ISSN 1704 â€“ 9377
Vol. 37 No. 2 Summer 2012
Law Matters | 1
IN THIS ISSUE President’s Report
Cyril Gurevitch, Pres. 2012-13
Back to Basics
View from the Bench
LSA Accreditation Committee
Front & Centre
You Can’t Handle the Truth
Times are Changing
CBA National News
Going In-House Guide
Pro Bono Law Alberta
Notice to the Profession
State of Articling in Alberta
Small Communities Action Plan 25 Classified et Cetera
This is my last editor’s page, as I am pleased to announce that I will be passing the torch to another Editorial Committee member, Shannon McGinty, who I am confident will be innovative and creative with the future of this publication. As I sit and reflect back on the seven years I have been editor, I am proud to say that, with the assistance of the Dragana Sanchez hard-working, dedicated Glowicki, Editor and fabulous Editorial Committee, the magazine has taken on a new look, a quarterly theme, and a table of contents, has become well-balanced between educational and informative material, and is a great magazine to read and archive for future reference. Although I am stepping down, I am pleased to have been asked (well, okay, begged – but this is a volunteer position, so begging does not reduce bragging rights) to remain on the Editorial Committee and mentor our new Editor.
A lot happened in Alberta this summer, and not just the fabulous weather of thunder, lightning, and rainstorms. The CBA has been organizing and planning the Canadian Legal Conference, which took place in Vancouver, British Columbia from August 12th to 14th. If you have never attended this conference, you should immediately put it on your to-do list and make it a priority! There truly is something for everyone. This conference is “an unparalleled, all-in-one event for continuing legal education, professional development, networking, and socializing with members of the profession from all across Canada. From articling students to the most senior members of the judiciary.” (Analea Wayne, QC). The Canadian Legal Conference is a valuable experience for one’s education and career development.
By Dragana Sanchez Glowicki
Speaking of education, this publication contains several interesting and informative articles that affect all of our practices. Robert Harvie, QC, has written an article on succession planning one’s own career. The article discusses the spectrum of succession planning, from the beginning as a law student, to articling, to associate lawyer, and eventually to (the Holy Grail of) partnership. However, the article certainly has a twist in that it suggests that perhaps now, more than ever before, the succession plan has evolved and is no longer what it was when our senior lawyers and mentors started the practice of law. Shekhar Parmar, Director with Counsel Network, completes his article with Part II of the “Going In House Guide”. And Shekhar has a double-header in this edition with a second article titled “The State of Articling in Alberta”, which will be as interesting to articling students as to managing partners. Cyril S. Gurevitch, QC, (who has on several occasions touted himself to be the“CBA junkie”) will commence his term as the Alberta Branch President in August of 2012. Congratulations, Cyril! Cyril writes about an initiative very near and dear to his heart – the initiative to reverse the unfortunate trend of the dwindling of lawyers in smaller centres across the province. This is a problem that the CBA is actively working on as well. Anthony G. Young, QC’s article, titled “Times Are Changing”, is an excellent reflection on how economics, technology, and the cost of legal services have not only changed the practice of law, but will continue to do so. If you do not keep up, you may get left behind. In closing, I would like to thank everyone who has supported the publication during my lengthy term with positive letters and e-mails. Our reader base is what keeps this publication alive, growing, and exciting. Thank you for supporting me as the Editor for the past seven years. It has been an honour and a privilege to work for you.
Contributing Authors this Issue Dragana Sanchez Glowicki Jeffrey D. Wise, QC Enrique Dubon-Roberts Marian V. De Souza Hon. Judge A.A. Fradsham Jocelyn Frazer Jennifer Flynn
Cyril S. Gurevitch, QC Robert Harvie, QC Patty Johnston, QC Anne Kirker, QC Jeremiah Kowalchuk Ola Malik Gillian Marriott, QC
Birch Miller Shekhar Parmar Frederica Schutz, QC Hon. Mr. Justice Jack Watson Anthony G. Young, QC
L-R top row: The Honourable Madam Justice E.I. Picard (Edmonton); Terrence A. Cooper, QC (Fort McMurray); Jason Schlotter (Calgary); Anthony G. Young, QC (Calgary); and, Devin Mylrea (Calgary). L-R bottom row: Robert Harvie, QC (Lethbridge); Michele Hollins, QC (Calgary); Shannon McGinty (Calgary); and, Gillian Marriott, QC (Calgary).
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I would like to thank our membership, Executive and staff for providing me with so much support this year as your Branch President. It has been a wonderful experience.
Jeffrey D. Wise, QC President
The Canadian Bar Association is dedicated to ensuring Access to Justice. We believe that the Rule of Law is fundamental to a free and democratic society. We are dedicated to the application of the Rule of Law within our society.
My goal has been to ensure that our Branch is providing our membership with the services and benefits that will enhance their practice. This year we re-structured our council meetings in order to encourage pro-active and lively discussion. We have enjoyed numerous debates at our meetings. We hope to see this active involvement of our Council continue in the future. This will ensure that our policies, programs and initiatives are developed and implemented, based upon the interests and wishes of our membership. This year we welcomed our new Executive Director, Maureen Armitage, who will guide us into a very exciting future; which includes a new National Strategic Plan, a new Membership Fee Structure, and Branch initiatives to address and promote the legal profession in rural Alberta. On June 26, 2012, the recommendations for the new Fee Structure were presented to Alberta Council. A motion was passed by our Council supporting the new recommendations. The details of the new Fee Structure will be presented to our members after National Council has had an opportunity to vote on the recommendations at the Canadian Legal Conference in Vancouver in August, 2012. On June 9 – 10, 2012 I attended the Canadian Bar Association Board of Directors meeting in Ottawa. The Membership Fee Review Working Group presented their recommendations for a new fee structure for the Canadian Bar Association. The Chair of the Working Group, Jack Innes, QC, advised the Board that the recommended fee model brings a fundamental change to the Canadian Bar Association membership philosophy. Recommendations are based upon a philosophy of choice and value. After 18 months of research and study, the Canadian Bar Association fee structure has 3 elements: 1. Individual pricing – available to all members of the Association, allowing for enhanced preferential pricing, the more a member is engaged. 2. Special circumstances pricing – available to members of the Association who meet specific definitions for categories that allow for specific price reductions.
By Jeffrey D. Wise, QC
The new fee structure offers 3 options for firms, 1 option for new lawyers, 2 – 3 new special circumstances categories and 3 options for individuals. A motion was passed by the National Board of Directors supporting the recommendations of the Working Group. All of the recommendations will be presented to the Canadian Bar Association Council at the Canadian Legal Conference in Vancouver in August 2012. While in Ottawa the Branch Presidents enjoyed their annual dinner at the Supreme Court of Canada with the Supreme Court Justices. The discussions were lively and most interesting. We had an opportunity to spend time with our highest Court discussing both provincial and national issues. On June 23, 2012 I attended the council meeting in Vancouver for the British Columbia Branch. British Columbia provided great hospitality in a very interesting and open meeting. I would like to thank the British Columbia Branch for their fine hospitality and their generosity. I am pleased to announce that our membership in 2012 increased from 5,164 members in May 2011 to 5,238 members in 2012. I would like to encourage members to attend Section meetings where they will find new and helpful information related to their particular areas of practice and interest. If there are any questions relating to Section meetings please go to our website at www.cba.org/alberta/sections or contact our South Section Coordinators, Curtis Serra or Melissa Morrison or North Section Coordinators, Karen McDougall or Jeremiah Kowalchuk. The Alberta Law Conference in 2013 will take place in Edmonton on January 24 – 25, 2013. Karen Platten, QC and Jeremiah Kowalchuk will serve as Co-Chairs. This is a great opportunity for our members to enhance their professional development and have lively discussions with colleagues. It is also a great networking opportunity. We hope to see as many members as possible at this great event. In August 2012, Cyril Gurevitch, QC will start his term as Branch President. Our Vice-President will be Marian De Souza. Our Treasurer will be Steve Mandziuk, QC. We will welcome our newest Executive Member, Wayne Barkauskas, as Secretary. Again, I would like to thank our Executive Director, Maureen Armitage, the Canadian Bar Association and our membership for their support and hard work throughout the year. We could not provide the services, benefits and advantages to our membership without the hard work and dedication of these fantastic volunteers. They are our foundation. I hope all of you enjoyed a great summer with your family and friends. I look forward to seeing you all this Fall, refreshed, relaxed and smiling. Res Ipsa Loquitur D
3. Group pricing – available to members of the Association who work in organizations that have 50 or more lawyers.
Law Matters | 3
Cyril Gurevitch: 2012-2013 CBA Alberta Branch President “He Keeps on Running” By Gillian Marriott, QC It is with pleasure that I introduce Cyril S. Gurevitch, QC: the incoming President of the Alberta Branch. Cyril is the first member, from a centre other than Edmonton or Calgary, to take on this role in Alberta and brings to the table his experience as a member practicing in a smaller centre. This is of significance as we are all aware that the number of lawyers serving those centres is declining and this is a concern for the profession and for the public. I know that Cyril sees this as one of his priorities for the upcoming year and I am confident that he will focus his “energy” on this as well as serve the Branch to the best of his abilities.
2007-2010. He has also been involved with the Airport Commission, the Progressive Conservative Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the local Rotary. He was on the Board of Governors for the Regional College and is currently a member of the President’s Council. In addition to all of the above, he and his wife of 37 years, Brenda, have raised three children: Lindsay, Kivey and Jared. In Cyril’s resume he describes the years 19852001 as “involved as coach and manager with many of my children’s extra-curricular activities, including hockey, basketball, soccer and baseball”. No doubt!
Cyril S. Gurevitch, QC Cyril brings to the President’s role a wealth of In his free time, Cyril enjoys travelling and has done so CBA Alberta President experience. He was born and raised in Calgary and extensively: visiting every continent except Asia and completed his first year of law school in that City before Africa. He enjoys spending time at the family cottage with moving to Edmonton and completing his law degree at the University Brenda and the kids and their rescue dog Kona, who he describes as of Alberta. He was admitted in 1977 and worked with the Attorney “fantastic company”. He plays senior slo-pitch and is happy to report General’s Office for a few years. He moved to Grande Prairie in 1980 that his team has won their last two tournaments. He is a bit of a “pool and entered into private practice, which has morphed over time into shark” and I don’t’ mean that he is a good swimmer. So beware if he his own firm of Gurevitch Burnham. Cyril has practiced in a variety of ever suggests a “friendly game”. areas and conducted lectures in everything from family law, wills and estates, and mortgages. He can be seen as a “gp in GP” although he Brenda describes Cyril as the proverbial “energizer bunny” and for has lately been focusing on more of a solicitors practice, or at least those of you who have tried to outlast him at the hospitality suite you trying to. know of what she speaks. Terry Evenson once tried and finally gave up at 4am – just to have him call her in the morning and ask if they Cyril has been a member of the CBA since 1975 and became a member were still on for breakfast. Cyril has seemed to capture that “work/life” of the Council in 2001. He was acclaimed Secretary in 2009. After balance which seems to elude most of us. Maybe it has something to moving to Grande Prairie in 1980, Cyril committed to his community do with the water in Grande Prairie or maybe it is just being a person and is a shining example of someone who has given back and continues whose got his priorities right. Whichever, I am confident that he will to do so. He served on the Executive and as President of the the Grande direct that energy and commitment towards the CBA and will serve Prairie Bar Association in 1995-1997. He also served as the Chair of the the Branch well. He will “keep on running”. D Board of Directors of the GP and Region United Way for 3 years from
PAGE 25: INCOMING PRESIDENT CYRIL S. GUREVITCH, QC SHARES CBA - ALBERTA’S SMALL COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE
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4 | Law Matters
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BACK TO BASICS
Succession Planning: Not Now, But Right Now By Robert Harvie, QC Some time back in 1964, a social philosopher named Robert Zimmerman, better known by his stage name Bob Dylan, offered the truism that, well, things change. And he suggested that we best learn to adapt to those changes, or risk being washed away by them. And his words, paraphrased slightly, are just as applicable to the changing face of law firms in the 21st century… and so, I offer the following:
Robert Harvie, QC
Come gather ‘ round lawyers Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be stretched to the bone If your firms to you Are worth savin’ Then you better start plannin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’.
The face of the practice has changed dramatically in the last twenty years. The law has changed, the expectations of clients have changed, technology has changed, the economies of the practice have changed – essentially everything about the practice has changed. And yet. The somewhat traditional paradigm of the evolution of lawyer, from law student, to articling student, to associate lawyer, and eventually, to that holy grail of partnership has remained relatively constant. Until now, perhaps. Just this month in the Canadian Lawyer, Michael McKeirnan writes of the “New Subclass” of second-class partners in larger law firms. As McKeirnan writes, more and more large law firms struggle to maintain senior partner profits through making the path to partnership more onerous, and through the increasing use of “non-equity” partners... essentially maintaining fewer equity partners to keep a bigger slice of a somewhat shrinking income pie. This, in turn, creates a struggle for future transition. Because, as lower level partners become more disgruntled, they have a tendency to leave to greener pastures – which, in some cases, can result in a complete dissolution of the law firm, such as was the case with American firm Dewey LeBoeuff LLP, which went from an international firm of over 1,000 lawyers, to bankruptcy in less than five years, largely as a result of changes in the economic climate accompanied by a departure of many of their partners (some 200 out of 300 partners left the firm). So much for effective succession planning. And these difficulties aren’t limited to large firms. Smaller firms and sole practitioners are finding themselves in a changing market as well. In a recent British Columbia survey it was determined that
the average age of a lawyer is now 47 years old. In small communities, the average age is over 50, with some communities having an average lawyer age over 60. Statistics in Alberta are similar. As such, this translates into large numbers of lawyers retiring or beginning to make plans for retirement – with much smaller numbers of lawyers available (or interested) in purchasing their practice or facilitating that retirement. Retention of lawyers in the profession is a relatively new and growing concern, particularly respecting female lawyers who are choosing to leave the practice in growing numbers. Law societies across Canada, including Alberta, have formed committees specifically to understand and respond to retention concerns – which impacts access to justice, but also impacts on succession planning for lawyers remaining in the practice. These new and changing realities mean that it will be more difficult, and lawyers will have to be more creative and put more thought into a proper succession plan today than they did twenty years ago. Gone are the days when a retirement plan could be put together in the last year or two of practice, premised on a sale of a lawyer’s book of clients or a pre-determined “buyout” by existing partners. As is so often the case, members of our profession are very good at taking care of their clients, but are woefully imprudent when it comes to taking care of themselves. Succession planning, unfortunately, is not typically considered a pressing priority of most lawyers... until it becomes a pressing priority, at which time it’s generally too late to do much “planning”. In addition to the importance of success planning for anticipated retirement, lawyers should also be cognizant of “unexpected” events resulting in a termination of practice, including incapacity or death pre-empting normal retirement age. Imagine the stress to your fellow lawyers, to your staff, your clients - and worse, your family members - if your practice should suddenly come to an end without any prior planning regarding such an eventuality. In the absence of some reasonable planning, firm lawyers could be left in a lurch, clients could find themselves suddenly without representation, and the value of your practice could suddenly be reduced to fire sale prices – or lost completely – without some reasonably prudent and considered effort to put together a succession plan. So, what are we to do? Well, fortunately you do not have to begin from scratch in putting such a plan together. Our Law Society of Alberta has resources available to our members to assist with such planning, including succession planning checklists available at lawsociety.ab.ca. It is highly recommended that whether you are in a large firm or are a sole practitioner, you sit down and begin to put together a wellconsidered succession plan, or, if you have such a plan, you review and consider whether that plan continues to be realistic and effective for your needs. D Law Matters | 5
W H AT ’ S
September 14 – 15: 3rd Annual Access to Information and Privacy Law Symposium: Where are we now, and where are we going? Westin Hotel, Ottawa ON. Contact: Leslie Huard (CBA National Office). Phone: (613) 237-2925 or Toll Free at 1-800-267-8860, Ext. 186 or via e-mail: email@example.com.
20 – 21: 2012 Annual Competition Law Fall Conference, Hilton Lac-Leamy, Gatineau, QC. Contact: Mahoganey Jones (CBA National Office). Phone: (613) 237-2925 or Toll Free at 1-800-267-8860, Ext. 186 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Patty Johnston, QC
28 – 29: 2012 National Construction Law Conference, Sheraton Hotel, St. John’s, Newfoundland. Contact: Leslie Huard (CBA National Office). Phone: (613) 237-2925 or Toll Free at 1-800-267-8860, Ext. 186 or via e-mail: email@example.com.
October 11 – 12: 8th Annual Pan-Canadian Insolvency and Restructuring Law Conference, 2012 Military Law Conference. Delta Halifax, Halifax, NS. Contact: Lauren DalBello (CBA National Office). Phone: 613-2372925/ 1-800-267-8860 ext. 190 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 | Law Matters
By Patricia Johnston, QC
28 - 30: 8th Annual Canadian Bar Association Law Firm Leadership Conference, Hyatt Regency, Calgary, AB. Contact: Leslie Huard (CBA National Office). Phone: (613) 237-2925 or Toll Free at 1-800-267-8860, Ext. 186 or via e-mail: email@example.com.
November 19: CCCA presents Managing Workloads and Workflows in the Legal Department, Calgary, AB. Contact: Kristina Unsworth via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
23 – 24: 13th Annual Administrative Law, Labour and Employment Law Conference: At the Crossroads, Westin Ottawa, Ottawa, ON. Contact: Mahoganey Jones (CBA National Office). Phone: 613-2372925; 1-800-267-8860, ext. 189 or via e-mail email@example.com. Please send your notices to Patricia (Patty) Johnston, QC c/o Energy Resources Conservation Board Phone: 403-297-4439 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
VIEW FROM THE
By Hon. Judge A.A. Fradsham
The tricky bit about writing this column is the need to be funny on command while not venturing into territory which might offend anyone (for a profession which bills itself as the last line of defence in the battle to protect free speech, we do seem to expend a great deal of energy creating puréed speech). So, it is with some hesitation that I embark on today’s observations.
taught that if you have committed to proving a defendant liable, there is no shirking of that commitment. But, you say, what about the defendants? Well, gentle reader; if you ask that question, I am afraid you just don’t get it. The whole policy is aimed at puréeing consequences for those who did not do what was required of them; all the rest is simply collateral damage necessary to our efforts which are aimed at coaxing and enticing the delinquent party into eventually doing, when convenient, what it was supposed to have done in the first place. Surely, you see the obvious merit in that?
You may recall the dust-up recently reported concerning a teacher who gave a “zero” mark to a student who did not hand in the required assignments. It would seem that the teacher’s school board had a policy of never assigning the grade of “zero”. Rather, the preferred response to a situation in which a student submitted no assignments for grading was to simply say that the student’s mark was “withheld due to insufficient information”. I gather the theory is that to assign a final mark of “zero” would be seen as absolving the student from the obligation to do the work, while a withheld mark sends the message that the student is still duty bound to sometime produce the goods.
Now, when applied to the criminal justice system, the Crown would find the new policy to be of great benefit (sorry, I mean “incentive”). A trial would never end in a “not guilty” verdict; rather, a failure by the Crown to prove guilt would simply result in the “verdict being withheld due to insufficient evidence”. The Crown would be able to adduce more evidence when convenient, thereby reminding the Crown that its duty to rebut the presumption of innocence is never at an end, and cannot be shirked.
Hon. Judge A.A. Fradsham
Now, armed as I am with only life experience, and a resultant grasp on how the outside world works (a grasp which I confess some may see as being somewhat tenuous since, after all, I am paid from the public purse), it is arguable that I am not qualified to comment on how best to motivate students still in the flower of youth to do their assigned work. Fine...I will leave to the better qualified a determination of what is the appropriate response to those who do nothing (but if it helps, I note that dictionaries invariably associate the word “zero” with a total absence of the thing being measured, but perhaps that harsh approach also needs to be puréed). I would be curious to know how many assignments are subsequently handed in after distribution of final report cards bearing the notation “grade withheld due to insufficient information”. I wonder if the ostracized word “zero” could find a home in that answer?
Now, an implementation of this “no zero” policy would admittedly require some retooling within our profession, but they say it is important to learn from other disciplines, and who am I to argue? I just hope that the “they” is not the same “they” who came up with the “no zero” policy in the first place. D
However, as I said, I will leave that question to others, but what the whole public discussion did do was lead me to consider how the “no zero” policy might play out closer to home in the legal profession. For a start, it does seem that such a policy would kick the stuffing out of the whole limitations of actions idea. Under a “no zero” philosophy, those who fail to file a claim within the time frames set out in the current limitations legislation would no longer be barred from submitting a claim at some point. The remedy sought would simply be “withheld”, not reduced to a ... zero. One has to admit that such a policy would eliminate our morbid fascination with “deadlines” and “drop dead” rules. I suppose judges presiding over civil trials would never dismiss a plaintiff ’s claim (whenever he or she got around to filing it), but rather would “withhold judgment due to insufficient information”. The plaintiff would thereby not be absolved of a continuing requirement to call sufficient evidence, at some point convenient to him or her. To absolve plaintiffs of that requirement surely would send the wrong message to plaintiffs. Rather, when the plaintiff finally submitted the evidence which was necessary, the plaintiff would then be entitled to the benefits of a judgment, and plaintiffs everywhere would be
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Proposed Amendments to the Rules of Court Your Input is Required By Anne Kirker, QC
The Rules of Court Committee asked that this issue of Practice Pointers highlight and solicit input from the Bar about some proposed amendments to the Rules of Court. We are pleased to assist in this way.
The Rules of Court Committee has noted, however, that a plaintiff is not without procedural remedies if a defendant refuses to cooperate in moving litigation forward.
• Time to serve the Defendant’s Affidavit of Records, being Rules 5.5(2) and (3);
Concerns have also been raised about the “drop dead” period running against plaintiffs when parties are awaiting dates for judicial dispute resolution. Rule 8.4(3)(a) requires the parties to engage in some form of alternate dispute resolution, such as JDR, before an action is set down for trial. JDR has proven to be the preferred form of alternative dispute resolution, particularly in personal injury actions, resulting in prolonged waits for JDR dates. The Rules of Court Committee is considering whether the JDR system should be overhauled to reduce wait times, thereby making the JDR system accord better with the shortened “drop dead” period.
• Denying the authenticity of a document, being Rule 5.15; and
Input is sought from the Bar, particularly in relation to the following issues:
• Time limit for reviewing a lawyer’s account, being Rule 10.10(2).
• Whether the express exceptions to the running of the “drop dead” period in Rule 4.33 are adequate;
Potential amendments to these Rules are discussed in greater detail in memoranda from the Rules of Court Committee, copies of which can be found on the Committee’s website.
• Whether the Rules otherwise provide plaintiffs with adequate redress if defendants refuse to cooperate in moving litigation forward;
Input is sought about potential amendments to four Rules: • Dismissal for long delay (a.k.a. the “drop dead” rule), being Rule 4.33;
Anne Kirker, QC
Dismissal for long delay (a.k.a. the “drop dead” rule)
• Whether the JDR system requires an overhaul to better harmonize with Rule 4.33; and
Old Rule 244.1 provided for dismissal if a thing was not done to materially advance an action for 5 or more years.
• Whether the length of the “drop dead” period in Rule 4.33 is appropriate.
New Rule 4.33 provides for dismissal if a thing is not done to significantly advance an action for 2 or more years, subject to four exceptions:
Time to serve the Defendant’s Affidavit of Records
the parties expressly agreed to the delay,
the delay is accounted for in an order, or in a litigation plan,
iii. a written proposal is sent suggesting a period of inactivity for more than 2 years, and no response is received from the opposing side, or iv. the opposing side has acquiesced in fresh steps after 2 years of inactivity, which the Court concludes warrants the action continuing. Rule 4.33 was drafted to work in harmony with other Rules, including Rule 4.4(2) (proposal about pace and timing), Rule 4.5 (complex case litigation plans), Rule 4.10 (court assistance with procedural issues) and Rule 4.12 (case management). Concerns have been raised about Rule 4.33 being lop-sided and, particularly, that it unduly puts the burden of moving litigation forward on plaintiffs. It has been noted, for example, that the “drop dead” deadline in Rule 4.33 is not extended if a defendant refuses to take steps, or if a defendant cancels or adjourns steps to which it had earlier committed. 8 | Law Matters
Presently, Rules 5.5(2) and (3) require a defendant to serve an Affidavit of Records within one month of being served with the plaintiff’s Affidavit of Records which, absent agreement, must be served by the plaintiff within three months of service of the first Statement of Defence. A defendant, therefore, may have anywhere from one to four months after defending to serve an Affidavit of Records depending on how quickly the plaintiff serves. To remedy the burden of this uncertainty, the Rules of Court Committee is considering an amendment whereby a defendant would be given an additional month (two months in total) from the date of service of the plaintiff’s Affidavit of Records to serve its own Affidavit of Records. Denying the authenticity of a document Under Rules 5.15(2) and (4), the party making an Affidavit of Records and the party receiving an Affidavit of Records are both deemed to admit the authenticity of every listed document unless authenticity is denied within one month of the document’s production. The Rules of Court Committee has received reports that some counsel are now issuing blanket denials of authenticity in respect of all documents as a matter of routine. con’t on page 9...
con’t from page 8...
Denying the authenticity of every document undermines the presumption of authenticity. An amendment to Rule 5.15 has been suggested whereby any party challenging authenticity would be required to particularize all objections. Alternatively, Rule 5.15 could be amended to postpone the date for challenging the authenticity of documents until later in the litigation.
CHOOSE FROM CANADA’S TOP MEDIATORS AND ARBITRATORS
Time limit for reviewing a lawyer’s account There is an inconsistent practice between Edmonton and Calgary when it comes to the time limitation for reviewing a lawyer’s charges: • Edmonton’s practice is that the six month limitation in Rule 10.10 applies only to clients seeking to review the charges of lawyers. The relevant deadline for enforcement by lawyers against clients is imposed by the Limitations Act.
The Hon. John C. (Jack) Major, C.C., Q.C.
The Hon. John S. Moore, Q.C.
The Hon. Ernest Marshall, Q.C.
Clint G. Docken, Q.C.
Graham Price, Q.C.
E. David D. Tavender, Q.C.
• Calgary’s practice is that the six month limitation in Rule 10.10 applies equally to lawyers and clients, although either may apply for a fiat extending the six month deadline. In order to make the practice consistent across the Province, the Rules of Court Committee is considering an amendment to clarify Rule 10.10, potentially by increasing the time limitation for client-initiated reviews from six months to two years. Such an amendment would make Rule 10.10 accord more closely with time limits in the Limitations Act. Comments from the Bar in relation to all of these issues should be sent to the Rules of Court Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org on or before September 30, 2012. D
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Ron Kruhlak, QC By Ola Malik This feature titled “Unsung Hero” is intended to introduce a member of our profession who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, innovation, commitment, or made significant contributions to social justice and community affairs. We are delighted to introduce you to Ron Kruhlak, QC. He is one of those fortunate lawyers who has excelled in a field that has become his passion – environmental law. Ron grew up in Edmonton, the product of proud Ukrainian parents who Ron Kruhlak, QC championed the importance of getting an education and pursuing one’s interests. Ron read law at the U of A and articled with the firm of McLennan Ross LLP in 1984 where he continues to practise as a partner. While at law school and at a time when expressing an interest in things “green” got you an indeterminate prison sentence, he applied for and received a grant from the Alberta Environmental Research Trust to write a paper on people’s rights of access to sunlight. While it’s likely that Ron’s paper wasn’t read by anyone other than himself, one can’t dispute the legacy impact which Ron has had in the field of environmental law. As a young lawyer, Ron came to the view that not enough was being done to recognize those who were great stewards of the environment. At the time, Alberta Environment had a limited awards scheme. Ron and his partners, Bill Rosser and Rod McLennan, approached Alberta Environment and proposed the creation of a new, independent, not-for-profit environmental organization responsible for submitting candidates for recognition. This vision was embraced by Alberta Environment’s Deputy Minister, Vance MacNichol, who shared it with then Environment Minister, Ralph Klein. By McLennan Ross joining Deloitte & Touche Chartered Accountants and Alberta Environment, the Alberta Emerald Foundation and its Emerald Awards came to be. For the next twenty years, Ron worked tirelessly as a member of the board and its chair to develop the Emerald Foundation into the significant environmental organization which it has now become. The Alberta Emerald Foundation has been working to recognize, celebrate and inspire environmental excellence in Alberta and to challenge Albertans and corporations to do more to protect the environment. In 2011, the Foundation recognized Ron’s long service by creating the Ron Kruhlak Youth Award which is awarded at the Foundation’s annual award ceremony. Ron is recognized as one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers, has been involved in many of Alberta’s largest environmental files, has acted on behalf of the Province of Alberta, government regulators, municipalities, landowners, corporations and just about anyone else on regulatory and environmental law issues. He has lectured in a variety of environmental law courses, is the author of countless articles in the field of environmental law and still finds time to volunteer with the Nature Conservancy of
10 | Law Matters
Canada and the Alberta Chamber of Resources. In a field of practice which can be polarizing and politically charged, Ron brings a thoughtful, collaborative and constructive approach. His steadfast commitment to protecting and enhancing Alberta’s environment has universally garnered the respect of his peers and adversaries. While the environmental law bar in Alberta may be relatively small, Ron is a giant. Not bad for a kid who thought that solar energy actually had a future... We celebrate Ron’s achievements – Ron is an “unsung hero” -- and he represents some of the finest qualities of our profession. D
Do you know an Unsung Hero? Tell us about them. If you know a lawyer who deserves to be recognized, please send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the lawyer’s name and the reasons why you believe they are an “unsung hero”. The only formal requirements for nomination are that our “unsung hero” be an Alberta lawyer and CBA member.
JUDICIAL LIST COURT OF QUEEN’S BENCH: Mr. Justice Ernest A. Marshall retired on January 13, 2012. Mr. Justice Arthur M. Lutz retired on February 3, 2012. Mr. Justice James L. Foster retired on April 4, 2012. Mr. Justice W. Vaughan Hembroff retired on May 9, 2012. Mr. Justice Melvyn A. Binder retired on July 14, 2012. Madam Justice Lawrie J. Smith retiring on September 1, 2012. Mr. Justice Terrence F. McMahon retiring on September 14, 2012. PROVINCIAL COURT: Judge Charles D. Gardner has been designated as the Assistant Chief Judge for the Edmonton Rural Region, effective May 30, 2012. Judge Peter P. Ayotte has been appointed as a part-time judge, effective June 1, 2012.
LSA Accreditation Committee Understanding the Challenges Internationally-Trained Lawyers Face By Jocelyn Frazer At best, becoming a lawyer in Alberta is a lengthy process. There are many requirements that every prospective applicant must satisfy: being of good character and reputation, meeting the academic qualifications, successfully completing a bar admission course and serving a term of articles. For applicants who are internationally trained lawyers or who obtained their law degrees outside of Canada, continuing or initiating their legal practices in Alberta can present additional challenges. They must, prior to accessing the bar admission process in a Canadian common law province or territory, obtain a Certificate of Qualification from the Federation of the Law Societies of Canadaâ€™s National Committee on Accreditation (NCA). The NCA is the body responsible for assessing the legal Jocelyn Frazer education and professional experience of individuals who have obtained their credentials outside Canada or from a Canadian civil law program. It sets out requirements, such as further training and examinations in areas relevant to Canadian legal practice, the applicant must meet prior to receiving a Certificate of Qualification. In recent years, the numbers of internationally qualified or educated individuals entering the legal profession in Canada has risen sharply. In Alberta, four internationally educated lawyers were called in 2004. Twenty-six were called in 2011, and in 2012 there are over fifty articling students who received their legal education outside Canada. On a national level, there has also been a dramatic increase in the total number of applicants to the NCA. Between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, the NCA received 1096 applications, a 3% increase from the previous year, and issued 466 certificates of qualification, a 19% increase from the previous year. Of the 1096 applicants in 2010/2011,
647 were educated in England, the US or Australia. Interestingly, a significant number of these prospective lawyers are Canadian born students who were educated abroad. With the numbers being projected to increase again this year, the NCA is the largest single source of law school graduates in Canada. We hear from some internationally-trained lawyers that becoming a lawyer in Alberta can be long, confusing, expensive, and discouraging. Obviously, internationally-trained lawyers or internationally educated law graduates are not a homogenous group, and challenges or barriers to entry into the Canadian legal profession will vary. Many of these lawyers do, however, encounter obstacles that Canadiantrained lawyers do not. Some of the challenges relate to finding information about the process, locating support or resources along the way, successfully completing the requirements stipulated by the NCA, finding articles, completing the bar admission course, passing the bar exams in Alberta and then becoming integrated into the legal community. Many application deadlines, eligibility criteria, and law firm recruiting systems are designed to meet only the needs of Canadian law school graduates. The Law Society of Alberta is seeking to better understand the challenges and barriers internationallytrained lawyers face, with a view to addressing them where possible. The Law Society has engaged Charis Management Consulting Inc. to assist with a needs assessment for support of internationally trained lawyers seeking admission to the Alberta Bar. Over the next several months, the Law Society and Charis will solicit feedback in a variety of ways with the goal of gaining understanding of the requirements of these lawyers and law graduates for successfully integrating into the legal community in Alberta. Anyone interested in this work is encouraged to contact Jocelyn Frazer, Equity Ombudsperson at toll-free 1-888-229-4769. D
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For more information, please contact:
Tanja Alsfasser | Recruitment & Research Coordinator Vancouver | 604.643.6338 | email@example.com
Law Matters | 11
The 2012 PBLA-CBA Video Project premiered at PBLAâ€™s 5th anniversary in June. Read more on Page 19...
L to R: Gillian Marriott, QC, Suzanne Alexander- Smith, Erin Runnalls
L to R: Maureen Armitage, Kevin Feth, QC, Cyril Gurevitch, QC
L to R: Marian De Souza, Doug Mah, QC
Criminal Justice Hosted its 20th Law and Literature Dinner on June 14. Read more on Page 13...
L to R: Hon. Judge S. R. Creagh, Hon. Judge D. R. Valgardson, Natasha Tames, Suzanne Thompson, Cheryl Hunter-Loewen, Nicole Kowalski
L to R: Marian De Souza, Maureen Armitage at Council Meeting
L to R: Hon. Judge J. L. Dixon, Brian Vail, QC, Hon. Judge P. M. Caffaro
L to R: Brian Vail, QC, John Carlzon, Susan Yake-Phillippe, Hon. Mr. Justice J. E. L. Cote, Hon. Mr. Justice Jack Watson
L to R: Analea Wayne, QC, Jeff Wise, QC at Council Meeting
L to R: James Lebo, QC, Michele Hollins, QC, Judge Dunnigan at Ride to Conquer Cancer in Calgary, AB
Chair Appreciation Dinners were attended by the CBA Executive, Council and Committee and Section Chairs
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In Calgary, AB on June 4 at Fort Calgary
In Edmonton, AB on June 19 at Faculty Club
Criminal Justice Hosts 20th Law & Literature Dinner “You Can’t Handle the Truth” By Hon. Mr. Justice Jack Watson
Hon. Mr. Justice Jack Watson
So said fictional Marine Col. Nathan R. Jessep (portrayed by actor Jack Nicholson) in the 1992 movie “A Few Good Men”. Jessep had it wrong. As a matter of reality, lawyers can handle the truth, and its polar opposite, and all the myriad grey areas in between. That is because the law is how humankind has visualized and managed the truth, its opposite and all the grey areas since the dawn of recorded history.
On June 14, 2012, the Criminal Justice Section had its 20th Law and Literature dinner in Edmonton, with close to 60 judges, lawyers and students on hand to celebrate at least 6,000 years of linkage between story telling and the law. All tales of human experience that have ever been expressed reveal the speaker’s view of what is right, what is wrong, and what are the consequences. Similarly, law is little more than the product of such story telling – narrative as experience, deduction, rhetoric, persuasion and generalization. The portrayals of the legal process, howsoever faulty and shameful it is presented to be, inevitably invigorate our sense of justice, our connection to great truths, and our awe of the majesty of the honour
system that lifts us from the state of nature. Ordinarily the dinner guests do readings, there being no formal speaker. For the first time, this dinner stepped into the You Tube era. We watched Jessep’s fiery speech. We sympathized with the “hick” judge addressing counsel on courtroom dress in My Cousin Vinny (1992) (a skillful understatement of the needs of due process). Having successfully defended them and torn by conscience, Defence counsel Maryk (José Ferrer) denounced his naval officer clients for contributing to the debacle that endangered them at sea and then in court martial for The Caine Mutiny (1954). Maryk led Lieutenant Commander Queeg (Humphrey Bogart) to descend to madness. Marlene Dietrich seemed to be wrecked as a Witness for the Prosecution, (1957) against murderer Tyrone Power, a classic with Charles Laughton channeling Sir Edward Carson. There too was Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) demonstrating the impossibility of his client’s guilt. And we had our usual volunteers as “readers”. Words retain their power even without the visuals. Sometimes more so. Law and Literature is an open invitation dinner that starts early and ends by 8:00 p.m. Watch for next year’s invitation. D
Assist Walk for Wellness held in Calgary, AB on July 19
People and Places Please send us your news! firstname.lastname@example.org Directory Corrections: The law firm of Gurevitch Burnham was excluded in the 2012 Legal Directory. T: 780-539-3710, F: 780-532-2788. Firm information is available at www.grandeprairielaw.ca. Edmonton: William Cheung is now with Parlee McLaws LLP. Evan Hardy is practicing with Schnell Hardy Jones LLP. John Lemieux is now with Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. Leslie Paetz is now with Intact Insurance. Gary Shudra has joined the Legal Department of the Alberta Motor Association. Scott Watson, QC is now practicing with Field LLP.
Calgary: Martin Arkell is practicing at Arkell Law. Peter Bychawski is practicing at Carscallen LLP. Kent Chicilo is with Inter Pipeline Fund. Shaun Cody is at New Horizon Law. Lori Bokenfor and James Dunphy have started their own firm Dunphy & Bokenfor. Janice Elmquist is practicing with the Office of the Public Trustee. Daniel Furst is with Suncor Energy. John Love is with TransCanada PipeLines Limited. Susan McQuaid is practicing at Findlay Smith LLP. Kevin Plowman is practicing with McMillan LLP. Suzanne Porteous is practicing at Carscallen LLP. Colleen Ross is with Alberta Health Services. Steve R. Smyth is practicing at Tervita Corporation. Rhea Anne Solis is practicing with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. Wise Walden Barkauskas is now Wise Scheible Barkauskas. Tyler Fric is practicing with Wise Scheible Barkauskas. Kelly Wright is practicing with Hildebrand Wilde. Law Matters | 13
Justicia Project Aimed at Retaining Women Lawyers in Private Practice By Frederica Schutz, QC Women have been entering the legal profession and private practice in record numbers for many years. Across the country, 50 per cent of lawyers graduating from law schools are women, yet once they enter private practice, significant numbers do not stay. Attrition rates are notably high amongst women with five to seven years at the Bar. The departure of women from private Frederica Schutz, QC practice means that the legal profession is losing a large component of its best and brightest in core areas of practice. Recent demographic information provided to the Retention and Re-Engagement Task Force indicates that in Alberta as law firm size increases, the diversity within the firm is more likely to decrease. Additionally, the loss of women in private practice exacerbates problems with the public’s ability to access legal services, particularly in smaller communities. In Ontario, the Law Society of Upper Canada launched the Justicia project in 2008 as a voluntary program aimed at retaining women lawyers in private practice. Law firms participating in the Justicia project have pledged, in a written commitment, their support to share best practices, develop resources and adopt programs to support women lawyers. The first of its kind, it has brought together 55 Ontario firms.
The Task Force recommended that the Law Society implement the Justicia Project in Alberta in two phases: Phase 1 will be directed at national law firms with offices in Alberta who are already participants in Justicia in Ontario; and Phase 2 will be directed at regional, medium, small and solo firms. On April 12, 2012, the Benchers approved Phase 1 of the Justicia Project which is a consultation and engagement plan for those national law firms who have adopted Justicia in Ontario and with offices in Alberta. Task Force members Ken Warren, QC and Sandra Mah from the national law firm of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP have volunteered their firm’s support to introduce and implement Phase 1 of the Justicia Project in Alberta and will be hosting a meeting to launch Phase 1 Justicia in June. Created as an Access to Justice strategy, the Retention and ReEngagement Task Force has been researching the issues affecting the retention and re-engagement of lawyers in the private practice of law. The Strategic Directions Report of the Law Society’s Access to Justice Committee identified the need for a Task Force to enhance access to justice for Albertans by developing programs and policies to retain and re-engage lawyers in the private practice of law. The adoption of the Justicia Project in Alberta is in accordance with the Law Society’s Strategic Plan and in particular the goal to enhance the availability of high quality legal services in Alberta. For further information about the implementation of the Justicia Project, please feel free to contact me directly or Susan Billington, QC. Policy and Program Counsel. D
The Law Society of Upper Canada proposed the idea of extending Justicia to other jurisdictions. Justicia has now been launched by the Law Society of BC, Law Society of Manitoba, and the Barreau du Quebec.
Times are Changing “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” -Tony Robbins Times are changing. So is the practice of law. Steno pads have been replaced by electronic tablets. Dictation is now word recognition. Communication is no longer Anthony G. Young, QC limited to meetings, letters and telephone calls. Lawyers on the leading edge use the Cloud, social media, teleconferences, virtual conference rooms, video conferences, e-mails, fax and texts. There is nothing to limit flexibility in communication. The possibilities are endless. Our greater facility to communicate has enabled the profession to take down borders. Globalization has resulted in interprovincial, international and even intercontinental mergers. Rules of law societies have been amended to accommodate the inevitable change. Exciting new practice models that embrace new technology and the changing global landscape are emerging. Some of these models 14 | Law Matters
By Anthony G. Young, QC include cyber lawyering, legal process outsourcing, legal self-help sites and practicing from the Cloud. A lawyer is now able to work anywhere in the world. The only requirement is access to the internet. Internet Access provides voice, video and data transmission in real time. Whether a lawyer is working away from the office, across town, or on the other side of the world makes little difference. The enormous flexibility that telecommuting provides is endless. The investment in Virtual Private Network technologies and remote access solutions is quite small making this practice option open to almost anyone. A variation on the telecommuter is the Virtual Lawyer or Law Office. Many lawyers are choosing to save on rent and work from home. In theory, a Virtual Law Office negates the need for the usual leasehold space and tenant improvements. Lawyers are able to meet with clients using virtual board rooms or by using off the video conferencing software. Real time collaborative editing allows work groups to coordinate and update documents in a team environment without the necessity of physically circulating numerous time eroding drafts. A Virtual Law Office may be operated in conjunction with a physical office or entirely in cyber space. con’t on page 15...
H E A LT H M AT T E R S “The Balancing Act: When to Ask, When to Tell?” By Enrique Dubon-Roberts
The GLBTQIA community has made great strides towards equality, but such great milestones as the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination, and the legalization of gay marriage, are unfortunately, too often forgotten during that split second when members of our community must decide how to navigate what may seem to be innocuous questions about our personal lives from coworkers and colleagues.
I expect the words “don’t ask don’t tell” (we all know how well that worked in the US) or “internalized homophobia” are flashing before some of your eyes right now, but don’t be so quick to Freud-meup. In a profession where we are called to be trusted professionals, maintaining a certain level of privacy is necessary. Balancing our private and professional lives can be a stressful challenge for all of us. This balancing act has an added level of stress for members of nonvisible gender identity and sexual orientation minorities. Far from providing a “how to” list on coming out at work, I merely intend to share some of my experiences as a gay lawyer, which I hope will illustrate how we can all contribute to alleviate some of the stresses associated with the proverbial private/public life balancing act. As tempted as I am to continue with a host of horror stories, I believe that there are more lessons that can be learned from positive experiences. I have had the good fortune of working in environments that are welcoming and accepting of me (notice that I didn’t say “accepting of my sexual orientation”), but I can recall standing in the reception area of one of my first offices after having just accepted the job and
having to answer the dreaded question of what my “wife” did for a living. There were at least a half a dozen of my soon-to-be workmates standing there chatting with me, and, after a deep breath, I decided to begin my response with “he…”. What followed was a multitude of apologies for the assumptions that were made. Years later, one of the colleagues standing in that lobby told me that I had earned her respect that very moment. We are lucky to be part of a largely intelligent, well educated and accepting profession, but I have too often heard of young professionals who choose not to disclose their sexual orientation for fear of the effect this will have in their careers. I have also, on occasion, chosen to do the same. I was recently on the phone with a Spanish-speaking professional discussing a file. The conversation shifted towards my recent wedding, but I managed to use every grammatical tool available to me to avoid disclosing the gender of my spouse – not an easy task since Spanish is a language plagued with gender markers. At the end of the conversation, just as I thought that I had skirted around the issue of my same-sex marriage, I heard from the other end “I can’t wait to meet your husband”- click. I couldn’t help but stop to think how I had just spent 10 minutes worrying that I would offend a colleague if I used a gender marker in a sentence. Today, I am fortunate to work at an office where I feel welcomed, accepted and supported as a member of a sexual orientation minority - I could write one of those chicken soup books with the stories of the kindness that my office has shown to me and my partner, but it is clear to me that this is not the norm in our profession. We have a long road ahead of us before all members of the profession feel like their identity is not a cause of stress at work. And though I do not mean to trivialize the greater struggles for sexual orientation and gender identity equality, I believe that changes can be made at our water coolers and staff rooms, by being sensitive to those around us, both as we disclose about our personal lives and as others share theirs with us. D
con’t from page 14...
Changes in technology have driven and continue to drive many changes in practice. There have also been changes to the way that we think about lawyers and law. Many of these changes have been discussed in the Alberta Law Society Alternate Delivery of Legal Services Final Report. (A copy of the report may be viewed at http:// www.lawsociety.ab.ca/files/adls/ADLS_Final_Report.pdf ) One change of note is the increased use of limited scope retainers. This is one way that practices are changing to address the issue of rising legal costs. Other changes include the use of contract and temporary lawyers to increase productivity and reduce long-term overhead. One thing that is obvious from the Law Society Final report is that lawyers no longer have a monopoly on the law. There has been a rapid increase in the number and variety of legal services that are being provided by non-lawyers. It has been reported that “the total number of non-lawyers providing legal services in Alberta (both traditionally and independently) increased by 447% between 1990 and 2009 (from 1700 to 9300); with the independent non-lawyer legal service delivery increasing by 230%.” Non-lawyers have been providing specialized boutique services, legal self-help sites, paralegal services, traffic ticket defence, and small claims court agents to name a few. The increase may have been fuelled by “latent demand for services in practice areas in which independent non-
lawyers are willing to sell legal services.” These are generally areas of practice that have less appeal to lawyers but are still necessary and relevant to many Albertans. Lawyers that still practice in these areas must adjust to ensure the complimentary delivery of services. Economics and technology are not the only factors changing the landscape of practices. Ecologically minded, lifestyle influenced young professionals are also demanding change. Successful practices must be sensitive to these concerns as well as the emerging “pro bono” culture. The costs of legal services continue to rise, whether delivered by lawyers or non-lawyers. Many Albertans are unable to afford such services. Technology, however, has put what was once the exclusive domain of a few professionally trained jurists in the hands of the masses. Change is coming. In fact, it is already here. In order to remain relevant, the practice of law must change and adapt. It is time for lawyers to examine what they have always done, make changes and ensure quality and success as the future unfolds. That way we will not always get what we have always gotten. Welcome change. It is coming. D Law Matters | 15
CBA National News JOCELYN FRAZER AMONG AWARD WINNERS RECOGNIZED AT CLC VANCOUVER Numerous distinguished CBA members and supporters received awards for their outstanding achievements during the Canadian Legal Conference in Vancouver, August 12-14. Among the winners was Jocelyn Frazer of Calgary, who took home the SOGIC Ally Award. The award recognizes contributions made in the cause of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and two-spirited (LGBTT ) people in Canada by a non-member of the LGBTT community. A relative newcomer to the SOGIC scene, in 2010-2011 Jocelyn worked tirelessly to establish a SOGIC Branch section in Alberta after learning that the province did not have such a section. With the section now boasting a solid and engaged membership base, Jocelyn remains a constant presence at section meetings and seminars, and continues to contribute to section planning, discussion, and outreach initiatives. “It is humbling for those of us who are actually LGBTT-identified members of Alberta’s SOGIC section that we owe the very existence of the section to someone who is not a member of the LGBTT community,” says Frank Durnford, Chair of the Alberta SOGIC section. “The SOGIC Executive in Alberta sees her as a very special volunteer and truly appreciates having her as an ally within our community.” Ms. Frazer’s dedication to the LGBTT community also extends to the regulatory level. As a result of her advocacy, the Law Society of Alberta updated the demographic characteristics by which its members identify themselves on the membership information form to include “Lesbian/ Gay/Bi-Sexual/Transgendered/Two-Spirited.” The change is significant, as it enables the Law Society to more accurately measure and monitor diversity levels in the Alberta legal profession. Called to the Alberta Bar in 1990, Ms. Frazer practiced for many years as a solicitor in both small and large-sized firms in the areas of real estate, condominiums, and wills and estates. She joined the Law Society of Alberta in 2007, where she is currently Equity Ombudsperson and Acting Practice Advisor.
STEPHEN HANSON ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT After 36 years with the CBA, Senior Director of Communications Stephen Hanson has decided it’s time to say goodbye. “I’ve discovered there’s never a good time to leave. There’s always one more report or speech to write, one more committee to serve, or one more task force in need of a communications plan,” said the veteran co m m u n i c a to r i n announcing his decision. “The CBA won’t be the says CEO John Hoyles. experience made for communications implemented a that raised the profile that the Association is as the voice of the
same without Stephen,” “H is k nowledge and him the ‘go-to’ person advice. He successfully communications strategy of the CBA to the point recognized by Canadians legal profession.”
Stephen retires in September. In the meantime, we’d like to hear from you. If you worked with Stephen and would like to share a memory, please send an email to Hannah Bernstein at email@example.com.
LINDY ROUILLARD-LABBÉ WINS 2012-2013 VISCOUNT BENNETT FELLOWSHIP Lindy Rouillard-Labbé of Montreal has been awarded the 2012-2013 CBA Viscount Bennett Fellowship for graduate legal studies. Ms. Rouillard-Labbé, 29, holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and international law, as well as a law degree, from the Université du Québec à Montréal. With the fellowship, she plans to pursue her master’s degree in law at Stanford University, specializing in compensation for victims of natural disasters. The $40,000 fellowship, established under the terms of a trust by former Prime Minister and CBA President Viscount Bennett, is awarded annually to a Canadian law student to encourage high standards of legal education, training, and ethics.
For more information on CBA awards and winners, visit CBA.org.
QUADRENNIAL COMMISSION REPORT SPRING SECTION MEETING AND PEI BOOT CAMP Effective advocacy topped the agenda at a joint National and PEI Administrative Law Section seminar in Charlottetown. Over 75 people attended the Boot Camp that featured Madam Justice Eleanor R. Dawson of the Federal Court of Appeal, whose presentation, “Effective Advocacy on Judicial Review and Appeal”, featured practical tips on knowing your audience, preparing your factum and what to do at the hearing. For more details, visit the National Administrative Law Section webpage: www.cba.org/CBA/sections_Admin/main/
The report and recommendations of the 2012 Quadrennial Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission were delivered to the federal Minister of Justice on May 15. In the report, the Commission thanked the CBA for “thoughtful and informative submissions regarding procedural issues and the importance of the Commission process.” Appearing before the Commission last February, CBA President Trinda L. Ernst, QC, of Kentville, NS, called for “fair and appropriate compensation and benefits for the judiciary” as necessary to maintain judicial independence. The CBA also emphasized the importance of the Commission process for determining judicial compensation, and is urging the government to respond within the required six-month time period. Commission report: www.quadcom.gc.ca/Media/Pdf/2011/FinalReport.pdf.
CBA on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter! The CBA is on Facebook! Become a fan by “liking” our page and keep us in your newsfeed: www.facebook.com/CanadianBarAssociation. And be sure to follow us on Twitter @CBA_News, and LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/canadian-bar-association. 16 | Law Matters
SCC INTERVENTION: COJOCARU V. BC WOMEN’S HOSPITAL & HEALTH CENTRE ET AL. The CBA has been granted leave to intervene before the Supreme Court of Canada in the appeal of Cojocaru v. BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre et al. The SCC will consider the legal and ethical duties of judges and the judiciary’s relationship with members of the bar who provide written argument before a court, and whether a court can or should adopt a counsel’s argument verbatim. The CBA will argue that the Court should avoid absolutes, and whether a trial judge’s adoption of a party’s submissions verbatim in their reasons justifies setting that decision aside and ordering a new trial depends on the circumstances of the particular case. The CBA’s pro bono legal counsel are Mahmud Jamal and Raphael Eghan of Osler in Toronto.
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The case is scheduled to be heard before the SCC on November 13, 2012.
SERVING THE SPECTRUM By Jennifer Flynn, Managing Director, Legal Education Society of Alberta Anyone who knows me knows how much I love philosophy. Not necessarily just the Greeks (although who doesn’t love the guys who came up with comedy, tragedy, and Doric columns?), but the philosophy of business, education, communication, and organizations. Few things thrill me more than deep consideration of an organization’s needs, balanced by the needs of the people it serves. In my work at LESA, I continually come back to foundational thoughts about values and goals; those ideas form the root of any decision we make. At LESA, we work every day to live our philosophy, which reveals itself in our mission: to serve the spectrum of educational and professional development needs of Alberta’s lawyers, articling students, and their staff. It took us a long time to craft this seemingly simple sentence, but as any lawyer knows, we believe strongly in the power of the right words. And these words are right for us because they reflect our audience, our goals, our services and our commitment to the legal community. They are an excellent litmus test for any venture we take on. One of the most important words to us is ‘spectrum.’ When setting our educational calendar, for instance, we make a concerted effort to ensure there is a broad range of seminars for each practice area. We take trends into consideration, as well as changes in legislation, so that our seminars are valuable for each subject group. We also program specialty courses – like our program for French practitioners (French Legal Terminology Training, October 11, 2012) – to appeal to specific groups. We want to make sure we’re able to cover all of our bases—and yours.
Which brings us to this year’s educational calendar. I’m very excited by the broad range of learning opportunities we’re offering. If you don’t have a print copy handy, be sure to check it out online at www.lesa.org. Of particular note this year, look for our three courses geared towards becoming a Collaborative Professional: Basic Collaborative Law (September 14-15, 2012), Mediation of Family and Divorce Conflicts (November 5-9, 2012 and May 13-17, 2013) and Interest-Based Negotiations (November 22-25, 2012). We have a course of specific interest to rural practitioners, Rural Property Issues, held in Red Deer, and seminars on using proprietary software like Microsoft Word and PCLaw. We’re also proud to offer our popular Law and Practice Update, featuring legal technology expert Barron Henley. And we’re stepping into the realm of social media – an area we’re building in our own organization – with a course designed to teach you the social media basics and to give you ideas on how to build your own connections. Our capstone event, as always, is our Refresher Course held in stunning Lake Louise. This year we’re focusing on Family Law (April 28-30, 2013), and it is sure to be an inspiring event. With dozens of unique titles in our educational calendar this year, there is surely something for everyone. We look forward to sharing these learning opportunities with you. It makes our day when we hear back that our programs have been useful, so be sure to tell us. And let us know if you think there are areas we can improve. Ultimately, we are here for you, so always let us know how we can do our best work for you and your spectrum of needs. Because that’s our philosophy too. D
In doing so, we consider the spectrum of our audience. We provide competency-based programming for articling students through the CPLED program, seminars for legal support staff and junior lawyers, as well as advanced workshops for seasoned professionals. We also consider where our audience is located, and offer face-to-face opportunities in different locations to make our programming as accessible as possible for the most people. We use technology to include even more of our audience, through online courses and our soon-to-be-launched online library. We also try to make it easy for our audience to purchase our educational resources through a subscription-based program, as a great way to stay up-to-date with the latest in law and practice. For us, it’s about the spectrum of audience, spectrum of subject matter, and spectrum of accessibility. Jennifer Flynn Law Matters | 17
Going In-House Guide (Part 2 of 2) By Shekhar Parmar Last issue we looked at when in your career is the best time to move in-house and how one best prepares for that. Once again, using the data collected in The Counsel Network’s In-House Compensation & Career Survey, this issue we will look at compensation differences between private practice and inhouse roles, work-life balance, best ways to finding an in-house role and the trade-offs when moving in-house. Shekhar Parmar
How does compensation compare between private practice and in-house positions? Most large law firms have similar compensation structures for their associates. In comparison, in-house compensation can vary widely depending on the size of the company, the size of the legal department, the importance the law department receives within the company, etc. Generally, base salaries are lower in-house but are often offset by bonuses, long-term incentive programs, stock-option plans, RRSP contributions, flex days, and great benefit plans. Not surprisingly, there is a large difference between in-house salaries across the provinces. Alberta and Ontario have the highest base salaries while Atlantic Canada has the lowest. Also, Publicly Quoted Companies tend to pay the most whereas government and not-for-profits pay the least. As compensation tends to change frequently it is best to contact a recruitment consultant to obtain up to date information about inhouse compensation in your area. Is there a better work-life balance with in-house positions? Generally, the notion that moving in-house will offer a great worklife balance or extreme flexibility is a bit of a myth. The Career Survey data shows the mean number of hours worked per week by in-house counsel to be at 48.1 hours with 27% of respondents indicating that they worked in excess of 55 hours per week. What in-house positions do offer is greater control and predictability over your work flow. This allows in-house lawyers to be more insulated from last-minute vacation or weekend wrecking deals. It is important to keep in mind that most in-house lawyers work just as hard as their private practice colleagues but many find their satisfaction to be higher as they feel more vested with the work they do and can often see a project from inception to completion. What is the best way to find an in-house job? Actively networking in the business community and working with a legal recruiter are the two best ways to making a move into an in-house position. Many companies rely on recruiters to help them find great lawyers. The HR departments in many large organizations recognize that they may not have the same reach or the same ability to determine who the best candidates are and hence rely on our expertise to help in their hiring process. If you are thinking about moving in-house talk to an experienced recruiter to see when and if it’s the right move for you.
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What are the trade-offs to moving in-house? Going in-house is an important decision and there are some trade-offs and downsides to think about. First, depending on your seniority and how much time you spend in-house, it can be difficult (not impossible) to come back to private practice. Secondly, you become an employee as opposed to a “business owner” and lose some control over your own destiny (as compared to an associate in private practice) to the executive team, the Board of Directors and Shareholders. Thirdly, depending on the size of the in-house department, some find the environment to be more isolating. However, this can be overcome by connecting with other in-house counsel by joining in-house counsel groups such as the CCCA, ACC or other informal industry groups. Lastly, over the long run most in-house counsel positions cannot compete with partner level compensation at large firms. Much like buying a house, going inhouse may be reversible but you want to be really sure about it before you do it. For more information or comments, please contact Shekhar Parmar, Director, The Counsel Network, at 403-444-1764 or firstname.lastname@example.org D
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ROLLING OUT THE RED CARPET FOR THE 2012 PBLA-CBA VIDEO PROJECT By Gillian Marriott, QC and Ola Malik
Gillian Marriott, QC
In the fall of 2011, PBLA approached CBA and Alberta Courts with the idea of writing and producing a series of short educational videos on civil claims, foreclosure, landlordtenant and court etiquette to be made available free of charge to members of the public. This idea grew out of concerns which members of the judiciary were raising regarding the increasing numbers of people who were appearing in their courts on complicated matters without legal representation. In Calgary, Masters Chambers estimates that nearly 20% of those appearing before them on foreclosure and landlord tenant matters appear without a lawyer. In Edmonton, more than 60% of those appearing in court on civil claims matters are unrepresented.
The challenges faced in court by individuals who are unable to hire a lawyer are numerous and complex. These individuals often do not know why they are required to come to court, have not appeared in court Ola Malik before, find the court process intimidating and frightening, do not have any information which would assist them in dealing with their legal issues, do not fully understand what their legal rights are and an increasing number are new immigrants who do not speak English as a first language. PBLAâ€™s initiative led to the creation of a working partnership between PBLA, CBA and Alberta Courts. Like PBLA, the CBA is committed to encouraging legal literacy and leading initiatives which promote access to justice. Each of the project partners undertook different responsibilities. PBLA took the lead on the logistical details for administering the project. The CBA sent out a call to Junior Lawyers and Young Lawyers Sections seeking volunteer lawyers who were prepared to develop scripts and appear as narrators and actors in the videos. The Alberta Courts provided the technology platform so that the videos could be viewed by the public on the Alberta Courts website and in various courthouses throughout the Province. Funding for the project was generously provided by an Alberta Law Foundation grant, the CBA, PBLA and Alberta Justice. The response from the CBAâ€™s Junior and Young Lawyers Sections to volunteer on this project was tremendous. In Edmonton, Sarah Dolgoy, Christopher Samuel, Justin Kingston, Ed Picard, Jason Banack, Jim Chronopoulos and Sarah Rossman developed the concept and script for the civil claims video while in Calgary, Catriona Otto, Kevin Madison, Erika Carrasco and Caylee Rieger did the same on the foreclosure, courtroom etiquette and landlord-tenant videos. The work put in by the CBA lawyers and PBLA staff to develop the videos amounted to hundreds of hours over 6 months. They worked closely with members of the judiciary including Master J.B. Hanebury QC, Assistant Chief Judge N.R. Hess, Judge J.L. Skitsko, Judge L.D. Young and Judge L.L. Burt who spent countless hours reviewing scripts and providing invaluable advice.
The videos feature members of the judiciary, CBA lawyers, PBLA staff and volunteers as narrators and actors. Those include Master Hanebury QC, Judge L.L. Burt, Gillian Marriott QC, Ola Malik, Justin Kingston, Erika Carrasco, Catriona Otto, Kevin Madison, Paul Frank, Joyce Bolton, Nelson Osamudiamen, Heather Beyko, Cecelia Frohlick and Myra Skerrett. The videos were formally unveiled to great acclaim at PBLAâ€™s 5th year anniversary in June. Television screens have been installed on the 9th floor of the Calgary Courthouse so that the public can view the videos on foreclosure, landlord-tenant and court etiquette and efforts are being made so that people can also view the civil claims video in the Calgary Courthouse. The videos will shortly be made available for public viewing on the PBLA, CBA and Alberta Courts websites and will be distributed to the Alberta Law Foundation, the law libraries of the U of C and U of A, the eleven courthouse libraries, public libraries throughout the Province and Alberta Justice. PBLA and CBA are making the videos widely available by distributing them to groups and organizations that engage in pro bono legal services and public legal education and to those that provide outreach for people in need of legal assistance. This video project came to fruition as a result of PBLA, the CBA, Alberta Courts and members of the judiciary working in partnership. These partners pooled their expertise and worked as a unified team at all stages of the project. The videos are the product of a true collaborative effort between partners who are committed to ensuring that the court process works for all Albertans. There is a growing demand for additional educational videos featuring trial procedure in family and criminal law matters and in traffic court. PBLA and CBA are currently exploring the feasibility of producing additional video resources although this will depend on whether there is sufficient donor and volunteer interest to sustain this further work. PBLA and the CBA are immensely proud of the video project and wish to thank all of the donors, members of the judiciary, staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly to see this project through to completion. THANK YOU. D
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From the desk of Jeremiah Kowalchuk
The Chairperson’s Appreciation Event took place this year on June 19. Many of us headed straight for the perogy tray at the Old Timer’s Cabin out of habit, only to remember that we broke with tradition and had the party at the Faculty Club at the University of Alberta this year. Despite a disturbing lack of stuffed bison heads, the Faculty Club was a fantastic venue, with great food and drink, and, as always, fine company. Members of Council, Committee Chairs, Section Coordinators, Section Chairs, and significant others had a Karen McDougall very enjoyable evening. As usual, Heather Walsh organized and pulled off an excellent party without a hitch. All of the Sections have now wrapped up their meetings for the 2011-2012 season, but the CBA office is still a very busy place at this time of year. Heather has been burning the candle at both ends preparing the Section Handbook for the upcoming 2012-2013 season, which is published online in about the third week of August. You will have noticed this edition of Law Matters also has with it a flyer with the Section descriptions and the contact information for the Section Jeremiah Kowalchuk chairs. CBA members are encouraged to take advantage of the user-friendly online registration system for registration in Sections. Please make sure that you register as soon as possible because many Sections have their first meetings in September.
If you are looking to round out your calendar for the fall, please consider volunteering to be on the executive of a Section. Section executives need only commit a modest amount of their spare time to organizing the Section, and the payoff is excellent. You will get to meet and work with new people, you will be able to steer the Section in directions that you might find interesting, and you will have the benefit of working with many of the experts in your field. Junior lawyers, senior lawyers, and everyone in between will have something to offer. The CBA has a long tradition of fostering cross-generational leadership and many hands make light work when it comes to planning the Section meetings for the year. If you are interested in volunteering for a Section executive but are not sure where to start, please contact one of the Section Coordinators and we can help point you in the right direction. Also starting up again in late summer will be the planning committee for Law Day, which is one of the flagship CBA events. Law Day 2012 was the 30th anniversary of Law Day in Edmonton, and we set an alltime record for attendance. Participating on the Law Day planning committee is a very fun and gratifying experience. Unlike other CBA efforts which are principally aimed at Section members, Law Day is an event for the general public, so it is a different sort of CBA focus. There are many jobs on the Law Day planning committee, and so all volunteers are appreciated. Please contact the CBA office if you are interested in joining the Law Day committee. Lastly, I can report that the planning committee for the 2013 Alberta Law Conference (January 31 and February 1 - mark your calendars!) is now in full swing. It is Edmonton’s turn to host ALC for 2013, so please watch for information and updates in the coming weeks.
By Marian V. De Souza, Executive Director Education Assist partnered with Legal Education Society of Alberta to share technology and expertise to develop an on-line course. Craig Kinsman returned on contract to help with content for two modules: How to Recognize Signs of Distress and How to Have a Conversation to refer someone to help.
Marian V. De Souza
N O RT H
The course qualifies for the Law Society of Alberta professional liability insurance rebate and as part of a Continuing Professional Development plan.
To log-on to the course, available at no charge, go to:
The Peer Support program hosted the first in a speaker series. Dr. Meena Kalluri, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta spoke to the bar about an integrative approach to preventing stress and disease. The event was offered at no charge to our volunteers, CBA members, and judiciary in appreciation of their support. The event was held on June 23rd at the Edmonton Public Library. Feedback was extremely positive, although the turnout was less than expected. If you have any suggestions about topics or format that you would like to see in future please contact Carolyn McCartney at 403 537 5508. Fundraising: Assist thanks to Sabri Shawa, Q.C. and his firm, JSS Barristers for leading the 2012 Queen’s Counsel fundraising campaign. Following an Alberta tradition, Q.C’s commemorated their appointment with a donation to Assist. Thank you to forty-four Q.C.’s who donated over $21,000 to help deliver essential programs and services.
http://www.lesaonline.org/register/onlinecourses.asp Partnerships and Awareness Those outside the profession interested in logging on may register using the following Roll Number: LA2012. Special thanks to directors, John Gulak and Sharon Roberts for featuring in the video segments. Programs and Services Professional Counselling Services (Forbes): We continue to serve more people through professional counselling. In 2011 we served 57% more individuals over 2010. The first half of 2012 indicates another 20% increase in professional counselling hours for lawyers and their families. Peer Support: since the program’s inception, Assist has facilitated seventeen Peer Support matches. Thirty-one Peer Support volunteers are trained and qualify to support their peers overcome personal challenges. 20 | Law Matters
Assist Director, Tom Carter, Marian De Souza, and Steve Mandziuk, Q.C. (CBA Secretary and in-house counsel at Finning Canada) presented at the University of Alberta law school Professional Responsibilities class. The topic covered: Building Resiliency, Beginning in Law School. Opening doors to the judiciary to talk about topics of mutual interest, Marian De Souza and Dr. Brian Forbes presented at the Provincial Court Judge’s Educational conference held in Edmonton on May 17th. Assist continues to participate on the Legal Profession Assistance Conference (LPAC) task force to find ways to reach rural and isolated areas. LPAC will be conducting a survey to assess the needs of lawyers in these communities. This is a timely topic, as Assist partners with CBA Alberta, University of Calgary, and other stakeholders to advance the goal of access to justice and help sustain lawyers in smaller communities across Alberta. con’t on page 21...
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S O U TH
From the desk of Birch Miller It was great to see all of the South section executive members who attended the Chair Appreciation dinner held at Fort Calgary on June 4, 2012. Not only does it give the Canadian Bar Association a chance to thank the volunteers behind its successful section meetings, it is a fun event where I am always sure to run into old colleagues and friends.
This summer marks the end of my term as South Section Coordinator which, if I am being completely honest, has been an easy gig. The hardworking staff at the Canadian Bar Association’s Calgary office (Linda Chapman keeps things running like a top) and the admirable efforts of the section executives made my job stress-free. My co-coordinator, Curtis Serra, was also a great help and, most importantly, quick with the wit and entertaining stories at all of our meetings and functions. I am passing on the torch to Melissa Morrison, Litigation Legal Counsel at Alberta Health Services, who I met back in Bar Ads. Engaging and energetic, Melissa is sure to do a great job as the new co-coordinator. I am looking forward to attending a variety of section meetings in the upcoming 2012/2013 season and hope to see a lot of you there. Make sure to look for the 2012-2013 Section Handbook which is available online at www.cba.org/alberta.
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Awareness The Second Annual Walk for Wellness will have taken place in Calgary on July 19th (by the time you are reading this … we hope fun was had by all). Edmonton’s inaugural Walk for Wellness will be held on September 20th, 2012. Assist hosted a booth at the LESA Real Estate Refresher course in Lake Louise. The conference was helpful to raise awareness among lawyers across Alberta. Assist attended the Pro Bono Law Alberta Raising the Pro Bono Bar events in Grande Prairie and Lethbridge. Assist thanked the Lethbridge bar for their donation of $2400. Representatives of Assist have been appointed in each community. Carolyn McCartney participated in the conference, Together Against Stigma: Changing How We See Mental Illness, held by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Carolyn brings back national trends in this area to share with Peer Support volunteers and the Bar. D
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The Court of Appeal of Alberta Notice to the Profession May 25, 2012 Two years after the date hereof, this Notice will expire as transitional and obsolete, but such expiry will not affect the amendments or repeals of the Consolidated Practice Directions made herein, nor revive the directions existing before such amendments or repeals. [May 2012] “C.A. Fraser” Fraser, C.J.A. NOTE: A copy of the Consolidated Practice Directions and Practice Notes can be found on the Alberta Courts’ website at: www.albertacourts.ab.ca/CourtofAppeal/PracticeNotesDirectionshttp://www.albertacourts. ab.ca/ca/practice. Certain precedents, checklists and forms can also be found on the Alberta Courts’ website. As these documents are revised from time to time, please refer to the website for the most recent version.
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The State of Articling in Alberta By Shekhar Parmar
Last fall, alarm bells started ringing in Ontario. Twelve per cent of Ontario law grads were unable to secure articling positions leaving them vulnerable and unable to complete their legal training. These individuals were left with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, a law degree, bleak prospects and no actual way to practice law. Many dubbed it an “articling crisis” and the Law Society of Upper Canada (“LSUC”) launched a task force to investigate the issue. This article investigates the state of articling in Alberta and examines if we are in a midst of a current or impending crisis.
In order to know if Alberta is at risk for a similar “crisis” we need to understand what happened in Ontario. Many were quick to blame law firms for reducing the number of students hired for articles but there was more to the problem than that. The economic downturn created a trifecta effect. More people were applying to law schools and as a result the law schools responded by increasing enrollment. At the same time law firms slightly reduced the number of students they were hiring. Fast forward a few years and we now have significantly more students than positions. LSUC statistics indicate that in 2007 there were 1,391 candidates seeking spots while in 2010 the number jumped to 1,767 – an increase of nearly 400 candidates in a four year period. In Alberta, for the time being, it seems that the percentage of students not finding articling positions remains very low. Maryanne Forrayi, the Faculty of Law Career Advisor at the University of Calgary, proudly reports that 8 months after graduation of their 2011 class, 99% of the students had secured an articling position. Forrayi felt that the number of articling positions available on a yearly basis has not gone down but rather remained stable over the last few years. That view is also shared by Cori Ghitter, Director of Recruitment and Professional Development at Fraser Milner Casgrain, and by Nicole Lecours, Director of Professional Resources at Stikeman Elliot. All felt that the actual number of articling student positions had not changed much in comparison to historical norms. Both Ghitter and Lecours stated that their respective firms had not decreased the number of articling students they have been taking on and that their sense was that none of the big firms around Calgary and Edmonton had drastically dropped their numbers either. Lecours and Ghitter stated that their respective firms understood the importance of obtaining articling positions for students and were committed to taking long term views and not drastically changing articling numbers based on short term market conditions. There is a perception in the market that there are now fewer articling positions available than there were historically. This likely stems from the changes that have occurred in how firms now recruit for articles. Ghitter agrees that the process has “evolved and changed.” In some ways this evolution and change has represented a radical shift in the recruitment strategy for firms. Whereas 5 years ago, the majority of recruitment of articling students was done during the law society mandated recruitment period, today’s articling recruitment happens primarily through the summer student recruitment process. Forrayi and Ghitter both commented that in the past, 2 or 3 firms may not have looked for articling students during the official articling recruitment period (because they were simply moving their summer students into articling positions). However, during the 2012 recruitment period there were 7 or 8 firms which did not recruit during that time (all of 24 | Law Matters
them choosing to move their summer students into the articling positions). This change in the recruitment process may lead to a sense that there are less articling positions available, however that is not the case. For students this means that “the pressure starts early” Lecours notes. The focus for most national firms has shifted to the summer recruitment process which can then funnel students into waiting articling positions. Students need to be on the ball as soon as they start law school and often have to think about which firms to apply to before they have ever written a law school exam. Although the primary focus of recruitment for most firms is second year summer students, many firms are moving even earlier and are keen to hire first year summer students. Ghitter feels that FMC has had “tremendous success in hiring 1st year students.” Everyone who was interviewed for this article noted that although things are great currently, that there seems to be a good balance between the number of positions and the number of applicants. However, there are early signs indicating an increased pressure coming into the Alberta market. Law schools and law firms alike are seeing a large increase in candidates from other jurisdictions and in particular Ontario. That combined with slight increases in enrollment in Alberta law schools as well as the launch of a new law school (Thomson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C.) may add pressure on the number of articling spots available and make the articling/summer process more competitive. Forrayi is hopeful that smaller sized firms and rural practitioners will opt to take more students than they have in the past and help fill any gap created. It is important for all lawyers to realize that under the current system, articling can potentially become a bottleneck that keeps qualified law school graduates from having a chance to contribute. As such it is essential and all lawyers should consider it an obligation to see that students be able to obtain articling positions, even if the firm or individual lawyer cannot offer a position beyond articles. In conclusion, although the state of articling in Alberta remains strong, there will be increased competition in the future which may lead to a higher percentage of students being unable to obtain positions. However, with continued growth of the economy in Alberta, as well as increased participation from solo, rural and small firm practitioners, the province can continue to sustain a very high articling placement rate. Shekhar Parmar is a Director with The Counsel Network™ and can be reached at 403-444-1764 or firstname.lastname@example.org for comments. D
Small Communities Action Plan By Cyril S. Gurevitch, QC INTRODUCTION The Canadian Bar Association has long espoused the tenets of Access to Justice and Access to Legal Services. In Calgary and Edmonton, there is a plethora of lawyers and legal services for all. The public has choice; a range of quality counsel with a broad field of expertise and cost. However, this is not true for other centres, and times are destined to become worse before they become better. Cyril S. Gurevitch, QC Unless concerted action is taken soon, Alberta could see the demise of the bar in these smaller communities. In the past, lawyers, doctors and other professionals formed a significant component of their community’s make-up. Today, that is all but a page in history. The challenge is to reverse this unfortunate trend! In the recent edition of “The Advisory”, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January/ February 2012) some interesting statistics highlighted the urgency of the situation. It spoke of a recent survey commissioned by the Law Society of Alberta which suggested that the average age of a practitioner is higher in rural areas. Further, a large portion does not have a transition plan and they are more likely to close their doors than find someone to assume their practices. Further, using recent Alberta census numbers, it appears that 52% of the population, approximately 1,909,034, live in the major cities of Edmonton and Calgary. Conversely, 48% (about 1,736,223 people) live in the rural areas. Of a total of 7,742 lawyers in Alberta, 6,636 practice in Edmonton or Calgary, while 1,106 practise elsewhere. This roughly translates into 76% of the lawyers serving 52% of the population, while 24% serves 48% of the population. Assuming the numbers include both practicing and nonpracticing lawyers, some of whom are in-house counsel, academics, or working in other capacities not providing legal services to the public, one can extrapolate the numbers and conclude that there are between 2.7 and 3.5 lawyers per 1000 people to serve Edmonton and Calgary, while there are only 1.2 active practicing lawyers available to serve the 48% of the population that lives outside those centres. THE PROBLEM Why is the bar diminishing in smaller communities? First and foremost, demographics show that the population is aging. The baby boomer generation is growing older and retiring in larger numbers than ever before. As those senior practitioners turn their thoughts to the “exit strategy”, one would postulate that they want to sell their practices to younger, more energetic lawyers, or at the very least, to hire and promote them from within. But this is not happening. The junior bar is not beating down their doors; slowly the realization comes that the firm will either close entirely or be sold out to regional offices in places like Red Deer, Grande Prairie or Lethbridge. On occasion, firms in Edmonton and Calgary will also acquire them to enhance their provincial footprint. On a net basis, there will be a total reduction of lawyers in smaller municipalities with a concomitant reduction in Access to Justice. The second problem, demographics aside, is that for various reasons, the larger centres of Edmonton and Calgary act as “magnets” for law school graduates or those in the 1-5 year stage of their careers. Whether this is because they are peremptorily recruited by the large and medium city firms, or because they see the “city” as a panacea for
their cultural needs, is unknown. It may be a combination of many factors, including family obligations, quality of life choices, amongst others. In the past, it was common for smaller communities to have at least one or two lawyers set up practice in their midst. Regional Judicial Centres fared better, as far as overall numbers, because they did have some additional amenities and a larger population base. The fact is that the lawyers who took up residence in these smaller locations were readily integrated into the community and contributed significantly to its fabric. A lawyer became the focus of all matters legal, from the creation of wills and handling of estates to transfers of land and defence of criminal matters. The practice was, of necessity, normally general in nature. These lawyers often became branded with the territory in which they practiced and were known to all. The slow but steady reduction in the number of members in the rural bar creates barriers to average rural Albertans having proper Access to Justice, access to legal expertise of their choice, and access to primary legal resources. There is a consequential loss of important pillars in the smaller communities. Because the attrition rate is accelerating, time really does become of the essence. THE FALLACY There are numerous myths that permeate the minds of articling students and members of the junior bar when it comes to smaller community firms. These include: the impression that the quality of practice is inferior, that compensation levels are lower, that the work is less complicated, that the quality of life is diminished, and that the only way to become a partner is to work in a large, urban firm. To the contrary, there are significant amenities in the rural and regional centres that ought to be very attractive to a younger lawyer starting practice. It is common for articling students and the junior bar to be given important and interesting files to handle on their own, virtually from the day they walk into their new office. They are not limited to research briefs for the first several years of practice and are not prevented from immediately developing their own client base. There is also no reason to believe that the work will be less complex. Human interaction does not terminate at the borders of Calgary and Edmonton; there are a multitude of legal issues to be litigated or resolved. With fewer lawyers in these areas, the frequency of complicated files also increases. As to compensation levels, while large firms may provide a larger stipend to start, this discrepancy is usually made up and surpassed within a relatively short period of time. Opportunities for advancement and partnership may well present themselves within 2-3 years of articling. Again, with less competition, fees are often higher than the city counterparts, particularly in the real estate field. Dealing with quality of life, smaller communities usually have as broad a range of activities as the city, but instead of hours of travel time, it takes but 5-10 minutes to reach a destination, including travel to and from the office. That extra time is invaluable. Take for example, Grande Prairie, a location in which I have practiced for over 30 years. There is every sport imaginable for all members of the family, live theatre, a con’t on page 26... Law Matters | 25
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federally rated art gallery, all manner of outdoor recreational activities and a huge retail marketplace. We have the Regional College and Regional Hospital and while our population base is but 55,000 we service a regional market of 250-300,000 souls. THE SOLUTION: AN ACTION PLAN FOR THE FUTURE As has been intimated above, there is no significant reason for young lawyers to avoid the smaller Alberta communities. The problem is one of marketing. The Province of British Columbia has initiated a collaborative project (known as REAL) between the CBA-BC Branch and the Law Society of British Columbia, the purpose of which is to highlight the benefits of rural centres to those who might never have the opportunity to see them, and to assist the employers in those areas to properly recruit and remunerate young law students and lawyers. It is important to recognize that Alberta does not yet have the capacity to fund a project similar in design or scope to the one in B.C., but CBAAlberta has already initiated a major collaborative effort in an effort to accomplish the same goals. We have had contact with the Alberta Rural Development Network, Law Society of Alberta, Pro-Bono Law Alberta, Department of Justice, Provincial and Municipal Chambers of Commerce, Universities of Alberta and Calgary (including the new REAL Society created by the U of C Law Students), amongst others. Funding proposals are in the draft stages and face to face discussions to develop a marketing plan are contemplated throughout the province with constituent groups. These groups will not only focus on lawyers, but other leaders who can demonstrate their desire to attract new legal counsel to their respective communities. The Canadian Bar Association-Alberta Branch Executive has plans to propose a new committee to the Provincial Council in September, to be called the Access to Justice Committee. A number of volunteers have already come to the fore to actively pursue the Small Communities Initiative. This would make a viable counterpart to the Law Societiesâ€™
Retention and Re-engagement Committee as we have many common goals. At the date of writing this article, a pilot project for Medicine Hat is being pursued. The concept originated in a discussion with Dean Holloway of the University of Calgary. The objective is to firstly meet with the local bar and then to hold a larger assemblage of influential leaders to finalize a pro forma action plan for use in other centres. Further, as there is a large business component to the practice of law, I am also hoping to arrange a presentation to the Provincial Chambers of Commerce at their upcoming Board of Directors meeting in November. We are also hoping to organize gatherings for members of the junior bar in Calgary and Edmonton who may be interested in pursuing a different lifestyle than the one they currently know, and hold meetings with interested bar members throughout the province. These meetings would have two purposes. Firstly, we would advocate for more lawyers in smaller centres by promoting the benefits of solo or small firm practice and encouraging those practitioners to partner with us in that endeavour. Secondly, the Executive could advertise the benefits of the CBA to everyone, attracting more rural members through the promotion of Continuing Legal Education programs, online section meetings, the National Skilled Lawyer Series and our annual Alberta Law Conference. While other ideas have been discussed, we are constantly looking for more. We therefore invite all members of the CBA and the profession at large to become involved with this new initiative. We believe it meshes nicely with our new fee review principles by evidencing the value we provide to our members, by providing advocacy to the profession and access to justice for all. So if you have an idea you feel may be viable, please contact us at 403-218-4315 or email@example.com. D
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26 | Law Matters
&%,$ 1R FRQWHVW $G [ &0<. EOHHG LQGG
classified et cetera
ADVERTISING ACTIVE LAW OFFICE FOR SALE involving corporate/commercial and personal injury litigation, corporate, real estate and wills and estates. Reason: retirement. Contact Patrick J. Madden, Q.C., Suite 4, 5100 Lakeshore Drive, Sylvan Lake, AB, T4S 2L7. Telephone: 403.887.1070, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NO TIME OR RESOURCES FOR RESEARCH? Over 10 years as research lawyer. Derek Jackson, Barrister & Solicitor, Legal Research (AB ‘87, B.C. ‘89). Toll-free 1.888.875.4785, Email email@example.com or go to www.derekjackson.ca. Quality Research Gives You The Edge.
FAMILY LAW LAWYER needed for a St. Albert firm. A great place to live and earn. Email inquiries or resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NW OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE - CALGARY - 14th St. & 20th Ave. (5 minutes to downtown), for cost/space sharing arrangement. Costs negotiable depending on requirements. Make inquiries to Gordon Murray at 403-297-9850, or email@example.com.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. Let us work with you in protecting your clients. Patents, Trademarks, Copyright. Stemp & Company, Lawyers and Patent Agents, 233, 1100 - 8 Avenue S.W. Calgary, AB, T2P 3T8. 1-800-665-4447. KENSINGTON LAW GROUP has cost sharing office space available in NW Calgary for 1-2 lawyers. Underground heated parking, large window offices, boardroom, copier, fax, high-speed Internet, cleaning service, voicemail, etc. Please call Patrick Horner, 403-875-3793, or Brian McCullough, 403-270-2641 for further details. KOLTHAMMER BATCHELOR & LAIDLAW LLP is seeking a junior associate lawyer with 1 to 3 years experience. We are a general practice firm working in personal injury, civil litigation, real estate, wills and estates, corporate matters and class actions. Please contact Brian Laidlaw via mail at #208, 11062 - 156 Street, Edmonton, AB, T5P 4M8, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. LEWIS & CHRENEK L.L.P. a full service law firm located in Grande Prairie, AB is seeking a dynamic associate lawyer with two to six years experience in a civil litigation practice. Please reply in confidence to LEWIS & CHRENEK L.L.P., Barristers & Solicitors, 108-9824-97th Avenue, Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 7K2. Or fax to 780-539-7975. LONDON UK FLAT FOR RENT. Spacious 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom flat for short term rental in Chelsea, close to the Earl’s Court tube station. Contact Gloria@vinciphillips.com. LOOKING FOR THE LAST WILL & TESTAMENT of Bruce Fleming Owens who died Feb. 28, 2012 at Edmonton, AB. Please contact Jenkins & Jenkins, Barristers and Solicitors, Fort. Sask., AB, 780-998-4200. NW CALGARY OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE. (Independent Practice) established law office in the Market Mall Professional Centre. Confidential inquiries to Blake Nichol 403-288-6500 x 229.
SOUTH EDMONTON LAW OFFICE. Opportunity for Lawyer with established client base to practice in association with 4 other lawyers on a cost sharing basis. Some referral work available. Good opportunity for future growth in practice. For further information contact Brenda at 780-431-5729 or email@example.com SW CALGARY OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE. (Independent Practice). We have space for up to two lawyers to sublease offices within our established law firm. Reception, boardrooms, photocopies, fax, internet, etc. all included. Please contact Jim Thornborough or Megan Zybutz at 403-271-3221 or jamest@ thornsmeltz.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for further inquiries. THOMPSON WOODRUFF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW. Registered Patent Agents. Practice Restricted to Patents, Trademarks, Designs, Copyright and related Causes. #200, 10328 - 81 Ave., Edmonton, AB, Canada T6E 1X2. P: 780-448-0600; F: 780-448-7314. TOP OF GOOGLE. Our mission is to get your name to the Top of Google whenever anyone, anywhere searches for a lawyer in your exact practice area in your city. 3 ways - we do them all. ONE is via the Google Adwords system. TWO is we help you set up your Google “Place” page (free). THREE is AWESOME. We put YOUR NAME (exclusive) and logo etc. on our websites that are ALREADY AT the Top of Google. We make them totally yours. Call Keith Perkins at Canadian Lawyer Websites Inc. 780-909-5610. References.
CLASSIFIED LINE RATES: Lawyers, for non-profit purposes (i.e. will search) Lawyers, for profitable purposes (i.e. employment) Commercial - any company or association (except lawyers)
SEEKING TRUST FUND in name(s) of child(ren) of Robert Benjamin Clarke (July 17, 1927-Nov 2, 1996). Was member of Meridian 129 Masonic Lodge in Stony Plain, AB in 1970s. Any information re: fund, contact David Macphail. T: 403-230-4617; F: 403-277-8930; Email: email@example.com.
$15 $22 $33
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Publication of advertising in Law Matters by the Canadian Bar Association Alberta is not an endorsement of the advertiser or of the product or service advertised. No contractual or other relationship between the advertiser and the publishers is implied merely by publication of any advertisement in Law Matters. For complete advertising information, visit cba.org/alberta.
ANNOUNCEMENTS THE ST. THOMAS MORE LAWYERS’ GUILD OF NORTHERN ALBERTA will be holding the annual Red Mass at the St. Josaphat’s Ukranian Catholic Cathedral in Edmonton, AB on Wednesday, October 10, 2012. Gowning will be at 5:30 p.m. with the Mass at 6:00 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner at the Parish Hall. For further information or tickets, contact Allan Damer at 780-969-3694 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This text-only section is provided for non-profit organizations free of charge. To include your organization’s announcement please contact the Communications Coordinator at 403-218-4310 or email@example.com. Law Matters | 27
CBA-ALBERTA Vice President
SECTION HANDBOOK 2012-2013
Jeffrey D. Wise, QC
Cyril S. Gurevitch, QC
Treasurer Marian V. De Souza
Steven Mandziuk, QC
E D U C AT I O N
is now available online at www.cba.org/alberta
Analea M. Wayne, QC
Law Matters is published by The Canadian Bar Association Alberta four times annually. Submissions are subject to approval and editing by the Editorial Committee. Law Matters is intended to provide general information only and not specific legal advice. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of the publisher. Direct submissions and enquiries to Law Matters, Attention: Publications, Southern Office. Law Mattersâ€™ e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CBA Alberta Branch Southern Office 1725, 311 - 6 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 3H2 Phone: 403-263-3707 Fax: 403-265-8581 E-mail: email@example.com CBA Alberta Branch Northern Office 1001, 10235 - 101 Street Edmonton, AB T5J 3G1 Phone: 780-428-1230 Fax: 780-426-6803 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.cba.org/alberta 28 | Law Matters
Published on May 13, 2014
Published on May 13, 2014
The quarterly publication of CBA Alberta. With a focus on education, careers, and succession planning, this issue of Law Matters contains s...