A Law Society of Ontario tribunal has decided to move forward with the termination of a lawyer’s licence, in a decision that included a lengthy analysis of the lawyer’s mental health issues.
The law society did, however, decide to allow the lawyer to surrender his licence, rather than having it revoked. The July 6 decision, Law Society of Ontario v. Yantha, 2018 ONLSTH 94, comes as the law society is reviewing its regulatory process to “ensure appropriate considerations for mental health,” according to its 2015 to 2019 strategic plan.
Darryl Singer, head of the commercial and civil litigation practice group at Diamond & Diamond Lawyers, represented Darwin Anthony Yantha of Barry's Bay, Ont., and he says he was torn about the decision. He says that although he was disappointed that his client will have his licence terminated, he was “very, very” happy with the tribunal’s consideration of its duty to accommodate alcoholism and depression under the Ontario Human Rights Code.