Ottawa Men's Centre

 

Peter Roscoe's Research

 

Gender Bias in Family Law at the

Court of Appeal Ontario 2007

 

 Peter Karl Roscoe

 

    Apr 2006, Revised Sept 2007

 

 

Part IV                                        Representation

 

 

The database contained 245 cases where both litigants had a lawyer, and the sex of the litigants lawyers could be determined, and the winning party could be determined. Wins and losses have been based on judicial determinations of costs for represented parties and on issues for self represented parties because costs may be denied to self represented parties for other reasons. The data has been taken from appendix B1 to B13 and is reproduced as follows.

 

 

 

 

Male Representation

 

 

 

Total Cases

 % Hired

Wins

% Wins

Male Lawyer

201

 82.2

43

21.3

Female Lawyer

44

 17.8

15

34.1

 

 

 

It can be concluded that a male has a ( 34.1 21.3 ) 12.8 % greater chance of winning if he hires a female lawyer than if he hires a male lawyer.

 

 

 

 

Female Representation

 

 

 

Total Cases

% Hired

Wins

% Wins

Male Lawyer

158

 64.5

113

71.5

Female Lawyer

 87

 35.5

74

85.0

 

 

 

It can be concluded that a female has a ( 85.0 71.5 ) 13.6 % greater chance of winning if she hires a female lawyer than if she hires a male lawyer.

 

 

 

Male Wins

 

 

 

Female with a Male Lawyer Total cases

Female with a Male Lawyer Total Wins

Female with a Male Lawyer Percent Wins

Female with a Female Lawyer Total Cases

Female with a Female Lawyer Total Wins

Female with a Female Lawyer Percent Wins

Male with a MaleLawyer

133

33

24.8

72

12

16.7

Male with a Female Lawyer

25

9

36.0

15

5

33.3

 

 

Female Wins

 

 

 

Male with a Male Lawyer Total cases

Male with a Male Lawyer Total Wins

Male with a Male Lawyer Percent Wins

Male with a Female Lawyer Total Cases

Male with a Female Lawyer Total Wins

Male with a Female Lawyer Percent Wins

Female with a Male Lawyer

133

100

 75.2

25

16

68.0

Female with a Female Lawyer

72

60

 83.3

15

10

66.7

 

 

 

 

Discrimination Indexes by Lawyer Representation

 

 

Discrimination Index   Female with Female Lawyer v Male with Female Lawyer

  

DI = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 66.7 33.3 = 33.4 %

 

 

Discrimination Index   Female with Female Lawyer v Male with Male Lawyer

  

DI = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 83.3 16.7 = 66.6 %

 

 

Discrimination Index   Female with Male Lawyer v Male with Female Lawyer

  

DI = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 68.0 36.0 = 32.0 %

 

 

Discrimination Index  Female with Male Lawyer v Male with Male Lawyer

  

DI = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 75.2 24.8 = 50.4

 

 

 

 

 

Female with a Male Lawyer

Female with a Female Lawyer

Male with a MaleLawyer

       50.4

      66.6

Male with a Female Lawyer

       32.0

      33.4

 

 

 

 

It can be concluded that a man has the best odds when he has a female lawyer and his former spouse has a male lawyer. A man has the worst odds when he has a male lawyer and his former spouse has a female lawyer.

 

 

 

Self Represented Litigants

 

 

The database contained 61 cases where a self represented litigant won or lost. In 17 cases both parties were self represented. It contained one case where both parties were self represented and it could not be determined who won or lost. The results are reproduced in the table below.

 

 

 

Total Cases

Wins

% Wins

Male Litigant

42

6

14.2

Female Litigant

32

14

43.7

 

 

 

It can be concluded that a self represented  female had a 43.7 % chance of winning and self represented male had a 14.2 % chance of winning

 

 

Discrimination Index = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 43.7 14.2 = 29.5 %

 

Win ratio = % Female wins / % Male Wins = 43.7 / 14.2 = 3.1

 

 

 

 

 

Self Represented Litigants vs Self Represented Litigants

 

 

The database contained 17 cases where a self represented litigant won or lost. It contained one case where both parties were self represented and it could not be determined who won or lost. The results are reproduced in the table below.

 

 

 

Total Cases

Wins

% Wins

Male Litigant

15

5

33.3

Female Litigant

15

10

66.7

 

 

 

It can be concluded that when both former spouses are self represented the female wins 66.7 % of the time and the male wins 33.3 % of the time

 

 

Discrimination Index = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 66.7 33.3 = 33.4 %

 

Win ratio =  % Female wins / % Male Wins = 66.7 / 33.0 = 2.0

 

 

 

 

 
 
Self Represented Litigants vs Lawyers

 

 

The database contained 44 cases where a self represented litigant was opposed by a lawyer The data is reproduced in the table below.

 

 

 

Total Cases

Wins

% Wins

Male Litigant

27

1

  3.7

Female Litigant

17

8

47.1

 

 

 

It can be concluded that when a self represented person faces a lawyer in court a female self represented party has a 47.1 % chance of winning and a male self represented parties have a 3.7 % chance of winning

 

 

Discrimination Index = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 47.1 3.7 = 43.4 %

 

Win ratio =  % Female wins / % Male Wins = 47.1/ 3.7 = 12.7

 

 

 

 

 

Self Represented Litigants vs Lawyers by Sex of Lawyer

 

 

 

 

Female Lawyer

Male Lawyer

Male Self Represented Litigants

10

17

Male Wins

0

1

Percent Male Wins

0.0

5.8

Female Self Represented Litigants

2

16

Female Wins

0

8

Percent Female Wins

0.0

50.0

 

 

 

 

It can be concluded that no self represented person has ever won against a female lawyer. Only 1 male self represented party has ever won at the Court of Appeal. One other self represented male had a partial win against a lawyer. When self represented women face a male lawyer they have a 50.0 % chance of winning and when a self represented male faces a male lawyer he stands a 5.8 % chance of winning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discrimination Indexes for Self Represented Litigants vs Lawyers by Sex of Lawyer

 

 

Discrimination Index   Self represnted litigant v male Lawyer

  

DI = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 50.0 5.8 = 44.2 %

 

 

Discrimination Index   Self Represented Litigant v Female Lawyer

  

DI = % Female Wins - % Male Wins = 0.0 0.0 = 0.0 %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Representation Data Using Discrimination Indexes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Female with a Female Lawyer

Female with a Male Lawyer

Female Self Represented

Male with a Female Lawyer

33.4

32.0

- 100.0

Male with a Male Lawyer

66.6

50.4

0.0

Male Self Represented

100.0

88.4

33.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

It can be concluded that both men and women have the best chances if they hire a female lawyer. For self represented parties there is no chance of either sex winning when the opposing party is represented by a female lawyer which means 100 % discrimination against the self represented party. When a male with a male lawyer is opposed by a self represented female the male wins 50 % of the time so there is no discrimination. When a self represented male is opposed by a female with a male lawyer his odds are 5.8 % and her odds are 94.2 % producing a discrimination index of 88.4 %. And when 2 self represented parties are oppsed discrimination is 33.4 % against the man