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From April 19 to 28, 2023, eligible members of the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) will vote in a new set of benchers. As previously announced, David Milosevic is running as an independent candidate in this bencher election.

As an independent candidate, David firmly believes that the LSO mandate can only be served by focusing on self-regulation and collaboration rather than partisanship or factions. David’s platform emphasizes the importance of self-regulation in improving access to justice across the legal profession.

Pitfalls of Partisanship Denounced Throughout History

The party system of politics has been the subject of much debate and contention throughout democratic history. Some of the most potent arguments against partisanship to this day were put forward by the U.S. Founding Fathers.

The “spirit of party” is built upon the “ruins of public liberty”

In his farewell address on September 17, 1796, George Washington decried partisanship and its tendency to devolve into despotism:

“… and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”

Later in his address, Washington referred to the “mischiefs of the spirit of Party” and its divisive effect on governance:

“It serves always to distract the Public Councils and enfeeble the Public administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.”

“Instead of principle governing party, party governs principle”

Alexander Hamilton cited the party system as a weakness of the Articles of Confederation in his Federalist Papers (no. 21, 1787). Hamilton pointed to the recent armed uprising in Massachusetts (Shays’ Rebellion) as evidence of the tyranny that can arise from factionalism, pondering:

“Who can determine what might have been the issue of her late convulsions, if the malcontents had been headed by a Caesar or by a Cromwell?”

Thomas Paine similarly advocated for limiting “the power and impulse of party”, cautioning that “in the absence of a constitution, men look entirely to party; and instead of principle governing party, party governs principle”.

Political Division & Its Erosion of Self-Regulation

As a public regulator, the Law Society of Ontario is not meant to cater to lawyers’ interests. David Milosevic believes bencher partisanship works against the public interest and impedes access to justice. As an independent candidate, David aims to moderate the dialogue and mitigate the impacts of the factions that have arisen during the 2023 bencher election.

The LSO is meant to address the needs of the entire legal body in Ontario – not just those of the winning faction. David eschews a protectionist, politicized approach to governance and advocates for a reasonable, collegial Convocation that works collaboratively toward the profession’s best interests as a whole. He is concerned that the emerging divisions will lead to deep-rooted acrimony that can only undermine the LSO’s mandate of self-regulation.

A Diverse Profession Deserves Diversity of Opinion

The legal profession in Ontario is a mosaic of practitioners, knowledge, and experience. David Milosevic believes that diversity of opinion is critical for ensuring the highest level of competence in LSO members, providing robust public service, and advancing access to justice.

Diversity and inclusivity, as well as access to justice, have been contentious topics between the major factions within the LSO Convocation. David advances these issues with an unbiased, open approach by supporting policy choices that can objectively be expected to support underserved members of the legal community.

To learn more about David’s campaign platform, please visit DavidMilosevicforBencher.com.

David Milosevic: A Balanced, Independent Bencher Candidate

Voting in the 2023 bencher election occurs between April 19 to 28, 2023. Through moderate, unbiased representation, David Milosevic stands apart from entrenched political factions in the LSO Convocation and supports the interests of all lawyers, particularly those operating a solo practice or within a small firm. David welcomes any questions or feedback on his platform and can be reached at 416-916-1387.