The Star has been investigating Jeremy Diamond and his law firm for the past five years. Read the main stories / findings

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A long-running Toronto Star investigation into the marketing and referral practices of personal injury lawyer Jeremy Diamond found that he and his firm had attracted thousands of potential clients for many years and then referred them to other lawyers for sometimes high referral fees. Former customers interviewed by Star said they were often unaware they had been referred or that a referral commission had been paid. The inquest also found that Diamond, who is described as an “award-winning personal injury lawyer”, had never tried a case himself, according to his own testimony in a court case.

At the same time, Diamond’s marketing tactics, which included using female models in tight shirts and listing her firm as “proud sponsors” of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors, Argos and Ottawa Senators, angered the Law Society of Ontario and other lawyers.

Here is an overview:

1. Diamond & Diamond under fire

He is the face of personal injury law in Ontario. On TV, radio, social media, billboards, on buses and atop urinals at the Air Canada Center, you will find the image and message of lawyer Jeremy Diamond.

“Nothing is harder than a diamond,” the signature ad read. “Trust the name you know.”

People injured in car crashes or others feel like Diamond, 43, is a top lawyer fighting for the little guy.

As it turns out, Diamond – described as an “award-winning personal injury lawyer” – has never tried a case himself, according to his own evidence in a recent legal case.

A Star investigation found that Diamond had attracted thousands of potential clients for many years, then referred cases to other attorneys in exchange for sometimes high referral fees. Along the way, the firm’s marketing campaign angered the Law Society of Upper Canada, its clients and some lawyers.

Read the full investigation of Kenyon Wallace and Michele Henry of the Star

2. Allegations of obscene texts to assistant put Jeremy Diamond to the test

An assistant to Jeremy Diamond complained to police that the personal injury attorney would not assign her potential clients to a vet unless she wears provocative clothes, sends nude photos or ‘had “sexual activity” with him, according to a Toronto police case synopsis provided to a Crown prosecutor in 2011.

“She is only paid if Mr. Diamond gives her a client,” the detectives wrote in the synopsis of the case.

Police, initially acting on a complaint from Diamond, accused the assistant of extortion. She had threatened to expose the activities of the very public face of the law firm Diamond & Diamond.

After further investigating the case, detectives changed their minds. They asked a senior crown attorney to drop the charge against the assistant, instead concluding that there was “sufficient evidence to charge (Diamond) with extortion.”

When the case went to court, Crown Attorney Michael Callaghan withdrew the charge against the assistant, saying Diamond’s conduct led him to conclude he was not in the business. public interest in pursuing the case against the assistant. Diamond has not been charged with extortion.

Asked about the allegations against Diamond in the police synopsis, Diamond’s attorney Julian Porter told The Star that his client “passionately denies them.”

Read the full investigation of Kenyon Wallace and Michele Henry of the Star

3. Diamond & Diamond Says Ontario Lawyer Group “Defamatory” and Partial

Personal injury law firm Diamond & Diamond lashed out at the organizers of a recent webinar on legal ethics who referred to the firm in promotional material.

Sandra Zisckind, managing attorney at Diamond & Diamond and wife of the firm’s public face, Jeremy Diamond, emailed the Ontario Trial Lawyers’ Association (OTLA) accusing her of being “defamatory” and of being ” bias ”.

“You are suggesting that my firm has done something wrong,” Zisckind wrote to the organizers, whose group represents around 1,200 personal injury lawyers. “We have been unfairly targeted by the media, haven’t we? I am disgusted by the bias you have shown here. I will decide what actions my business will take.

An advertisement for the webinar distributed to OTLA members contained the following headline: “Media hits hard on personal injury lawyers – you read the D + D story”.

Organizers say the event was organized to teach lawyers about best practices in advertising their services.

Read the full investigation of Kenyon Wallace and Michele Henry of the Star

4. In the world of “wild west” advertising lawyers, personal injury firms make questionable claims

More than two dozen personal injury law firms in Ontario have one amazing characteristic in common: They are all the best at helping victims of motor vehicle crashes or other accidents.

In the “Wild West” world of personal injury law advertising, many lawyers will do whatever it takes to get cases.

Even, as an investigation by Star revealed, apparently breaking rules designed to prevent false and misleading advertising. For example, the Law Society of Upper Canada cautions lawyers against declaring that they are “qualitatively superior” to other lawyers.

Diamond & Diamond’s website proclaims that it has been “Voted # 1 Personal Injury Law Firm in Ontario for 3 consecutive years!” “

Gary Mazin stamps his website with an award that says “2014 Laureate, # 2014, Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer”.

And until the Star started asking questions recently, a website with the address www.bestpersonalinjurylawyertoronto.com led directly to the Preszler Company website.

Read the full investigation of Kenyon Wallace and Michele Henry of the Star

5. Diamond & Diamond’s Top Lawyer Under Malpractice Investigation

Personal injury lawyer Jeremy Diamond is facing malpractice allegations from the Law Society of Upper Canada that he failed to produce the financial records of the firm Diamond & Diamond, law society documents reveal.

The leading Toronto lawyer – his firm’s slogan is “Nothing is harder than a diamond” – reportedly failed to fully cooperate with an investigation by failing to produce Diamond & Diamond’s financial books and records. He has been asked to provide records on four occasions in the past seven months, according to the law society’s notice of request in that case.

“A lawyer who does not cooperate with an investigation undermines the ability of the bar to fulfill its mandate to protect the public,” said Susan Tonkin, spokesperson for the bar.

In an email to The Star, Diamond’s attorney, Kris Borg-Olivier, said his client responded “in detail” to every letter he received from the bar and that he had “cooperated with the bar throughout. throughout the process of its investigations. , And will continue to do so. “

Read the story of the star’s Kenyon Wallace and Michele Henry

6. Toronto lawyer Jeremy Diamond withdraws admission of malpractice following firm announcements

Toronto personal injury attorney Jeremy Diamond said he intended to retract an admission of malpractice charges he brought earlier this week, explaining that he did not had not considered that his sanction would go beyond a reprimand.

“I was never aware of and had not considered that a potential sanction could exceed a reprimand here,” Diamond said during a brief Ontario Bar hearing on Thursday. “If I had known it was a possibility, I would never have admitted the misconduct and I would have had a hearing.”

Rather than face a contested hearing on Monday, Diamond admitted that he improperly marketed personal injury legal services that he did not provide and that his namesake company’s advertisements did not disclose “Clearly and prominently” that Diamond & Diamond had referred thousands of potential clients to other attorneys for fees.

Read the latest from Star Courts reporter Betsy Powell

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