Archive for the ‘Law Society of Upper Canada’ Category

“It’s Just A Flesh Wound”: Update on the (Late?) Javad Heydary

January 21, 2014

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.—Benjamin Franklinin a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789

Ben Franklin was right about taxes, but death? Not so much.

When I blogged about the fate of Javad Heydary a couple of months ago, the Law Society of Upper Canada was 100% sure the body repatriated to Canada from Heydary’s native Iran was, in fact, his.

As far the LSUC is concerned, he was dead, really dead:

Javad Heydary LSUC Directory Listing

Now the LSUC is not so sure. According to Rachel Mendleson  of the Toronto Star:

More than a month after a funeral was held for Javad Heydary, the case surrounding the embattled Toronto lawyer and his boutique firms is still being held up by a nagging question: Is he really dead?

A much-anticipated report by the Law Society of Upper Canada, presented in Ontario Superior Court on Monday, offers a glimpse into how more than $3 million belonging to a Mississauga couple was siphoned out of Heydary Hamilton’s trust account.

However, the status of the lawyer at the centre of the scandal remains somewhat less clear. Although the regulator’s directory lists the lawyer as “deceased,” the manager of trustee services told the court the body repatriated from Iran in December “was difficult to identify with 100 per cent certainty.”

To add further confusion, according to the Toronto Star report:

Margaret Cowtan said three “relatively independent individuals” identified the remains, and provided affidavits to the law society following the funeral service and burial in Richmond Hill.

“All indicated to some degree or another that the body belonged to (Heydary),” she told the court.

However, Cowtan said they could not be certain “because the body had not been embalmed in a manner consistent with North America.”

Heydary, 49, was best known for the lawsuit he launched on behalf of investors in the Trump International Hotel & Tower.

The law society received word in mid-December that his body had been repatriated from his native Iran, where he had reportedly fled amid allegations of missing money.

When asked why more scientific means were not used to identify the body, Cowtan told the Star the regulator “does not have the power to declare people dead or alive or obtain DNA evidence.” [emphasis added]

I suppose the LSUC didn’t bother to consult the Office of the Chief Coroner for advice on behalf of Heydary’s former clients before declaring that Heydary was deceased.

Of course, you can just Google it next time: What if a loved one dies outside of Canada?

Mark Twain famously once said: ” “The report of my death was an exaggeration”. Perhaps Heydary may yet appear and utter: “The report of my near death was an experience.”

From the sublime to the ridiculous. This entire Heydary saga is devolving into  this famous Monty Python And The Holy Grail skit:

UPDATED: Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready to Play (Lawyer)

December 16, 2013

Did I make the team?

Over at, Professor Julie MacFarlane proposes a solution to the vexing problem of “self-represented litigants (SRL’s”) in a post entitled: “Lawyers Coaching SRLs in “Self-Advocacy”? Why This Paradoxical Proposition Deserves Your Serious Consideration“.  Essentially, Professor MacFarlane, drawing upon her recent 2011-12 study and responses to the National Self-Represented Litigants Project , proposes a “Lawyer-Coach” model to stem the rising tide of “self-advocacy” within the Canadian legal system. MacFarlane writes,

How SRLs want help

SRLs want help – that is loud and clear. On-line resources get them part of the way – sometimes. But they want face-to-face help too.

Almost all of them say that they want lawyers. But they cannot afford to use a lawyer for every step of their case.

They want help to be effective self-advocates.

Crazy – or Adapting to Reality?

OK, so there is something paradoxical about lawyers assisting people to do the work that they would ordinarily charge them to do for them. The irony is that the profession now needs to consider this possibility in order to retain public legitimacy, as well as to enable the justice system to be more functional (more of this below).

Some lawyers will take the view that encouraging individuals to self-advocate is irresponsible and that our energy should be directed at bringing these SRLs “back into the fold” of full-on legal representation. While this sentiment may be coming from a good place, here is the reality – unless those same lawyers are willing to cut the cost of their services at least in half, or support a tax system that hugely expands legal aid, that it not going to happen.

And even then – if we can imagine either eventuality – there will be an appetite for saving costs. Whether this is self-advocacy, outsourcing, or access to para-legals, it’s all going in the same direction. The age of passive deference to professional advice is over. And a lawyer-coach model opens up the possibility of a lawyer/client partnership of the sort that so many personal and commercial clients now expect.

I am not entirely clear on what the “age of passive deference to professional advice” means. If I retain an accountant to give me professional tax advice, I do not offer up my opinions on how best to avoid or, heaven forfend, evade paying my taxes. The same holds true if I consult with my doctor about performing surgery under general anesthetic. It’s a given that I will defer to the person with the medical degrees hanging on their office wall. (more…)

FURTHER UPDATED: Where In the World is Javad Heydary?

November 28, 2013


Via the Toronto Star, the news dropped like a bombshell and rocked the Toronto legal community:

A Toronto lawyer who launched a high-profile lawsuit on behalf of investors in the Trump International Hotel & Tower has left the country in the wake of allegations that “well in excess” of $3 million in trust funds is missing.

Litigator Javad Heydary, 49, was last heard from Nov. 15 when he told colleagues he had to return to his native Iran to tend to a sick relative.

The Law Society of Upper Canada alleges in a court filing this week that Heydary is being investigated for “misappropriation, mishandling trust funds, and failing to comply with a court order.”

In the face of the recent resignation of a number of well-respected lawyers from some half dozen boutique firms that Heydary ran in the heart of the financial district, the Law Society has taken over as trustee of the businesses.

My colleague, Selwyn  Pieters, was  among the first to pick up the story on The Twitter:

Javad Heydary

The timing of Heydary’s disappearance is in stark contrast to a recent Law Times story touting Heydary’s visionary, ground-breaking alternative law firm model:

Javad Heydary has a theory: the future of law belongs to large international and small boutique firms. So when he sought to expand his law firm a couple of years ago, he decided he didn’t want to go with something between those two extremes.

That’s when he came up with a model called “affiliated boutique firms.” Today, the Heydary law firms, besides Heydary Hamilton Professional Corp., include intellectual property practitioners at Heydary Hayes Professional Corp., family lawyers at Heydary Green Professional Corp., a litigation practice at Heydary Elliott Professional Corp., and real estate lawyers at Heydary Samuel Professional Corp.

Each firm is legally a separate entity as a professional corporation. Heydary is a shareholder in each of them. To his knowledge, no one else in the legal industry is using this business formula.

“The future of law, in my humble opinion, will be those large international law firms and boutique firms,” says Heydary. “I don’t see a future for smaller full-service firms. The market is shrinking. There’s too much competition.”

Erm, the future of law has not only left the building, he has left the country. (more…)


June 18, 2013

Comments ‹ THE TRIAL WARRIOR BLOG — WordPress


I would be remiss if I failed to mention that J. Kirby Inwood sent me this email back on April 4th, 2013, even though he doesn’t like me very much:




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LSUC Issues Warning Concerning Lawyer Referral Service (

Twitter’s No Place For A Lawyer With An “Aggressive and Zealous Attitude”

April 23, 2013

Image via

Via the Toronto Star:

A Toronto criminal lawyer’s Twitter account has sparked outrage online after several offensive tweets were posted in the wake of the Boston bombing.

The tweets were sent last week from Twitter account @Dasilvalaw, which has since been deleted, though several retweets can still be found online.

“I pray for the suspects. May they slay the police army of satan. Death to all police!” reads one posting sent from @Dasilvalaw. Other tweets from that account contained vitriolic responses to offended Twitter users, including “am praying that u get violently raped. May cancer be upon u.!!!”

The lawyer, David Da Silva, 34, said in an emailed response sent Monday to the Star that he is “not the author of any such tweets.”

Asked in a follow-up email if his account had been hacked, the defence lawyer said he is “having this matter investigated at this time.”

Lawyer Nadia Liva, who sent an email to the Star saying she is acting as his counsel, said he is “very concerned” and “we are currently investigating the tweets, which were not authored by Mr. Da Silva.”

I don’t know Da Silva, either personally or professionally, but his website bio is generic: (more…)

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