Agenda is subject to change

8:30 - 9:00

Registration & Breakfast

9:00 - 9:05 

Conference Co-Chairs Opening Remarks

Malcolm M. Mercer, Law Society of Ontario (Toronto, ON)
Amy Salyzyn, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law (Ottawa, ON)

9:05 - 10:30 

Recent International Developments in Lawyer Regulation
(1.25 hours of Ethics, Professionalism and Practice Management)

Never has the pace of change in lawyer regulation been so fast. In England reform at the SRA continues and Prof. Stephen Mayson has proposed major rethink of what regulation should look like. In the US, several states are looking at liberalizing restrictions on who can offer legal services. And Canadian law societies are keeping pace with law firm regulation becoming the norm and risk-based approaches being adopted. This Panel will examine the changes that are happening to better understand what the future holds for legal services regulation in Canada.


Rebecca Durcan, Steinecke Maciura LeBlanc (Toronto, ON)
Darrel Pink, Steinecke Maciura LeBlanc (Toronto,ON) 

Stephen Mayson, Honorary Professor, University College London, Faculty of Laws (London, UK)
John R. Lund, Parsons Behle & Latimer (Greater Salt Lake City, UT)
Victoria Rees, Q.C., Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (Halifax, NS)

10:30 - 10:45 

Health Break

10:45 - 12:15 

The Weakest Link: What is Legal Ethics' Biggest Gap?
(1.5 hours of Ethics, Professionalism and Practice Management)

The Rules of Professional Conduct seem well-suited to criminal law, corporate transactions and civil litigation.  Other areas of law and the lawyers and clients they involve are much less well served.  But who has it worst?  In this session, advocates will make the case that their area of law and its lawyers are LEAST well served by the current rules.  After the submissions, the audience will vote to determine the “winner”.


Darcia Senft, Law Society of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB)


Robert G. Harvie, Harvie denBok Pollock (Lethbridge, AB)
Fred W. Headon, CIC.C, Air Canada (Dorval, QC)
Noel Semple, Professor, University of Windsor Faculty of Law (Windsor, ON)
Leslie Walden, Department of Justice Canada (Ottawa, ON)

12:15 - 13:15 


13:15 - 14:00

Understanding Lawyers' Ethics: A Judge-Eye View
(0.75 hours of Ethics, Professionalism and Practice Management)

As a Professor Alice Woolley took definite positions on the nature and extent of lawyers’ ethical obligations. Her central claim, as set out in various articles and in her textbook Understanding’ Lawyers’ Ethics in Canada, was that lawyers have an ethical obligation to be zealous advocates within the bounds of legality. More specifically, in that text and in a range of academic articles, she challenged the regulation of lawyer civility, restated the special duties of prosecutors, defended the importance of criminal defence, emphasized the role of independence of the bar, explained the lawyer’s duties as a fiduciary, and set out the difference, ethically speaking, between lawyer advocacy and advice.

In this talk Justice Woolley revisits some of these questions from a judge’s point of view. She will set out what, if anything, has changed in her thinking about what the rule of law – and the administration of justice – requires lawyers to do and be.

Keynote Speaker: The Honourable Justice Alice Woolley (Calgary, AB)

14:00 - 14:15 

Health Break 

14:15 - 15:45 

100 Years of Professional Conduct Codes in Canada: What Should Change?
(1.5 hours of Ethics, Professionalism and Practice Management)

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of lawyer codes of conduct in Canada; this anniversary marks an appropriate time to take stock of the past, present and future of lawyer codes of conduct. Speakers on this panel will consider the purpose of codes of conduct, assess whether current codes are achieving that purpose and suggest answers to the question: what should change?


David Swayze, Meighen Haddad LLP (Brandon, MB)


Elaine G. Cumming, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society (Halifax, NS)
Malcolm Mercer, Treasurer, Law Society of Ontario (Toronto, ON)
Stephen G.A. Pitel, Professor, Western University, Faculty of Law (London, ON)  
Amy Salyzyn, Professor, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law (Ottawa, ON)

15:45 - 15:55 

Closing Remarks