Immensely Successful Third Annual GREATdebate
On November 23rd, 2010, Boughton Law Corporation and the British Columbia Law Institute jointly hosted the immensely successful 3rd Annual GREATdebate at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver. A lively and entertaining evening of dinner and debate, the event was sponsored by R. Johnson, HSBC, HUB International and Manning Elliot. George Cadman, QC of Boughton Law Corp., hosted the evening and Rick Cluff, host of CBC Radio 1 “The Early Edition,” presided as moderator for the debate. Debaters from Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP and Boughton Law Corp. delivered creative and thoughtful presentations and rebuttals on the topic “Mrs. Forenza Wings 14.2 million estate should go to her parrot, Polygon.”
The judging panel comprised The Honourable Wally Oppal, QC, former Attorney General of British Columbia, The Honourable Lance Finch, Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal, B.C. and The Honourable Robert Bauman, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, B.C. The judges continued the jocular mood by delivering a unanimous and light-hearted decision that awarded victory and the GREATdebate Trophy to the team from Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP.
The 2010 GREATdebate will be remembered as one of last year’s professional event highlights.
Photo L-R: George Cadman, QC of Boughton Law Corporation; Rick Cluff of CBC Radio 1 is standing at the podium (the MC for the evening); Peter Ramsay, QC of the BCLI; Emily Clough and Andrew MacKay of Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP are holding the well-deserved GREATdebate trophy.
Lorianna Bennett Honoured with TRU’s 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award for Community Service
Lorianna, a family lawyer, mom and engaged community volunteer, has inspired her peers and promoted a culture of change in many law firms striving to create working environments that balance the needs of professionals, families and communities in her capacity as the former Yale County representative of the Canadian Bar Association.
Work life balance is important to Lorianna who is an active volunteer in her sons’ school and sporting activities, teaches a Commercial law course at TRU and fundraises for the hospital and university foundations. She often takes time to speak as a career mentor and as an advocate for anaphylaxis education.
Bill C-49 Denies Rights of Refugee Claimants
The CBA’s National Citizenship and Immigration Law Section says Bill C-49, Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act, wrongly targets and penalizes refugee claimants rather than the human smugglers who facilitate their arrival.
“The CBA understands the government’s desire to enact legislation that will discourage further irregular, mass arrivals and agrees that it is legitimate to target the activities of human smugglers,” says Gordon Maynard, of Vancouver, a past Chair of the CBA’s National Citizenship and Immigration Law Section. “Unfortunately, little of Bill C-49 is directed at them.”
The CBA cautions that Bill C-49’s mandatory and long-term detention proposals deny basic rights to refugee claimants. “Under the proposed scheme, refugee claimants would be denied a review of their detention for 12 months, refused appeal rights, and even recognized refugees would be denied access to permanent residence status for a minimum of five years. These provisions profoundly affect refugees in need of protection and impede their integration into Canadian society,” says the CBA brief.
The CBA concludes that the flaws in Bill C-49 cannot be rectified by modest amendments. “For these reasons we do not support Bill C-49,” says Gordon Maynard.
CBA Submission: www.cba.org/CBA/submissions/pdf/10-78-eng.pdf
Changes to Bill C-470 Welcomed
In December 2010, the federal government Standing Committee on Finance modified Bill C-470, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (revocation of registration) with changes that reflect two of the CBA’s principal concerns about the impact of the bill.
Earlier versions of the private member’s bill would have amended the Income Tax Act to revoke the registration of a charitable organization, public foundation or private foundation if the annual compensation it pays to any single executive or employee exceeds $250,000. In its submission presented to the Finance Committee earlier in December, the CBA’s Charities and Not for Profit Section said the proposed salary cap would undermine the work of many large registered charities, by reducing the pool from which they can draw senior staff. The Bill has been modified to remove the compensation cap.
The Finance Committee was also receptive to the CBA’s concern about the impact of the disclosure requirements in Bill C-470 on confidential transactions between charities and third parties – including contracts for payment of lawyers. In its amended form, Bill C-470 respects solicitor-client privilege by not requiring disclosure of fees paid to lawyers.
The amended Bill C-470, which will go to the full House of Commons for a final vote, requires the disclosure of the name, job title and annual compensation of all employees and executives of Canadian registered charities who receive total annual compensation of over $100,000 beginning in 2012. In earlier versions of the Bill, the disclosure requirement applied only to the top five earners in an organization.
CBA submission: www.cba.org/CBA/submissions/pdf/10-56-eng.pdf
Law Students’ Legal Advice Program (LSLAP) – Call for Volunteers
LSLAP is a non-profit society run by UBC law students that has been providing legal advice and representation to low-income persons throughout the Lower Mainland for over 40 years. LSLAP is currently seeking volunteer lawyers to oversee its clinicians in small claims and criminal trials. LSLAP is seeking a commitment from lawyers to attend one or two trials per year, at which they can provide advice and feedback to an LSLAP student. Your involvement will support our clinician’s legal education, and will ensure impoverished persons in our community maintain access to cost-effective legal representation. Interested persons may contact our Legal Assistant, Trina Barnes, at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Cover photo: Ryan Phillips at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park in July. Ryan is currently a third year student at the University of Saskatchewan. Last year he summered in Campbell River with the firm of Tees Kiddle Spencer and he will be returning there for his articles.
Two candidates for National Second Vice-President
Two candidates are vying for the position of Second Vice-President of the CBA for 2011-2012. Once elected, the Second Vice-President goes on to become the First Vice-President a year later, and then President of the CBA a year after that.
The candidates are Lukasz Granosik of Montreal, and Fred Headon of Montreal. According to CBA bylaws, only members of Council are eligible to vote. Members will cast their ballots online using secure voting technology. The winner will be announced once the votes are tallied.
Find out more about the candidates:
Your Questions Answered on Privilege and Confidentiality
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about solicitor-client privilege and client confidentiality are the subject matter for the third in a series of guidelines, designed to supplement the CBA Code of Professional Conduct. Published in a convenient, searchable, online format, the guidelines pose 17 FAQs that deal with ethical issues for lawyers, ranging from exceptions to solicitor-client privilege, to client identification, to how to preserve privilege when communicating electronically.
“Lawyers have a duty, as expressed in the ethical codes of the profession, to hold client information in strict confidence,” explains Paul Paton, Chair of the CBA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. “The duty itself is straightforward, but how it applies in practical situations may not always be clear. We hope these FAQs will assist lawyers in identifying and fulfilling their professional responsibilities.”
The publication makes the important distinction between privilege and confidentiality, as outlined in the CBA Code of Professional Conduct. “The duty of confidentiality is distinguished from the common law rule of solicitor-client privilege with respect to oral or written communications between client and lawyer. The duty of confidentiality is wider and applies without regard to the nature or source of the information or to the fact that others may share the knowledge.”
Produced by the CBA’s Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee, the questions and answers follow two earlier practice tools – on new technologies and marketing practices. Law Professor Adam Dodek of University of Ottawa served as research director.
The two earlier sets of guidelines, along with the CBA Code of Professional Conduct, are all available on the CBA website:
Adventurous REAL Student
Julian Tryczynski in South Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, near Bella Coola. Julian is currently a third year student at the University of British Columbia. Last year he summered in Williams Lake with the firm of Vanderburgh & Company.
Click here to read more about the CBABC REAL (Rural Education and Access to Lawyers) Initiative.
Call for Nominations
You are encouraged to honour a colleague and fellow CBABC member through their nomination for one of the following prestigious awards:
The Equality and Diversity Award celebrates the accomplishments of a CBABC member who has succeeded in advancing equality in the legal profession or generally in B.C.
The Harry Rankin, QC Pro Bono Award was established in recognition of the immense contribution of Harry Rankin, QC in supporting access to justice for the poor. The Award recognizes outstanding contributions by a member of the CBABC in the area of pro bono work.
The Work Life Balance Award recognizes a CBABC member, law firm or organization who demonstrates leadership in promoting work life balance within the practice of law.
Additional information on these awards and nomination forms are available on the home page at cba.org/bc under “Call for Nominations.”
Grant Wong Named by Lexpert as One of Canada’s Leading Lawyers Under 40
This honour recognizes Grant, partner at Lang Michener LLP, as a rising star in the Canadian legal industry, and among the next generation of leaders in law. Lexpert, a leading publication on business law in Canada, announced its selection at a gala awards ceremony on November 25, 2010.
CLEBC UPDATE: UPGRADE
CLEBC Online Publications and Search Engine
Here at CLEBC, we have been working on a major upgrade to our online publications and to our search engine. The features and speed of the online publications and the search engine have all been significantly improved. We’ve been working with LexUM, the software developer behind CanLII, on both these projects. LexUM’s sophisticated understanding of the presentation of legal material has been enormously helpful to us in our work.
Not only has the functionality been improved, but the new online publications design also included a commenting feature. Users will be able to comment on the content of CLEBC publications, as will authors, editorial boards, and CLEBC editorial staff. In this way, the B.C. legal community will be able to share relevant late-breaking news on B.C. law and practice, as well as different perspectives and approaches to the content of our manuals.
We’re now working on the final touches to these upgrades. Look for the new and improved features this spring. And we’re very grateful to the Law Foundation for their support of this project.
For further information contact CLEBC customer service at 604-893-2121 (toll-free in Canada at 1-800-663-0437) or at www.cle.bc.ca.
When the Other Party Does Not Have Counsel at the Mediation
The mediator’s job is to maintain an even playing field, which means giving all parties, whether represented or not, a voice at the table. Be aware that sometimes the mere presence of a lawyer may be an intimidating factor for unrepresented parties. Success in mediation depends on trust and full participation, and the more you as counsel can contribute to that end, the better the chances of settlement.
COURTESY OF MEDIATE B.C. SOCIETY www.mediatebc.com
These articles were published in the February 2011 issue of BarTalk. © 2011 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.