Third Time IS a Charm – Ryan Manilla Passes the Good Character Requirement

Last July I wrote a blog about Ryan Manilla, who graduated near the top of his class at Osgoode Hall Law School only to be deemed, twice, by the Law Society of Upper Canada to not meet its good character requirement.

Last week Ryan received the word that the Law Society had finally deemed him of good enough character to be admitted to the bar. 

According to Ryan’s lawyer, the crucial piece of evidence this time around was a psychiatric assessment which found that Ryan’s prior “misconduct” was out of character with how he conducted both his personal and professional life. Ryan also has been doing a lot of volunteering lately and submitted several character reference letters.

Ryan writes the bar exams in June and plans to open a criminal law practice once he is called to the bar.

So, three years after his struggle began it appears that Ryan Manilla will finally become a lawyer.






  1. I am shocked! I’ve know Ryan personally for over a decade and he is an absolutely disgusting person on the inside and out. It’s only a matter of time before he gets himself in trouble once again. It’s unfortunate someone like this will be allowed to practice law, even if it is only temporary.

  2. m. Diane Kindree

    Third time Is a Charm & CBA’s “Community–It’s Where You Grow”

    This post is timely because it seems the legal community–it’s where you go when your character is deemed “good enough” after three attempts to prove it. Can I also assume that the legal community raised this individual, taught and shaped him and that his growth and “good enough character” is now the legal responsibility of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Is this community prepared to supervise and monitor him while he practices law?

    There is something perverse about presupposing that a deepening sense of being a member of the legal community can arrest or transform any individual with character flaws. In my view, this is not rational thinking nor in the public interst but then again, this is the self-regulating legal community that we are speaking about.

    The egg is scrambled and the chicken has been made into nuggets? What was the question?

  3. I find Ms Kindree’s assumptions distressingly negative. I have no personal knowledge of the individual under discussion here. However, it is not at all rare that someone who is entrusted with new responsibilities grows into the position of being able to handle them, and that includes a growth in character, not just technical ability.

    A classic political example is Harry Truman, widely considered a mediocre senator and vice-president who is nonetheless thought to have risen to the job of president when circumstances thrust him into that role.

    Is it not a similar transformation that Karen Dyck is talking about in her column ‘Practising Courage’ from the day after this entry? Not from bad character to good, but from not demonstrably competent to competent, because one has assumed responsibilities to be competent. Get out of the comfort zone and succeed, perhaps, or fail and then succeed. People who have strayed go straight, frequently.

    I also expect the Law Society to supervise the character of lawyers. I would expect it in this case to be particularly sensitive to any complaints about this person who had to try three times to demonstrate his good character. If there appears to be backsliding, the Law Society will be on him. There is no call at all here for the sarcastically meant reference to self-regulation.

    The Law Society is far from perfect, but it is capable of regulating well and sometimes does. There is no reason to write it off ahead of time in this case. Complain when it has done something to complain about – I can think of a few thngs myself – but do not presume failure, either on the institution or on the individual.

  4. Ginger Goodwin

    Well, well, more ripe fruit.

    Kindree unfortunately demonstrates little, or no common sense, and Gregory likes to find shelter in conventional wisdom. That old chesnut Truman serves many purposes: seedy politician, gifted politician on ascension to power or simply an earlier version of the “may the power be with you” (old wise crooked weirdo, now wise) or some such tripe. Truman for history: Hiroshima, Red Scare legislation, anti-communist warrior, liked to say buck stopped with him, but in reality always passed it along. Hot potato never burned his fingers: once seedy, always seedy.

    Simply a matter of message control.

  5. m. Diane Kindree

    At best, the Law Society of Upper Canada will have a superficial knowledge of any individual’s character. Current research and common sense suggests that ” only a few of us are the judges of our own deeper personality traits”. Psychologists call this the “Abyss of Human Illusion”–a method which accepts the quantitative with healthy and eyes wide open suspicion. Furthermore, the interpretation of character is a science, which demands considerable experience and insight (fyi I have a BSN in nursing, I did training in psychiatry) in before anyone can accalim they can accurately characterize another human being. In this case, the individual failed the “character test” on previous attempts. Every trait influences every other trait–you are looking for an overall pattern which reveal’s thinking and behaviour which influences an individual’s deviation and non-conformity. In addition to the above, I have had considerable personal experience with the flawed self-regualtion practices of the Law Society of B.C. and the subsequent reform after winning my case with the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act for violation of my rights. In my case I worked 7 years to lift the last veil of self-interest to ensure that the mandate of serving the public interest actually happens.
    Every day change is challlenge but changing personality traits is even more difficult and only those willing to worked with trained professionals can actually achieve a character make-over.

  6. Ginger Goodwin

    Ok let’s try this again. Who cares about character ? It is irrelevant.

    What’s his name demonstrated amoral and immoral behaviour. Perhaps he even committed a crime. Because many crimes are political crimes and not moral crimes, the fact he may have committed a crime may not be germane to the issue of his licensing. So character assassination is of no importance. It may be that a person is set up and hounded for no other reason than the “system” as in judicial power elite and their brokers are annoyed and will go to the ends of the physical earth to put an end to the career(s).

    However given the cursory information that I have of this individual, perhaps I would not hire him unless of course I employed him to do to others what he was so good at doing to – others. My mark would be that the mark of a true professional – not of course speaking of marking cards, which is whole other issue.

    Funny world.