An Independent Voice at Convocation
David Milosevic is running as an independent candidate in the 2023 Law Society of Ontario Bencher Election. A focus on self-regulation rather than the division of practitioners will better enable the LSO to continue supporting access to justice and providing high-quality legal services across the province.
In his pursuit for Bencher, David aims to advance access to justice by assisting small firm lawyers and solo practitioners. In his capacity as a lawyer and a member of the LSO, David views it as essential to support those in need of legal assistance, particularly those living in marginalized communities in Ontario.
2023 Platform Overview: Advancing Access to Justice by Assisting Sole Practitioners and Small Firms
As an independent voice, David seeks to preserve the power and integrity of self-regulation in the legal profession and relies on the following positions to form the basis of his campaign:
Support for Licensees
Reforming the tribunal system:
The LSO should support licensees by reforming aspects of the tribunal system to make it more transparent and to make it more equitable for small firms and racialized practitioners. In particular, the Proceedings Authorization Committee (PAC) should be required to provide insight into the deliberations and materials upon which their decisions are based. Additionally, David suggests establishing a duty counsel office within the LSO to provide licensees with representation in disciplinary matters and resources following a professional sanction to avoid permanent consequences to their careers.
Improving Mental Health
The issue of mental health is a cause of many complaints made against lawyers by clients, fellow practitioners, and the court, and is a predominant factor in the issuance of disciplinary actions against lawyers. LSO can reduce complaints and disciplinary measures while promoting a healthier and more sustainable bar by offering support and resources to licensees who may be struggling with mental health issues. David suggests creating an ombudsman office at the LSO for members in need of confidential assistance in the event of a mental health crisis.
It is important that the LSO supports reconciliation by providing more opportunities to indigenous lawyers. Indigenous students should be encouraged and facilitated to participate in legal education and the legal profession through various initiatives promoted by the LSO. In support of this effort, Milosevic & Associates recently established a $30,000 four-year bursary for an Indigenous student to study law at David’s alma mater, McGill University.
Representation for Solo and Small Firms
Assisting Small Law Firms and Sole Practitioners
Approximately 94 percent of Ontario lawyers work in small firms or as solo practitioners. As the founding partner of a boutique litigation law firm, David has managed his own firm for the past 18 years and understands, first-hand, the challenges faced by his fellow small-firm peers. A major objective of David’s is to ensure the LSO provides support and resources tailored to the specific needs of solo and small firms, such as mentorship, training programs, and technology funding.
Delivering Unbundled Legal Services
Unbundled legal services offer a number of benefits, in particular, creating job opportunities for junior lawyers and providing lower-cost options for necessary legal services. Having witnessed unbundled legal services enhance access to justice for thousands of clients during his tenure at Pro Bono Ontario, David fully supports providing unbundled legal services.
Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusivity
The LSO should prioritize programs that promote and maintain a diverse and inclusive group of legal professionals in Ontario. Further, such programs should address the unique needs of small firms and solo practitioners, who typically lack the resources offered by large firms. David supports programs such as the Parental Leave Program, which he believes directly translates to retaining female lawyers in the profession. David supports the Parental Leave Program, which he believes directly contributes to the retention of female lawyers. Developing programs focused on education and support will make the LSO more accessible for all members.
Governance and Licensing
Enhancing the Licensing System and Increasing Pathways to Licensing
Due to the substantially disproportionate ratio of law school graduates to articling positions, it is important to ensure that everyone seeking legal licensing has an equal opportunity to do so, be it through a traditional paid articling position at a law firm or a paid work placement through the LPP program. To ensure that candidates from diverse backgrounds have the opportunity to enter and succeed in the legal profession, it is crucial to provide continued support for the development and enhancement of the LPP program.
Reforming LSO Governance
Potentially reforming Convocation and reducing the number of Benchers may help avoid potential conflict and preserve self-regulation. The privilege of self-regulation is one David strongly believes must be protected, and he is committed to enacting a proactiveThanks plan to ensure it is not revoked as it has been in other Commonwealth countries.
The LSO has identified four key priorities to guide its strategic agenda from 2019 to 2023 that must be adhered to:
- Proportionate Regulation
- Scope of Regulation
- Competence and Quality of Service
- Access to Justice
While each priority is important, David is particularly concerned with access to justice which emphasizes increased collaboration with willing organizations. David supports the goal of improving access to justice, however, he believes the plan for achieving the goal needs to be improved and requires a greater commitment from all stakeholders.
Financing Initiatives that Support Access to Justice
David supports a number of other financial initiatives, both within and outside of the LSO’s mandate. To address the rising cost of legal education in Ontario, David believes the LSO should collaborate with law schools and advocate for restraints on tuition increases, even though this issue does not strictly fall within the LSO’s mandate. Similarly, David is a proponent of sustainable funding for local law libraries as a way for the LSO to increase accessibility to legal resources and services. With respect to advertising and fee arrangements, David believes the current referral fee regulations are too restrictive and are applied too broadly. He instead supports the sanctioning of particular individuals or firms that abuse referral fee arrangements. Finally, as David is concerned with the high costs associated with LSO CPD programs, he calls for more low-cost and free CPD options to help lawyers complete their mandatory CPD hours.
Vote David Milosevic for 2023 LSO Bencher
Make your voice heard and make a difference. The 2023 Bencher election voting occurs between April 19 to April 28, 2023. For an independent voice at Convocation and to improve access to justice for solo and small firm lawyers, vote for David Milosevic.