Civility and Professional Misconduct in Court: A Conversation with Joseph Groia and Joven Narwal 

Oct. 19, 2018
Vancouver BC

Veuillez notez, cet événement sera disponible en anglais seulement.

Presented by the Canadian Bar Association British Columbia Branch
in partnership with the Vancouver Bar Association.


Speaker(s): Joseph Groia, Groia & Company
Joven Narwal, Narwal Litigation LLP
Time: Friday, October 19, 2018 | 12:15 pm - 2:15 pm (Pacific Time)
Registration and the working lunch: 12:15pm-12:45pm.
Location: Law Courts Inn Restaurant | 4th Floor - 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver BC
Fees: CBA Law Student Member: $50.00 (+GST)
CBA / VBA Member: $75.00 (+GST)
CBA Member: $100.00 (+GST)
VBA Member: $150.00 (+GST)
Non-CBA/VBA Member: $200.00 (+GST)
CPD Hours: 1.50 Hours
Attendance at this seminar will provide you with 1.50 hours of the ethics, professional responsibility and practice management component for your Law Society of BC reporting.

In 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the Law Society of Ontario Appeal Tribunal’s professional misconduct finding against lawyer Joseph Groia, ruling that a lawyer’s uncivil behaviour in court may not amount to professional misconduct if it is based on a mistaken understanding of the law.

This case was about deciding when courtroom advocacy becomes incivility and when incivility becomes professional misconduct. The Supreme Court added that decision-makers should look at the full situation and circumstances when determining if a line has been crossed.

Join Mr. Groia to hear first-hand about the full extent of this decade-long process and examine the impact of this decision from a professional responsibility and practical perspective. Mr. Groia will provide an overview of the legal determinations in this case and what these mean for lawyers and the legal profession.



Joseph Groia is a principal of Groia & Company. He practices securities litigation, acting as counsel in a wide range of civil, quasi-criminal, criminal, and administrative cases. During his career as a securities litigator Joseph has acted as counsel in Canada’s most important securities cases including: Asbestos, Bre-X, Canadian Tire, Cinar, Hollinger, Torstar/Southam, Phillip Services, and YBM.

Mr. Groia received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Toronto and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1981. In 1985 he joined the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) as the associate general counsel responsible for litigation matters; subsequently, from October 1987 – March 1990, he was the OSC’s Director of Enforcement. He joined Heenan Blaikie’s Toronto office in 1990, where he practiced corporate and securities litigation as a partner until he left to start Groia & Company on January 1, 2000.

Mr. Groia is a frequent speaker and presenter of law papers at various educational programmes, including the McGill University Meredith Lectures, the Peat Marwick Memorial Lectures, the Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures, the Langdon Hall Securities Law Practitioners’ Programme, and the Oxford Conference on International Securities Fraud. In 2007, Mr. Groia and Ms. Pamela Hardie published Canada’s first and only textbook on securities litigation, “Securities Litigation and Enforcement”. A second edition followed in 2012.

Mr. Groia has been ranked as one of Canada’s 500 Leading Lawyers (Lexpert) since 2000 and is consistently rated as one of Canada’s top securities litigators by the same publication.In January 2008, Mr. Groia was featured as a premier Canadian securities lawyer in Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Mr. Groia’s most noteworthy professional accomplishment was his leadership of the team that successfully defended Mr. John Felderhof in the 10 year OSC prosecution of charges arising out of the collapse of Bre-X Minerals Ltd.

In May 2015, Mr. Groia was elected by the Bar to serve as Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Joven Narwal is the founding partner of Narwal Litigation LLP, an Adjunct Professor at UBC Law, and Past President of the Vancouver Bar Association. His practice is devoted to complex and serious cases where liberty and reputation are at stake, primarily in areas such as criminal litigation, securities litigation and professional discipline. Some recent examples of reported decisions in these areas include: an acquittal following several months of trial in what was billed as one of BC’s largest drug prosecutions (R. v. Giles, et. al., 2016 BCSC 1800), acquittal in alleged cross-border drug importation (R. v. Gausal, 2017 BCSC 1194); in securities litigation, the successful appeal of a $7.3 million disgorgement order made by the BC Securities Commission (Poonian, et al. v. Securities Commission, 2017 BCCA 207); in professional discipline, the dismissal of a citation after a full hearing before the Law Society of BC for a lawyer alleged to have offered false testimony (Lawyer 15, 2016 LSBC 28). He also takes on civil matters with criminal overtones involving civil forfeiture, fraud and intentional tortious conduct. 

Mr. Narwal obtained a BA and LLB from the University of British Columbia where he earned many awards for academic achievement and later obtained a Master of Laws from Columbia University in New York City. Called to the bar in 2008, he started his career as Crown Counsel, and in 2010, started his own practice which has grown into a boutique downtown Vancouver law firm dedicated to high-stakes litigation with four lawyers and two articled students. For the past five years, he has been an adjunct professor at UBC Law where he has taught an upper level seminar of his own design called “White Collar Crime” which focuses on various species of financial crime and the challenges posed by overlapping criminal, regulatory, disciplinary and civil actions. In addition to other leadership roles in the profession, he has served as elected director, vice-president and first visible minority president of the Vancouver Bar Association. In 2018, he was nominated and elected Life Fellow of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, a global honorary society.


Cancellation Policy
Once payment has been processed there will be no refund issued. To cancel your attendance, please contact the PD Department at No refunds will be issued to non-attendees.

Accessibility & Inclusiveness
The CBABC provides access to Section activities for all members. The facilities for this meeting may be wheelchair accessible. For information about accessible parking or to communicate your request for other accommodation you require, please contact CBABC PD at

We also welcome your suggestions for enhancing the inclusiveness of our activities.

Course Materials/Handouts
All materials will be delivered electronically one day prior to the course date.

Participant Disclaimer - This is to confirm that you have agreed with the following terms and conditions:
All materials related to this course are for the sole use of the above said registrant, which may not be copied, reproduced, uploaded, posted, publicly displayed, translated, distributed, shared, modified, made available on a network or other website, used to create derivative works, or transmitted in any form or by any means whatsoever without the prior express written permission of the Canadian Bar Association.


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