Page 1

APRIL 2007

volume 19, number 2

Engaging in the Reform Debate A positive role for lawyers in the evolution of civil justice


hen the Civil Justice Working Group of the Justice Reform Task Force released its final report in November 2006, it introduced broad ideas for change. In the short time since then, several things have become clear: these reforms will transform practice before the courts; the government is determined to move forward; the profession has been invited to participate; and, if we wish to do so, it had better be now. The objective of the proposed reforms – and in particular the court rule changes and the Legal Hub – is to make our civil justice system more responsive, accessible and cost-effective. The goal is a positive one, worthy of our full attention and engagement. The rule changes are directed toward “proportionality,” a core value of the reforms. For the CBA – and for all lawyers – the most interesting challenge is ensuring that, in pursuing this goal, the system still retains traditional safeguards, the right to a fair and adequate inquiry, and access to lawyers when needed. As for the Hub concept, the CBA is uniquely positioned to comment, and to assist. We have for many years operated a Lawyer Referral Service. In January, for example, we received more than 5,000 calls and referred almost 3,500 of those people to lawyers participating in the program. Another 1,150 people were referred to local organizations that could provide them with other kinds of services,

such as Western Canada Access to Justice, Legal Aid, Pro Bono Law of B.C., the Salvation Army, and the Law Society. In essence, the CBA has been running a type of “hub” for 36 years and we now have the opportunity to expand it as part of the growing movement to ensure that legal services are more quickly and directly connected to those who need them. Judges speak openly of the challenge of retaining the perception of objectivity of the Bench while ensuring that the rights of the unrepresented litigant are protected. Counsel are challenged in dealing with a self-represented opponent, and their clients are forced to pay the costs of the delay and inefficiency that results. Cases are delayed as the system takes time to deal with people untrained and unprepared for civil law procedures. An enhanced program of prompt referrals to appropriate services, including legal advice and representation, could make a real difference to all concerned. In the coming months, the profession has the opportunity to work with government, the courts and other justice system partners to try new ways to break down the barriers to public access, to legal services and lawyers. It requires all of us to learn more about the perspectives involved, engage fully in the debate, and play an active part in defining the future of civil justice in B.C. To provide your views, I encourage you to write to the CBA at BT


4 5 6 8 10

From the President

National News


Section Update

Practice Talk



Nothing Official by Tony Wilson


On the Web

by Patricia Jordan




by David J. Bilinsky



Executive Director

Acts in Force

volume 19, number 2

The Day in the Life of an Elder Law Lawyer by Geoff White

Elders, Law, and Elder Law Lawyers by Peter Silin

A Lawyer’s Experience with the People’s Law School by Susan Coristine

Lawyer Retention Meeting the needs of a new generation

Law Week 2007 Access to Justice


Work-Life Balance

What the CBA is doing by Catherine Sas, QC




Member Services


Bar Moves


Continuing Legal Education Society The Law Foundation of B.C.


Classified Ads

Partners | Membership

Health & Wellness TIPS Make daily “MUST DO” lists and focus on completing these as early as possible in the day. Be realistic about time frames for each item on your list. uuu Train yourself to avoid constant checking of e-mails. Check 2-3 times throughout the day and then immediately re-focus on your day’s priorities. uuu Create boundaries for yourself around BlackBerry and cell phone use. Remember to “turn off” during protected leisure and “down” time. uuu

courtesy of interlock 604-431-8200

BARTALK April 2007

Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch 10th Floor, 845 Cambie Street Vancouver, B.C. V6B 5T3 Tel: 604-687-3404 Toll-free (in B.C.): 1-888-687-3404

BarTalk is published six times per year by the Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch. BarTalk Senior Editors Caroline Nevin Jesse Tarbotton BarTalk Editor Deborah Carfrae Staff Contributors Fran Hodgkins Brian Rodriguez Editorial Board Chair David Dundee Editorial Board Members James M. Bond Jack Micner Pamela Murray Gurminder Sandhu Barinder Sanghara Veronica Singer Dierk Ullrich Miriam Vale Craig Watson © Copyright the British Columbia Branch of the Canadian Bar Association 2007. This publication is intended for information purposes only and the information herein should not be applied to specific fact circumstances without the advice of counsel. The Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch represents more than 6,200 B.C. members and is dedicated to improving and promoting access to justice, reviewing legislation, initiating law reform measures and advancing and improving the administration of justice.

BarTalk Publication Sales Agreement #40741008


Send your Letters to the Editor to: Caroline Nevin, BarTalk Senior Editor Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch Fax: 604-669-9601 Toll-free fax: 1-877-669-9601 E-mail:

I am writing in response to the request in your December 2006 BarTalk article for input as to whether the Branch should continue providing member services activities. For my part, the short answer is yes. I find it strange to learn that some members of the Bar are surprised and frustrated to learn that sometimes better prices are available for suppliers such as hotels and car rentals. I would expect that lawyers, being people who have the ability to “read the rules,” would not take basic steps to find the best deal if that was their concern. Over Christmas, I knew that my spouse and I would need a hotel near the Toronto airport. Being a bit cost conscious (some might even suggest miserly), I checked to see whether any hotels were on the CBA/ CBABC’s list of preferred suppliers, and sure enough, there were some. I checked the hotels’ websites as well as a travel consolidator’s website to determine the best price available without the CBA discount and then phoned the hotels to see what the CBA member price was. It turned out that the web price was actually cheaper than the CBA rate, so I booked our room through the web – there being no hard feelings on my part as I have some appreciation of how the industry works and did my homework. I should say, though, that on other occasions I have found the CBA rate to be substantially cheaper than other rates. As to other suppliers, I recently purchased life insurance for my spouse through the CBA program – at a very substantial discount to what was available from other sources. I have also used a number of other services over the years and have been very satisfied. The availability (and lately expansion of) member services discounts are one of the key reasons I keep renewing my CBA membership. Please pass on my gratitude for the hard work being done in this area to the B.C. member services staff. – Tanya J. Rothe General Counsel and Director of Intellectual Property D-Wave Systems Inc. Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch and Vancouver Bar Association 2007 Golf Tournament Nothing says “summer is here” like a day on the green, so tee off with your friends and colleagues for the 11th Annual CBABC/VBA Golf Tournament at the UBC University Golf Club on June 21, 2007! There will be games, food, drink, a silent auction and plenty of golf ‘fore’ everyone, plus proceeds go toward an annual award for a UBC and a UVic student so your good time goes to a good cause. Details can be found on the CBABC homepage under “Current Events.”

April 2007 BARTALK

from the president

frits verhoeven

Mandatory Continuing Professional Development – Time To Pay Attention


he Law Society has The Task Force is looking at approved the report several options for the design of of its Task Force on the program. The program could Mandatory Continuing require study of certain subjects, or Professional Development, and is taking certain prescribed courses, committed to implementing a progor simply a certain number of ram of mandatory CPD. We should hours of study through approved pay careful attention to this initiaactivities. The Task Force has tive. Mandatory CPD could either accepted the idea that a broad be a relatively painless requirement, range of activities, not limited to or unduly burdensome, depending course study, should qualify for Frits Verhoeven on the design of the program. credit under the program. President 2006/2007 No Canadian jurisdiction In designing the program, I B.C. Branch has mandatory CPD. Several Canadian Bar Association think the following ought to be American and Australian states do, borne in mind: along with England and Wales. Similar requirements 1. The cost and burden to lawyers ought to be the are the norm among other professions. But there is primary consideration. An onerous program is no empirical evidence showing that mandatory CPD unjustified and unfair. The requirements of enhances lawyer competence. The Task Force’s report the program must be reasonable. Maximum concedes that belief in the value of mandatory CPD autonomy and flexibility in meeting the requires a “leap of faith.” The report recognizes that requirements should be allowed. The underlyonly a small percentage of lawyers are truly incoming assumption should match reality: the vast petent, and so it may be unfair to force all lawyers majority of B.C. lawyers are already competent to comply with a program designed to remedy the and professional. problems of a few. A major reason for implementing 2. To that end, the program should allow lawyers the program is to demonstrate to the public that the to meet the requirements by means of the legal profession takes competence seriously. activities and expenditures that competent The vast range of courses and programs lawyers already undertake. currently available shows that most lawyers already 3. If the Law Society requires members to take take competence seriously. specified courses, or to study particular subjects, While the value of mandatory CPD is at best unresistance from the profession may be expected. known, the costs are certain. Costs include loss of bill4. The Law Society should not develop and deliver able time, the cost of courses, and incidental expenses. new courses or programs itself. If new courses A burdensome program affects access to justice. are required, they should be delivered by others, Time taken away from practice is unavailable to such as the CLE Society or the CBA. Growth in provide legal services to the public, and the costs both the size and cost of the Law Society beyond what in terms of time and expense will have to be passed is strictly required to regulate lawyers is not on to the public in one form or another. The burden welcomed by the profession, and diminishes the will be greater on rural and small firm lawyers, and role of other professional bodies and groups. those with modest incomes. I welcome your comments. BT­

BARTALK April 2007

frank kraemer, QC

executive director

AVE ATQUE VALE – Catullus Hail and Farewell


s you may know, I Ostrowski, QC; Carmen Overholt, have now left my QC; David Paul, QC; Robert Brun, position as Executive QC; Michael Woodward; Meg Director of CBABC Shaw, QC; and Frits Verhoeven. to take up a new position as Senior Although each of them had a Counsel and Executive Director of slightly different approach, no one B.C. Superior Courts Judiciary. can doubt their commitment to When I accepted this position this organization and its goals. more than six years ago, I knew I also wish to thank the various there were challenges to be faced, members of Provincial Council but I doubt anyone anticipated their and the many volunteers who have Frank Kraemer, QC extent and number. Indeed, at my served on our Committees. Executive Director B.C. Branch very first Council meeting in March In my work, I have been very Canadian Bar Association 2001, I asked Council members to fortunate in having the support of fasten their seat belts. Little did we National CEO John Hoyles and all know at that time! But what would life be without my colleague Executive Directors across the country. challenges? Those challenges have given me and all of They have been a continual source of knowledge and those with whom I have worked the opportunity to rise inspiration and for that I thank them. to the occasion and I believe that we have succeeded Last but not least, I extend my sincere thanks to admirably. The Branch has survived the loss of universal all of the Branch staff with whom I have worked. I membership and today has emerged as a continuing believe that we have created an organization that is significant player within the justice system. even more responsive to the needs of our members, In my parting remarks, I want to express and that also well serves the public through our my sincere thanks to the many volunteers I have various education programs. worked with, both at the National level and here And so I say hail and farewell. Hail to a strong at the Branch. In particular, I wish to thank the organization that I encourage all of you to continue to Branch Presidents I have served, namely Margaret support, and farewell as I move to my new position. BT

Farewell from the Branch CBABC has been fortunate to have Frank Kraemer, QC at the helm of the Branch office through some of the most tumultuous years in our recent history – unprecedented cuts to the courts and legal aid, the ongoing fight against the tax on legal services, and of course, the final resolution after several battles over mandatory CBA membership. Frank contributed exceptional leadership in overseeing the Branch’s revamping of its services and programs in response to the loss of revenues that came with voluntary membership. His Executive Committees will remember his exceptional professionalism and integrity during that difficult period; his

staff will remember his compassion in exploring every option to minimize the impact on our small team. The National CBA will remember his contributions to the CBA Futures Committee, and the resulting far-reaching plan for ensuring we remain forever relevant and vital to the profession. When Frank announced his departure, the Branch received a flood of notes and e-mails, all universally complimentary and gracious. The overwhelming message was clear: We are very grateful for your exemplary service to the CBA and the profession, and we consider our great loss to be the Courts’ significant gain. We wish you well. April 2007 BARTALK

national news | EVENTS

Charkaoui Decision a Major Victory for CBA The CBA welcomed the Feb. 23 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Charkaoui v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) that says the government can do more to protect individuals detained under security certificates. “While it recognized that the government must keep certain information confidential in the security certificate process, the court says the government must consider alternative measures to ensure a fair hearing,” says Lorne Waldman of Toronto, who acted as legal counsel in the CBA’s intervention in this case. The CBA argued that special counsel – who would review secret evidence and advocate on behalf of a detained person – would be an appropriate alternative. The court agreed with this argument.

News Release uuu

CBA Launches Class Action Database At the click of a mouse, CBA members and the public can access a database of class action suits filed in Canada that are sent to CBA by counsel. To date, close to three dozen class actions are listed on the site, lawsuits that were launched between 2003 and 2007 (the number keeps growing!). Canadian The database aims to meet the needs of the Corporate public, counsel and judges for information on class actions. Once posted, a class action proceeding will Counsel remain on the database unless dismissed as a class Association’s action by the court.

National Spring Conference

The theme of this year’s CCCA spring conference is Leading Corporate Counsel: The Critical Path to Excellence. The conference will cover a broad range of topics including privacy, pensions and benefits, crisis management, consumer contracts, competition law, and the latest developments in HR, executive compensation, directors and officer’s liability, and securities disclosure and compliance. Where: Toronto, ON When: April 22-24, 2007 Agenda, registration and hotel information uuu Spring_Conference.aspx.

BARTALK April 2007

National Class Action Database uuu

Many CBA Concerns Met in Senate Committee Report on Anti-terrorism Act The report of the Special Senate Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act, released on Feb. 23, echoed many of the concerns and recommendations made by the CBA in its 2005 submission. CBA 2005 submission to Special Senate Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act uuu

CBA Urges Caution in Expanding DNA Data Bank (Bill C-18) In a letter to the Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights, the CBA’s National Criminal Justice Section says that further amendments or expansion of the DNA data bank should only occur following the long overdue five-year review of the legislation. Letter Commons Justice and Human Rights Committee uuu

National news | EVENTS

Calgary: Heart of the New West Cosmopolitan, vibrant Calgary is the perfect backdrop for the 2007 Canadian Legal Conference, August 12-14, which is complemented by a full slate of unique Continuing Legal Education programs, social activities and networking opportunities. Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Boston University professor Elie Wiesel delivers the opening keynote speech. Wiesel’s personal experience of the Holocaust has led him to use his talents as an author, teacher and storyteller to defend human rights and peace throughout the world. Preston Manning (former leader of the Opposition) and The Hon. Peter Lougheed (former Premier of Alberta) will offer up amusing and thought-provoking discussion as breakfast speakers. Some two dozen educational programs aimed at a wide variety of legal specialities plus targeted programs for corporate counsel are on the agenda. Other feature speakers include Justice John Gomery, and author and visionary Leonard Brody will deliver the closing address. Juno Award winner Jann Arden will rock the TELUS Centre and entertain attendees with her quirky, catchy melodies and her emotionally evocative voice.

Elie Wiesel

Online brochure, registration forms uuu

Continuing Legal Education – Spring 2007 CBA National Environmental, Energy and Resources Law Summit: Energy and the Environment April 27-28, 2007, Montreal This one-and-a-half day program is designed to provide private practitioners, in-house corporate and government counsel, regulators, local government representatives and other professionals with an annual update on the hottest issues in the environment, energy and resources law field and unprecedented access to leading experts. This year’s theme is energy supply and transmission issues and topics include new electricity transmission routes, nuclear energy comeback, and wind energy.

uuu April 2007 BARTALK

section update

Section Update Keep your practice current

The following are brief summaries of several recent Section meetings held throughout the province. More detailed information, minutes, and Section Papers from the Section meetings are accessible online at for enrolled CBA members. Administrative Law – Vancouver Meeting: January 18, 2007 Speaker: Dianne Flood, Executive Director, Admin-

Act, the Companies’ Creditors Arrangements Act Model Order and Electronic Evidence; and the posting of available trial dates on the Court’s website (beginning istrative Justice Office May 2006). The Chief Justice also advised of the recent Topic: The Administrative Tribunals Act – An Update appointments of three new Supreme Court Judges: Ms. Flood presented a paper called “The Administrative Justices Catherine Bruce, Gail Dickson, and William Tribunals Act – An Update.” This excellent 50-page Smart. Members at this paper was a full overwell-attended meeting view of the entire syshad the opportunity to tem of the Administrative ask Chief Justice Brenner Attend a Section Meeting Tribunals Act, how it questions regarding by Teleconference applies, and which trithese initiatives. bunals have been made CBABC is committed to making Section Corporate Counsel subject to its provisions. meetings widely available. If you are Meeting: January 10, Ms. Flood was most interested in attending a Section meeting 2007 informative and her by teleconference outside the downtown Speaker: Scott informal style ensured Vancouver area, and have a boardroom Dawson, Farris Vaughan that all the attendees you are prepared to make available for Wills & Murphy LLP enjoyed an evening of Topic: Developments in other Section members to join you, please “catching up” on the the Law of Privilege contact Fran Hodgkins at 604-646-7857 or implementation of this Mr. Dawson discussed toll-free at 1-888-687-3404 or e-mail very important piece of the key points emerging Check the current legislation. Ms. Flood from Blank v. Canada on also briefly informed list of Section meetings online. litigation privilege. He the meeting of developoutlined some aspects of ments in other common its impact and strategy. law jurisdictions. For example, it impacts government agencies as well as ADR – Vancouver corporations covered by FOI legislation. The Meeting: January 16, 2007 impact on settlement privilege and document Speaker: The Honourable Chief Justice Donald retention policies is less clear. Mr. Dawson Brenner, Supreme Court of British Columbia discussed two other cases, Blood Tribe Department Topic: B.C. Supreme Court Update of Health v. Canada (2006 FCA 334) on solicitorclient privilege and R. Laidlaw Environmental Chief Justice Brenner gave an overview of activities and initiatives of the Court over the past 12 months. The Services (Sarnia) Ltd. (1996), 19 C.E.L.R. (N.S.) 42 initiatives discussed included: the Civil Justice Reform on advising non-managerial employees and Working Group which is seeking feedback and suggesconflict of interest. He gave practical suggestions tions from the Bar in response to its report published on handling privileged communications and his last November; the Practice Directions issued by the presentation ended with an informative question and Supreme Court in 2006 regarding the Class Proceedings answer period. 

BARTALK April 2007

Employment Law Meeting: January 16, 2007 Speaker: David Iverson, Manager, Computer Forensics

Insolvency Law Meeting: February 6, 2007 Speakers: Donnaree Nygard, Counsel, Department

for Western Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

of Justice; Mohammad Shafiqe, Resource and Complex Case Officer, Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) Topic: Department of Justice and Canadian Revenue Agency Positions on Current Insolvency Issues

Topic: Computer Forensics and Electronic Discovery: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Mr. Iverson defined “computer forensics” to be the recovery of data from computers, BlackBerrys, SIM cards, access cards, etc. It is important for legal counsel to recognize that data is everywhere and to be aware of where relevant data can be retrieved in a case and to get at that source of data as soon as possible. The longer the wait, the more likely data will be lost. Mr. Iverson explained that people generally think when they “delete” a file, it is then erased from the system, but this is actually not true. The only thing that is “deleted” is the “index” that allows you to pull that data. The data is still scattered within the computer hard drive and may be retrieved by computer forensic experts if required. The sooner the computer is imaged the more data can be recovered from it. Mr. Iverson gave many examples of his everyday work where vital information for clients has assisted in their case. Mr. Iverson also answered many questions during his presentation. Immigration Law Meeting: January 31, 2007 SpeakerS: Jenny Lo, Regional Foreign Worker Consultant; Kim Workun, Assistant Deputy Chair, Immigration Appeal Division, Western Region Topic: Recent Significant Developments at the Service Canada, B.C./Yukon Region; Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) updates

Ms. Lo provided an overview of current issues in the B.C. Foreign Worker Unit and responded to questions from members. She addressed concerns raised with processing times for the Temporary Foreign Worker Unit which can vary with the number of applications being received and can fluctuate considerably. The goal of Service Canada is to reduce the processing time to three weeks. Ms. Workun provided a short overview of the IAD Innovation which she covered in more depth at the December 2006 Immigration Law CLE seminar. The IAD Innovation Plan includes the Early Review Process, which permits parties to make written submissions on legal issues and, where these issues are determinative of the appeal, the appeal will be determined in chambers without an oral hearing. Examples of case types suitable for the ER process were provided at this meeting.

Ms. Nygard presented highlights from a paper prepared by Michael Loma, who is with the Department of Justice in Edmonton. Ms. Nygard highlighted, in particular, the deemed trust cases, builders’ lien issues, and set off cases. With respect to builders’ liens, Ms. Nygard added that CRA’s practice has been not to seek recovery from the 10 per cent holdback, but that this practice may change in light of the Ledcor case (cited in Mr. Loma’s paper). Mr. Shafiqe presented the CRA policy on BIA proposals, which at the outset is recovery of 100 cents on the dollar net of administrative costs, and set out the circumstances in which CRA would consider proposals where CRA would recover less than 100 cents on the dollar. BT

CBABC Welcomes Civil Litigation – Okanagan Section! The Civil Litigation – Okanagan Section was approved at the January Provincial Council meeting. Sean Pihl of Pihl and Associates initiated the formation of this Section and was acclaimed Chair at its inaugural meeting March 1st in Kelowna. To enrol in this new Section and keep up to date in this practice area print an enrolment form from our website or call the Branch office at 604-687-3404 or toll-free at 1-888-687-3404.

 Site du Jour

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We’ve created a new section at in “Public & Media” under “Legal Links & Blogs” and are seeking links to law blogs. Send your links to

April 2007 BARTALK

Practice Talk

david j. bilinsky

To Be or Not to Be… The fine art of saying… no…

Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye Words and music by Gary DeCarlo, Dale Frashuer and Paul Leka


Scope of Work Creep: Watch

for requests that would expand the scope of work – your client will think you are doing the additional work plus the original work for the same quote – leading to potential difficulties down the road in terms of payment of your account and possibly a complaint from the client. Ensure that if the scope of work changes, that you communicate this to your client and confirm – in writing – that the extra work will require an extra payment by way of an adjustment of the fee.

t certain times in our careers we all face the David J. Bilinsky is the Practice decision of whether Management Advisor at the to take on a certain Law Society of B.C. client – or not. There will be E-mail: factors pulling us in different directions, some compelling, some less so. There will always be the needs of meeting the next payroll or making the next rent payment Gut Reaction: Watch out for a client asking you or draw… the expectations of our partners to meet to take on work outside of your capabilities and/or billable targets, and not the least of all – our own interests. If you feel uncomfortable with the file – in needs and wants. terms of your experience, area of law or other factors However, sometimes those other needs, wants – listen to your gut – often times it is a message you and expectations override our better judgment and should not ignore. we take on a client that we knew that we ought not to have… and then at some point in the file – we realize Keep Your Goals in Mind: Be careful on that we have a problem on our hands. taking on work that lies outside of your strategic There are many factors to consider before taking plan – i.e. outside of your goals or vision for how on a new file. Here is a collection of things to think your practice should evolve. There is an economic about either before you find yourself taking on that cost in terms of taking on work that is outside of your file or when you realize that you have a file on your business plan – it takes your attention away from hands that you wish you hadn’t: your long-term goals. If this happens one too many times, you will find that you have lost your compass Look Forward: Don’t take on work that doesn’t bearing and are now drifting aimlessly on the ocean meet your business plan or preferred areas of practice of “taking in whatever comes in the door.” because you are afraid of lean times ahead… there are much better reasons to either take on or decline The 2/3 Rule: Ensure that any new file that comes work. Recall that by taking on a file that you don’t in the door has 2 of the 3 following attributes in order want you are using up time that could either be put to accept it: into marketing yourself for the files that you do want • It involves interesting and challenging matters; • The clients are people you enjoy; or or spent on existing files that will result in referrals • The clients are people who will pay you. from satisfied clients! 10

BARTALK April 2007

Getting out of Bed Test: Would you leap out

How to say No: There are many ways to decline a

of bed in the morning excited to do this work? If you can’t get excited about the work – it will show in your attitude and your client will pick up on this. You won’t be doing them – or you – any favours.

file – but perhaps the best is to be honest: “I am sorry but your file doesn’t fall within my desired area of practice. I hope you find a lawyer who has the time to devote to your file that it requires.”

Take Your Time in Saying Yes: There is no rule

What if You are Already in the File: You have to determine if you can ethically withdraw (see Chapter 10 of the Professional Conduct Handbook). If you can – then call the client in and sit them down and tell them that you believe that their interests would be better served by another lawyer and that you will take all reasonable steps to cooperate with their new lawyer. Be understanding but be firm. Remaining on a troublesome file is not going to do you or your client much good. Better that they find a new lawyer who has a better “fit” and with whom they would be better off working. Many lawyers have said that it was a big relief the day they asked a problem client to leave. They empowered themselves to take control of their practice and their life, and have realized that they are the master of their own destiny. Just imagine the feeling when you have closed the door on a troublesome client for the last time and have just said to yourself “hey hey hey… goodbye!” BT

that states that you must give the client an answer on the first interview. You control your own boundaries and timetable – and can give yourself the opportunity to “sleep on it” and talk it over with a colleague first – you will thank yourself later. Stretch and Grow (within limits): It is OK to find work that stretches your capabilities and comfort zones, but only to a point. Recognize when you have a file or client who would be over your head! If it is… think about the file and see if you can find a senior colleague willing to mentor you on it before agreeing to take it on. Do the Math!: Determine which of your clients are high EHR clients (effective hourly rate: i.e. fees collected/hours worked) and – just as importantly – which are not. Now, look at the ranked client list and ask the bottom-most, low-EHR clients to legally and ethically find a new home. Do this annually and you will “prune your client tree” and help it grow upwards. Be Objective: Maintain your professional distance from your client from the outset. Don’t get drawn into their problems – they – and you – will be stronger and better for it. Know Thyself: This is not a typical client selec-

tion question: Does this file or client fit your style and your personality? How will you grow from this client and/or file? By knowing yourself and looking at your potential client objectively, you can determine if this is the type of client and file that will “fit” you and with whom you can have a comfortable sense of working with them and they with you. Work at your Client Relationships – All the time: The most important asset you have is your

integrity. Do not keep any clients that ask you to compromise your integrity; you are sacrificing a long-term asset for the sake of a short-term gain (resulting in a net loss).

Thanks to the Cowichan Bar Association for providing me with this topic. The views expressed herein are strictly those of the author and may not be shared by the author’s employer, the Law Society of B.C.

Tech tip Do you have a Bluetooth equipped mobile phone? If so, check out the RoadMaster VRBT200V – Wireless LCD Hands-Free Speaker Phone. It’s battery powered, recharges from the car, and clips on your visor. You leave your telephone in your pocket, and keep both hands on the wheel! Great for answering calls, not as useful for making them (since it doesn’t access your telephone’s contact list), but only costs around $100! Available now. uuu courtesy of christopher doll April 2007 BARTALK


nothing official

tony wilson

(Politically Correct) Memo from the Partners Please circulate to all lawyers and staff


s some people are bad breath, narcolepsy, irritable sensitive to perfumes, bowel syndrome, dry scalp, mad colognes, lotions cow disease, heartburn, indigestion, and other scents, we or diarrhea. So remember, all meat would appreciate that all lawin the office is now Verboten. yers and staff cooperate with us As some people suffer from in creating a scent-free environSeasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) ment at the office. When you use during the fall and winter months strong scents, remember that you in the firm, we would appreare using powerful chemicals. Yes, ciate that all lawyers and staff shampoo is a powerful chemical, cooperate with us in creating Tony Wilson is a Franchise and as is soap, but it all depends on a weather-discussion-free environIntellectual Property Lawyer how you define “chemical” isn’t it, at Boughton in Vancouver. ment at the office. When you talk He’s written for the Globe as salt is also a powerful chemical about the weather to someone and Mail and Macleans, but if you’re a slug or a trout. Anyway, with SAD, especially during the was not chosen for this year’s we digress. Even if these politidark, depressing and suicidal “Random Celebrity Guy.” cally incorrect chemicals do not winters we get, it could affect E-mail: affect you, that does not mean someone. Even if talking about they won’t affect someone close the weather does not affect you, to you, giving them a migraine or sinus problems, that does not mean speaking about the endless or jealousy down in word processing over a rare rain and dark dreary days won’t affect someone but desirable eau de toilette. Catfights may break close to you, giving them a migraine or sinus out among the women in the real estate group over problems, watery eyes, sore throat, cough, chest the L’air du Temps the new conveyancer is bathing tightness, sleepiness, bad breath, narcolepsy, irritable naked in. Or worse, it could lead to lust, which is bowel syndrome, writer’s block, the heartbreak of Verboten these days in law firms. Other symptoms psoriasis, hemorrhoids, dry scalp, mad cow disease, can include watery eyes, sore throat, bad breath, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, or diarrhea. Talk narcolepsy, irritable bowel syndrome, writer’s block, about Heroes at the water cooler or Studio 60 or and the heartbreak of psoriasis. The natural odors of the pure and natural bodily odors in our scent free our bodies do not need scents, even under stress. office, but no more weather discussions. As some people are vegetarians in the firm, As you know, Bill is getting married next week, we would appreciate that all lawyers and staff so we’re having a stag for him this Thursday night in the Lawyer’s Lounge. Rob has some cigars to share cooperate with us in creating a meat-free environment around and Larry has arranged for some strippers to at the office. When you eat meat, remember that show up around 9 p.m., so it might be a good idea if you are eating one of God’s creatures that walked the earth and were once a baby something, just the female lawyers keep a wide berth, (even if you’ve like you (only with four legs. Or wings). Even if slept with Bill), as we may get drunk and compare eating meat doesn’t affect you, that does not mean which one of you has the best thong. eating meat won’t affect someone close to you, giving But remember, as its being held at the firm, no them a migraine or sinus problems, incontinence, scents, no meat, and don’t talk about the weather. BT 12

BARTALK April 2007


on the web

Marketing Your Firm Online – Part 2


ow that you’ve decided to build a website or improve your site’s performance and return on investment, there are a few essential tools that you will need to develop an effective site. Advanced website analytics can provide you with a complete and accurate profile of how visitors use your site and what acronyms, terms and variants they use when searching online. Search engine optimization will help to ensure your site is successful and produces the results you desire.

used. SEO can also refer to “search engine optimizers.” Search engine optimizers are employees who perform SEO services in-house or are consultants who conduct optimization projects on behalf of clients. Before you begin to build your web pages, you’ll need to incorporate SEO into the development and design of your site. SEO often involves optimizing a site’s Patricia Jordan is the CBABC code, hierarchical structure and Manager, Interactive Media. She welcomes your comments, presentation. Indexing of pages questions and suggestions. based upon meta data is no longer Tel: 604-646-7861 considered reliable, as most search E-mail: engines now use more sophisticated ranking algorithms that utilize Advanced Website Analytics factors such as: Each time a visitor downloads a file or requests • alt attributes for images; any other content your web server adds a record • domain name, URL directories, filenames and to a log file. Web analytic reports contain informasitemaps; tion on the types of content viewed, the marketing • HTML tags and headings; campaigns or search engines that bring them to your • on page keyword adjacency, proximity and site, and much more. That information can be used sequence; to determine how well your site is performing by • term frequency, both in the document and tracking what a visitor actually does. For example, globally; last year received 1,132,172 visits • text within the title element; and or an average of 3,101 per day. The most frequently • web content development. visited areas were legal careers, Sections, member To further complicate matters, most search engines services and Dial-A-Law scripts. HR ads in the form use dozens of algorithms that change frequently, of PDF files were downloaded 102,434 times. Here resulting in a web page that ranks in the top five in one are a few web analytic resources to get you started: search engine while ranking at 100 in another. Yahoo!,, recommends using a “description” tag and that you, and write your description accurately so it fits the content of Search Engine Optimization the page. Yahoo! ranks search results according to relevance to a particular query by analyzing the web page Search engine optimization (SEO) is a term used to text, title and description as well as its source, associdescribe a process of improving the volume of traffic to ated links and other unique document characteristics. a website from search engines. Webmasters utilize SEO In the June issue of BarTalk, I’ll write about in an attempt to measure the quality of visitor traffic security, site-level search, and more. BT and to identify how often specific keywords or terms are April 2007 BARTALK


legislative update

acts in force

Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided to you in this article but the information should not be relied upon. Lawyers should refer to the specific legislative or regulatory provision. You will see a reference in some cases to the number of the Bill when it was introduced in the House. This number may be different from the chapter number of the new Act which is quoted after the title of the Act and which is the proper citation for the Act. The Bill number has been given to make it easier for you to note up the Bills you may have in your library.

acts in force

PUBLIC SAFETY AND SOLICITOR GENERAL STATUTES AMENDMENT ACT, 2006 , S.B.C. 2006, C. 28 (BILL 31) Sections 70.1 and 70.2 of the Insurance Corporation Amendment Act, 2003, S.B.C. 2003, c. 35, as enacted by sections 56 and 57 of the Public Safety and Solicitor General Statutes Amendment Act, 2006, S.B.C. 2006, c. 28 (Bill 31), are in force June 1, 2007

CURRENT FROM JANUARY 1, 2007 - MARCH 5, 2007 Legislative Update is provided as part of the CBABC legislative and law reform program. It is a service funded by CBA membership fees, and is therefore provided as a benefit of CBA membership. The full version of Legislative Update is now published online, available to CBA members exclusively at

Consider Taking an Articling Student This Year Have you ever considered bringing an articling student into your firm? If so, now might be the time. The Career Services Offices of the UVic and UBC Faculties of Law would like B.C. lawyers to know that a number of high calibre third-year law students are still seeking 2007-2008 articling positions. For a law student, articling is a critical stage of legal training, and a mandatory step on the path to call and admission. Students are eager to put their skills to work and to experience the practice of law under expert guidance. Articles offer that opportunity.

Students can perform useful and billable work that benefits a firm or legal department. For a lawyer who serves as principal to a student, that assistance is valuable. But principals can also draw satisfaction from the important contribution they make. Principals help develop their students into good lawyers through guidance, training and mentorship. This benefits not only those students, but the profession as a whole. The CBABC website now contains a Shared Articles Registry developed jointly by the Career Services Offices of the UBC and UVic Faculties of Law, the CBABC Branch, and the Law Society of B.C. The Registry offers new and innovative opportunities for firms who either cannot provide a full articling program or who do not have the financial resources to hire an articling student for the whole articling period. Firms and organizations can use the Registry to advertise their need for an articling student, specifying length of articles available and practice areas covered. Students can then search for available articles and take steps to contact firms and organizations and work out a shared articles program that meets the requirements of the Law Society Admission Program. To become a principal, you must be a practising lawyer in good standing with the Law Society with seven years practice experience. For more on the qualifications of principals and the articling relationship, please see Law Society Rules 2-27 through 2-46. See also background information – including the current articling agreement and checklist – in the “Licensing & Membership” section of the Society’s website at If you are not certain if you qualify as a principal, please contact Lesley Small, Manager, Credentials & Licensing at the Law Society of B.C. at 604-669-2533 or The UBC and UVic Career Services offices are ready to assist lawyers that can offer articling positions by answering questions, posting positions and advertising to students. Please contact: UBC – Kaila Mikkelsen, Co-Director, Career Services at, 604-822-6350, fax: 604-822-9486 or Nadia Myerthall, Co-Director, Career Services at, 604-827-5052, fax: 604-822-9486. UVic – Jennifer Moroskat, Career Development Officer at, 250-472-4719, fax: 250-721-6390.


BARTALK April 2007



The Day in the Life of an Elder Law Lawyer


s my office full of antiques, We are often asked what type easy chairs, and coasters? of world we will be leaving our Large print books, reading grandchildren. Elder Law asks glasses and tea? Hardwood what world we are creating for floors, extra-wide doors and a ourselves when we will be grandramp? Am I well-practised at parents? Or great-grandparents? speaking loudly, slowly and clearLike the Doko basket, our socily? Well… yes. But is that what ety has tools that help: laws, policies, makes me an Elder Law lawyer? customs, and financial resources. I deal with Wills and Trusts; How do we use those tools? matters of disability and care We may not have the “temple arrangements; questions of capacsteps,” but we do have our own Geoff White is the Chair of the ity and heath care. Is that what version. The care facility that, CBABC Elder Law Section. makes up Elder Law? based on a “first-available-bed” His Kelowna practice includes For me, those lists are bypolicy, is far away from family Elder and Estates Law. He products of what Elder Law really and supports. The medical can be reached at gwhite@ is: an approach to the law. That decision that excludes the usual “approach” may be best described and effective treatment for the by a Nepalese bedtime story about sole reason that you are “too old.” a basket, the “Doko.” The loss of input into decisions about the home The large simple basket plays a big role in you own because someone feels that you need to family life. It carries not only grain and wood, but be “protected.” also Yeh-yeh when he was a child. The Doko was Elder Law peels back the prejudice of ageism. It there when Yeh-yeh became a man and married. It is not just about elders. It is about promoting society’s was used to build his home. And then, it was to be ability to give independence, dignity and, where used again when Yeh-yeh aged into a grandfather. appropriate, support. He had become a nuisance by inadvertently setting Elder Law therefore covers broad areas of the house afire. Yeh-yeh’s son decided to leave him law – often delving beyond the clarity of statutes on the temple steps for the priests to tend. Yet, as and regulations and into the murkiness of policy Yeh-yeh was carried away in the basket by his son, and discretion. Our traditional legal remedies are the young grandson asked his father to make sure he sometimes not effective or affordable. The best brought the Doko back – because then the grandson results are often creative blends of the law and “won’t need to buy another Doko when you are old advocacy: how can I as a lawyer ask that one and it is time to leave you on the temple steps.” In his question, as the young grandson did, that will simple request, the grandson exposed the prejudice so clearly expose the prejudice, and advocate for and cruelty of the son’s actions. a change? How we treat the potentially vulnerable What is a day in the life of an Elder Law members of our society is often described as the lawyer? – It’s about influencing how our basket is best judge of our character. It is also just good plain going to be used. BT sense – we too will age. April 2007 BARTALK




Elders, Law, and Elder Law Lawyers


uth, an 82 year old, took of appointments to deciding how eight months and sevto approach a client and situation. eral visits to decide to Often people seek help around move to assisted living. eldercare issues when in crisis. The A few months later she comcrisis can be triggered by changes mented, “This was one of the best in the physical, cognitive, or emodecisions I have ever made.” 78 tional status of the older person, or year old Lena was transferred to because of changes in the family/ a clean, warm and caring nursing caregiver system. The time when home directly from the hospital. they need to make decisions is Her comment, a month later was exactly the time it is difficult to Peter Silin, MSW, RSW is presi“I cry myself to sleep every night.” make them. The result is fear, dent of Diamond Geriatrics, Inc., The difference, of course, is anxiety, confusion, guilt, burnout, a Vancouver based geriatric that Ruth was able to make a and conflict. While this at times care management and eldercare decision in her own time, which triggers legal intervention, it may consulting company. Contact him at 604-874-7764 or through she felt was right for her; Lena indicate also a need to engage was strong armed, by well meanother services and supports. ing family and physicians due to Conflict is often a reflection being at high risk in her own home. Comparing the of problems in family systems which are usually results of these two outcomes illustrates the need to relatively well managed but aggravated by crisis. understand aging as a process of practical and emoThese dynamics may be historical or situational; tional changes through which older people (and their they may be about an individual or the family as a caregivers) are navigating. How they handle and are group. These are also some of the issues it is helpful handled during this transition process is what decides to understand when working with older people and whether the outcome is as positive as possible. their families. Lawyers whose clients are older people and their It is also helpful to have an understanding of the family members or caregivers will increasingly be public and private care systems as many decisions involved in decisions arising out of the transitions will be made around which ones to use, and when of aging. Serving these clients will call upon specific and how to use them. Trying to fit people to the skills and knowledge. services can be daunting. The undertaking of using What specific knowledge is needed? First, an these services may be what leads to conflict and visits understanding of cognitive changes which can result to the lawyers’ office. in memory loss or what is termed executive funcThe above illustrate some of the issues complition – the ability to make decisions, plan out tasks, cating eldercare. Whereas it is may not be practical and make appropriate judgments. Why these hapfor lawyers to become experts in aging, they can pen, what are the subtle clues, what can be done are educate themselves for a broad understanding. This essential to understand. Along with the cognitive will help in formulating a plan of action – where changes, knowledge of some of the physical changes to start, what are the limitations, when to act as a is important also. They affect everything from how broker for other services for their clients, or when to an office is set up, documents, the time, and duration use a “multidisciplinary team” approach. BT 16

BARTALK April 2007



A Lawyer’s Experience with the People’s Law School


y first encounter with the People’s Law School was as volunteer speaker, starting in the 1990s, when I agreed to speak on a variety of topics, including youth justice and parental rights. It was apparent to me that those who attended the People’s Law School presentations were keen to learn, appreciative of my efforts, and thoughtful. My experience as a speaker convinced me of the value of public legal education.

Finally, I think that public legal education plays an important role in reminding the public of the role that law plays in a democratic society. I do not mean to overstate the matter, but I think the People’s Law School contributes to that process by providing the public with a deeper recognition of the ways in which the law both reflects the People’s Law School core beliefs, and helps to shape and reinforce them. Many of Susan Coristine is a partner the People’s Law School programs in the law firm of Coristine address legal issues that have social Woodall in Vancouver, B.C. as well as legal components, such Her area of practice is criminal and civil litigation. as family violence and hate crimes. Our 35 Years in Public Our Justice Theatre, for example, Legal Education addresses the broader social and Today, I am the Chair of the People’s Law School, legal issues arising from face-to-face bullying, as well as after serving nine years on the Board of Directors. the relatively new phenomenon of Internet bullying. My continued relationship with the People’s Law School has strengthened my conviction as to the Volunteer Lawyers Are Key value of the public legal education. to THE PEOPLE’S LAW SCHOOL’S Success For those who are not familiar with the People’s The People’s Law School owes its success to the large Law School, we provide public legal education in B.C. number of volunteers from the B.C. Bar and Bench through a number of media, including plain language who have, since 1972, played key roles on the Board booklets in various languages, radio programs, lawof Directors, and have volunteered as speakers, radio related ESL classes, speakers, training workshops, theatre panelists, and legal reviewers of the plain language performances, and the People’s Law School website. booklets. In any given year, about 150 volunteers Public legal education cannot replace professional contribute time and expertise to the various public advice or representation, and does not claim to do so. legal education programs of the People’s Law School. What it does do is assist people by providing them Contact Us to Learn More with a clearer sense of their rights and responsibilities. I want to congratulate those of you who have demIt helps people identify legal problems if they do arise onstrated your commitment to your communities and make informed decisions as to whether they by volunteering for the People’s Law School. I need legal advice and representation, or whether encourage all of you to learn more about the People’s there are informal ways of resolving their problems. Law School by visiting Public legal education is also an important vehicle for or by calling 604-331-5400 for the most recent providing the public with legally sound information about new developments in the law. Annual Report. BT April 2007 BARTALK




Lawyer Retention

Meeting the needs of a new generation


BABC’s Business of Law Committee established a Sub-Committee to focus on Lawyer Retention, an issue of primary importance to all law firms. The aim of this Sub-Committee has been to address the challenge of high attrition rates amongst lawyers who are dissatisfied with their firm’s culture or with the profession itself. Studies, such as Crystal Clear: New Perspectives for the Canadian Bar Association – The Report of the CBA Futures Committee confirm that fostering a healthy and happy workforce leads to higher productivity.1 From a firm’s perspective, quality of life issues are integral to a firm’s success. Why? Quality of life issues transects areas like recruitment, retention of talent, and client development. Quality of life issues may very well be extensions of occupational health and safety concerns as firms adopt specific programs as preventative rather than corrective measures. The Cost of High Lawyer Attrition Rates – the Dollars and Sense

Catalyst Canada Research has demonstrated that every time an associate leaves a firm it costs $315,0002. This expenditure reflects a firm’s investment in recruiting, training, and time spent by senior lawyers helping new associates gain experience The attrition of lawyers from a firm can also negatively impact the culture and mood of the workplace. Other lawyers and staff may feel the effects of an associate or partner leaving a firm, especially if that person is a positive member of the team. Also, if a firm experiences frequent attrition, the remaining employees may start questioning their own involvement and participation with the firm. Other negative consequences a firm may experience because of attrition include: • Poor morale and decreasing loyalty of lawyers to the firm; • Reduced output due to decreased focus and motivation; • Inability to retain lawyers; 18

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• • • • • • •

Higher turnover of lawyers and staff; Decreased income for the firm; Higher levels of stress-related illness; Increased health care costs; Increased absenteeism; Decreased client development and retention; and Decrease in service of existing clients.

Firms must come to grips with the motivational factors of a new generation of lawyers or they will suffer the negative and financial and productive consequences of high lawyer attrition. What Do Lawyers Want?

The new generation of lawyers is committed to seeking a healthy balance between a fulfilling private life and a productive career. Law firms must be proactive and respond to this global trend in order to retain their valued resources, avoid wasting their training dollars, and attract qualified lawyers. The cost of replacing lawyers outstrips the cost of measures that must be taken to retain them. Law firms must now accept alternatives to the 60-hour work week, rigid schedules and place constraints. Many lawyers and particularly young associates are not willing to commit 2200 annual work hours and are rejecting the path to equity partnerships. They want better quality of life, which usually translates into fewer billable hours, and more perks3. In fact, surveys show salary is no longer a prime motivator. Factors which lawyers consider when making career decisions are where they work and how they work, which include the following: • Does the firm have good work? • Does it have fair compensation? • Do they have an effective orientation/mentor program? 1

Crystal Clear: New Perspectives for the Canadian Bar Association.


Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Building the Business Case for Flexibility – puts a dollar value on associates who leave their firms.


How to Attract (and Keep) the Best and Brightest Legal Talent by Ann Macaulay.

• Is the firm sensitive to people issues? • Am I going to flourish as a lawyer there?4 Men and women associates, both junior and senior, cite work-life balance as the primary motivator in deciding to leave their current firm. In particular, they cite pursing a working environment that offers support of family and personal commitments and a greater degree of control over work schedules.

• Strategies for respecting generational differences; and • Managing, motivating and maintaining culturally and racially diverse professionals. Suggested Process to Follow to Meet the Challenge: 1. Define the firm’s core values; 2. Ensure equitable distribution of work and opportunity; 3. Provide a healthy workplace with a welcoming culture; and 4. Develop and implement a work-life strategy and flexible work schedules.

Challenge – What Law Firms Must Do To Be Successful With Lawyer Retention at all Levels

To create the necessary change in a law firm culture, partnership needs to articulate a vision for a healthy and resilient workplace culture, a successful business and a satisfied clientele. Partners need to model healthy habits and balance behaviours not merely manage them for others. As well, lawyers need to take responsibility for their own choices. The study of U.S. law firms by Catalyst explored the experience of several major law firms that have been successful in retaining women lawyers. It found that the firms made efforts at encouraging career development in the firm and adopted these strategies: • Provide mentors; • Provide control over an individual’s work load and schedule; • Offer development and advancement opportunities; • Award for time spent on practice management contributions as well as billing hours; and • Permit part-time commitments. Partners and managers should review their performance in these areas: • Adjustments to programs and policies to eliminate overt or covert discrimination and harassment of women and others; • Adopting practice expectations that address quality of life concerns for all lawyers, both women and men; • Developing and maintaining internal training and mentoring programs; • Designing and accommodating work structures that allow for alternate work arrangements, reduced hours, and flexible work schedules;

Law firm management must recognize that the old ways and culture of law offices will no longer attract or retain new the generation of practising lawyers. It is a new workplace and new demands must be met to ensure the perpetuity of the firm. BT 4

Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent in Today’s Legal Marketplace, Supra.

This is a synopsis of a report authored by the CBABC Business of Law Committee, Sub-Committee on lawyer retention – the full report is available online at:

Notice to All Lower Mainland Young Lawyers! Are you feeling a bit stymied about where to go with your career, or how to achieve your goals? Perhaps you are simply interested in learning more about the marvelous opportunities that abound for legal professionals…. With the generous support of The Counsel Network, the Young Lawyers Lower Mainland Section is hosting an exciting evening event in May entitled “The World is Your Oyster.” We will have a panel of several young professionals who have carved out fascinating (and often wildly different) careers, and you will have the opportunity to ask them all about their choices and how they have gotten to where they are. Date and location are to be announced. Stay tuned for further details! April 2007 BARTALK





Law Week 2007 Access to Justice

Law Day is a national event originated by the CBA celebrating the signing of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Held every April, Law Day provides an important opportunity to help Canadians learn about their justice system and to project a positive image of the legal profession. In many B.C. communities, Law Day has expanded into week long activities. This year’s theme for Law Week is “Access to Justice.” Law Week 2007 marks the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to celebrate this we are hoping to make this year’s events particularly memorable. The following provides an overview of some of the Law Week events that will be held across the province. Additional information about these events can be found at We hope you will come out and join the events in your community.


Open Houses and Other Events in Local Communities Open Houses will be held in the following communities and will include a variety of fun and educational activities such as mock trials, free law classes, citizenship ceremonies, courthouse tours, displays and demonstrations from a variety of justice and social service providers, Q & A sessions with senior justice system representatives, and police seminars: • Dawson Creek – April 19th

Victoria Mock Trial 2005


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• • • • • •

Fort St. John – April 18th Kamloops – April 21st New Westminster – April 19th Port Coquitlam – April 20th Vancouver – April 21st Victoria – April 21st

A well attended Law Day seminar was held in Nanaimo on March 5th at Malaspina University-College. During the week of April 16th free law classes, hosted by the People’s Law School, will be held throughout the Greater Vancouver area.

Fingerprinting Demonstration at Law Day

law week 2007


Student Mentor Program

On April 21, 2007, CBABC will hold its provincewide “Dial-A-Lawyer” program between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. During that time, members of the public are invited to call and speak with a lawyer for up to 15 minutes on the following topics: Business Law, Wills, Estates & Trusts Law, Criminal Law, Tort and Motor Vehicle Law, and Family Law.

Grade 11 and 12 students in Greater Vancouver are matched with lawyers to spend a half-day in their workplace. In addition, lawyers are matched to attend high school classes. Both provide a valuable learning opportunity for students who have an interest in pursuing a legal career.

English speaking lawyers: 604-687-4680 or 604-687-3221 1-800-663-1919 or 1-800-565-5297 (toll-free in B.C.)

• Chinese speaking lawyers: 604-687-3404 or 1-888-687-3404 (toll-free in B.C.)

Student Contests The following events provide valuable opportunities for both elementary and secondary school students to improve their understanding about the law and the legal system. • Barry Sullivan Law Cup Public Speaking Contest – This annual event is one of the cornerstone events held in B.C. during Law Week. Open to students enrolled in grades 11 and 12, this year’s event will be held on April 19th at the Vancouver Law Courts. The Law Cup is named in memory of Barry Sullivan for his contributions to both the legal and educational professions. • Essay Contest – This contest is open to students in grades 8 to 12 from across the province. • Poster Contest – Students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 3 in a British Columbia school are invited to participate in this event.

Fun Run/Walk Members of the legal community and their families and friends are invited to come out and participate in the fourth annual Fun Run/Walk that will be held on April 1st at Locarno Beach Park.

Law Week 2007 Sponsors and Partners We would like to thank our sponsors of this year’s Law Week events: • • • •

The Law Foundation of B.C. – Sustaining Sponsor Vancouver Bar Association – Sustaining Sponsor Kamloops Bar Association Victoria Bar Association

– Platinum Sponsor

• – Gold Sponsor • • • • • • • •

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin – Silver Sponsor Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP – Bronze Sponsor B.C. Courthouse Library Society Canadian Springs Citizenship and Immigration Canada Dye & Durham Miller Thompson LLP Vancouver Public Library

In addition, we would also like to thank our partner organizations for their contributions to this year’s events: • • • •

The People’s Law School The Law Courts Education Society Northern Lights College Malaspina University-College

Finally, we would also like to thank the many lawyers and others for volunteering their valuable time to make these events a huge success. BT April 2007 BARTALK




Work-Life Balance What the CBA is doing


counselling services to members recent IPSOS-Reid poll of our profession of the B.C. Law Society and their polled the top priority immediate family members. issues facing lawyers 24/7 Access - Interlock protoday. Ninety-one per cent of the vides direct telephone access to a profession stated that the balance qualified master’s level clinician, of your work as a lawyer with the by simply calling 604-431-8200 or quality of your personal and famtoll free at 1-800-663-9099 or visit ily life was the number one issue our interactive website at www. of concern. The poll also mined that work-life balance was Catherine Sas, QC The Lawyers Assistance the number one issue of concern Chair of the CBABC Work-Life for the Bar for the past ten years. Program is an independent Balance Committee Given the significance of this organization of members of the priority to our profession, in August of 2004 the B.C. B.C. legal community which provides you with peer Branch created the Work-Life Balance Committee. support and referral service to address issues pertainFor the past few years the Committee has focused on ing to work-life balance – alcohol and drug depenproviding information to lawyers through the CBA dence, stress and anxiety, depression and marriage. website at Going to the website Available to you 24 hours/7 days a week. You can you will see the work-life balance link highlighted. reach them at 604-685-2171 or find out more on their We feature a number of current articles addressing website different aspects of work-life balance such as child Upcoming Events through the service: care, elder care, flexible work practices within the profession and other related topics. Starting this past • Life Balance Issues for Solo & Small Practitioners: month we will feature a monthly notice in the CBA Saturday, April 14, 2007 from 1:00-4:00 p.m., e-mail bulletins “CBABC News and Jobs” drawing 415-1080 Mainland Street, Vancouver, B.C. your attention to “Work-Life Balance Tips.” This • Vaccinate Yourself Against Professional month we are featuring a live podcast addressing Burnout: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 from work-life balance. You can access this from the CBA 12:15-1:30 p.m. 415-1080 Mainland Street, website or you can go directly to Vancouver, B.C. org/cba/PracticeLink/podcasts/balance.aspx. Please contact the committee at worklifebalance@ As pervasive as the issue of work-life balance with any comments, ideas or suggestions. BT has become, the response and support available and accessible to all members of the profession has been What is your work-life balance challenge? How strong. Members can now call upon a variety of could your Committee best address your work-life balance concerns? Address your questions and resources in effort to develop a wellness plan that concerns at or send us works for you. Interlock Employee and Family Assistance Program provides confidential and professional 22

BARTALK April 2007

an anecdote of how you have managed to overcome a particular professional challenge and maintain work-life balance in your own professional life.


New Westminster Bar Association Festivities On December 8, 2006, sixty members and guests attended the New Westminster Bar Association’s gala Christmas party at Hart House in Burnaby. Past President Samantha Hulme and Secretary-Treasurer Jim Fitzsimmons presided over the celebration. Generous door prizes were contributed by the Inn at the Quay, Guildford Golf and Country Club, McQuarrie Hunter, Cassady & Company, Goodwin & Mark, Findlay Gunnell Sandor, Dye & Durham, Westpac Office Supplies, Wendy Stephen, QC, Mainland Reporting, All-Star Reporting, The Hart House, and McEachern & Associates. The association’s annual dinner to honour new judges was held January 16, 2007, at the Inn at the Quay in New Westminster. A good time was enjoyed by all, with 120 lawyers and judges in attendance despite the usual inclement weather. Court of Appeal Justice Edward Chiasson, Supreme Court Justices William Smart & Gail Dickson and Provincial Court Judges Maria Giardini, Maris McMillan and Stella Frame were welcomed by the group.

Pro Bono Practice 2007 On April 27, 2007 in Vancouver, the Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C. will hold a full-credit CLE on pro bono practice skills and resources. Entitled Pro Bono Practice 2007, it will look at soft skills such as interviewing and problem solving for clients, as well as “nuts and bolts” law in traditional poverty law areas. Registration is open at for a reduced price of $125 for lawyers and $75 for students. Pro Bono Law of B.C. is pleased to offer a limited number of full bursaries for lawyers and students involved in pro bono work. Please contact Jamie Maclaren, Pro Bono Law of B.C.’s Executive Director, at 604-893-8932 or for more details.

(see for details)

Branch and Bar Calendar

April – May 2007 April 10

New Westminster Bar Association Meeting

April 11

Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia: Burns Book Group

April 12

Cowichan Valley Bar Association Meeting

April 13-14

CBA Citizenship & Immigration Law CLE (Fairmont Empress Hotel and Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, B.C.)

April 20

CBABC Executive Committee Meeting (CBABC Boardroom)

April 20

CBA Member/MLA Reception

April 20

CBABC/ LMA, Vancouver Chapter Legal Marketing Boot Camp (The Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa, Victoria, B.C.)

April 21

CBABC Planning Meeting

April 25

Fraser Valley Bar Association (Melange Restaurant, Langley)

April 25

Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia: Burns Book Group

May 2

Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia: Burns Book Group

May 3-4

CBA/IBA Joint Spring Competition Law Conference (Toronto, Ontario)

May 9

Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia: Burns Book Group

May 10

Cowichan Valley Bar Association Meeting (Silver Bridge Inn, Duncan)

May 15

New Westminster Bar Association Meeting

May 17

CBABC Executive Committee Meeting (CBABC Boardroom)

May 23

Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia: Burns Book Group April 2007 BARTALK


member services

CBABC Member Services E-mail List

International Binding & Laminating Systems Inc.

Subscribe to the list and be the first to read about new offerings from CBABC Member Services. Joining is easy; simply send an e-mail to with the subject line “Subscribe to CBABC Member Services E-mail List.”

Our newest offering – Members receive a 15-20 per cent discount on products and services.

Check out the CBABC News & Jobs weekly e-mail for new offers under Member Services News or visit the Member Savings section at

Alpine Resorts Last chance before the end of ski season! Whistler Blackcomb: Members save up to 25 per cent on lift tickets, EDGE cards and equipment rentals.

Sun Peaks: Members get a full day of skiing for the half day price.

Silver Star/Big White: Members save 10 per cent

Looking to Buy or Lease a Car? Check out Progroup, Carters or Afrique for member preferred rates that offer you and your family substantial discounts on the purchase or lease of a new vehicle.

Counsel Network Offering members an exclusive Preferred Recruitment Benefits Package for Law Firms – this package offers premium enhancements and discounts over regular recruitment services, fees, and benefits.

Upcoming CBABC Events Two events you simply can’t miss!

on lift tickets and on-hill accommodation when booked together.

New Westminster/Fraser Valley Bar Golf Tournament

Mt. Washington: Members save 10 per cent on

The annual New Westminster/Fraser Valley Bar Golf Tournament will be held at Guildford Golf and Country Club in Surrey on Thursday, July 5th. For more information, please contact Rick Molstad at 604-526-1821.

single day lift tickets.

Sports Canucks PLAYOFF Tickets: Available now – act quickly! Join our Member Services E-mail List to be the first to know!

Lions Season Tickets: Check the website for details

Legal Marketing Boot Camp 2007 April 20, 2007 at The Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa

on how to order.

Personalized Lawyers’ Cases from Bugatti Make your firm stand out in the crowd. Welcome your newest associate or partner with a sleek, professional, genuine leather case from Bugatti. Emboss your name, initials, firm or logo at a great discounted price.

Terminal City Club Members receive a 25 per cent discount on enrolment fee. 24

BARTALK April 2007

Legal Marketing Boot Camp 2007 is a one-day training session focused on bottom-line results. This is a unique opportunity to talk directly to six experts in intensive, small group sessions. For more information uuu events/cba_lma_bootcamp_04_20_07.pdf

bar moves


Bar Moves


Have you recently changed firms or opened a new firm? Send submissions (maximum 25 words) to Bar Moves at

Bryan Dunn joins Davis & Company LLP as a Partner, focusing his practice on cross-border M&A and international business transactions, primarily in Asia. R. Paul Beckmann, QC, joins Davis & Company LLP as Associate Counsel

in Estate Planning. George Douvelos, Dean Davison and Kent Wiebe are now practising

Brian Dunn

as partners in the new law firm Davison Wiebe Douvelos LLP. George will continue to focus his practice in admiralty, commercial litigation and immigration law. Dean will be continuing with his civil recovery and commercial law practice. Kent will focus primarily on commercial law. Cheryl M. Teron, formerly a partner of Owen Bird, has joined the Vancouver office of Thorsteinssons LLP, where she will continue her tax practice, focusing on corporate reorganizations and personal tax planning.

Benson Edwards in pleased to announce that Dave Miles, Richard Okimaw and Lara Forbes have joined their growing team in Kelowna. Dave will continue to practice business law and real estate, Rick practises in intellectual property and Lara will practise commercial litigation and intellectual property. Anahita Tomkow has moved from Veritas Law in West Vancouver, B.C. to join Morrie Sacks Law Corporation in Vancouver, B.C. to practise family and immigration law.

DuMoulin Boskovich is pleased to announce recent additions to the firm. Perry Mazzone, formerly of Taylor Sourisseau Mazzone Tatchell, has joined the firm as senior Associate Counsel and Lindsey LeClair has joined as a junior Associate. MICHAEL FREY has established Frey & Company in Victoria. He will continue to

practise in the areas of commercial litigation, property disputes and public law. Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP is pleased to announce that Herb J. Isherwood has been named Managing Partner. Herb was made a partner and subsequently served on the Executive Committee for five years until his recent appointment as Managing Partner. Congratulations to Ryan Berger and Jay LeMoine who have joined the partnership of Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP. Ryan joined the firm as an Associate in 1999. Jay articled with the firm and upon being called to the British Columbia Bar in 1998 joined the firm as Associate. Geoffrey Bowman joins Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP Engineering &

Construction group. Before joining the firm as an associate, Geoff articled with the Vancouver office of a large national firm and then practised at a boutique which specialized in construction litigation. Andre J. Beaulieu has recently joined Finning International Inc. as V.P.,

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

R. Paul Beckmann, QC

Join the CBABC Women Lawyers Forum to Explore The Friendly Edge – Build Your People Skills and Enhance Your Practice Friday, April 20, 2007, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Hotel, Vancouver. Register now! Event will sell out. For information, e-mail:

April 2007 BARTALK


cbabc partners | Membership

NEW MEMBERS The CBABC Branch welcomes its newest members! The following new members joined in the months of January and February of 2007:

Regular Members Liliane Y. Bantourakis Department of Justice Canada Vancouver

Keerat Bains Guild, Yule and Company LLP Vancouver

Erika A. Eineigel Ryan Chalmers Campbell Burton & McMullan LLP Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP Langley Vancouver Sanjeeta K. Johal Hammerberg Altman Beaton & Maglio LLP Vancouver Drew Lawrenson Webster Hudson & Akerly LLP Vancouver

Aaron Dow Petraroia Langford Rush LLP Kelowna

Danielle M. Leslie Dunnaway, Jackson & Associates Vancouver

Ryan Gallagher Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (Translink) Vancouver

Alena Levitz WorkSafeBC (Workers’ Compensation Board of B.C.) Vancouver

D. Mark Gyton Guild, Yule and Company LLP Vancouver

Harvey Meller Roberts & Stahl Vancouver Dionysios Rossi Borden Ladner Gervais LLP Vancouver Aaron L. Sherriff Singleton Urquhart LLP Vancouver Amanda Starno Murchison, Thomson & Clarke LLP Surrey Catherine Wang Slater Vecchio Vancouver Jeremy David West Watson Goepel Maledy LLP Vancouver Karrie A. Wolfe Quadra Legal Centre Victoria

Articling Students Maureen Abraham Johns Southward Glazier Walton & Margetts Victoria Renée Aldana Greig, Wilson & Rasmussen Surrey 26

Heather Dale Josephson Angus Vancouver

BARTALK April 2007

David Yongkyu Han Burnaby John Scott Heaney Victoria Pablo Andres Irribarra Valdes Suleman & Company – Canadian Immigration Lawyers Vancouver Britta Jensen Sangra Moller LLP Vancouver Il Hyung (David) Jung Coquitlam David McVea Shook, Wickham, Bishop & Field Campbell River Clayton Miller Berge Horn Kelowna Jennifer Milligan McKimm & Wishart Victoria Kera Rees Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP Vancouver Katherine Reilly Lang Michener LLP Vancouver Josh Schmidt Lang Michener LLP Vancouver

CLEBC Update 7th Biennial Family Law Conference July 5th and 6th Mark your calendar for the 7th Biennial Family Law Conference on July 5th and 6th at the Pan Pacific Hotel. Chairs Barbara Nelson, Jeffrey Rose and James Schuman are hard at work poring over timely topics and inviting top-notch speakers to provide you with an informative conference. Last year we discussed the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines, mobility and section 15 reports, and dispute resolution techniques. This year’s conference will bring you the latest in practical solutions to real family law problems.

Online Access to CLEBC Practice Manuals Subscribers to many of CLEBC’s most popular practice manuals now receive online access with their annual subscriptions. The online manuals include links to full text legislation, case law, and related CLEBC publications, keyword searching, and downloadable forms and precedents. Call Customer Service at 604-893-2121 (or toll free 1-800-663-0437) for your password if you subscribe to: B.C. Company Law Practice Manual, Conveyancing Deskbook, Desk Order Divorce – An Annotated Guide, Family Law Agreements – Annotated Precedents, Family Law Sourcebook for British Columbia, B.C. Family Practice Manual, B.C. Mortgages Practice Manual, B.C. Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Practice Manual, Practice Before the Registrar, B.C. Probate and Estate Administration Practice Manual, or B.C. Real Estate Practice Manual.

John Ryan Stammers Vancouver

Law Students

Lisa Stewart Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP Vancouver

Meena Dhillon Port Coquitlam

Marko Vojvodic Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP Vancouver Christopher Wendell Porter Ramsay Kelowna

Dave Juteau Victoria Michael Ruhl Vancouver

GRANTS APPROVED $225,000 CHILLIWACK COMMUNITY SERVICES Poverty Law Advocacy Initiative $225,000 CHIMO CRISIS SERVICES Outreach and Advocacy in Richmond

The Board of Governors of the Law Foundation of B.C. met on November 25, 2006 and approved funding for a number of continuing programs and projects. Chair Warren Wilson, QC is pleased to announce that funding totalling $17,150,680 was approved for the following 35 new project grants under the 2006 Funding Initiative: UNIVERSITY OF B.C., FACULTY OF LAW $6,000,000 Law School Building Fund $300,000 Law Foundation Awards UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA, FACULTY OF LAW $3,000,000 Faculty of Law Library Project and Program Development Project $150,000 Law Foundation Awards $1,000,000 B.C. COURTHOUSE LIBRARIES Public Library Program Grant $554,000 GREATER VANCOUVER LAW STUDENTS’ LEGAL ADVICE SOCIETY Family Law Project LEGAL SERVICES SOCIETY $483,600 Family Law Website Enhancement $240,000 Poverty Law Services Project $450,000 LAW COURTS EDUCATION SOCIETY Expanded Core Services $450,000 PRO BONO LAW B.C. Operating Expenses $360,000 PIVOT LEGAL SOCIETY Low-Income Housing Tenant Strategic Advocacy Project $250,000 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTRE Building the Environmental Law Centre Clinic’s Capacity to Serve a Province-wide Clientele $250,000 COMMUNITY LEGAL ASSISTANCE SOCIETY Poverty Law Services Project – Extension $225,000 CANADIAN FORUM ON CIVIL JUSTICE Civil Justice Research Project: Creating, Sharing and Transforming Knowledge into Action $225,000 WESTERN CANADIAN SOCIETY TO ACCESS JUSTICE Access Justice Pro Bono Clinic Enhancement Project

$225,000 FORT ST. JOHN WOMEN’S RESOURCE SOCIETY Poverty Law Advocate Project $225,000 NEWTON ADVOCACY GROUP SOCIETY Legal Advocacy Project $225,000 NORTH SHORE COMMUNITY RESOURCES SOCIETY Legal Advocacy Project $225,000 POWELL RIVER COMMUNITY SERVICES Poverty Law Advocate $210,000 B.C. PUBLIC INTEREST ADVOCACY CENTRE Poverty Law Services Project $186,000 NATIVE COURTWORKER AND COUNSELLING ASSOCIATION Aboriginal Family Advocate Project $175,000 DZE L’KANT FRIENDSHIP CENTRE SOCIETY Legal Education and Advocacy Project $150,000 MS SOCIETY Volunteer Legal Advocacy Program $150,000 SALVATION ARMY Pro Bono Program $150,000 ATIRA WOMEN’S RESOURCE SOCIETY Legal Advocacy Services in the Downtown Eastside $150,000 HAIDA GWAII LEGAL PROJECT SOCIETY Legal Education and Advocacy Project $150,000 KAMLOOPS AND DISTRICT ELIZABETH FRY SOCIETY Poverty Law Advocacy Project $140,000 QUESNEL TILLICUM SOCIETY Poverty Law Information Worker $120,000 NICOLA VALLEY FAMILY JUSTICE SERVICES SOCIETY Legal Advocacy Project $99,000 SPARC B.C. Community Consultation on Family Relations Act Review $73,080 PRO BONO STUDENTS CANADA – UBC Community Placement Project $56,000 PRO BONO STUDENTS CANADA – UVIC Student Placement Program


For full details please visit New Agreement with Prospera Credit Union Law Foundation Chair, Warren Wilson, QC, commends Prospera Credit Union for valuing the relationship it has with members of the legal profession in its commitment to paying a competitive rate of return on lawyers’ pooled trust accounts. A new interest rate agreement on the lawyers’ pooled trust accounts this year will pay a return of prime less 3.00 per cent. Thanks go to Bruce Howell, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Prospera Credit Union, for the leadership shown in making this new agreement possible. Increased revenues enable the Law Foundation to fund programs that make the justice system accessible to British Columbians, particularly those people who have the greatest access problems as a result of their economic, social, physical or mental special needs. The funded programs include professional legal education, public legal education, law reform, legal research, legal aid, and law libraries. The Canadian Bar Association (B.C. Branch), the Law Society and the Law Foundation encourage lawyers to consider which financial institutions provide the best support to the Law Foundation when deciding where to place their trust accounts.

April 2007 BARTALK


classified ads

APRIL 2007


Classified (per line)

CBABC Members/Firms Commercial Organizations Next deadline: May 11

$25 $50


3” x 2.5” CBABC Members/Firms Commercial Organizations

$450 $900

6” x 2.5” CBABC Members/Firms Commercial Organizations Next deadline: May 11

insert (all of B.C.)

CBABC Members/Firms Commercial Organizations Next deadline: May 19 Next mailing: June 8

intellectual property: Let us assist you in providing protection for your clients. Douglas B. Thompson Law Corporation – Registered Patent Agent, Registered Trade Mark Agent. Practice restricted to Intellectual Property. Victoria, B.C. ( E-mail:

$810 $1,620


$1,200 $2,400

KELOWNA: 3320 Richter Street. One or two lawyers invited to share bright, new office space with existing two lawyer practice (Mission Law Group). E-mail: jwiseman@

Direct BarTalk advertising inquiries to: Jesse Tarbotton Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 604-646-7856 or 1-888-687-3404 E-mail:

POSITION AVAILABLE LITIGATOR – Linley Duignan is a vibrant general civil practice law firm that has been serving Abbotsford and the Lower Mainland for over





Practice Restricted to Intellectual Property Law

Phone: (250) 418-3250 E-mail:

35 years. We have a tremendous opportunity for career-motivated people. At the present time we require a Civil Litigator, 1–7 years experience. Areas of practice may include plaintiff personal injury, construction law and/or family. For more information, e-mail David Letkemann at Prevent Missed Limitations and Deadlines Stay tuned for a new guide from the Lawyer’s Insurance Fund, Law Society of BC, featuring more than 70 tips to prevent missed limitations and deadlines. The special risk management publication, Beat the Clock: Timely lessons from 1,600 lawyers, will be delivered in the May issue of Benchers’ Bulletin.

WCB & CPP DISABILITY CLAIMS GOSAL & COMPANY Barristers & Solicitors Over 14 YEARS of Workers’ Compensation Claims & Appeals Experience* FREE CONSULTATION

604-591-8187 SARJ GOSAL*, B.A., LL.B. GAIL SAHOTA, B.Comm., LL.B.

#254, 12899-76th Avenue Surrey, B.C. V3W 1E6

Practice Restricted To WCB Sec. 257 Determinations, Opinions and Court Applications on referral Endorsed by:

Visit Us Online:


BARTALK April 2007

604-267-3033 Claims and appeals Vice Chair at Review Board for 6 years More than 25 years personal injury litigation

Vahan A. Ishkanian

Barristers & Solicitors Cell 604-868-3034 Fax 604-264-6133

BarTalk | April 2007  

BarTalk is published six times per year by the British Columbia Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, the leader and voice of Canada’s leg...

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