The Law Society of Ontario is accusing a Mississauga man who operates a business offering bar exam prep classes of distributing “cheating materials” to would-be lawyers, according to a civil suit filed Tuesday in Ontario Superior Court. ‘Ontario.
Aamer Chaudhury, and others, “engaged in similar conduct in connection with other LSO licensing exams,” the statement said.
Reached by the Star on Wednesday, Chaudhury denied any wrongdoing and questioned his lawyer, Michael Lacy.
“We only learned of the statement following the investigation by the Toronto Star. We will review the same and respond, as appropriate and necessary, in a timely manner,” Lacy wrote in an email.
Earlier this year, the legal regulator announced it was suspending legal license exams after allegations that bar exam materials had been viewed inappropriately by some applicants, possibly by the intermediary of a “third party”. The cheating allegedly happened online during the pandemic. Testing has since resumed in person.
The LSO creates and administers licensing exams that are self-paced, open-book, and multiple-choice. To be licensed as a lawyer in Ontario, you must pass two licensing exams.
Chaudhury is the sole director of NCA Exam Guru, a federally incorporated company with a place of business at 7025 Tomken Rd. in Mississauga. According to the company’s website, over the past seven years, NCA Exam Guru “has helped lawyers around the world convert their legal qualifications and pass the NCA exam in Canada.”
In the court filing, the Law Society seeks to restrain the defendants from “possessing, using, communicating or distributing the exam content.” He also seeks damages in an amount to be assessed by the court “for breach of trust, conspiracy, incitement to breach of contract and copyright infringement.”
The Law Society is also asking the court to order NCA Guru to provide the exam content and pay the regulator any profits made as a result of copyright infringement. The plaintiff seeks $100,000 in punitive and aggravated damages.
According to the statement, Chaudhury is a former license applicant, but is not a licensed attorney or paralegal. He is described as the principal of NCA Guru who leads some of the courses which include Criminal, Constitutional and Administrative Law.
NCA Exam Guru allegedly sent prep class registrants materials containing questions from LSO licensing exams, according to the statement.
“During lectures, Mr. Chaudhury displayed exam questions from a larger document. He described the questions as “example questions.” The questions were taken from real LSO exams,” the statement read.
Further, the document states that the defendants, only Chaudhury is named – with Jane and John Doe representing others associated with NCA Exam Guru, gave answers to real LSO exam questions, including exams from lawyer from November 2021.
During this exam, Chaudhury and other NCA Exam Guru representatives distributed exam answer materials to NCA Exam Guru customers in a variety of ways, including but not limited to Skype chats. , WhatsApp messages and emails, according to the court document. .
“The defendants released the cheat documents to allow their clients to cheat on the November 2021 barrister exam. Mr. Chaudhury, in particular, encouraged the clients to use the cheat documents. »
The LSO alleges that the defendants engaged in similar conduct in connection with other LSO licensing examinations. The LSO is continuing to investigate this matter, according to the statement.
Although it is stated that a number of candidates used the cheat documents to cheat during the November 2021 lawyer exam, the statement does not explicitly state whether Guru’s clients knew they were accessing to “cheating documents”. He says that “some candidates” have entered into an agreement “by accepting and, in some cases, using, the content of the exam”.
While it’s unclear how the defendants obtained the contents of the exam, the statement says “they had actual and constructive knowledge that it had been passed on in breach of trust.”
Last month, the Law Society said the investigative team – led by prominent Toronto lawyer Mark Sandler – had sent letters to people “who may be involved in the cheating scenario”. Their status is unclear.
In a statement on Wednesday, LSO chief executive Diana Miles said as statutory regulator, “we will take strong action against suspected wrongdoers.
“This action also reminds candidates of their responsibilities and obligations regarding the conduct of examinations, and the need to be wary of any third party who may organize activities to facilitate cheating on licensing examinations.”
LSO will not comment further now that the statement has been filed, spokeswoman Wynna Brown wrote in an email sent to The Star on Wednesday.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION