TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2020 — Osgoode Hall Law School’s Investor Protection Clinic – the first clinic of its kind in Canada – has released four information videos to help educate and protect retail investors who may be vulnerable to financial mismanagement. Addressing topics such as the securities regulation system in Canada, red flags for investment fraud and ways to recover lost funds, the Points of Interest video series was produced by Osgoode students and funded through a grant from The Law Foundation of Ontario.
“We’re pleased to offer these important resources as part of our mission to provide pro bono legal advice to people who believe their investments were mishandled and cannot afford a lawyer,” says Osgoode Professor Poonam Puri, the clinic’s academic director. “We believe that better educated and informed investors are better protected.”
Almost 60 percent of the Investor Protection Clinic’s clients identify as having low or no investment knowledge. They place their trust in financial advisors to handle their investments wisely without understanding the information on the documents provided to them or the risks.
The Law Foundation of Ontario supported the project as part of its mission to help people understand the law and use it to improve their lives. “We provide grants to support public legal education and information resources, like the Points of Interest video series, to help people understand and exercise their legal rights,” says Lisa Cirillo, the Foundation’s CEO. “This is especially important for people who may be more vulnerable, including those with low financial literacy.”
Osgoode students developed the videos in consultation with the clinic’s supervising lawyers and representatives from the Ontario Securities Commission and the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). Topics include: An Introduction to Regulating Securities; Your Advisor’s Responsibilities & Identifying Investment Mismanagement; Reporting a Wrongdoing and Seeking a Remedy; and Navigating the OBSI Complaint Process. The final two videos in the series — Navigating the IIROC (Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada) Arbitration Process and Is Civil Litigation Right for You and Your Claim? — will be released later this academic year.
“The experience of distilling complex information into 10-minute video clips highlighted how challenging the securities regulatory market can be for retail investors to navigate,” says former student caseworker Jessie Armour, who co-led the project in 2019-20 with her classmate, Marco Castelli, JD’20.
Castelli agrees: “We hope these videos will help retail investors identify signs of investment mismanagement sooner so they can prevent losses and have a better sense of their options.”
About Osgoode Hall Law School
Osgoode Hall Law School of York University has a proud history of 131 years of leadership and innovation in legal education and legal scholarship. A total of about 900 students are enrolled in Osgoode’s three-year Juris Doctor (JD) Program as well as joint and combined programs. The school’s highly selective Graduate Program in Law is also one of the finest in the country and one of the most highly regarded in North America. In addition, Osgoode Professional Development, which operates out of Osgoode’s facility in downtown Toronto, offers both degree and non-degree programming for Canadian and international lawyers, non-law professionals, firms and organizations. Osgoode has an internationally renowned faculty of almost 60 full-time professors, and more than 100 adjunct professors. Our respected community of more than 18,000 alumni are leaders in the legal profession and in many other fields in Canada and across the globe.
About York University
York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York U’s fully bilingual Glendon campus is home to Southern Ontario’s Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.
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