Lawyers advised to avoid referral service

The Law Society of Upper Canada is warning its members about a lawyer referral service that has prompted several complaints from the profession and the public.

The notice relates to a service called CanLaw or the Canadian Lawyer Index, both found online at canlaw.com. An LSUC notice “strongly recommends” against subscribing to the service.

According to the law society, CanLaw is a subsidiary of Kirwood Inc., while the Canadian Lawyer Index is a division of Kirwood Inc. The purported president of the Canadian Lawyer Index is J. Kirby Inwood. None of the three companies is associated with the law society, the notice states.

Since 2000, the law society has been receiving complaints about CanLaw, the Canadian Lawyer Index, and Inwood. They relate to messages the LSUC says are offensive and expose the recipient to hatred and abuse. They include the following comments:
• “Women like you are monsters who take and take and take.”
• “Look you pompous power made two bit flunky, we do not take orders from the likes of you.”
• “You are a sick, hate male sexist bigot who is definitely trying to restrict my freedom to express my opinion.”
• “You are a fool and a bigot.”

The LSUC notes lawyers may have received invitations to subscribe to the referral services. It suggests that in order to avoid receiving messages like those above, lawyers shouldn’t reply to any e-mails or other messages from CanLaw or the Canadian Lawyer Index.

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