Keep your practice current
by Fran Hodgkins
The following are brief summaries of several recent Section meetings held throughout the province. More detailed information and available minutes from the Section meetings are accessible online at www.cba.org/bc in Professional Development, for enrolled CBA members.
ABORIGINAL LAW – VANCOUVER ISLAND
MEETING: June 27, 2008
SPEAKER: Lynne Partel, Executive Director, Special Claims Branch, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ottawa
TOPIC: Canada’s Specific Claims Reform Initiative and the new Specific Claims Tribunal Act
In order for a Claim to qualify as a Specific Claim, it must be at least 15 years old. The Specific Claims Tribunal Act (SCTA) which will come into force October 16, 2008, will deliver binding decisions and award substantial amounts of compensation money (up to $150,000,000). The Filing/Submission Process includes an Assessment Time Period of three years for the government to do research and a historical review. If rejected by the government, there will be an opportunity to bring the Claim before an independent Tribunal composed of Federal Superior Court Judges. Should the government determine that it has a legal obligation, a further three year Negotiation phase begins. Funding is available to First Nations if a longer period is allotted in the negotiation process. At present, more than 70 per cent of claims that come into the system are accepted, and more than 90 per cent of that 70 per cent result in settlement.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE & FAMILY LAW – OKANAGAN (JOINTLY)
MEETING: May 8, 2008
SPEAKER: Jocelyn Coupal, Domestic Violence Resource Counsel for the Criminal Justice Branch
TOPIC: Taking an Integrated, Community Approach to Domestic Violence
Ms. Coupal, formerly the Administrative Crown Counsel in New Westminster and now Domestic Violence Counsel for the Criminal Justice Branch assisted in the creation of the Domestic Violence Response Team that takes a coordinated, integrated approach to these cases. The highlight of the meeting for family lawyers was receiving a list of factors that put the victim in extreme and predictable further danger. Family lawyers benefited from this advice as every case is not so serious as to be treated as life threatening to the victim; they need to know which ones to give special attention to. Members in attendance heard 911 calls, and discussed the reasons why victims return to abusers. The goal is to keep the victim safe, not to feel that they have failed if the victim returns to the abusive partner. Some of the domestic violence statistics are: 20 per cent of all the criminal charges laid by Police Departments in B.C. are domestic violence related; women are abused 19-35 times before they call the police the first time; and four out of every 10 solved homicides are domestic violence related and in half (50 per cent) of these, homicide police had previous knowledge of the violence.
Section Chairs SPOTLIGHT
David C. Dundee
Despite his name, David Dundee was not raised by wild dingoes in the Australian Outback but was born in Regina, raised in Kitimat, and educated in Toronto and Vancouver. For the past 14 years of his legal career he has practised family law exclusively, and is also a family law mediator in Kamloops with Paul and Company, a small firm of four lawyers.
David wears several hats for the B.C. Branch! He has been the Family Law – Kamloops Section Chair for seven years, an Elected Member of Yale county for two years and serves as Chair of the CBABC Family Relations Act Review Working Group. Several B.C. Branch committees are benefiting from David’s commitment and involvement. He currently sits on the Legal Aid, Membership, and Planning and Priorities Advisory committees. David has contributed to the Continuing Legal Education Society, once as Co-Chair, twice as a presenter, and has acted as contributing editor for the CLE Family Practice Manual. He also volunteered for the Salvation Army British Columbia Pro Bono Lawyer Consultation Program.
MEETING: June 18, 2008
SPEAKER: Melanie Stewart – Executive Director, Planning and Policy Research, Climate Action Secretariat
TOPIC: Climate Change: Legislative Initiatives in B.C.
This well-attended meeting which, was also available by Webinar to members outside Vancouver, featured an informative PowerPoint presentation prepared by the Climate Action Secretariat on B.C.’s Action on Climate Change. Reducing B.C.’s GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions by at least 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020 and at least 80 per cent below by 2050 are targets of B.C. Climate Action. Five key strategies to implement this are: regulation, fiscal measures, market mechanisms, support for technology and behaviour change. Ms. Stewart showed graphs of the carbon tax from now through to 2011 explaining the carbon tax revenues and the revenue neutrality of the tax through tax reductions including personal and corporate income tax reductions and the low income climate action tax credit. B.C. is working in partnership with EU countries, US states, New Zealand, Norway and Mexico to collect and provide emissions data and make future linking of trading programs possible. Ms. Stewart also briefly discussed the proposed timing for regulations supporting further operationalizing the legislative framework enacted to date.
MEETING: June 23, 2008
SPEAKERS: Donald Yule, QC, Partner, Guild, Yule and Company LLP and David Pilley, Partner, Harper Grey LLP
TOPIC: A Critical Look at the Proposed Health Care Costs Recovery Act (BC), 2007/2008 B.C. Health Case Law Update
Mr. Yule provided a critical examination of Bill 22 (the Health Care Costs Recovery Act (BC)) and its potential implications to Section members in attendance and by teleconference. Bill 22, which creates a statutory right of recovery for the costs of healthcare services against a wrongdoer, has passed its third reading in the Legislature and is awaiting proclamation by regulation. Mr. Yule also discussed a number of provisions and issues outlined in detail in a memorandum regarding Bill 22. Mr. Pilley reviewed recent developments in health jurisprudence in B.C., focussing mainly on claims involving physicians. He discussed in detail the following cases: Sadlowski v. Young, 2008 BCSC 456; Watt v. Hicks, Wong, et al.; Austin v. Joaquin, 2007 BCSC 1287; and Bohun v. Sennewald,  B.C.J. No. 408; Bohun v. Segal,  B.C.J. No. 97 (B.C.C.A.)
Put a face to a name!
Those Section meeting notices, minutes and legislative updates you receive on an ongoing basis are circulated by Cora Yuen, Administrative Assistant to CBABC Sections. Make sure you are signed up again for the 2008–2009 Section year and continue to receive her e-mails. Section activity is well underway. If you need a form please contact the Branch office or download one at www.cba.org/bc/PD/main/sections.aspx.
See What You're Missing!
The CBABC invites you to attend ONE FREE SECTION MEETING in person, by Webinar or teleconference. CBA membership is not mandatory for this offer – we want to remind you of the benefits of belonging to the CBA! View upcoming Section meetings online at www.cba.org/bc and print a Privilege Pass.
This article was published in the October 2008 issue of BarTalk. © 2008 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.