Lawyers and Students

Weekend in Review: Family Law Chambers Advocacy Workshop

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By Jakaeden Frizzell, CPD Program Coordinator

On Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 the Law Society hosted the first ever Family Law Chambers Advocacy Workshop. The workshop featured eight faculty members and twenty-four participants. Our esteemed faculty is listed below:

Chair: The Honourable Madam Justice D.L. Wilson
The Honourable Mr. Justice M.T. Megaw
The Honourable Madam Justice G.V. Goebel
The Honourable Mr. Justice D.J. Brown
Greg Walen, Q.C. (Sharfstein Gibbings Walen & Fisher LLP)
Sherry Fitzsimmons, Q.C. (McDougall Gauley LLP)
Sean Sinclair (Robertson Stromberg LLP)
Jill Drennan (Saskatchewan Legal Aid Commission)

In advance of the workshop, attendees were sent a binder of workshop materials and asked to submit an Affidavit and a Notice of Application based off the fact pattern provided. The faculty reviewed these and prepared feedback to be delivered at the workshop.

Day one began with an opening plenary, including an overall perspective about Chambers advocacy generally from Justice Goebel and Justice Megaw, a discussion of how to handle judges and opposing counsel from Sherry Fitzsimmons, Q.C. and Greg Walen, Q.C., and Justice Wilson facilitated a discussion on issue identification. The remainder of the morning focused on feedback from the faculty on the submitted assignments, first in a group setting reviewing anonymized Notice of Applications, then in small group settings discussing Affidavits. Participants really appreciated the detailed feedback gained from these sessions and they were able to follow up with questions in a full group Q&A session after lunch.

The final session of the day featured two rounds of mock oral submissions from Greg Walen, Q.C. & Sherry Fitzsimmons, Q.C. and Sean Sinclair & Jill Drennan, with Justice Wilson presiding. Participants were able to learn by example from experienced counsel and use some of these cues to prepare their own oral submissions for the following day. A group dinner was held at the Hotel Saskatchewan Tea Lounge and the group had the pleasure of listening to Aaron Fox, Q.C. (McDougall Gauley LLP) as he shared experiences and tips related to civility learned throughout his storied career.

The bulk of Saturday gave participants an opportunity to deliver their own oral submissions with a small audience and feedback from faculty to follow. Attendees described this as one of the most valuable parts of the workshop. The day ended with two panel discussions about oral submissions and memorandums of law.

On behalf of the Law Society, I would like to thank everyone involved for contributing to such a successful and educational event. Special thanks go to the Planning Committee for developing the materials, Sean Sinclair for coming up with the idea for this workshop, Justice Wilson for chairing the weekend, and Andrea Johnston (Director of Admissions and Education) for her dedication in developing this program. Stay tuned for the next iteration of the workshop and be sure to register quickly as spots will fill up fast!

E.M. Culliton Scholarship Endowment

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As a tribute to the former Chief Justice E. M. Culliton, an endowment was established by the Law Society of Saskatchewan to provide that in perpetuity a special scholarship is to be awarded for the pursuit of post-graduate studies in criminal law.

The criteria for the selection of the recipients of the annual scholarship are as follows:

The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating student of the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan or to a resident practicing member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan for the pursuit of graduate studies in criminal law at a recognized institution. The recipient will be selected on the basis of academic record and research potential, service to the practice of law in Saskatchewan, and such other guidelines as from time to time may be determined appropriate by the committee.

The deadline date for receipt of applications is May 3, 2019 and a decision will be made by the end of June, 2019.

Please complete application form and email to Liz at liz.lynchuk@lawsociety.sk.ca.

Expansion of Practice Advisor Program

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One of the key initiatives identified for the Professional Standards Committee in 2018 was to review the Practice Advisor program and determine whether there was room for improvement. Among the potential changes, the PSC considered whether the program should be expanded to be made available to all members who may have practice management questions. Ultimately the Committee determined that this would reinforce the Law Society’s shift toward proactive regulation, by dealing with potential practice management issues before they occur.

As such, the Law Society of Saskatchewan is pleased to announce that our Practice Advisor Program is now available for any members who need help working through practice management issues. Under this program, the practice advisor and member will work together to address the particular issue at no cost to the member.

The practice advisor program is meant to be confidential. Unlike in the New Solo/Small Firm program or complaint reviews, the practice advisor will not send a formal report to the Law Society. The Practice Advisor will report general demographic information (urban/rural, small/large firm) and a general overview of the issue. This information will be used to guide potential Law Society programs or continuing professional development in the future.

Please see the section of the website for more information.

Day in Review: Legal Basics for Boards Seminar

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By Jakaeden Frizzell, CPD Program Coordinator

On Tuesday March 19 (Saskatoon) and Thursday March 21 (Regina) the Law Society held two full day seminars covering the basics of being a board director for lawyers. Thank you to all 120+ attendees for your involvement and rapt attention.

The day began with an overview of directorship from Nancy Hopkins, Q.C. (McDougall Gauley, Saskatoon) touching on the topics of Fiduciary Duty, Duty of Care, and Conflict of Interest. Next, Bill Nickel (McDougall Gauley, Saskatoon) discussed considerations for board meetings and the recording of meeting minutes. Following a short break, representatives of Deloitte Saskatchewan took the audience through the financial statements and offered some advice on which questions to ask when reviewing them.

The afternoon started with an interactive session. Four scenarios were drafted and circulated to the participants at the beginning of the day, then assigned to tables for discussion. Each table reported their plan of action and a group discussion ensued. The session was facilitated by Cory Furman (Furman IP) and Nancy Hopkins. Following this, attendees listened to a panel talk about director liability, including the different insurance coverage available for lawyers sitting on boards. The panel was made up of Cory Furman, Brad Hunter, Q.C. (SLIA), and Milad Alishahi (MLT Aikins, Regina).

The seminar concluded with a chaired question and answer piece that took the lens of what management expects from a good director. In Saskatoon, Sean Quinn (Cameco) shared his perspectives working as a legal secretary for a large private corporation. In Regina, Pat Youzwa (Past President and CEO of Sask Power) shared her insight into management working in a crown corporation. Both sessions were chaired by Nancy Hopkins, Q.C. and saw great audience participation.

Thank you to all presenters for their time and dedication to this event, as well as our planning committee Nancy Hopkins, Cory Furman, and Glenn Hepp. The Saskatoon seminar was recorded and can be purchased from the Law Society for viewing. It will qualify for 5.5 CPD hours. Please contact our CPD Administrator, Katrina Perrault, at 306-569-8242 if you are interested in learning more about this topic.

Queen’s Bench Rules of Court and Forms Amended

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By Christine Muldoon

The Court of Queen’s Bench amended the Rules of Court, related forms and tariff of costs effective March 15, 2019.  Most of the changes relate to default judgments, while some of the changes to the forms are minor “housekeeping” changes.

As a courtesy to our members, the Law Society Library converts the PDF forms into Word documents for easy use. We have completed the conversion and these documents are now available on the Law Society website. The following forms were affected:

  • Form 3-9 is amended;
  • Form 3-22 is added;
  • Form 4-11 is amended;
  • Form 6-51B is amended;
  • Form 6-70A is amended;
  • Form 6-70B is amended;
  • Form 6-70C is amended;
  • Form 6-72A is amended;
  • Form 6-72B is amended;
  • Form 6-72C is amended;
  • Form 6-85B is amended;
  • Former Form 12-3 is repealed and replaced with a new Form 12-3;
  • Form 15-21 is amended;
  • Form 15-43 is amended; and
  • Form 15-56A is amended.

Please see details in The Saskatchewan Gazette, Part I, February 22, 2019

Calling all Practitioners

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Christine Muldoon, Resource Coordinator

As you may have noticed if you have visited them lately, the Law Society’s Saskatchewan Practice Checklists need work. While much of the guidance therein is still relevant, there have been legislative changes and new court directives since the checklists were last revised. Some of the authorities and the case law we cite are somewhat dated, too.

Please consider volunteering to help us update the checklists if you have any experience in the following areas, or even if you are a student or a new lawyer who is relatively new to these subjects:

  • Corporate & Commercial Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate
  • Wills & Estates

We are immensely grateful to our past contributors and would welcome further assistance from anyone who is available and willing, but we would also like to encourage new members to take part in the process.

If you are interested in making your mark on the Saskatchewan Practice Checklists, please do not hesitate to contact me at christine.muldoon@lawsociety.sk.ca.

An Introduction to Class Actions

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By Jakaeden Frizzell, CPD Program Coordinator

On Tuesday March 12, the Law Society will be hosting a lunchtime webinar for our members covering the topic of class actions. The webinar will qualify for 1.0 CPD hour.

Meant to be an introductory presentation, the webinar will include a brief history of class actions in Saskatchewan, how they work and how they have been used to date in the province. The speakers will address some of the key procedural considerations that differentiate class actions from regular actions and the steps to consider before commencing a potential class action. The webinar will be presented by Joanne Colledge-Miller (MLT Aikins), who is experienced in the area of class actions defense, and Jason Mohrbutter (MLT Aikins), recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in Canada in class actions litigation. Participants will be able to ask questions throughout the presentation.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn about class actions! Register here: An Introduction to Class Actions