by S. Pieters, B.A., LL.B.

Selwyn has recently been involved in a documentary Selwyn by Bryan Friedman, is a story of one determined young man who fought his denial of admission to law school, was finally admitted, successfully passed, graduated, completed bar ads, articling and was called to the Bar. This documentary is scheduled to be aired on CBC Newsworld on Wednesday, April 20, 2005, 10:00 p.m.

February 15, 2005
This is Black History Month, a month to celebrate the accomplishments of Blacks as well as to continue the struggles against exclusion in our legal institutions. At U of T Law School there is no Black Faculty member at this time. There has only been one tenured Black Professor, who has since fled to NYU. Black students throughout the history of U of T Law School have been too few to count. The Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and the Ontario Bar Association recenly held a conference to "deal with the systemic barriers that Black lawyers, particularly newly-called lawyers and students, encounter in respect of the inequality of opportunities in their job search efforts and career advancement prospects in the legal profession." Why would such a conference be necessary if access to the procession and advancement within the profession was equitable? The inequity and systemic racism starts from the gatekeeping process of admission to law school and continues throughout law school to articling to associateship to partnership. see, Black lawyers share advice on developing a practice Law Times, February 7, 2005 • Vol. 16, No. 5.

To this end, it is interesting that someone would have linked this website to Lawbuzz and start a dialogue. I welcome it. As I wrote to Radical Lawyer earlier today:

As you predicated the original poster really stirred up quite a lot of chatter it appears.
You can probably post what follows:
I will be speaking about law school admission and the LSAT at the SPINLAW Conference on March 5, 2005 at 300pm. There is also a National Film Board Documentary being made as we speak on my challenge to the LSAT. I will be arguing the case against the LSAT, on camera, in front of U of T law school on February 21, 2005 at 900am.
On the fifth anniversary of the Ultra Vires and the fifth anniversary of my challenge to the LSAT I wrote this "I appreciate that you did raise the fact that I launched a challenge to the LSAT... I am pleased that I did not give up, capitulate, or accept the flawed judgment of the gatekeepers of the profession. I am also sad because I wonder how many other people who were capable of doing law school simply gave up without a fight and are now janitors. " See, Letters of dismay, persistence, oh, and one of praise!
"It would be impossible to think of any greater insult to the integrity of an academic institution or to an academic community than that of dishonesty whether it is called intellectual dishonesty or fraud. One can therefore sympathize with the desire to uncover it and treat it with the condemnation it deserves when it is thought to exist. This gives rise to an obligation to refrain from concluding that it exists lightly. It creates a concomitant duty to give a person accused of dishonesty the benefit of reasonable safeguards to enable him or her to meet the serious accusations that it entails." Krever J. in Hajee v. York University (1985), 11 O.A.C. 72 at 73
"I don't think that the university does a particularly good job with procedures" Professor Denise G. R?ume quoted in the Varsity, November 23, 1998.
Systemic Issues at University of Toronto Faculty of Law

Bar Admission Course Scandal

Cheating probe ends abruptly Toronto Star, Canada - 16 Jul 2004
Law society urged to `clear the air' Toronto Star, Canada - 17 Jul 2004
`Veil of secrecy' called unacceptable Toronto Star, Canada - 4 Aug 2004
The law society is its own worst enemy Bencher's Diary By Gary Lloyd Gottlieb, Law Times, July 26, 2004 • Vol. 15, No. 23

The Jill Nelson Scandal

I have written a small article on the ongoing scandal involving the nude pictures of Jill Nelson that were circulated via email on January 29, 2004.

Discussion of Appropriate Behavior in the Legal Profession

Nude photos of law clerk sent to Harris

Online gossip forum attracts controversy

Bay Street firm gets nude email attack

The Grade Misrepresentation Scandal

Thursday August 23, 2001: Court File 494/01 - Judicial Review of the decision of Ronald Daniels in Roxanne Crystal Shank v. University of Toronto at Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen's Street West, Courtroom 3 at 10:00 a.m. The court has released its decision in Shank v. University of Toronto [2002] O.J. No. 50, dated January 11, 2002. See also Law school suspension quashed Court rebukes U of T law dean for suspending student in grades scandal: 'Patently unreasonable', January 12, 2002.

The judicial review filed pursuant to 6(2) of the Judicial Review Proceedings Act was determined by the Superior Court of Ontario of significant importance and complexity to panel of three Justices. Intervenors includes the Student's Administrative Council at U of T.

Roxanne is one of the students who was suspended by Dean Ronald Daniels. She inadvertently changed two of her C grades to C+ on her applications to the law firms. Dean Daniels found her guilty of academic misconduct and imposed a suspension of one year plus a notation of that suspension on her transcript for four months after graduation from the law faculty.

Ms. Shanks after being suspended contacted Osgoode Hall Law School seeking admittance and was advised that given the fact she has been suspended the school cannot offer her admittance for the 2001-2002 academic year.

In argument before the Divisional Court two issues emerged. First, the applicant argued that Dean Daniels did not have the authority to suspend or otherwise discipline a student who, as in Shanks case, did not admit to the offence.

On the issue of Daniels jurisdiction or the lack thereof, the Divisional Court wrote in Shank v. University of Toronto, Supra, that:

?64 In our view, the scheme of the Code does not permit the Dean to judge the truthfulness of the student. That task is the function of the Tribunal under section 10 of the Code. The Dean must take whatever admission is made, complete with all its limitations, as the sole basis for his action. If he disbelieves the student, he can refer the matter to the Provost for possible referral to the Tribunal. What the Dean cannot do is, by disbelieving the student, turn an admission of error by accident or carelessness into an admission of intent.

?66 The evidence does not objectively support the Dean's conclusion as to the admission of the offence for which the applicant was disciplined and the conclusion therefore may be considered patently unreasonable.

On the issue of whether the University has jurisdiction to sanction students for misrepresenting their marks to third parties, the Divisional Court ruled that:
?36 In our view, it is the information in the official record, and not merely the integrity of an official piece of paper certifying as to that information, that is protected by the Code in this section. If tampering with such a certificate were the only way to commit the offence, it would be entirely covered by the word 'forge', but the Code goes on to use the language `or in any other way alter or falsify' any academic record. Unquestionably, the applicant's letter constituted the circulation or making use of a false statement of the contents of the University's records.

?37 We therefore conclude that the Code extends to the act complained of.

James Castle, a student of U of Law expressed his views of the court's decision as follows:
Heavy hitter academics in the admin. law field (Jansch, etc.) have said the judgement was absurd. Ruby said the judgement was absurd. You know why? Because it was absurd. Honestly, the court has, in principle, made it an offence to lie to your mom about your grades. In the face of something so obviously ridiculous, their insistance that "such matters wouldn't be acted on" is cold comfort. The court has set a dangerous precident that extends the University's powers way, way too far into the personal lives of their students. What's this? You want more evidence that the judgement was absurd (or at the very, very least that the issue is not as clear cut as you seem to pretend)? The Dean has since dropped the charges against Shank. Why would a Dean who was so blood thirsty before drop the charges? Compassion? Well, that can't be true. The man knows that he won by the skin of his teeth and is letting the whole thing drop while the dropping is good. Shank, because she won on the smaller point, can't appeal but would have appealed for sure had she gone to tribunal. The University probably knows this and dropped the matter because they didn't think they'd get lucky a second time. I have no doubt that you are still following the whole scandal. In which case, don't you wonder why all the people scheduled to go to tribunal never did? The University dealt on all of them. More evidence that even the school knows the issue of jurisdiction is far from settled.... 20 students, 20 people have been deeply and profoundly effected by the scandal. Their lifes [SIC] have been interupted and perhaps changed forever.... JC

U of T, faculty association and law prof reach agreement: Fact-finding into possible influences on grade misrepresentation comes to an end June 19, 2001 |
A Victory for Academic Freedom June 19, 2001 |
U of T apologizes to law prof over grades scandal, National Post, June 19, 2001 |
Law school levies sanctions on 25 first-years: Judgments had to balance deterrence, compassion: dean U of T News and Info Service, May 10, 2001 |
Profile of U of T Law School First Year Class |
Professor Denise G. R?ume Bio |
U of T Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters |
First-Year Class Warned that Honesty is the Only Policy Ultra Vires, February 20, 2001|
U of T Law 'reeling' over grade lies, National Post, February 20, 2001|
Law school 'reeling' over grade fibbing, National Post, February 20, 2001|
Cheating charges hit law studentsToronto Star, February 20, 2001|
Law investigation extends to include professor: Possible impact on mark misrepresentation case examined February 20, 2001|
U of T Law Rocked By Grade Lies Allegations,, February 20, 2001|
Law students' conduct investigated: Marks submitted to employers differed from official record U of T Press Release, February 20, 2001|
Faculty Association protests the lack of respect by the University Administration for both for Faculty members and for due process UFTA, February 21, 2001|
U Of T Law Prof Denies She Told Students To Lie,, February 22, 2001 |
Don't make the grade? Then fudge your grades Toronto Sun, February 24, 2001 |
Confessions of a term paper writer, National Post, February 24, 2001 |
Cross Country Checkup - Has cheating become just another way to get ahead? What do you think? CBC Discussion Board, February 24, 2001 |
Cheating spotlights law school's culture The Globe and Mail, February 26, 2001|
Open letter from international group of professors regarding law inquiry, February 26, 2001|
Open letter by President Robert Birgeneau concerning the inquiries at the Faculty of Law February 27, 2001|
Letter in Support of Professor Reaume from Professors of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University February 27, 2001|
U of T law students on trial for bending truthBy Chris Lackner, UWO Gazette, February 27, 2001|
University Administration Targets Faculty MemberUTFA, February 28, 2001
Grievance of Professor Denise Reaume UFTA, February 28, 2001|
Law school goes global National Post, March 01, 2001 |
Terms of Reference for the fact-finding committee convened March 1, 2001
U of T professor scapegoated by Sam Babe, U of T Law School, March 01, 2001 |
No marks inflated at UWO law schoolby Simon Dickie, UWO Law School, March 01, 2001 |
U of T marks scandal: Are market pressures forcing students to lie? Law Times |
Civil Disobedience or Academic Misconduct? U. of Toronto Debates a Grade-Changing Scandal Chronicle of Higher Education, March 1, 2001|
U of T panel to probe law scandal Globe and Mail, March 2, 2001|
Faculty Association Launches Action at Grievance Review Panel UTFA Press Release, March 7, 2001|
EXAMGATE Obiter Dicta, March 12, 2001 |
cheating at schools by Attila Ataner, U of T Law School |
Probe into Scandal Raises Concerns By Melissa Kluger, Ultra Vires, March 20, 2001 |
The U of T Law School Scandal: It's More Common Than You May ThinkBy Norman Grosman, Senior Partner, Grosman, Grosman & Gale - Employment Lawyers, March 23, 2001 |
Law students suspended in marks fraud scandal Globe and Mail, May 02, 2001|
Law students must be informed first, dean says: Investigation results will be made public May 10 May 2, 2001|
U of T suspends law students caught lying CBC, May 02, 2001|
Law students fight `harsh' penalty Toronto Star, May 03, 2001 |
The law won:Cheating on exams isn't a mistake, it's a character flaw May 3, 2001|
Necessary punishment Globe and Mail Editorial, May 3, 2001|
Cut 'n' paste cheaters better log off, Montreal Gazette, May 3, 2001|
Nolo contendere: group of Toronto law students may be guilty of inflating their grades, but the legal education system should really be on trial, Globe and Mail, May 04, 2001|
Lack of integrity justly rewarded, National Post, May 05, 2001|
Law professor not guilty in marks scandal, lawyer says, National Post, May 10, 2001|
Law school levies sanctions on 25 first-years: Judgments had to balance deterrence, compassion: dean U of T News and Info Service, May 10, 2001 |
17 law students suspended for lying about marks: U of T's punishment of 25 students 'wildly out of line' with offence: Ruby, National Post, May 11, 2001|
Setting the record straight by Clayton Ruby, Globe and Mail, May 22, 2001|

The External Review at the Faculty at U of T
Student Response to the Report of the External Review Committee (the Iacobucci Report) April 2001| (Word Document)

The Hiring of Faculty at U of T
Chaos reigns as scholar silenced The Varsity, October 14, 1997 |
Racism charges met with counter-attack The Varsity, October 14, 1997 |
Racism charges haunt U of T The Varsity, September 08, 1997 |

Testing and Diversity: The LSAT and Admission to U of T Law School
BLSA files human rights complaint against law school |
The Challenge to U of T Law School Discriminatory Admissions Standards at the OHRC |
EXCELLENCE, COMPETITION AND HIERARCHY: Workshop on the Future of Canadian Legal Education Legal Research Institute University of Manitoba, May 1999|
Canadian Bar Association, Racial Equality in the Canadian Legal Profession |
The Best and the Brightest? Canadian Law School Admissions Wesley Pue and Dawna Tong: (1999) 37 Osgoode Hall L.J. 843-876|
Equity and Diversity Action Plans Law Society of Upper Canada |
OHRC Case Analysis, University of Toronto, Faculty of law November 14, 2000|
OHRC Decision, Pieters v. University of Toronto, Faculty of law March 27, 2001|
OHRC Decision, Cespedes v. University of Toronto, Faculty of law March 27, 2001|
Derakhshan v. University of Toronto [2000] O.J. No. 1463 |
LSAT verdict postponed By Richard McKergow, The Varsity, January 9, 2001 |
OHRC releases report on LSAT: Admissions test discriminatory alleges student By Richard McKergow, The Varsity, November 23, 2000 |
OHRC report questions validity of LSAT November 27, 2000|
Let's Test the validity of LSAT November 27, 2000|
Affirmative action needed at law by S. Pieters, The Bulletin, November 30, 1998 |
Law does consider minority circumstances by U of T Law Dean, Ronald Daniels, The Bulletin, January 11, 1999|
Graduate to test law school admission process in court action: Rejected applicant says assessment discriminates against minorities by Adrian Humphreys, National Post, October 14, 1999 |
Law school sued for discrimination by Paul-Mark Rendon, The UWO Gazette, October 19, 1999 |
LSAT isn't all about intelligence by Aleem Visram, The UWO Gazette, October 26, 1999 |
LSAT discriminates, says former U of T student: Court injunction would prevent its use across the province By Richard McKergow, The Varsity, October 28, 1999 |
LSAT's day in court postponed by Paul-Mark Rendon, The UWO Gazette, November 4, 1999|
Lupus patient sues after extra time on test denied Ontario woman seeks $3.25M after poor score on LSAT by Adrian Humphreys, National Post, November 10, 1999 |
Student complaint leads to review of faculty's admissions policy: Human Rights Commission to investigate use of LSAT by James Hoffner, Ultra Vires, November 11, 1999 |
Judging the LSAT, judging the professionEditorial: Ultra Vires, November 11, 1999 |
Law school test ‘culturally biased? by Ron Fanfair, The Share, November 11, 1999 |
Can’t get no SATisfaction: Why the LSAT needs to be scrapped By Vilko Zbogar, The Varsity, December 6, 1999 |
Law student hopeful abandons court action: Admissions test complaint is before human rights commission by Adrian Humphreys, National Post, February 02, 2000 |
LSAT injunction pulled: Law school test ‘racially and culturally discriminatory,?says plaintiff By Julia Garro, The Varsity, February 10, 2000 |
University of Toronto Ordered to Produce files of all Mature Applicants to the Faculty of Law for the 1998-1999 Academic Year By S. Pieters, February 25, 2000|
Tonelli's LSAT defence fails, says ZbogarOpinion: Ultra Vires, February 29, 2000 |
Celebrating the past, empowering the future: Julius Isaac was the first black Chief Justice of Federal CourtCommentary: Ultra Vires, February 29, 2000 |
Black students examine access to justice: Hundred gather for workshops and gala ballCommentary: Ultra Vires, February 29, 2000 |
U of T in court for breach of contract: University unwilling to produce court evidence By Julia Garro, The Varsity, March 7, 2000 |
LSAT Enforces Racialization Opinion: Ultra Vires, March 20, 2000 |
Law school bound By Richard McKergow, The Varsity, April 6, 2000 |
OHRC releases report on LSAT: Admissions test discriminatory alleges student By Richard McKergow, The Varsity, November 23, 2000 |
OHRC report questions validity of LSAT November 27, 2000|
Let's Test the validity of LSAT November 27, 2000|
LSAT verdict postponed OHRC commissioners want more information from investigators By Richard McKergow, The Varsity, January 09, 2001 |
LSAT under heavy fire: Tests critics join forces in OHRC complaints by Richard McKergow, U of T Varsity Newspaper, February 06, 2001|
Diversity? U of T President Robert Birgeneau is waging a new war on merit By Joshua J. Somer, U of T Varsity Newspaper, April 19, 2001 |
LSAT (case) may go to the courts by Richard McKergow, U of T Varsity Newspaper, May 06, 2001 |

My Resume |
Diary of Selwyn Pieters A Student At Osgoode Hall Law School |
Social Commentary on Law School, Society, the Legal Profession and the Justice System |
Sign Guestbook ||

Picture courtesy of Law Times
November 27, 2000

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This page was created on February 20, 2001
Updated on February 15, 2005
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