Simon Potter Named New CBA National President
On August 14th, Simon V Potter, of Ogilvy Renault in Montreal became the CBA President for the 2002/2003 term. In his inaugural address to the Annual Conference in London, Ontario, Mr. Potter discussed the relationship between the CBA and the federal government using the CBA positions on anti-terrorism legislation and decriminalization of cannabis as examples. Mr. Potter intends to place a focus on listening to the legal profession this year. He says that the CBA should not only be the voice of legal profession in Canada, but its ears. The new CBA President plans to encourage members to look beyond their provincial and national borders and to help to make the CBA an even greater ally of members of the legal profession. Mr. Potter specializes in commercial litigation, international trade law and administrative and competition law at the Montreal firm of Ogilvy Renault, where he has practised since 1975.
New National Elder Law Section Formed
Following a growing practice in the USA and other jurisdictions, the CBA National Elder Law Section held its first meeting on August 11, 2002 at the CBA Annual Meeting in London, Ontario. Hugh McLellan of Vancouver was elected Vice Chair. The purpose of the Section is to improve the law affecting seniors; to educate the public, the Bar and the judiciary on important Elder Law issues and to foster professionalism in the practice of Elder Law.
CBABC members interested in forming a BC Elder Law Section are asked to contact Hugh McLellan at McLellan Herbert, 310-800 West Pender St., Vancouver, BC, V6C 2V6, 604-683-5254.
Coalition a First Step to CBA Legal Aid Test Case
The National CBA is forming a legal aid coalition as it prepares to select test cases to broaden the right to legal representation. Daphne Dumont, QC, Past President of the CBA announced a three step program to help solve Canada’s legal aid crisis. The plan includes (1) the formation of a coalition of nine organizations that have similar concerns regarding legal aid, (2) with coalition partners, taking our Legal Aid Watch to the grassroots, and (3) the selection of test cases to broaden the scope of a constitutional right to legal representation.
The Coalition includes the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the Canadian Council for Refugees (Montreal) and ARCH: A Legal Resource Centre for Persons with Disabilities (Toronto), among others. “These organizations bring extensive, firsthand experience with the grassroots impact of governments’ neglect of legal aid. This coalition will further increase our clout when lobbying governments,” said Daphne Dumont, QC, CBA Past-President. For more information call Chantal Duguay-Hyatt at CBA National 1.800.267.8860, ext 109.
No WCB Premium Rate Increase for Law Firms This Year
The Workers’ Compensation Board recently announced a 20 per cent increase in the 2003 base rate for law firm employers. Following intervention by the CBA on behalf of BC’s lawyers, Sid Fattedad, WCB VP of Finance, initiated a review and on finding that certain unusual cost awards had skewed our profession’s rate trend, Mr. Fattedad will recommend that there be no WCB premium rate increase for law firms this year.
There will be an article by Mr. Fattedad in the December BarTalk issue.
These articles were published in the October 2002 issue of BarTalk. © 2002 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.