New BC Supreme Court Judges Announced

On December 18th, four new justices were appointed by the federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General Peter MacKay to the BC Supreme Court. The new justices are the Honourable George K. Macintosh, the Honourable Nigel P. Kent, the Honourable Jennifer M.I. Duncan and the Honourable Neena Sharma. Appointments are effective immediately.

The Honourable George K. Macintosh was formerly a lawyer with Farris, Vaughn, Wills and Murphy LLP in Vancouver. He obtained his LLB from Dalhousie University in 19072 and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1974 and the Alberta Bar in 1980. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1987. Mr. Justice Macintosh practiced with Farris, Vaughn, Wills & Murphy LLP since 1974. His main areas of practice were civil litigation, administrative law, constitutional law and arbitration.

The Honourable Nigel P. Kent, formerly a lawyer with Clark Wilson LLP in Vancouver, is appointed a judge to replace Mr. Justice R.B.T. Goepel, who was recently appointed to the Court of Appeal of BC. Mr. Justice Kent received his LLB from Dalhousie University in 1980 and he was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 1981. He was admitted to the BC Bar in 1991, the year he came to work at Clark Wilson LLP. His main practice area was civil litigation, including insurance law, corporate and commercial law, personal injury, and professional liability law.

The Honourable Jennifer M.I. Duncan, formerly Crown Counsel with the Ministry of Justice, Criminal Justice Branch, in Vancouver , is appointed a judge of the BC Supreme Court to replace Madam Justice R.J. Dillon, who elected to become a supernumerary judge. Madam Justice Duncan received her Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia in 1990 and was called to the Bar of BC in 1992. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012. Madam Justice Duncan served as Crown counsel for the BC Ministry of Justice, Criminal Justice Branch – Criminal Appeals in Vancouver from 1998 until her appointment to the Supreme Court of BC. Her main practice area was criminal law and, more recently, criminal appellate advocacy.

The Honourable Neena Sharma. formerly a lawyer with the Ministry of Justice in Vancouver, is appointed a judge of the BC Supreme Court to replace Madam Justice W.G. Baker, who elected to become a supernumerary judge. Madam Justice Sharma obtained her LLB from the University of Victoria in 1990 and was called to the BC Bar in 1992. From 1995 until her appointment to the bench, she was legal counsel with the BC Ministry of Justice, Legal Services Branch. Before that she was an associate at Alexander Holburn Beaudoin & Lang. She also served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Brian Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada. Her main practice area was civil litigation with a focus on constitutional and administrative law and, more recently, labour relations.

New changes to BC criminal court process

ELAN, the Legal Services Society blog, wrote recently about two important changes to the Provincial Court’s criminal court process.

The first change is that mandatory trial confirmation hearings have been eliminated. Generally, these hearings were held after the accused entered a not guilty plea to make sure that both parties were prepared for trial. Hearings are now optional and will only be scheduled if necessary. As noted by the Elan post, this means lawyers will no longer have to prepare trial readiness reports and arraignment reports.

The second change is that the first appearance and the arraignment hearing may be heard by a judicial case manager instead of a justice of the peace or a judge. This expands the authority of judicial case managers but also cuts down on wait times for an available justice of the peace or judge.

Both of these changes are meant to speed up the court process by moving simple matters from first appearance to arraignment within 60 days; more complex matters within 90 days. ELAN anticipates that “more changes are in the works for 2014, which will help cut down on wasted court time.”

BC bolsters Provincial Court with three new judges

On Thursday, December 12, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton announced that BC was appointing three new judges to the BC Provincial Court, in order to alleviate caseload pressures and improve access to justice.

Judge Lyndsay Smith was called to the BC bar in 1988, after graduating from UBC Law in 1987. She worked as Crown counsel, then as ad hoc federal counsel before joining the federal Department of Justice in 1993. In 1998, Judge Smith began her own practice and was a sole practitioner until January 2012. Her practice focused largely on ad hoc federal and provincial Crown counsel work.

Judge Richard Hewson graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1987. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Canadian Army and served four more years. He received his law degree from UVic Law in 1994. In 2012 he began work on a masters of laws from Osgoode Hall. Judge Hewson was called to the BC bar in 1995. He started his career with Boulton Muldoon, continued it at Davidson & Co. and then moved on to Richard Hewson Law Corporation. He also was a legal officer with the Office of the Judge Advocate General.

Judge Lisa Wyatt was called to the bar in 1991, after graduating with her law degree from UBC Law in 1990. She began her career at Porter Ramsay, first as an articled student and then as an associate. In 1996, she moved to Pushor Mitchell LLP, where she started as an associate and then became a partner. Judge Wyatt’s practice focused on family law during these years. She is also a past president of the Kelowna Bar Association and has been an elected member of the CBA’s Provincial Council.

Judge Lyndsay Smith’s appointment in effective January 6, 2014. Judge Hewson’s appointment is effective December 23, 2013 and Judge Wyatt’s appointment is effective December 30, 2013.

LSBC Benchers approve joint task force recommendations

At their December meeting, the Law Society of British Columbia Benchers voted on, and unanimously approved, three recommendations from its joint task force on the future of the regulation of legal services.

The following three recommendations were approved in principle:

  • The Law Society and the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia should seek to merge regulatory operations.
  • A program should be created by which the legal regulator provide paralegals who have met specific, prescribed education and/or training standards with a certificate that would allow them to be held out as “certified paralegals.”
  • The Law Society develop a regulatory framework in which other providers of legal services could be credentialed and regulated in the public interest.

These recommendations come from the final report of the Legal Service Providers Task Force, which was presented on December 6, 2013. The Task Force examined the question of whether various legal service providers, including lawyers, notaries public and paralegals, should be brought under one regulatory umbrella.

These recommendations could transform the regulation and delivery of legal services in BC.

Harris awarded 2013 UBC Faculty Scholar Award

Professor Nikos Harris has received the 2013 Marilyn MacCrimmon Faculty Scholar Award for his history of contributions at UBC Law. Some of Professor Harris’ notable initiatives include curriculum reform, the creation of the UBC Law Innocence Project, and the organization of the Peter Burns Moot. This year, Professor Harris has taken on the new role of Director , Clinical and Experiential Learning.

Professor Harris has also played an active role in Orientation Week for first year law students, along with serving on numerous law school committees, including Admissions and Curriculum. Professor Harris regularly helps out both colleagues and students alike. The Faculty, as stated in its news release, “has greatly benefited from Professor Harris’ collegiality, energy and enthusiasm.”

The award, generously supported by the law firm Taylor Jordan Chafetz, carries with it a $5,000 research grant. Each year, the award is made in the mane of an Emeritus Faculty member whose career at UBC Law exemplifies the purpose of the Award, rotating to a new Emeritus Faculty member every two years. This year’s honour is made in the name of Professor Emeritus Marilyn MacCrimmon, one of the first two women appointed to full professor at UBC Law.

 

CBABC’s BarTalk Goes Digital

The CBABC is launching an experiment this month with the December edition of BarTalk. For the first time the magazine will be available in a digital-only issue format.

bartalk

The CBABC is looking for your feedback on their inaugural digital edition. Send your comments to bartalk@cbabc.org using the subject line “I read BarTalk online” and you’ll be entered to win an iPad mini!

BC announces names of 32 new QCs

On December 11, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton announced that thirty-two leading lawyers have received the honorary designation of Queen’s Counsel (or Q.C.).

The Q.C. designation is an honour conferred annually on members of the legal profession who have exhibited extra merit and contribution. Members receiving such honour must demonstrate personal integrity and good character as well as having been a member of the BC bar for at least 5 years.

Q.C.s are chosen each year from public nominations garnered in August. An advisory committee reviews all nominations, seeks the views of the CBABC and recommends deserving candidates to the Attorney General. The appointments were made by cabinet through order-in-council.

The Q.C. appointees for 2013 are as follows:

  • James Wilfred Hogan
  • Robert Tadashi Banno
  • Laurence Ralph Stinson
  • John Ian Gardiner Waddell
  • Michael Leslie Pearce
  • David James Edward Bilkey
  • Kevin Patrick O’Neill
  • Robert Michael John D. Orr
  • Andrew Brent Kerr
  • Dennis Clarke Quinlan
  • Elaine Elizabeth Reynolds
  • James Alan Vanstone
  • James Andrew Dowler
  • Sandra Joan Watson
  • Dale William Darychuk
  • Nicole Marie Byres
  • Jeffrey James Lowe
  • David Alexander Jardine
  • Robert Victor Wickett
  • Diane Mary Ellen Bell
  • Lorne Arthur James Dunn
  • William Shawn Maclagan
  • Daniel Raymond Bennett
  • Daniel William Burnett
  • John Robert Esson
  • Michael Tammen
  • Angela Ruth Westmacott
  • Clark Murray Roberts
  • Geoffrey Stuart Moyse
  • Deanna Grace Ludowicz
  • Kerry Lynn Simmons
  • Timothy Edmund McGee

Visit the BC Government news release for further detail on this year’s appointments.

MediateBC announces new mediators for Family Program

MediateBC announced that it has added four new Lead Mediators to its Family Mediation Program. All are now available to mentor within the FMP co-mediation teams. The new Lead Mediators are:

  • Nancy Cameron QC (Vancouver)
  • Carol Hickman QC (New Westminster)
  • Patricia Lane (Vancouver/Victoria)
  • Ron Smith QC (Kelowna)

There are now seven Lead Mediators in total, as the new group joins with current Leads: Michael Lomax (Victoria), Kathleen Bellamano (Victoria), and Vivian Kerenyi (Vancouver). Mediators have been mentoring in the program since last year.

This addition has significantly increased MediateBC’s capacity to offer a quality mentoring experience for those seeking practical experience for either membership/accreditation or professional development. It has also increased the geographical range in which mentoring can be offered in BC. MediateBC notes that the new additions are well-respected and experienced family mediators who are eager to offer their skills, knowledge and insights as part of their co-mediation teams.

 

TLABC presents Socks for Santa!

The TLABC Public Affairs Committee (PAC) Fund is presenting Socks for Santa this holiday season. The TLABC will be collecting new or gently used, clean socks for Santa to give to the Downtown Eastside shelter.

The shelter, one of the largest and busiest in Vancouver, provides 60 beds per night – 40 for men and 20 for women. Each day the shelter provides its clients with foot baths and foot care and gives them a clean pair of dry socks. In this rainy climate, keeping your feet warm and your socks dry is quite a challenge, and the shelter frequently runs out of socks.

You can help out by participating in one of the following ways:

  • Send or drop off your new or gently used socks to: 1111-1100 Melville St., Vancouver, BC V6E 4A6
  • Pledge to donate $5.00 to $20.00 or even more towards the purchase of socks for the shelter

For more information or to make a pledge, please contact megan@tlabc.org or call the TLABC office at (604) 682-5343 or toll–free 1-888-558-5222.

CBABC AGM is coming December 14th

The 2013 Annual General Meeting for the CBABC will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C.

At this year’s meeting, members will receive reports from the President and other executive members, along with financial statements for the fiscal year that ended August 31, 2013. Auditors will also be appointed for the upcoming 2013-2014 fiscal year.

In-person registration is scheduled to start at 12:45 and the meeting begins at 1:00 pm (sharp). Organizers expect to finish around 2:00 pm.

In addition to the AGM, CBABC will also be holding its 2013 Provincial Council Meeting. This meeting will precede the AGM, running from 8:00 am to 1:30 pm, also at the River Rock Casino.

To find out more, please visit the events page on the CBABC’s website.

December Litigation Calendar

Dye & Durham has released our December Litigation Calendar:

calendar-dec

Each month, Dye & Durham releases our free, one-page monthly litigation calendar. It is published just before the beginning of the month and contains important information such as:

  • Trial submissions dates;
  • Dates when Judges/Masters are NOT available;
  • Web links to other relevant legal sites and new directives;
  • Trial scheduling telephone information.

The calendar covers the Supreme Courts within the Lower Mainland and Victoria, and is colour-coded to distinguish between registries. We also alert you to updates, outages, and service disruptions on CSO, LTSA, BC ONline, Names Request Online, and other online systems; weather advisories and route cancellations to Harbour Air and Helijet that affect our courier services; upcoming Dye & Durham webinars and new services; and new practice directives issued by the courts.

VALL Library Crawl

The Vancouver Association of Law Librarians (VALL) is having its first ever library crawl on Thursday, December 12, 2013. Attendees will tour three downtown law libraries and will get a peek at how these libraries utilize their space, organize resources and serve their users.

The crawl begins at 3:30 pm at Gowlings LLP, continues on to Singleton Urquhart LLP and finishes up at Davis LLP. Each stop will be about 15-20 minutes long.

After the last stop at Davis LLP, it is a short walk to the Railway Club, where VALL will be hosting an after work drinks event. Registration for the Library Crawl is capped at 15 and will be taken on a first come first served basis; however, all VALL members are invited to the event at the Railway Club immediately after.