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.
• “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
• Social Justice Through Law Award – Osgoode Hall Law School – 2006
• Bob Borch Human Rights Award – Ontario Federation of Labour – 2005
Law Society agrees to disclosure of internal EDI documents in lawsuit brought by Bencher Murray Klippenstein; documents confirm serious problems behind EDI policies
(February 8, 2024) The Law Society of Ontario has agreed to provide to Law Society bencher and director Murray Klippenstein a large collection of previously undisclosed internal information and documentation regarding its array of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policies and programmes. The documents have been requested by Bencher Klippenstein for years and had become the subject of an unprecedented lawsuit against the Law Society filed by Klippenstein in 2022.
Bencher Klippenstein had requested in his lawsuit that the Court order that the Law Society provide to him copies of an extensive list of EDI-related documents, set out in a detailed Schedule to his Statement of Claim, which was issued June 17, 2022 [Statement of Claim available here]. Klippenstein subsequently commenced a motion for summary judgment and filed extensive detailed affidavit evidence in support of the motion [Klippenstein affidavit available • here and here].
Klippenstein argued that as an elected bencher of the Law Society and a director of the Law Society corporation he had the right to such information because he believed that it was necessary for him to perform his governance and oversight duties on behalf of the organization and the legal professions, and that the Law Society had been wrongfully denying his requests for that information for years.
In December of 2023, after more than two years of resisting the disclosure requests, the Law Society through its counsel Paul Le Vay of Stockwoods agreed to provide all the requested information, and hundreds of pages of requested documentation were recently delivered to Klippenstein through Klippenstein’s legal counsel William Kenny, K.C. and Julian Savaryn of Edmonton, Alberta.
Read Klippenstein’s court affidavit about LSO’s refusal to provide him with key internal information: