02.07.2018 12:10 PM

Is Ms. Mulroney a lawyer? (With shocking update! And important question!)

She has said in multiple interviews that she is.

Fine.  But then there’s this:

She practiced 13 months, apparently, then stopped.

I know that if you don’t pay your fees in Ontario, where I am called, you can get suspended.  Other provinces are mostly the same.

But can you still call yourself a “lawyer” if you aren’t paying the relevant regulatory body the fees when every other lawyer does?

Comments are welcome.

P.S. “Lawyer” or no, being called to the New York State bar is really, really hard, by the by.

SHOCKER UPDATE: She’s been re-instated! Her people saw it coming!  New spin:  SHE’S BEEN SECRETLY RUNNING FOR THE LEADERSHIP FOR TWO YEARS!

OH AND THIS QUERY: Why would she quietly re-instate as a New York State lawyer in THE SAME WEEK she became the PC candidate in Ontario?


  1. Ron Benn says:

    Ms. Mulroney has an LLB (or US equivalent), which speaks to her education and the type of analytical skills she is likely to have developed. That she is or is not actively practising law in Ontario (or elsewhere) is less of a concern to me.

    • Warren says:

      I’m sure. But can she call herself a lawyer?

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        In Quebec, to remain a member of the bar, you have to pay your yearly fees (avis de cotisations). Like many other jurisdictions, a retired lawyer can remain a nominal member of the bar but is prohibited from giving legal advice or preparing legal documents. (Avocat(e) à la retraite). They also have to pay yearly fees to remain a bar member.

        In Quebec, the short answer is NO. Don’t pay and you are automatically struck from the rolls .

  2. Bud McFarthy says:

    The rule (in Ontario at least) is actually that you can’t hold yourself out as providing legal services (or actually provide those services) without being called to the bar / registered with the law society. There is no specific restriction on calling yourself a lawyer. This is, as far as I can tell, a myth.

    • Warren says:

      A commenter over on FB disagrees:

      “The Law Society of Ontario is very clear. They take it seriously if someone who who does not hold an L1, L2, or L3 licence calls themselves a lawyer.”

    • Nasty Bob says:

      No you can not call yourself a lawyer if you are not licensed in Ontario

      “Inherent in that representation is that [ one is ] licensed to practise law in Ontario.” – Allen v Henry , 2012 ONCJ 33 at para 8

      • Joshua Henderson says:

        I didn’t read the case but your parenthetical addition there seems key. You could just as easily have inserted [one was] into the quote and come to a different conclusion.

        In any event, retired lawyers most certainly have the right to say they are lawyers, even if they are retired. Just like doctors.

  3. Robert White says:

    Mulroney should still be viewed as a lawyer given that she passed the bar exam, and practiced for a short time. Simply because she has neglected to update her fees for licensure as a litigator does not mean that she is no longer a lawyer. All she has to do to continue practicing is pay the licensing fee on renewal. Undoubtedly, she is probably required to keep pace with continuing education as a condition of licensure.


  4. Linda Smith says:

    Warren: An interesting question. My take…In order to be a member in good standing with the Province of Ontario LSO (formerly known as LSUC) members must meet their ‘administrative obligations’. Administrative obligations include payment of fees. There is a sliding scale of fees based on your classification (ie. if you are not working /on maternity leave you still pay fees but they are reduced to 25 % of the regular fee). No fees paid means that you are not a member in good standing and you will be referred for a formal suspension. Members who are suspended but still call themselves lawyers can get into a lot of hot water. She should tread carefully, je pense. Perhaps she should call herself a former lawyer?
    If she wishes to call herself a Toronto lawyer she should sign up and pay the fees.

  5. Julie says:

    She might be an attorney, but definitely not a lawyer.

  6. Julie McLeod says:

    Caitlin’s might be an attorney, but she is definitely not a lawyer.

  7. BB says:

    I think that if you claim that you are a lawyer, as in if you claimed you were a doctor, you would have to specify if you weren’t actually licensed in the area that you claim this professional standing. “I am a licensed doctor in Turkey” is not the same as “I am a doctor”, nor would “I am licensed to practice law in New York State” be the same as “I am a lawyer”. People will assume that when using the term without qualifications that it is for the location the speaker is in.
    BUT, why should it matter? Her name is Mulroney. She comes from privilege. Sadly, that’s enough these days.

    • Phil says:

      I’m not so sure ….. I figure there are a lot of people who don’t have great memories of Brian “Paper Bags of $100 Bills in NYC Safety Deposit Boxes” Mulroney, and that will come to haunt Ms. Mulroney.

  8. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    The Big Apple. That’s where the big bucks are!

    Au cas où…

  9. Dork in East York says:

    Warren, I didn’t know you were working for Team Elliot 😉

  10. GHw5 says:

    The thingy from NY says she’s a “delinquent attorney”. So, in some respect, she’s still an attorney in their view.

  11. Fred from BC says:

    So what are these supposed penalties for calling yourself a lawyer when you haven’t paid your fees ( not practicing law…just referring to yourself as a lawyer)?

    • Robert White says:

      The penalty seems to be full support from the neocons, right wing partisan zealots, and a veteran political bagman that is still On the Take.

      Don’t forget that she started a charity for women as soon as daddy informed her that she needed to bolster the pretense that she was benevolent like her politically disgraced and socially ostracised shit-for-brains father.


  12. Kevin says:

    Dunno. Just visiting?

  13. Pedant says:

    To use Scott’s favourite expression, what a nothing-burger.

    She graduated from law school and she was called to the bar. To virtually any lay person (myself included) that makes her a lawyer. Whether she is licensed at this particular moment in time is irrelevant since she can re-license herself at any time if needed. If she had her license rescinded due to malpractice that would clearly be different, but that isn’t the case here.

    I do wonder, though, what was the point of attending law school if you barely end up practicing?

  14. Phil says:

    A whopping 13 months professional experience as a Lawyer, and no experience in public office.

    Does that sound like a winning combination for an aspiring Premier of Ontario?

  15. Phil says:

    So true!

    Most businesses are dictatorships. That skill set doesn’t translate well to government.

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