Law Society of Saskatchewan

Law Society’s Annual Report is now available!

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By Kelly Laycock

The Law Society’s Annual General Meeting is this week, and we have our new 2016 Annual Report ready for you to read! Don’t miss the President’s Message from Erin Kleisinger, QC, the Executive and Deputy Director’s Reports, as well as committee updates on the successes of 2016. A look ahead at upcoming initiatives and ongoing projects in 2017 can be found in the Director’s Reports. The Audited Financial Reports for both the Law Society and SLIA are available on our website.

Don’t forget to register for the AGM before 4:00pm Tuesday, June 13!

Past Presidents of the Law Society of Saskatchewan

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By Kelly Laycock

For all those history buffs, this is the complete list of the past presidents of the Law Society of Saskatchewan since its inception in 1907. This list was originally published as an appendix in Iain Mentiplay’s book, A Century of Integrity: The Law Society of Saskatchewan 1907 to 2007, and has recently been updated for the latest issue of the Benchers’ Digest to include the presidents from the past 10 years. In that update, we inadvertently forgot to include Mr. Robert Heinrichs, QC, who took over as president in May 2014 after the Honourable Miguel Martinez was appointed to the Provincial Court. We offer our sincerest apologies to Mr. Heinrichs for that omission. Please find the correction in the list below and in the online Spring 2017 issue of the Benchers’ Digest. If you want to learn more about the history of the Law Society, we’ll be posting more historical gems over the coming months to celebrate our 110th anniversary. Stay tuned! Read the rest of this entry »

Providing Legal Resources to Lawyers in Smaller Communities – Law Society Library & Access to Justice

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

Providing publicly accessible legal resources and information increases the public’s understanding of legal matters and ability to handle these matters. In addition to the numerous public resources created and provided by the Library and research assistance, the Library is also involved in several access to justice initiatives. Please see a recent article in our Benchers’ Digest (page 6) “Putting the Public First – Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project” for more information on this initiatives.

However, it is important to recognize that the definition of access to justice is broader than just assisting self-represented litigants. Access to justice also includes ensuring members of the public have access to competent and affordable legal services. The resources and services provided by the Law Society Library enable lawyers, particularly in smaller centres, to adequately service their communities. Our Members’ Section ensures our members have access to the resources they need no matter their location. It is already difficult to attract new lawyers to smaller communities. A lack of resources could potentially make these locations even less attractive and leave communities without legal services.

If you are a lawyer practicing in a smaller community in Saskatchewan, please share your voice and review the following notice regarding funding to maintain legal resources, such as WestlawNext, and the other resources available through the Members’ Section and the Law Society Library. Once you have reviewed the notice, please complete the survey contained within. The deadline to complete the survey is April 7th. We appreciate your time and feedback.



New Law Society President and Vice President Elected

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

The Law Society of Saskatchewan, at its November 2016 Convocation, elected Erin Kleisinger, Q.C., as President, and Craig Zawada, Q.C., as Vice President, for 2017. We congratulate our new President and Vice President and would like to thank our outgoing President, Perry Erhardt, Q.C., for his hard work in 2016. Please see our website for a full list of our Benchers.



Ms. Kleisinger is a partner with McDougall Gauley LLP in Regina.  She has a varied commercial and litigation practice, with a focus on University and privacy law.

Erin attended Queen’s University where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Philosophy in 1989 and her LLB in 1992.  She returned to Saskatchewan to article with McDougall Ready and was admitted to the Saskatchewan bar in 1993.  She became a partner with (now) McDougall Gauley LLP in 1999.   She was awarded her Queen’s Counsel designation in 2015.

Erin was appointed a Bencher by the Law Society in February 2014 to fill the vacancy created by the appointment of (His Honour) Patrick Reis to the Provincial Court.  She was re-elected in 2015, and elected Vice-President by the Benchers in November, 2015.  She has served on the Executive, Conduct Investigation and Governance Committees and chaired the Professional Standards Committee in 2015.

Erin is currently on the Board of Group Medical Services / GMS Insurance Inc. and on the Executive of the Canadian Association of University Solicitors.  Her professional activities include being a former board member and President of SKLESI, and the present Chair (and a faculty member) of the Law Society’s Trial Advocacy Skills Workshop.  She has also served as a director of the Saskatchewan Branch of the Children’s Wish Foundation and CAA Saskatchewan.



Craig grew up in Shell Lake, SK, and attended the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Commerce (now Edwards School of Business).  After obtaining his LL.B. at Osgoode Hall in Toronto and working for a time in Calgary, he returned to Saskatchewan and has practiced in Saskatoon since 1987.  Craig has worked in intellectual property law, commercial law and agricultural contracting.  He was CEO of WMCZ Lawyers for 9 years, a firm he helped found in 1996.  In 2016 he became the firm’s Director of Boundary Pushing, a position that leverages his skills in technology, marketing and strategic planning.

Craig has been active in community and non-legal organizations through his career.  Some of his roles have included Chair of the Saskatchewan Research Council, University of Saskatchewan Senate, Trustee and Treasurer for Saskatoon’s Mendel Art Gallery and the CanLII national board of directors.  Craig taught Intellectual Property Law for many years at the U of S College of Law.

Craig developed a strong interest in corporate governance issues through the Director’s College program.  He obtained his Chartered Director designation and continues as a faculty member for the College.  He also conducts training and consultation on governance issues for a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations.

After he was appointed a Bencher by the Law Society in 2014, Craig was re-elected in 2015.  He has served on the Access to Justice and Admissions & Education Committees, and chairs the Governance and Trust Safety Committees.

Craig is a recovering marathon runner and one of the world’s slowest motorcycle enthusiasts.

New Executive Director at the Law Society of Saskatchewan

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By Erin Kleisinger, QC, Incoming President of the Law Society of Saskatchewan

timbrown“I have had the great privilege throughout my career of working with and learning from many committed professionals who have displayed integrity, decency and intelligence. I fundamentally believe in the value of the legal profession and its importance in maintaining a free and democratic society, based on the rule of law.  I also know both the rewards and the many hardships of practice.  As I embark on this new journey, I will carry with me the profound respect I have for my profession and the important work that lawyers do.” —Tim Brown

Following an extensive National search the Law Society of Saskatchewan is pleased to announce the appointment of Tim Brown to the position of Executive Director effective January 1, 2017.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan is the self-governing body for Saskatchewan’s lawyers. The Law Society regulates the legal profession in the public interest and maintains public confidence in Saskatchewan’s 1600+ member-lawyers. The Law Society sets and enforces standards for the admission, education, professional responsibility, and competence of new and practicing lawyers.

Tim is well known both to Saskatchewan lawyers and lawyers across the country. For the past five years, he has been Counsel to the Saskatchewan Lawyers Insurance Association (SLIA). He is a member of the LSS and has practiced law in Saskatchewan for over 25 years.

Tim attended the University of Regina, earning a BA in English, and then obtained his Bachelor of Laws in 1991 from the University of Saskatchewan.  He has amassed a diverse range of experiences in the profession. Tim has worked in government and within the Legal Aid system. He acted as a Crown Prosecutor and subsequently ran his own criminal law firm for 10 years.  Tim also has experience as an adjudicator, sitting on tribunals with the Automobile Injury Appeals Commission and the Office of Residential Tenancies.

Tim has an extensive history of volunteerism with legal organizations.  He has served on the Board of Directors for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, and has volunteered with Pro Bono Legal Services.  He was a private bar delegate on both the Provincial Court Liaison Committee and the committee exploring the model Domestic Violence Court in Medicine Hat.  Tim was also the co-founder and Past-President of the South Saskatchewan Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan has a history of leading both within the Province and on the national stage, allowing it to contribute and play key roles in the innovations that must continue to occur in order for the legal profession to adapt and grow into the future.  Under the policy governance direction of the Benchers, the Executive Director plays a central role in influencing the direction and regulation of Saskatchewan’s legal profession in the public interest.  Tim brings a wealth of diverse experience to this position and will provide continued strong leadership and strategic direction to the LSS.

Watch for the upcoming article in the 2016 Winter issue of the Benchers’ Digest coming out in December.

Code of Professional Conduct Renumbered

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

At September 2016 Convocation, the Benchers approved amendments to renumber the Code to bring it in line with the Model Code of Professional Conduct in force across Canada. The old numbering scheme made the Code difficult to search electronically. To ensure that the Code is fully searchable, the Law Society adopted a new numbering scheme that assigns a number to every chapter, section, and rule in the Model Code and to each paragraph of the commentaries accompanying the rules. The renumbered Model Code uses two numbering styles: one for chapters, sections and rules; the other for paragraphs in the commentaries. The following excerpt illustrates the approach:


  • To ensure that the terminology in the Code is consistent with the proposed numbering scheme, the renumbered Code refers only to “rules” rather than to “rules” and “subrules”.
  • All numbers attributed to elements in the Code are permanent. Once established, the numbers do not change as a consequence of the insertion or deletion of other elements.
  • Any new paragraphs of commentary, rules, sections, chapters, or other numbered elements added to the Code in future will be identified by an alphabetical suffix. For example, a new rule added to the Code to follow rule 3.3-6 will be numbered as rule 3.3-6A. Similarly, a new Commentary added to follow 3.3-6, Commentary [1] will be numbered as 3.3-6, Commentary [1A].
  • Any rules or commentary amended since the Model Code was renumbered have been amended, so that the LSS Code reflects as close as possible the numbering of the Model Code. See 3.1-2, Commentary [7A] to [15]. (Previously 2.01(2), Commentary [8] to [17].
  • Any numbered elements in the Code that are deleted in the future will be removed without renumbering all the subsequent paragraphs of commentary, rules, sections or chapters. The number will be left in the Code in the place where the numbered element used to appear with “[deleted]” written following the number. For example, if in future Chapter 2 is deleted from the Code, the chapters of the Code will read: Chapter 1, Chapter 2 [deleted], Chapter 3, Chapter 4 and so on.

Please review the amended Code of Professional Conduct posted to the Law Society website.  A Table of Concordance has also been posted which summarizes the amendments.

A copy of the previous version of the Code has been maintained on the website and is located under the heading “Old Code.”


Annual General Meeting 2016

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By Judy Langford, Communications Coordinator
Law Society of Saskatchewan

The Law Society’s 2016 Annual General Meeting and dinner took place June 16 in Saskatoon. In a break with tradition, the AGM included a CPD panel discussion on entity regulation. A knowledgeable group of Benchers from BC, Ontario and Saskatchewan, plus the President of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, shared their perspectives on entity regulation, followed by questions and comments from participants.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan is considering making some changes to the way it regulates the profession. The Law Society began consultation with the membership regarding entity regulation in April of this year. If adopted by the Benchers, this would be an additional regulatory tool that would direct some aspects of regulation at the entity a lawyer practices within, such as a law firm or other business unit. A consultation website has been set up at and members are encouraged to make their views known before the June 30th deadline.
The panel discussion was followed by a formal dinner and the business meeting. Highlights included the review of the annual report and financial statements , greetings from Minister of Justice Gordon Wyant, QC and the presentation of awards.

The CBA Community Service Award was presented to Mr. Justice Peter Whitmore. Senior Life Memberships were presented to three recipients, James Anderson, QC, Franklin MacBean, QC, and William Preston, QC.

Tom Schonhoffer, QC, Executive Director or the Law Society of Saskatchewan and James Anderson, QC, Senior Life Member
Merlis Belsher and Manny Sonnenschein, QC
Chief Justice R.G. Richards, Court of Appeal of Saskatchewan and Perry Erhardt, QC, President of the Law Society of Saskatchewan