• 18th Annual Advocacy Conference

    Thursday, December 6th 2018
    9:00 a.m. - 4:35 p.m.
    The Hamilton Convention Centre
    (1 Summers Lane, Hamilton)

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  • Real Estate Seminar

    Thursday, November 1 2018
    9:00 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
    Sheraton Hamilton Hotel - Grand Ballroom
    (116 King Street West, Hamilton)

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  • Employment Law Seminar

    Thursday, November 15th 2018
    2:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
    7th Floor Jurors' Lounge
    John Sopinka Courthouse
    (45 Main Street East, Hamilton)

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What's New

2018 Ed Orzel Award Recipient

Oct 03, 2018
Congratulations to Dermot P. Nolan of Nolan, Ciarlo LLP for being named the latest recipient of the Hamilton Law Association's Ed Orzel Award for excellence in trial advocacy.

This award is named for Edward J. Orzel and the purpose of our award is to honour a member of the Hamilton Law Association for excellence in trial advocacy for a single outstanding trial effort or for a career in trial advocacy in any area of the law.

The Hamilton Law Association would like to present you with this award at the 18th Annual Advocacy Conference to be held at the Hamilton Convention Centre on December 6th, 2018.  The presentation would take place at 12:10 p.m.  

Dermot P. Nolan was called to the bar in 1975. He is a graduate of McMaster University and the University of Ottawa. He has served as president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers' Association, The Hamilton Law Association, and the Hamilton Medical Legal Society.  

He has been certified by the Law Society as a Specialist in Civil Litigation since 1990 and practises with emphasis on Personal Injury, Disability & LTD Claims, Employment Law, and Commercial & Estate Litigation. 

Dermot has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Canada in the fields of Personal Injury Litigation and Commercial litigation.

In 2000, he received the Emilius Irving award, the highest honour of the Hamilton Law Association and he was inducted into McMaster University’s Gallery of distinguished graduates in 2002. He was named Hamilton’s Irish Person of the Year in 2015.

He has served as Chair of the Boards of St. Peter's Hospital and the Hamilton Public Library, as a trustee of the Hamilton Board of Education and as a director of numerous other community, arts and charitable organizations. He spearheaded the initiative which led to the consolidation of Hamilton’s courts in the John Sopinka Courthouse and was instrumental in the establishment of the Lawyers’ Legacy for Children, an endowment fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation.

In 2014 he was appointed a deputy judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Small Claims Division).

Before entering law school, he was a professional actor with theStratfod Shakespearean Festival and his continuing passion for theatre is reflected in his participation as an actor and director in Hamilton’s celebrated Lawyers’ Shows. He is also a playwright and an accredited member of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada.

Dermot has been recognized by his peers in Best Lawyers in Canada  in the field of Personal Injury Litigation and as Lawyer of the Year for 2019 in the field of Corporate & Commercial litigation.

Biography from http://www.nolanlaw.ca/team/dermot-p-nolan/ 
NOLAN, Dermot 2018

Judicial Vacancy Ontario Court of Justice Kitchener

Jul 16, 2018
The Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee advises the Attorney General of Ontario on the appointment of Judges to the Ontario Court of Justice, and invites applications for a bilingual judicial position in Kitchener.

This appointment involves presiding over criminal law matters and also involves travel within the regional boundaries as assigned by the Regional Senior Justice and/or the Chief Justice.

The minimum requirement to apply to be a Judge in the Ontario Court of Justice is ten years completed membership as a barrister and solicitor at the Bar of one of the Provinces or Territories of Canada.

All candidates must apply either by submitting 14 copies of the current (July 2017) completed Judicial Candidate Information Form in the first instance or by a short letter (14 copies) if the form has been submitted within the previous 12 months. Should you wish to change any information in your application, you must send in 14 copies of a fully revised Judicial Candidate Information Form.

If you wish to apply and need a current Judicial Candidate Information Form, or if you would like further information, please contact:

Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee
Tel: (416) 326-4060 Fax: (416) 212-7316
Website: www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/jaac/

All applications, either sent by courier, mail or hand delivery, must be sent to:
Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee
c/o Ministry of Government Services Mail Delivery
77 Wellesley Street West, Room M2B-88
Macdonald Block, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1N3

Applications must be on the current prescribed form and must be TYPEWRITTEN or COMPUTER GENERATED and RECEIVED BY 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 3, 2018. CANDIDATES ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE 14 COPIES OF THEIR APPLICATION FORM OR LETTER. A Fax copy will be accepted only if 14 copies of the application or letter are sent concurrently by overnight courier. Applications received after this date WILL NOT be considered.

The Judiciary of the Ontario Court of Justice should reasonably reflect the diversity of the population it serves. Applications from members of equality-seeking groups are encouraged.

Dialogue on Licensing - Law Society of Ontario

Jul 06, 2018

Lawyer licensing is an integral part of the mandate of the Law Society of Ontario (LSO). Under its mandate, the LSO must regulate the profession in the public interest and ensure that lawyers meet standards of learning, professional competence, and professional conduct. In November 2016, Convocation (the governing body of the LSO) asked the Professional Development & Competence Committee (Committee) to develop long-term recommendations for the licensing process. To this end, the Committee developed a paper to serve as the basis for consultation with the professions and the public on appropriate pathways to licensure.

A copy of the consultation paper can be found at www.lsodialogue.ca. The submissions received will inform the Committee’s recommendations to Convocation regarding the lawyer licensing process in early 2019.

Currently, licensing candidates are required to pass both the barrister and solicitor licensing examinations and to complete a transitional training requirement focused on teaching candidates the necessary skills, knowledge and tasks for the legal profession. Currently, two main pathways satisfy the LSO’s transitional training requirements to become a lawyer – articling and the Law Practice Program (LPP), or Programme de pratique du droit (PPD).

In the face of an evolving landscape and increasing pressures on the licensing process, the Committee determined that the professions and the public should be consulted about the options listed below, including the possibility of changes to the transitional training requirement of the licensing process. In each of these options the current barrister and solicitor examinations would be maintained as a requirement for licensure.

The Committee is seeking feedback on the following options:

Option 1:  Current Model: The current two transitional training pathways would be retained, taking into account the fact that the current model is continuously adjusted to accommodate new developments.

Option 2: Current Model with Enhancements: The current two transitional training pathways would be retained, with enhancements. These enhancements include a requirement that candidates be paid at the statutory minimum wage, audits and greater oversight of articling and work placements. Candidates would be required to pass the barrister and solicitor licensing examinations as a prerequisite to transitional training and then pass a new skills examination in order to become licensed.

Option 3: Examination-Based Licensing: Candidates would be licensed after they first complete the barrister and solicitor licensing examinations and then the new skills examination. Transitional training, such as the requirement to complete articling or the LPP/PPD, would be eliminated as a requirement of licensure. The management of regulatory risk would shift to post-call and depend on the career path of the new licensee. Candidates who choose not to practise law and licensees 5 practising in a workplace of six or more lawyers would not be subject to any additional requirements. Licensees practising as sole practitioners or in a firm with fewer than six lawyers would also be required to complete a new practice essentials course and would be subject to audit within their first few years of practice.

Option 4: LPP for all Candidates: All licensing candidates would be required to complete the training course component of the LPP/PPD, without the work placement component. Candidates would also be required to successfully complete the Barrister and Solicitor examinations and the new Skills Examination.

Written comments by practitioners and Law Associations are welcome until October 26, 2018, and may be submitted to the LSO at www.lsodialogue.ca.

2018 Distinguished Solicitor Award Recipient

Jun 19, 2018
Congratulations to Michael J. McHugh of McHugh Whitmore LLP for being named the latest recipient of the Hamilton Law Association Distinguished Solicitor Award.

The purpose of this award is to honour a solicitor member of the Hamilton Law Association who has distinguished himself or herself throughout his or her career by exemplary service to our Association, to our profession and/or our community.

Michael has been practicing law since 1974 and was a founding Partner of the firm in 1975. Business Law and Estate Planning are the principal areas of Michael's practice and he has extensive experience providing legal advice and services to businesses, both new and established, and whether large or small. Client services include establishing new businesses, re-organizations, generational transfers, share and asset transfers, business financing, and all types of agreements, including shareholder agreements and franchise agreements. Michael has a number of clients with business operations in the United States and other foreign jurisdictions.

In the realm of Estate Planning Law, Michael has developed expertise in drafting Wills, including complex tax-planned Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Trusts, including family Trusts, and Alter Ego/Joint Spousal trusts. Michael also is experienced in advising parents of special needs children, including the use of Henson Trusts in estate planning.

Except for his time at law school, Michael has resided in the Hamilton community his entire life and during his career has been involved in many Hamilton community and charitable organizations, including Theatre Aquarius (Director and President); Hamilton and District Extend-A-Family (Founding Director and President); Community Living Hamilton (Director and President); Catholic Children’s' Aid Society of Hamilton (Director and President); and the Hamilton Law Association (Trustee). Michael resides in Stoney Creek with his wife Jane and they are enjoying their four adult children, and their grandchildren.

The Hamilton Law Association will present Michael with his award at the Corporate Commercial Law Seminar to be held at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel – Centre/East Ballroom (116 King Street West, Hamilton) on Thursday, October 11th, 2018.  The presentation would take place at approximately 11:55 a.m. 

Upcoming Events

The Hamilton Law Association is pleased to present the following Upcoming Events:

October 23

Sub: 1.00 HR; Prof:  0.00 HR

A Family Lawyer's Guide to Reading Financial Statements

12:30-1:30 pm
Family Court, Courtroom #2
55 Main Street West, Hamilton


For more information, please contact Karen Cooper at 905-522-1563, ext 228.

October 25

Substantive: 1.75h

Estates & Trusts Workshop

12:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
HLA Library & 7th Floor Jurors Lounge - John Sopinka Courthouse
(45 Main Street East, Hamilton) 


For more information, please contact Michelle Hudecki at 905-522-1563

October 30

Sub: 1.5 for both sessions

Advanced Quicklaw & Lexis Practice Advisor Training

Quicklaw:  12:00-12:45 pm
Practice Advisor:  12:45-1:30 pm

John Sopinka Court House
Jurors' Lounge, 7th Floor


For more information, or to register, please contact the HLA library staff at 905-522-1563.

November 01

Substantive: 2.0h
Professionalism: 1.5h

Real Estate Seminar

9:00 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Sheraton Hotel Hamilton -  Grand Ballroom
(116 King Street West, Hamilton)


For more information, please contact Kristjana Frani at 905-522-1563 ext. 233

November 07

 EDI Professionalism:1.25h

CPD Roundtable "Representing Indigenous Clients"

12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
7th Floor Jurors Lounge - John Sopinka Courthouse
(6 Main Street East, Hamilton) 

For more information, please contact Kristen Ball at 905-522-1563

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For information on these events and others, please visit our Upcoming Events page.

Recent Job Postings

October 09
Junior Lawyer: Real Estate, Family, Estates
October 02
Legal Assistant - Insurance Defence
Evans, Philp LLP
October 01
Family Law Clerk/Assistant
Hughes, Bale LLP
September 27
Temporary Assistant
Turkstra Mazza Associates
September 26
Law Clerk - Real Estate
De Rubeis, Chetcuti LLP