’s willingness to engage younger members such as myself: He’s open and approachable. Importantly, Mr. Cooper has demonstrated his dedication to raising the standards of professionalism and access to continuing legal education for new and incoming calls. His garage series is highly informative, collegial and FREE. This is exactly the type of bencher we need at LSUC.”
John Navarrete, Neuberger & Partners LLP – ”It is with great pleasure that I endorse Paul Cooper. He has not only dedicated himself to his clients but also to the advancement of legal education to the criminal bar.”
Michael Hassell, Hassell Trial Counsel – ”I’m a huge fan of Paul Cooper and the Garage Series.  To me, both Paul and the Garage Series symbolise helping out your colleagues.  That’s a quality I would like to see in our Benchers.”
Ilan Neuman, Neuman & Grant – ”Paul has given of himself and has done so much for the profession. He will make an excellent bencher. I am pleased to be able to support him.”
Yossi Schochet, Yossi Schochet – ”You have my support. Good luck!”
Al Lockyer, Lockyer Law Firm – ”Not only does Paul deserve to be elected a bencher…because of his commitment to the criminal law bar, he deserves to receive the most votes of anyone elected as a bencher”
Michael Anne MacDonald, MacDonald Law PC – ”An excellent lawyer. Paul would make a great bencher. He is in touch with the teal practice of law. One vote is all needs. Just vote for Paul. Dont waste any botes on any others.”
Thomas Dungey, Thomas S. Dungey – ”Paul has the communicative skills and personality and interest in maintaining a viable legal community. These skills will best represent not only the legal community but the community at large. His commitment to upholding the high standards in the legal profession that are necessary to maintain the respect of society for lawyers is imperative for a bencher. Thank you Paul”
Arvin Ross, Arvin Ross Professional Corporation – ”A strong candidate and excellent leader!”
Joseph Kappy, Joseph H. Kappy – Barrister – ”We need people like Paul at the Law Society, for everyone’s benefit. He is knowledgeable, dedicated, giving of his time, privately funds educational activities, and is a good listener..Let us endorse his potential…”
Kathryn Smithen, Kathryn L. Smithen, Barrister, Solicitor & Notary Public – ”Great advocate, mentor and potential bencher.  He has my wholehearted support.”
Joel Hechter, Hechter Criminal Defence – ”Paul is exactly what a lawyer should be: tireless, generous, and committed to ”being the change he wants to see in the world”.  These qualities will also make him a fantastic bencher.”
Gordon Cudjoe, Cudjoe Law Office – ”Please get the criminal Bar voice on the agenda and thank you for the Garage Series. Thank you for running and caring”
Lonny Mark, Lonny Mark Criminal Law Office – ”Paul has devoted countless hours and his own dollars to promoting a continuing education programme which has gained significant success and is one of the best of such programmes existing which has been of benefit to and enjoyed by senior and junior lawyers alike. Paul is concerned about and interested in the profession in general, but because of his own office identify with and relate very easily and readily to the interests and needs of the small law firm.”
Adam Romain, Romain Law Professional Corporation – ” I support and endorse Paul Cooper for the upcoming Bencher elections. If you are a member of the criminal bar then you will already know of Paul’s excellent reputation as a bright and passionate advocate.  You will also already know about Paul’s commitment to mentorship and continuing legal education through the free programs that he organizes in order to enable less experienced lawyers to continue to advance in this profession (and refresh/update the memories of those more experienced). If you are a member of the criminal bar then you will already know of Paul’s excellent reputation as a bright and passionate advocate.  You will also already know about Paul’s commitment to mentorship and continuing legal education through the free programs that he organizes in order to enable less experienced lawyers to continue to advance in this profession (and refresh/update the memories of those more experienced).”
G. Elizabeth Gaudet – ”I am pleased to support Paul Cooper in this venture. Thank-you Paul for your work with the Garage Series. My son is a student at SMCS now and loves it. I remind him of your leadership and how the school opened its doors to the CLA with such graciousness. Best of luck in the election.”
John Liss, John Liss – ”Paul’s assistance with CLE is greatly appreciated.”
Jordan Weisz, Jordan Weisz criminal lawyers – ”Having known Paul for over 20 years, there cannot be a stronger and incorruptible voice for the criminal defence bar and our profession as a whole. Paul is running not out of ambition or self promotion, but from a wish to serve with humility.”
Jacqueline An, Jacqueline An Law Office – ” I wholeheartedly endorse Mr. Paul Cooper for 2015 Bencher.  He has worked tirelessly on Garage Series and he is more than deserving to become a bencher on behalf of criminal lawyers.”
Gary Grill, Grill Barristers – ”Paul Cooper’s free Garage Series lectures changed the landscape for CLE. His name has come to epitomize leadership, innovation, and creativity.  In addition, the wisdom he has accumulated over decades of high level advocacy makes him an obvious choice for bencher.”
Ann Brailsford-Child, Ann Brailsford-Child, Barrister, Solicitor, Notary – ”As a solo practitioner in a small town, I appreciate Paul Cooper’s initiative with the Garage Series. His focus on education and the idea of an educational portal are what we need.”
Lori Anne Thomas, Lafontaine & Associates – ”Paul would be an excellent bencher. He does not pay lip service to the mentoring, diversity and retention of qualified lawyers (be the men or women). Throughout his career, he has gone above and beyond in his dedication to mentoring young lawyers and promoting & encouraging the profession to reflect public it serves. The self-sponsored Garage Series not only educates but gives an opportunity to have the criminal bar network. I know his dedication to the criminal bar would transfer to the profession as a whole when he is a bencher!”
Muezzin Qureshi, KM Law PC – ”I am supporting Paul Cooper for the bencher elections. Paul has been assisting and mentoring younger members of the bar for many years. The Garage Series hosted by Paul has been a great learning and networking event for people joining the criminal defence bar. Paul has always made himself available to colleagues who needed advice or guidance on ethical and business issues.”
Frank Addario, Addario Law Group – ”Vote for Paul!”
Nadir Sachak, Law chambers of Sachak and Jamshidi – ”For over 20 years Paul has contributed to the well being of our Criminal Justice system. He has diligently , professionally and with passion fought for the rights of the poor, disadvantaged and disenfranchised. As a Federal Prosecutor he conducted himself with tremendous integrity, fairness and objectivity. Paul has for many years mentored numerous young counsel, and at his own expense held the ”Garage series lectures”. He will never hesitate to help, give insightful advice, and offer kind words of encouragement.  The Criminal Bar , as well as all lawyers will be served well if Paul is elected to be a Bencher!”
Todd White, Todd Brett White, Barristers – ”I support and endorse Paul Cooper for Law Society Bencher 100%”
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Strong Representation

The strength and reputation of our profession rests upon education, mentorship, diversity and the ability to adapt to the needs of our members. Creating programs which support small firms and sole practitioners is essential to protect the public interest.

Throughout my career I have been a small firm practitioner living in York Region. Most of these years have been spent in a practice in Vaughan, so I have always held a unique connection to the Central East Region. I have appeared throughout the province on very serious and some very high profile cases, and have developed a strong and direct manner of communication. I will bring this strong and direct voice to Convocation. In addition, if elected, I will develop ongoing communication with membership through local law associations to foster updates, input and feedback on current and continuing issues before Convocation.

Strong Record

My practice has touched on almost every aspect of criminal litigation. I have appeared in all levels of Court throughout Ontario as well as the Supreme Court of Canada. I have also acted as a Federal Crown Attorney. As a small firm practitioner for over 23 years, I understand the challenges of practicing law and managing your own business. I am committed to ensuring that the needs and voices of small firms and sole practitioners are heard.

I began my career in the profession during a recession in the early 1990s, and can readily identify with the challenges of making a fair living. I understand the concerns of both barristers and solicitors.

Strong Mentor

Today there is a thirst for education and mentorship. Education is essential to the continued success of our profession and to honouring and maintaining our profession’s reputation. I have been a speaker and contributor at CPD engagements but, my greatest pride comes from an initiative I pioneered in 2010 called the “Garage Series”. The aim of the Garage Series is to deliver high quality CPD seminars in the Ethics and Practice of Criminal Law. The series is free and open to Criminal Defence Practitioners, Crown Attorneys and Judges, and its goal is to engage new members and mentors. With more than 40 prominent speakers, 18 programs and in excess of 4000 participants since its inception, I have hosted this grassroots program to give back to the legal profession while connecting and educating junior counsel, and to help those struggling in practice.

I have had the benefit of mentorship from some of the top lawyers in Canada and I continue the tradition by mentoring those in need.

Strong Platform

I believe there is currently a disconnect between the Law Society and its base membership. The Law Society must be the voice of membership, it should take direction from its membership, and also support its membership. It is my belief that in achieving these goals, a stronger Bar will follow. It is only through a strong Bar that the public interest is properly served.

As a resource and tool for its membership, the Law Society must launch an education portal. The portal will be free and available to all members and will contain content from archived events one year and older. This would enable up to date information to be shared, as well as provide membership with the necessary practice resources. The implementation of this portal will not compete nor inhibit revenue stream derived by the Law Society from current CPD events.

Current CPD events provided by the Law Society must allocate a portion of their programs to have free registration for young members at the Bar. This will promote and facilitate young members’ access to continuing education and the opportunity to network with mentors. These events must also provide free webcast accessibility to young members not located in large urban centres so that education is accessible throughout the province.

I believe mentorship is our profession’s greatest resource. Providing quality education and guidance to junior members of the bar is necessary for the betterment of the profession and the protection of the public. Individuals who undertake this vital role should be able to submit their mentorship hours to qualify for CPD credits.

NO! I am absolutely against the introduction of Alternative Business Structures. It is my position that such a proposal is fraught with potential pitfalls and threatens the independence of counsel.

Alternative Business Structures do not ensure access to justice, but rather support the delivery of the most cost efficient representation. ABS will result in the loss of quality representation to the detriment of our profession and service to the public.

My platform centres on promoting initiatives that help improve the quality of the Bar through education, mentorship, and civility. Creating a stronger Bar will ensure that the public’s interests are protected. Alternative Business Structures run contrary to this notion and will reduce the competency level and independence of the legal profession.

I will strongly lead initiatives at the Law Society to help with the retention of women in private practice, as well as promote and assist racialized lawyers in entering and remaining within our profession. It is my platform that the stronger these program initiatives are, the stronger and more representative our profession will be.

I will push to establish a fulsome parental leave program through the Law Society. I will also lead the Law Society to lobby Legal Aid to create a supplementary parental leave program for lawyers who have a legal aid practice.

Beyond programs we need stronger encouragement and support for our membership, especially women and diverse individuals. There must be a strong and clear message from the Law Society so that the Law Society Benchers actually promote diversity amongst their membership. Implementing education programs and mentorship programs to help all members succeed in practice is the first step. What is also required is a unanimous stand on issues that offend the principles of diversity, such as the Benchers lack of unanimity on the vote against accreditation of Trinity Western Law School.

In order to protect small firms and sole practitioners, the Law Society needs to develop programs that support individuals who work on the front lines. To assist with the unique challenges that these practitioners face, it is my position that a new support system should be undertaken by an office independent of practice advisory to focus solely on new members and sole and small firm practitioners. This support office would help with the various challenges these practitioners face on a day to day basis, from ethical concerns, to education, to technology and accounting.

We also need to improve on programs for matching retiring lawyers and young lawyers (in both rural and urban areas) to provide an opportunity for seamless transition and continued viability of established sole/small practices. It is important to ensure that workable exit and succession strategies for retiring practitioners are considered. I recommend the establishment of an opt-in retirement plan for members. The Law Society has the ability to leverage the present infrastructure with LawPro to create a separate division to manage such an asset pool.

The Benchers must make it a priority to review the current disciplinary process. As part of this process, the Law Society must adopt a proactive and preventative stance on discipline as a fundamental principle. Education should be the priority long before discipline ever sets in. It is my view that many disciplinary actions can be prevented if membership is provided with proper education, tools and support.

The Law Society must also recognize the importance of the principle that counsel be independent. Discipline must be fair and proportionate. A fair process is not a weak process. We must include for the benefit of all our members the implementation of a full time duty counsel to augment the volunteer roster.

To avoid overregulation, the Law Society as a self-governing regulator, needs to implement an office of an independent Ombudsman.

Since July 2010, lawyers in Ontario have collected and remitted billions of tax dollars to our government through the payment of HST charged on legal fees. The province has not yet been called upon to account for the provincial portion of the HST collected. The province has collected its fair share of resources and has a direct responsibility to equitably support access to justice, which includes a properly funded Legal Aid system.

As the Law Society has the right to appoint two Directors to Legal Aid Ontario, these appointed directors must have a mandate that recognizes this inequity. Their mandate must recognize the limits the Legal Aid tariff puts on users and providers of those services. We must call for an expansion of the eligibility requirements and a higher tariff for those providing these valued services.

Endorsements
Michael W. Lacy
Greenspan Partners LLP
Stephen Bernstein
Bernstein Newman
Enzo Rondinelli
Lafontaine & Assoc
Rudi Covre
Law Office Of Rudi Covre
Alexandra Ciobotaru
Cooper Barristers
Frank Addario
Addario Law Group
Darren Sederoff
Darren S Sederoff & Associates
Nadir Sachak
Law chambers of Sachak and Jamshidi
Robert Lepore, LL.B.
Frank Pizzimenti , B.A., LL.B.
Adam Newman
Berstein Newman
Nadia Liva
Barrister & Solicitor
Joseph Di Luca
Di Luca Barristers
Paul Burstein
Burstein Bryant Barristers
James Silver
James Silver and Associates
Muezzin Qureshi
KM Law PC
Joanna Kourakos
CACEIS (Canada) Inc.
Michael DeRubeis
Michael DeRubeis LLB
Lucy Cecchetto
MInistry of the attorney General
Juan Lopez
Law Office of Juan Lopez
Ricardo Federico
Ricardo G. Federico Barrister-at-Law
Greg Deakin
Deakin Law Office
Jeffrey Long
Koskie Minsky LLP
Taro Inoue
Taro Inoue, Barrister
Adam Weisberg
Weisberg Law PC
Jeffrey Berman
Goodman Berman, Barristers
Sal Caramanna
Caramanna, Friedberg LLP
Peter Connelly
Peter Connelly Professional Corporation
Rano Daoud
Daoud Law PC
Joanne McLean
Joanne C. McLean Law
Sharon Worthman
Sharon Worthman/ Barrister & Solicitor
Chaman Singla
Singla Law Office
Riali Johannesson
Criminal Defence Law
Cydney Israel
Cydney Israel Professional Corporation
Lesley Burke
Bernstein Newman and Associates
Jeffrey Fisher
Jeffrey L. Fisher, Barrister
Gerry Logan
Sole Practitioner
C. Stephen White
Derstine Penman
Marsha Kideckel
Marsha Kideckel
Karen McArthur
McArthur Law Office
Benjamin Janzen
BTZ
Owen Wigderson
Wigderson & Associate
John Navarrete
Neuberger & Partners LLP
Michael Hassell
Hassell Trial Counsel
Ilan Neuman
Neuman & Grant
Yossi Schochet
Yossi Schochet
Al Lockyer
Lockyer Law Firm
Michael Anne MacDonald
MacDonald Law PC
Jennifer Briscoe
PPSC
Thomas Dungey
Thomas S. Dungey
Joseph Castaldo
Joseph Castaldo Professional Corporation
Dennis Reeve
Hobson & Reeve
Arvin Ross
Arvin Ross Professional Corporation
Joseph Kappy
Joseph H. Kappy – Barrister
Kathryn Smithen
Kathryn L. Smithen, Barrister, Solicitor & Notary Public
Joel Hechter
Hechter Criminal Defence
John Abrams
John Abrams Law Office, Hamilton
David Cohn
David Cohn
Gordon Cudjoe
Cudjoe Law Office
Lonny Mark
Lonny Mark Criminal Law Office
Adam Romain
Romain Law Professional Corporation
Matt Hickey
Matt Hickey Law
Katherine Orkin
ORKIN LAW OFFICE
G. Elizabeth Gaudet
Laurence Cohen
Laurence Cohen & Associates
John Liss
John Liss
Lee Sela
Burstein Bryant Barristers
Jordan Weisz
Jordan Weisz criminal lawyers
Jacqueline An
Jacqueline An Law Office
Gary Grill
Grill Barristers
Ann Brailsford-Child
Ann Brailsford-Child, Barrister, Solicitor, Notary
Lori Anne Thomas
Lafontaine & Associates
Isfahan Merali
Barrister & Solicitor & Bencher Candidate
Muezzin Qureshi
KM Law PC
James Silver
James Silver and Associates
Frank Addario
Addario Law Group
Nadir Sachak
Law chambers of Sachak and Jamshidi
Todd White
Todd Brett White, Barristers
Mark Persaud
PERSAUD LAW GROUP
David Zbarsky
Law Office of David Zbarsky
Walter Rigobon
Rigobon Carli
Holly Chapman
Crown Attorney’s Office, St. John’s
Antar Agil
Legal Aid Sasktachewa
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