Day: October 1, 2015

Extorted By Force: The Magna Carta in 1266 & 1297 (Throwback Thursday)

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magnacarta1By Ken Fox

(This is Part 2 of a series |  Part 1)


“The liberties which you demand, since they were extorted by force, ought not by right be observed.” William Briwere, 1224

When in history did kings and queens cease to be rulers and become mere figureheads?

Actually, never. They were always figureheads, and as of 2015 they still rule. But for more than 1,000 years their power has been eroding, due to a large annoyance known as the rest of us collectively saying: we want to be in charge too!

In 1215, a tiny sliver of the rest of us, known as the English-landed nobility, wrested a share of liberties from their beloved line of kings in the form of the Magna Carta. Between 1215 and 1423 the Great Charter was confirmed no less than 32 (and as many as 45) times. That’s what history says – but what does “confirmed” mean? Once a statute is on the books, it remains law unless it’s amended or repealed, right?      Read the rest of this entry »

Time is Running Out for Bencher Election Nominations

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

bencherelection2015blogOctober 4th is the deadline to nominate candidates for the upcoming Bencher Election. Did you know that in addition to candidates by Electoral District, the Law Society is also seeking candidates for the position of New Lawyer Bencher?   “New Lawyer” means a member who, at the date of the election, has been admitted to the practice of law in any jurisdiction cumulatively for fewer than 10 years.  This is a great opportunity to give back to your profession. As noted by our Executive Director, Tom Schonhoffer, Q.C., in a recent article:

This is no soft sell.  Being a Bencher requires a lot of time and hard work.  To start with, there are usually a minimum of 10 meeting days per year for Convocation.  Extra days can be added, as the volume of work requires.  There is also committee work, hearings, investigations and other assorted work.  I’m guessing that the average Bencher spends at minimum 15 – 20 working days per year.  This is a big commitment.

On the flipside, I have been working with Benchers for more than 20 years and can attest that the Bencher experience is overwhelmingly positive.  It’s very interesting work.  At the stage in their careers when most lawyers are becoming bored and cynical, being a Bencher provides a renewal of professional interest and the re-invigoration of a legal career.  I can prove it, too.  The fact is that after the first 3 years, almost all Benchers run for re-election.  If you are thinking of running but have questions, I encourage you to speak with our office or a current or past Bencher.

We encourage our members to consider running in their Electoral district or as a New Lawyer Bencher if they qualify. Please complete the nomination form and return to the Law Society as soon as possible.