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2019 BENCHER ELECTION ENDORSEMENTS

Voting has started. All eligible voters will receive voting instructions from the Law Society of Ontario (LSO). The deadline for voting is April 30, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

The CLA board has endorsed eleven lawyers for election as Benchers of the LSO. The CLA board conducted a detailed survey and screening process to ensure that each of our endorsements align with the interests of the criminal defence bar. 

The CLA board chose not to endorse all CLA members running in the Benchers of the LSO election. We have chosen our candidates carefully to ensure that our endorsements and our voting power are not diluted, and we have only endorsed candidates whose values and concerns benefit our membership the most.      

We have only endorsed lawyers that will be strong advocates for the Legal Aid certificate system and that have always been consistently opposed to a public defender type model.

We are only endorsing candidates that are opposed to expanding the scope of matters paralegals would conduct in criminal court.

The CLA has only endorsed candidates that are aligned with the CLA’s stance that we must support the LSO’s five strategies for equality, diversity, and inclusion.  

We have entered into cross endorsement agreements with the Ontario Crown Attorney’s Association (OCAA) and the Association of Law Offices of the Crown (ALOC) with respect to their candidates that met the CLA criteria for endorsement.

We ask that our members vote in the Benchers of the LSO elections and vote for our endorsements to ensure the interests of the criminal bar and the CLA are met.

We are pleased to endorse the following lawyers:  

  • Paul Cooper (CLA)
  • Peter Beach (CLA)
  • Jonny Rosenthal (CLA – Toronto)
  • Nathan Baker (CLA)
  • Chris Hicks (CLA – Toronto)
  • Signa Daum Shanks (Osgoode Professor)
  • John Callaghan (Gowlings)
  • Isfahan Merali (ALOC)
  • Orlando Da Silva (OCAA/ALOC)
  • Michael Demczur (OCAA)
  • Teresa Donnelly (OCAA)

All CLA members’ are encouraged to cast votes.