Restraining Illegal Practice

One of the most notorious disbarred lawyers is Harry Kopyto. Despite being disbarred more than 30 years ago, he continues to practise. The regulator sought a permanent injunction against his continuing practise of law or holding himself out as a legal representative. The Court had little difficulty concluding that Mr. Kopyto was acting illegally and would continue to do so. The injunction was granted: Law Society of Ontario v Harry Kopyto, 2020 ONSC 35,

In doing so the Court affirmed that where a regulator’s statute authorizes the granting of a restraining order, the usual requirements for obtaining such an order are relaxed. The regulator does not have to demonstrate that there would be irreparable harm. The regulator also does not have to prove that any harm could not be compensated for in damages. In addition: “Hardship from the imposition and enforcement of an injunction will generally not outweigh the public interest in having the law obeyed.”

However, there remains discretion to refuse to grant an injunction where granting it “would be of questionable utility or inequitable”.

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