For decades Klippensteins was a small but growing team of smart and congenial progressive Toronto lawyers committed to access to justice, and calling itself “justice-centred”. See “Our Cases” and our “Practices Areas” for our types of work and some of our successes.
Then, in 2016, a strange kind of disaster struck. The Law Society of Ontario passed a radical requirement that every lawyer, every year, had to declare that they would live by and promote a certain political doctrine. After a year of agonizing, the firm’s principle Murray Klippenstein concluded that he could not practice as a member of a supposedly independent bar if the governing body of his profession was going to force him to annually sign a declaration of ideological commitment – no matter what its content. Klippenstein decided he had to defy the Law Society and prepare for disbarment, including, sadly, by winding down his successful law firm. So that’s what he did.
Then, as a last attempt to defend freedom of thought in his profession, Klippenstein ran for Bencher in the 2019 Law Society election with a group of fellow concerned professionals. In a stunning development, Klippenstein was elected a bencher, garnering more votes than any other Toronto candidate, alongside the victory of every candidate who took a similar stand.
As the elected Regional Toronto Bencher, Klippenstein helped lead the repeal of the repugnant compulsory “Statement of Principles”, and has been working hard for freedom and integrity and competence in the profession ever since.
You can read the story of his stand for true professionalism here, [Quillette article] and a news report of his election here. [National Post article]
Since then, in addition to diligently carrying out his Bencher duties, Klippenstein has continued his practice as a sole practitioner.
• “Class Action Team of the Year” – 2021 – Canadian Law Excellence Awards, for Good v. Toronto Police Services Board
• “Top 25 Most Influential Lawyer” – 2015 – Canadian Lawyer Magazine
• “Top 25 Most Influential Lawyer” – 2014 – Canadian Lawyer Magazine
• “Champion of Justice Award” – 2010 – Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto
• Osgoode Hall Law School – 2006 – Dianne Martin Social Justice Through Law Award
• Ontario Federation of Labour – 2005 – Human Rights Award
Re-elect Klippenstein for Bencher in 2023
Why re-elect an incumbent Bencher who is suing the Law Society?
You may find it incredible that I as an incumbent Bencher am suing the Law Society. Why? And I dare to ask for your re-election vote?
I am asking the court for an order that the Society produce internal data and records that I need for my oversight duties as a Bencher and director of the Law Society corporation. The Law Society has the information but won’t give it to me. The information involves demonstrated fatal defects in studies purportedly underpinning major ongoing programmes, policies and expenditures that are having serious impacts on our membership.
These include far-reaching Equity, Diversity and Inclusion programmes that the Law Society has been enforcing on 70,000 Ontario licensees, based on statistical studies that claim to show a need for these highly intrusive and politically loaded “interventions”. The problem is that those studies are full of serious mathematical and statistical errors which negate their conclusions and would have been avoided by a second year statistics undergraduate – but the present bencher majority and LSO staff don’t want to admit or discuss them.
An example. A planned law firm Inclusion Index would have publicly damaged the reputation of scores of major Ontario firms based on nothing. I repeatedly pointed out its grave statistical flaws until the LSO quietly shelved the Index last June – while issuing a press release not admitting that anything was wrong.
The amount of your membership dues being paid to outside consultants on these harmful projects is large.
I was elected the Regional Bencher for Toronto in 2019. I’ve done what I said I would do. If you like the idea of a Bencher who cares enough about integrity and transparency in our profession to go to court for it, consider re-electing me in this election, along with other members of the slate with whom I am running.
You can read my ongoing Superior Court Statement of Claim against the Law Society here, and the Law Society’s Defence here.
Thank you for your consideration.