The Supreme Court of Canada will hear four appeals this week, three civil and one criminal. Today’s appeal concerns the case of an Ontario lawyer, Joseph Groia, who was disciplined by Ontario’s law society for having engaged in uncivil conduct.
Nov. 6 – Ontario – Groia v. Law Society of Upper Canada
Law of professions: The applicant, Joseph Groia, is a barrister and solicitor licensed by the Law Society to practise law in Ontario. In 2007, he defended a client in a contentious case, and the accused was acquitted. But the litigation was complex and protracted, and disputes arose between counsel to the point of Groia alleging serious prosecutorial misconduct by the Ontario Securities Commission prosecutors. The OSC applied for judicial review, arguing Groia’s conduct was unacceptable. After the trial had concluded, the Law Society of Upper Canada initiated disciplinary proceedings against Groia, alleging that he had engaged in professional misconduct during his defence of his client. Neither the trial judge nor the OSC prosecutors complained to the Law Society about Groia’s conduct.