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Law Society responds to Supreme Court Decision regarding Joe Groia

May 31, 2018

oronto, ON — The Supreme Court of Canada on June 1, 2018, reaffirmed the important role of the Law Society of Ontario in regulating in-court conduct and the importance of both civility and resolute advocacy. 

Although the Court allowed Mr. Groia’s appeal, the Court accepted the test for incivility and misconduct that was defined by the Law Society’s Appeal Panel. On the facts of this case, however, the Court concluded that Mr. Groia’s in-court statements which gave rise to the proceeding, were made in good faith and were reasonable, based on a view of the law that turned out to be incorrect, and did not constitute professional misconduct.

The Law Society welcomes the Supreme Court’s recognition of the importance of civility in the courts and its decision to endorse the Law Society Tribunal Appeal Panel’s test for incivility in court. This decision upholds the Law Society’s jurisdiction to regulate the legal professions’ conduct in court. 

As the regulator of lawyers and paralegals in Ontario, the Law Society of Ontario is committed to promoting the highest standards of professionalism and civility. Professionalism, civility, courtesy and good faith are the underpinnings of the legal profession and must be maintained to protect and enhance the administration of justice – and its standing in the eyes of the public it serves.


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