law 2 THE LAW TODAY:  Things to Know About


 April 6: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Black:
            The Ontario Legal System

How does our legal system actually work?  What is its structure? Who does what? How well does it actually work?  Is it quick enough, does it have the right tools? Is it affordable?  This lecture explores the operation of the Ontario legal system, noting its strengths and weaknesses, and how it is changing.

 Laurence M. Olivo, B.A., M.A., J.D., is a lawyer who is currently a Deputy Judge, Small Claims Court of the Superior Court of Justice.  He practised law before becoming a professor in the School of Legal and Public Administration of Seneca College from 1980 – 2016. He has been an instructor at the Bar Admission Course, and has authored, co-authored, and edited numerous legal publications and texts. 

April 13: Family Law – What Seniors Need to Know

This lecture will cover the following topics:  Property rights of married and unmarried spouses. Things to consider when making a gift to your married or soon-to-be-married child. Property rights of a spouse on the death of the other spouse. Custody and access rights of grandparents. Spousal support in a long marriage.

 JoAnn Kurtz, J.D. is a lawyer who practised family law for over ten years before moving to Seneca College where she is a professor and the coordinator of the Law Clerk diploma program.  She is the author or co-author of ten books on legal topics including real estate, wills and estates, small business, legal research, advocacy and family law.

April 20: Estate Planning

This session will address estate planning topics, including key considerations in planning your will, probate fee minimization, and using a trust in your estate plan (e.g. alter ego and joint partner trusts).  Also, family law issues and incapacity planning including continuing powers of attorney for property and powers of attorney for personal care.  Cottage and vacation home planning will also be covered.

 Margaret R. O’Sullivan, B.A., LL.B, TEP is a lawyer who practises in Toronto exclusively in the area of trusts and estates.  She is a founding member and former Deputy Chair of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (Canada).  A frequent guest speaker, writer and conference chair person, she has received wide recognition as an expert in her field, including mention in “The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017”.

April 27: Alternative Dispute Resolution

Courts are expensive (very few people can afford the cost of a lawsuit) and seldom render decisions that solve the problem.  Indeed, there is much truth to the saying that a lawsuit is a machine you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.  Is there a better way?  This lecture will examine the sources of conflict and how these can turn into legal disputes.  Also, the often cheaper, better and faster alternatives to court such as better negotiation, mediation, arbitration and circles are discussed.

 Paul Emond, B.A., LL.B., LL.M. joined Osgoode Hall Law School in 1976 and became Professor Emeritus in 2015.  Since 1994 he has been Director (currently Co-Director) of Osgoode’s Professional LL.M. in Dispute Resolution, the first program of its kind in North America. He speaks and trains in conflict management, dispute resolution and negotiations for clients ranging from law firms, to corporations and government.

May 4: Law and Religion

This talk will cover the recent complex and fascinating developments in Canada related to issues of law and religion. Controversies such as the so-called “Quebec Charter of Secularism”; debates on doctors’ conscientious objections to medically assisted dying; the status of Catholic schooling in Ontario; and Indigenous claims to freedom of religion under the Charter. All will be placed within our developing understanding of Canadian religious multiculturalism and the nature (and limits) of state neutrality in the matters of religion.

Benjamin L. Berger, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., J.S.D. is Associate Dean (Students) and Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and Associate Professor (status only) in the Dept. for the Study of Religion at U. of T. He was previously an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and held a cross appointment in the Dept. of Philosophy at the University of Victoria. He served as law clerk to the Rt. Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada, and was a Fulbright Scholar at Yale University. He has published broadly in his areas of research.

May 11:  Criminal Law – Consensual Crimes

This lecture will explore the historical and current legal approach to the regulation and prohibition of consensual crimes, including prostitution, pornography, drug offences and gambling.  An examination of this issue will include a look at the contemporary shift in moral perspectives on sexuality and other hedonistic pursuits.

 Alan N.Young, B.A., LL.B., LL.M. is Co-Founder and Director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Innocence Project, a clinical program that guides law students through the process of investigating suspected cases of wrongful conviction and imprisonment.  He also maintains a small criminal law practice devoted primarily to challenging state authority to criminalize consensual activity.  He is the author of “Justice Defiled: Perverts, Potheads, Serial Killers and Lawyers” and was named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential” in the justice system and legal profession by Canadian Lawyer magazine.