This month’s Canadian Lawyer has its annual Top 25 Most Influential in the justice system and legal profession ranking, and I’m delighted to announce that three members of the Slaw community, Malcolm Mercer, Colin Lachance and Adam Dodek have been honoured. Congratulations. Here’s what the magazine says:
Vice dean, University of Ottawa
Faculty of Law, Ottawa
Dodek is emerging as a Canadian champion for legal professionalism and legal ethics. He writes and speaks widely on the subject and has been very involved in issues surrounding professional regulation and legal education. Dodek has published several legal books, with his most recent in 2013 explaining the Canadian Constitution in ways accessible to the average Canadian. At the University of Ottawa, Dodek teaches public law and legislation, legal ethics and professional responsibility, and a seminar on the Supreme Court of Canada. He currently serves as a board member on the Law Commission of Ontario, and is a founding member of the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics.
What voters had to say: “A wonderful educator who has an unparalleled passion for public law that shines through every lecture!”
CEO, CanLII, Ottawa
CanLII, Canada’s largest open law web site, is a non-profit organization that has changed the way the legal community and the broader public access law as well as disrupting the traditional legal information world. In the last year, Lachance has been integral in a number of activities to improve access to justice and legal information for both lawyers and the general public. CanLII’s first Hackathon, for example, aimed to foster innovation in improving access to legal and public information. Lachance also launched CanLII Connects in April this year, which provides thousands of free, plain English legal commentaries on Canadian court decisions.
What the panel had to say: “Colin Lachance has made a lasting impact on the availability of legal information for the general public.”
Partner and general counsel, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Toronto
Mercer is leading the charge for alternative business structures in the legal profession. With 30 years of litigation practice under his belt, Mercer is well placed to have pushed the debate for change further this year as the working group he leads proposed amendments at the Law Society of Upper Canada that would allow non-lawyers to own up to 49 per cent of a law firm. A leader in professional ethics, Mercer is also an LSUC bencher, chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s ethics and professional responsibility committee, and a member of the CBA task force on conflicts of interest.
What the panel had to say: “Malcolm is a leader and an innovator who is deeply concerned about the future of the legal profession.”