Meet the StopSOP Slate!
These 22 lawyers and one paralegal are running on a platform to eliminate the compelled Statement of Principles. They represent regions across the province. You may vote for candidates outside of your own region. Please consider voting for all of them (plus any non-slate candidates endorsed by StopSOP) and ONLY them to ensure that we achieve our goal of electing a Convocation that adheres to its statutory mandate, and gets out of the business of controlling the thoughts and speech of its members.
It is a tremendous privilege to practice law in Ontario. This privilege is accompanied by a duty to participate in the governance of our profession and to be vigilant and unapologetic in upholding its standards and values. This is why I am standing for election. As your representative, my focus will be on upholding and defending our profession’s integrity and the LSO’s core competencies by rescinding Recommendation 3.1, reducing law society fees, and working to eliminate unnecessary regulatory burden.
Rescind the SOP
I am proud to run on a platform to repeal Recommendation 3.1, the new “Statement of Principles” compelled speech requirement. This Recommendation forces licensees to write out, abide by and promote broad and ill-defined principles. This is a worrying precedent for our profession. It is crucial for the integrity of the profession and the LSO that Recommendation 3.1 be repealed and that any other similar initiatives be stopped. Licensees must be able to practice independence of thought and action while fulfilling their professional obligations.
Further, the LSO is spending, and will continue to spend, significant sums of money defending this ill-conceived Recommendation in the Courts. This should also stop. The LSO should stop spending resources passing and defending provisions such Recommendation 3.1, and, instead, should focus on promoting competence, high ethical standards and the public interest. If elected, I will work toward these ends.
The LSO’s misplaced priorities and resulting bloated budget have led to steadily increasing law society fees that will increase significantly in years to come unless direction is shifted decisively. I will work with my colleagues to focus on fiscal responsibility, eliminate unnecessary expenses, and to get the LSO back on track and focused on regulating the legal profession.
Reduce the Regulatory Burden
More and more, we see onerous compliance requirements take up valuable time for law firms and individual licensees. Time is better spent serving clients and the public. It is crucial to the profession that lawyers be left to focus on the practice of law. I will work to reduce compliance time and regulatory burden without losing sight of the need to maintain high professional standards and public protection.
Thank you for considering my candidacy.
Jorge Pineda is an in-house lawyer at the City of Brantford. He was born in Costa Rica and raised in Hamilton where he still lives. Prior to law school, Jorge studied history and took a Master’s degree in History at Brock University. He obtained a Juris Doctor from the University of Alberta in 2012. After articling at a litigation boutique in the City of Calgary, he was called to the Bar in Alberta. In 2014 he was called to the Bar in Ontario where he continued to practice primarily in commercial and civil litigation. Jorge joined The City of Brantford in 2017 and teaches courses in law at Conestoga College’s School of Business.