February 29, 2016 InForum Issue

Society news

The Real Estate Professional Standards Committee is seeking input from the membership on Standard 1.3: Opinion of Title and Certificate Of Legal Effect. You can review the proposed Standard below as a PDF or a Word document:

Please submit comments and suggestions pertaining to any of these new Standards to by March 18, 2016

A Nova Scotia Provincial delegation was in Winnipeg last week with other Provincial and Federal leaders attending the second roundtable on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. In preparation for these meetings, the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association convened an Ad Hoc Panel with representatives from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and other experts to consider the important role the Province of Nova Scotia must play in support of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Ad Hoc Panel recognizes that support for the Inquiry must be unequivocal given the historic and current experiences of indigenous women in Canada many of which were detailed in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Executive Summary, “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in British Columbia, Canada” 2014. These include the facts that:

  • Indigenous women and girls experience violence at a much higher rate than the rest of Canadian women.
  • The issue of murdered and missing women and girls is part of a broader pattern of discrimination and violence against Indigenous women and girls.
  • The root causes are related to a history of discrimination and oppression beginning with colonization continuing through residential schools as well as other inadequate and restrictive laws, policies and practices; the legacies of which persist.  
  • The result has been that Indigenous women are one of the most disadvantaged in Canada; enduring poverty, inadequate housing, economic and social marginalization.

The Ad Hoc Panel calls on Nova Scotia to build upon its knowledge, experience and commitments from previous and current inquiries including the Marshall Inquiry and the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry to ensure it takes the actions needed to prepare for, and support, the design and work of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Ad Hoc Panel believes that Nova Scotia should express strong support and commitment for an Inquiry that takes a restorative approach which is grounded in indigenous customary knowledge and practices centred on the principles of honouring relationships, restoring balance, strengthening community connections and respect in order to ensure the needs of families and communities are met. 

Nova Scotia must make a clear commitment to action now to prepare for the Inquiry and to fully support and engage with the work of a National Inquiry once it is established.

In particular the Nova Scotia Government should:

  1. Ensure adequate resources and training to provide the health and other supports required for families and communities to prepare for, and participate in, the Inquiry process.  These must include, but are not limited to, trauma-informed services and supports and Indigenous healing services and programs.
  2. Immediately conduct an audit of all previous recommendations from provincial, national and International inquiries, reports and other processes that are related to the complex issues that must be explored in the National Public Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls in order to create a concrete action plan for the immediate steps the Province should take to ensure greater health and safety for Indigenous women and girls.
  3. Commit to take the steps necessary to grant the Inquiry the authority and powers needed to conduct a full and effective investigation into these issues within the Province as a contributor to the National scope of the Inquiry.

Nova Scotia should take these immediate steps toward full participation and engagement with the Inquiry to demonstrate its commitment that fundamental changes are needed to ensure broad-based social and justice system reforms in areas such as policing principles and codes of conduct; police investigation standards; police education on gender and racial violence; police accountability; Crown policies, practices and exercises of discretion. Greater resources are also urgently needed to create programs to address violence against Indigenous women and girls including: education; shelters/safe houses; counselling and healing support.

The Ad Hoc Panel encourages Nova Scotia’s government delegation to attend the consultation with Federal Ministers and to make strong and concrete commitments to ensure the success of a National Public Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

The following media reports were published since the last edition of InForum:

NEW: North Preston land title plan in the works, says Nova Scotia government
Dispute over legal documents goes back to early 1800s
CBC News | Feb 25, 2016

Atlas Obscura | Feb. 24, 2016

Descendants of black loyalists in Nova Scotia seek land titles
The Canadian Press | Feb. 23, 2016
(The Globe and Mail and other publications)

Some residents of historically black communities lack clear title to land: 'Let’s not be so lawyer like, let’s be a little more practical here,' says lawyer Darrel Pink
CBC News | Feb 23, 2016

NEWSMAKER interview with NSBS Executive Director Darrel Pink
CBC TV: Nova Scotia News at 6 | February 23, 2016
(Near the 30-minute mark) 

No easy fix to Preston land title cases, says area councillor: David Hendsbee hopes historic injustice can be resolved
By Jacob Boon
The Coast | Feb. 23, 2016

Mitch Kowalski: Entity regulation comes to Canada
LEGAL POST | February 23, 2016

Looking ahead: Legal entity-based regulation
CBA National | February 23 2016

Journalism project reveals injustice in African Nova Scotian land titles:
Families living on land for 200 years without legal ownership.
By Jacob Boon
The Coast | Feb 22, 2016

The Advocate | Feb. 19, 2016 
CBC News | February 18, 2016
by Blair Rhodes 

Lyle Howe claims he was wronged as sexual assault charge against him withdrawn
Halifax lawyer says case should never have gone to trial, has gone through hell.
By Haley Ryan
Metro Halifax | Feb 18 2016


NSBS President Jill Perry with the Honourable Diana C. Whalen, Attorney General and Minister of JusticeCouncil was pleased to welcome the Honourable Diana C. Whalen, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, to its meeting at the Society’s offices on Friday, February 26. Minister Whalen provided greetings and an update from the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, followed by a question and answer opportunity for Council members. She was accompanied by Acting/Deputy Minister Tilly Pillay QC.

Following a resolution passed by Council, President Jill Perry (at left) presented Minister Whalen (at right) with an honorary membership to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. 

For details about other matters discussed at Council's meeting on Friday, March 26, please see the Council Highlights and Documents, available on the Council materials page of the Society's website.

The next regular meeting of Council is scheduled for Thursday, March 24, 2016 at the Society’s offices at 9:00 am. 

Professional development

The new Law Practice Management program is designed to equip lawyers and managers in the legal profession with the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to effectively and strategically manage a practice. 

Developed by Dalhousie’s Faculty of Management Executive Education unit, this program is offered in partnership with the Schulich School of Law. For complete details and registration information, see

Running a legal practice requires not only a strong grasp of the law, but also the skills to run a business. The details of running your office — marketing & social media, human resources, client care, finances, and sales -- on top of practising law can be overwhelming, and may require you to draw on skills that were not necessarily part of your legal education. This program, taught by experienced leaders from legal practice and faculty in the Rowe School of Business, will develop the practice management skills you need to keep your business competitive and growing.

Program content
The program consists of six half-day modules, which may be taken stand-alone, and one full day capstone course. Registration in individual modules is permitted. However, completion of modules one through six is the pre-requisite for registration in day four, module seven. A Certificate in Law Practice Management will be awarded upon completion of all four days of the program and all seven modules.

The modules are delivered over four days. The four days are divided on Fri/Sat in Week One, and two weeks later on Fri/Sat again. Each day consists of two modules and the fourth day is the capstone course, bringing together the learning from each module into an interactive, group-based case study.

WEEK ONE: Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14

Day 1
Module 1: Introduction to Running the Law Practice as a Business
Module 2: Client Care

Day 2
Module 3: Law Practice Human Resource Management
Module 4: Law Practice Sales and Marketing

WEEK TWO: Friday and Saturday, May 27 and 28

Day 3
Module 5: Financial Matters
Module 6: The Law Practice: Beyond Partnerships

Day 4
Capstone Module
Interactive Case Study

Who should take this program?
This program is intended for practising lawyers, managers involved in running a law office, and law students preparing to enter practice.

Our Faculty's backgrounds cover a broad spectrum of industry, consultancy, legal practice, politics and academia. Their diverse knowledge, skill and expertise will provide a rich classroom experience of practical application and relevancy to managing a law practice.

  • Dr. Ramon Baltazar is Assistant Professor of Management in the Rowe School of Business
  • Lisa Gallivan is a partner at Stewart McKelvey
  • Dr. Eddy Ng is a Professor and the F.C. Manning Chair in Economics and Business in the Rowe School of Business.
  • Prof. Jim Power is a Professor in the Rowe School of Business, as part of the Accounting area group.
  • Prof. Dan Shaw is a Professor in the Rowe School of Business.
  • Prof. Graham Steele is a Professor in the Rowe School of Business.

Key takeaways

  • Learn how to apply business theory to the management of a law practice
  • Be able to create and execute on a relevant strategic plan
  • Achieve enhanced financial performance
  • Improve team dynamics and engagement
  • Create effective sales and marketing strategy

Participants who complete all the requirements of the Certificate program receive a Certificate of Completion in Executive Education, jointly issued by the Faculty of Management and the Schulich School of Law.

Interested in starting or growing your own firm? Check out books on the Julia Cornish QC "Firm Founder's" Reading List available for loan from the Barristers’ Library in Halifax, with selected titles available from Remote collections in Kentville and Sydney.

Two business development-focused top-ten titles are available as e-books from Halifax Public Libraries: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Julia Cornish QC’s top-ten “Firm Founder’s” reading list was originally published in the summer 2014 issue of NovaVoce.

BUSINESS CORPORATIONS IN CANADA: LEGAL AND PRACTICAL ASPECTS / Martel, Paul — Toronto: Carswell Thomson Reuters, 2013. [KB 109 M376 2013]

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE / Coughlan, Stephen — 3d ed. — Toronto: Irwin Law, 2016. [KB 92 C853 2016]

VIOLA DESMOND'S CANADA: A HISTORY OF BLACKS AND RACIAL SEGREGATION IN THE PROMISED LAND / Reynolds, Graham; Robson, Wanda — Blackpoint, NS: Fernwood publishing, 2016. [KB 24 .C65 R463 2016]

BEST PRACTICES: HUMAN RESOURCE FORMS TOOLKIT / Bolland, Joan A; Mole, Ellen; Blake, Laurie — Toronto: Carswell Thomson Reuters, 2000. [KB 60 B691H 2000]

CANADIAN FRANCHISE GUIDE / Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP — 2d ed. — Toronto: Carswell Thomson Reuters, 2015. [KB 115 W585 2015]

INSURANCE CONTRACT INTERPRETATION / Donnelly, Thomas J; Brown, Craig — Toronto: Carswell Thomson Reuters, 2014. [KB 140 D685 2014]


LIABILITY INSURANCE LAW IN CANADA / Hilliker, Gordon — 6th ed. — Markham, Ont. LexisNexis Canada, 2016. [KB 144 .N42 H654 2016]

THE LAW OF LIMITATIONS / Mew, Graeme; Rolph, Debra; Zacks, Daniel — 3d ed. — Markham, Ont. LexisNexis Canada, 2016. [KB 199 .L5 M611 2016]

INDIGENOUS NATIONHOOD: EMPOWERING GRASSROOTS CITIZENS / Palmater, Pamela; Sinclair, Niigaanwewidam James — Blackpoint, NS: Fernwood publishing, 2015. [KB 24.C65 P171 2015]

THE PRIVATE COMPANY: A LEGAL AND BUSINESS GUIDE FOR OWNERS AND MANAGERS / Mahaffy, A. Paul — 2d ed. — Toronto: Carswell Thomson Reuters, 2014. [KB 109 M214 2014]

ANNOTATED YOUTH CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT SERVICE / Direnfeld, Rochelle; Greene, Mara; Sherrin, Christopher; Richardson, Jeffery; Thompson, Lori; Tuck-Jackson, Andrea — 2d ed. — Markham, Ont. LexisNexis Canada, 2015. [KB 91.J9 T889 2015]

Access to Justice


It’s been a week since the February 22 premiere of Untitled, the investigative web series created by Radio, Television & Journalism students at the Nova Scotia Community College. The series of short films delves into the struggles of residents in North Preston, East Preston and Cherry Brook to gain clear title to the land they have lived on for generations. See the series at

The stories shared in the student project were quickly picked up by local, national and international sources (see NSBS in the news for details and direct links). Here at the Society, the impact of the series’ release is obvious. Executive Director Darrel Pink has been busy fielding requests for media interviews and we have received new inquiries from lawyers about how they can assist North Preston residents pro bono.

The extent to which this story has resonated in Nova Scotia and beyond reinforces the Society’s commitment to continue to work with our partners in the justice system, government and the community to clarify land title issues faced by African Nova Scotians. 

#TalkJustice connection
The project comes as a direct result of broadcast journalism instructor Erin Moore’s attendance at the launch event for the #TalkJustice report in May 2015. Many participants spoke about how they are affected by media portrayals of their communities, and the report contains recommendations that the media consider the role it can play in improving access to justice in Nova Scotia. Following the event, Erin contacted the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society to see how her class could get involved.

Members of the Society’s #TalkJustice team visited Erin’s class to present suggestions for topics the class could use for its documentary series. Each of the topics stemmed from issues raised by Nova Scotians in the #TalkJustice consultations. Following a vote, the class chose to investigate land title clarification in historic African Nova Scotian communities.

See the #TalkJustice updates about the student project on February 19, February 22 and February 25.  

The Society is “putting the public voice first” in this community engagement initiative, in response to the National Action Committee’s landmark Access to Civil and Family Justice: A Roadmap for Change report. This requires us to develop new ways of communicating. Continue to follow #TalkJustice updates on the Society’s social media sites:

The following notice was posted and shared on January 21 by the National Self-Represented Litigants Project:  
After noticing a sharp upswing in the number of lawyers offering unbundled legal services, as well as other professionals including paralegals, coaches and even editors offering services to SRLs (self-represented litigants), NSRLP is creating a Canada-wide database that will serve two purposes – an information resource for SRLs looking for affordable assistance, and a means of connecting the many different professionals interested in working with SRLs.

The unbundling of legal services (or limited scope retainers (LSRs)) is just one adaptation that may help alleviate the access to justice barriers described in The New Litigants, a CBC “The National” documentary that explored the struggle of being a self-represented litigant in Canada, and featured the NSRLP. Lawyers offering carefully crafted services might be able to accommodate those individuals who are unable to afford full representation, but able to undertake some legal tasks themselves.

Our Twitter campaign, #whyunbundle?, reaches out to lawyers and provides information on limited scope retainers (for example this handbook published the Canadian Bar Association’s Alberta branch). Our Twitter campaign asks lawyers willing to provide – or considering providing – unbundled legal services to contact us at You will be included in a database that eventually will be embedded in the NSRLP website (which is visited by more than 30,000 people each year).

We are also very interested in hearing from paralegals offering fixed fee services to SRLs as well as other professionals with complementary skills in other disciplines – mental health, public speaking, editorial, etc. – interested in working with SRLs. Please click here if you are a professional working with SRLs.


Tips from LIANS

Maybe Mother Nature has us all fooled but with springlike weather upon us, now is the time to start thinking about spring cleaning your office. Here are tips to help you spring forward:

  1. Think about culling and digitizing recently closed files and back them up in more than one spot. Once culled, digitized and backed up, you are no longer required to keep that hard copy, freeing up some space in your filing room.
  2. Look at your online profile and website. Is it current? Is it being maintained? Is your website user friendly and easy to navigate?   
  3. Declutter your email inbox and clear out spam and junk mail. Review your business email and determine whether it requires action or whether it should be filed it in the appropriate folder.
  4. Review your office procedures: are they working? Are they current?
  5. Review your HR files: are they current?
  6. Review your business files: are the leases due to expire soon? Does your office equipment need updating? Does your computer software need upgrading and does it sync with your digital world?
  7. Spring forward by putting a spring in your step: have a team meeting and establish some goals for the upcoming year!

Spring is a wonderful time to get reenergized and organized – it’s also the time to review your best practices to ensure you stay organized!

If you have any questions on these or any other risk- or practice-related matters, do not hesitate to contact Stacey Gerrard, LIANS Counsel with the Risk and Practice Management Program, at or call 902 423 1300 ext. 345.

A very legitimate-looking phishing attempt purportedly from "American Express Account Protection Services" has recently been circulating – example here:

Fraud Protection Alert

Please verify a recent charge attempt by logging in to your account at .

Dear Customer,

For your security, we regularly monitor accounts for possible fraudulent activity. Below are the details of an attempted charge which occurred within minutes of the timestamp of this message.

Attempt Date:    02/10/16
Merchant:          Briggs & Stratton Corporation
Amount:            404.07 USD
Status:               Not Approved
Case Number:   45723

<Login to Verify>

Some transactions are pre-authorized before the final sale. These can include purchases made at gas stations, hotels, and car rental merchants. Please note the amount shown above may not reflect the exact amount of your final transaction.

If we've already spoken to you about this matter, please disregard this message. No further action is required.

Thank you for your Cardmembership.

American Express Account Protection Services

This scam attempts to acquire your personal login and bank account information. As always, links and attachments in unsolicited or unanticipated emails should not be accessed unless the sender can be positively verified, as they may contain viruses.

For tips to avoid being victimized, visit the Fraud section on, and to report or seek advice on dealing with fraud and scam attempts, contact Cynthia Nield at or 902 423 1300, x346.

Homewood Health™, your health and wellness provider, has launched the following new service: 

"Homeweb is an innovative online platform that offers members access to personalized health and wellness tools, resources, and support when you want it — anywhere, anytime.

What do I need to know about Homeweb?
Homeweb is part of your Employee Assistance Program. You can access Homeweb on your phone, tablet or desktop. Homeweb offers you the ability to create an individual profile, receive personalized content recommendations, and access lots of helpful resources — including e-Courses, articles, assessments, counselling and support. Life topics covered include:

  • Mental health
  • Addiction
  • Finances
  • Parenting / Childcare
  • Career development / Transition
  • Fitness / Nutrition
  • Communication / Relationships

How to register for Homeweb

  1. Visit and click ‘Sign Up’.
  2. Enter information into the required fields, choose an email and password, and click ‘Next Step’. Then, type NSLAP as your company name and click ‘Find it!’ Select Nova Scotia Barristers Society from the list provided.
  3. Indicate your relationship to the company you entered in Step Two. Submit the additional information required and click ‘Sign In’ at the bottom of the page. 

Welcome to Homeweb! Search, browse, and get expert support."

For more information and support in using Homeweb, with resources and counselling to improve your health and wellness, visit the NSLAP website at Please note that NSLAP is your “company” name when you register. When you call the LAP number at 1 866 299 1299, your call will be answered any time, day or night, 365 days per year.


Representing yourself in the Nova Scotia Court Of Appeal

Are you considering representing yourself in the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal? Visit the Courts of Nova Scotia website, which offers a number of resources for self-represented litigants, including several new “how to” guides.

Start by reading the introductory brochure.

There are also two "How-To" manuals available depending on the type of appeal:

Find more information and links to other web-based resources for people who are considering representing themselves in Court HERE >>

The Hon. Justice Doug Campbell of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Family Division has published a new instalment of his Family Law Practice Tips for family law practitioners.

Justice Campbell’s Family Law Practice Tips are posted on a regular basis on the Courts of Nova Scotia website, via the Information for Legal Professionals page. Subscribers to the Courts’ “Notices To The Bar” Twitter account will be notified each time new ones are posted. Subscribe here >


Correctional Services Regulations have been updated as a result of amendments to the Correctional Services Act in late 2014. The new regulations will come into force on March 31, 2016. 

One section of the Regulations being updated relates to the recording of offender phone calls and video visitation. The changes to the Regulations will not impact the privileged calls between offenders in custody and their lawyers, as these calls are, and will remain exempted from recording or monitoring in any manner.

By way of a reminder, the existing and the continuing process to ensure lawyer’s calls are exempted from recording requires lawyers to advise Correctional Services of the phone numbers offenders use to call their lawyers.  

After the Regulations come into force, privileged video visitation will become available between offenders and their lawyers. Correctional Services staff will be in touch closer to March 31st to discuss the video visitation process for lawyers.

The amendments to the regulations being made are meant to ensure the Regulations remain current. The changes to the regulations update the staff professional code of conduct, internal offender disciplinary procedures, additions to the list of privileged protocols for monitoring non-privileged offender phone conversations and video visitation, searches, and screening offenders for intoxicants who are on conditional release. The Regulations will come into effect on March 31, 2016 and will become available on the Registry of Regulations website.

As of March 31, 2016, all non-privileged phone calls and video visitation will be passively recorded. Only the superintendent may authorize the restriction, interception, and monitoring of an offender’s communication (listen to the communication); specifically, the superintendent must have reasonable grounds to believe that:

  • the offender is involved in an illegal activity;
  • the offender is harassing, intimidating or causing harm to others;
  • the offender is communicating with an individual who is under 19 years old, and the individual’s parent or guardian does not wish that individual to receive communications from the offender;
  • the communication indicates that the offender may be participating in an activity that may jeopardize the safety, security or operation of the correctional facility;
  • a court order restricts or prohibits communication between the offender and another person;
  • a person has indicated to the superintendent that they do not wish to receive communications from the offender;
  • the person who is liable for the charges for communications between the offender and another person has indicated to the superintendent that they do not wish the communications to take place;
  • the communication is prejudicial to the best interests of the person contacted or to public safety

In case this change raises any questions among Society members, please call or contact me at your convenience.

David R. Mills
Manager, Policy and Programs
Correctional Services
Department of Justice
P: 902 424-8895
F: 902 424-0693

News releases from the provincial government are available at this link, and are searchable by department and date:

The following announcements since the last edition of InForum may be of interest to the legal profession; see link above for all provincial releases:   

JUSTICE: Find all DOJ announcements at

SERVICE NOVA SCOTIA: Find all news releases at


  • Visitor Information Centres Will Remain Open (Feb. 25)
  • Government Responds to DSTN Decision (Feb. 19)


  • Viola Cain, Foster Mother to A Hundred Children (Feb. 26)
  • Strengthening Supports for African Nova Scotian Children and Families in East Preston (Feb. 25)
  • Strengthening Supports for Nova Scotia's Children and Families (Feb. 18)

ENERGY – Legislation, Regulations Strengthen Environmental Protection for Offshore (Feb. 26)

ENVIRONMENT – Minister Issues Two Orders (Feb. 26)

HEALTH/WELLNESS/SENIORS – Province Plans Consultation on Seniors' Pharmacare (Feb. 18)

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR – Students Receive Respectful Citizenship Award (Feb. 24)


  • Premier Congratulates Nova Scotia New Democratic Party Leader (Feb. 27)
  • Province Honours Veterans on Anniversary of Canada's Contribution to First Persian Gulf War (Feb. 26)

PROTOCOL OFFICE – Nominations Sought to Honour Outstanding Nova Scotians (Feb. 19)

No proclamations were published in the Royal Gazette, Part II since the last issue of InForum.

Proclamations are published in the Royal Gazette, Part II, which is issued every other week and is available by subscription. Unofficial copies of the Royal Gazette, Part II are available online through the Registry of Regulations website.

The Office of the Legislative Counsel maintains a Proclamations of Statutes database, providing the effective dates of proclamations for statutes from 1990 to date. The database is updated with information received weekly from the Executive Council Office. To access the database, go to the Office of the Legislative Counsel’s website, then select Proclamations from the list of links on the left side of the page. The information provided by the database is for convenience only. For purposes of interpreting and applying the law, please consult official sources.

The orders in council authorizing the proclamations can be searched via the Orders in Council database maintained by the Executive Council Office. This database contains information about orders in council dating back to 1991.

This notice has been prepared by Society staff in Library & Information Services.

Other news

Census information is important for all communities and is vital for planning services such as schools, daycare, housing, police services, fire protection, roads, public transit, and skills training for employment.

Census 2016

Note: available jobs have been posted on . You can also find user-friendly Census teaching materials at, under “Resources for Teachers”.

Looking to make a lasting contribution to Canada, its communities and its people? Canada’s next census will take place in May 2016 and Statistics Canada is hiring approximately 35,000 employees across the country to work on the collection phase of the 2016 Census.
Staff are required for a variety of supervisory and non-supervisory positions between March and the end of July 2016. These non-office jobs will involve working in neighbourhoods and communities across all urban, rural and remote areas of the country. Approximately 5,000 Crew Leaders and assistants will be hired to train, lead and supervise a team of Enumerators, while an estimated 30,000 Enumerators will be hired to distribute census questionnaires, conduct in-person interviews and follow-up with respondents in person and by phone. The rates of pay range from $16.31 to $19.91 an hour, plus authorized expenses. Screening of applications will begin in mid-February. Apply online at

Kimball Brogan, a litigation law firm in the beautiful Annapolis Valley, is seeking an articling clerk to commence at any time. This position will give the articling clerk opportunity for hands on learning with a lot of practical experience.   

There is potential for further employment once the successful candidate has been called to the bar for individuals with an interest in a litigation practice in rural Nova Scotia. 

Please forward your resume and references to to the attention of:

Derrick J. Kimball
121 Front Street
Wolfville, NS   B4P 1A6

Court of Appeal and Supreme Court now accepting applications for 2016 Clerkship Programs.

More information here:

Cragg Law seeks immediately a motivated, ambitious and energetic lawyer to join our extremely busy practice. The successful candidate will be responsible for handling a variety of matters and service our existing clients with the real possibility of developing his or her own niche area.

The position will require the ability to work independently but remain part of our close-knit team. The successful candidate must possess excellent organizational, interpersonal and written communication skills. Pay will be based on a fee-splitting arrangement.

Apply to 
or mail or fax your resume and cover letter to:
Ste. 10, 2625 Joseph Howe Drive
Halifax, NS B3L 4G4
Fax (902) 429-0016

Landry, McGillivray is a well established full service law firm in downtown Dartmouth and has been providing legal services to our clients throughout Halifax Regional Municipality and the Province of Nova Scotia for 40 years.

Landry, McGillivray has an immediate opening for an associate lawyer with a general practice with a heavy emphasis in the areas of Family Law and General Litigation. This person will have the ability to further develop his or her practice and client base and will be expected to deliver the high quality of legal services that Landry, McGillivray is known for.

If you are interested in this career opportunity, please contact Sandra Godin via email at

Please note that only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Cox & Palmer is a full-service, top-ranked Atlantic Canadian law firm with knowledge and experience clients rely on for solid legal solutions. The firm prides itself on a collegial work atmosphere and supportive team environment. We hire self-motivated, team-minded individuals with a strong work ethic, integrity and a commitment to client service. Our Halifax office is currently seeking a lawyer for our Corporate & Commercial practice group with significant experience in securities transactions. Interest in start-ups is also valuable. The successful candidate will have 3 to 5 years experience in:

  • mergers and acquisitions       
  • corporate finance (public and private)
  • public issuer continuous disclosure obligations
  • corporate law                         
  • corporate governance
  • venture capital and private equity


  • Provide advice and representation to acquirers, targets, shareholder groups and financial advisors in a range of M&A transactions;
  • Engage in strategic business development to enhance existing client relationships and attract new clients;
  • Act as a mentor to junior associates and clerks;
  • Possess the ability to teach and present in a variety of contexts including in-house and external seminars, etc.


  • 3 to 5 years’ experience in securities law;
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation covering all areas of securities law;
  • A highly motivated self-starter who has the ability to work well both autonomously and in a team environment;
  • Attention to detail, proven organizational skills and an effective communicator;
  • A member of the Nova Scotia Bar (or the potential to become a member).

Recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Atlantic Canada, Cox & Palmer, Halifax office provides a competitive compensation and benefits package including:

  • Health, dental, life and disability insurance;
  • Group RRSP;
  • Employer paid parking & professional membership fees;
  • Smartphone allowance;
  • Employee assistance program;
  • Annual health and fitness allowance.

Qualified candidates who are interested in this position should send a covering letter and resume by Thursday, March 24 2016 to: 

Claude Baldachino
Director of Professional Development
Cox & Palmer
Suite 1100 1959 Upper Water Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3N2
Direct: (902) 491 4453

Burchell MacDougall, with offices in Truro, Halifax, Wolfville and Elmsdale, is a well-established full service law firm in Nova Scotia since 1944.

We are seeking an experienced lawyer with an established client base for our Elmsdale office. The ideal candidate will be an ambitious self-starter who can work independently, as well as part of a team. This person will have the ability to further develop his or her client base and deliver the high quality legal services that the public has come to expect from Burchell MacDougall.Must be a member in good standing of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society.

Candidates are encouraged to visit our website at to learn more about our firm.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Linda Hupman at or call 902-896-7566.

Please note that only persons selected for an interview will be contacted.

LEGAL DIRECTOR (5+ years) 

Our client, Legal Aid Saskatchewan, is governed by the provincial Legal Aid Act. It was created to provide legal services to eligible persons for criminal and civil (family) matters where those persons are financially unable to secure these services from their own resources. The Legal Aid Commission has been in existence since 1974. The mission of Legal Aid Saskatchewan is to “provide accessible and professional legal services in criminal and family law to eligible people.”

Legal Aid Saskatchewan is seeking a Legal Director to lead its Saskatoon Criminal Law Office. The ideal candidate will have managerial experience as well as have a minimum of five years of experience in litigation, with a strong background in criminal law.

The successful candidate, under the supervision of the Chief Executive Officer, will manage the office, supervise 20 staff, attend to administrative activities, as well as carry an appropriate caseload. As part of the organization’s management team, the Legal Director will be involved in helping set policy and will participate in planning for the organization as a whole and its offices.

This is a great opportunity for someone with a strong commitment to social justice who wants to serve the community. You are an active, aware and accountable leader who enjoys being part of a team that promotes a collegial, respectful and collaborative working environment. If you are personable, have a great sense of humour and strong “people” skills, this position will appeal to you.

This is an exclusive search. For more information or to apply for this position, contact Sameera Sereda ( / 403.444.1763) or Akash Bir ( / 403.444.1765). 

Cox & Palmer is a full-service, top-ranked Atlantic Canadian law firm with knowledge and experience clients rely on for solid legal solutions. The firm prides itself on a collegial work atmosphere and supportive team environment.  We hire self-motivated, team-minded individuals with a strong work ethic, integrity and a commitment to client service. Our Halifax office is currently seeking a lawyer for our Employment & Labour Practice Group. The successful candidate will have a minimum of 5 years labour-specific- experience with demonstrated competency in independent preparation and presentation of cases at arbitration, the Labour Board and the courts. Employment, professional regulation and administrative law experience is an asset.  


  • Provide advice and representation to a wide variety of federal and provincial clients;
  • Work with our corporate and commercial lawyers to provide strategic advice on employment and labour issues in corporate mergers, acquisitions, sales and downsizing;
  • Engage in strategic business development to enhance existing client relationships and attract new clients;
  • Enhance and improve procedures and processes related to labour law practice;
  • Act as a mentor to junior associates and clerks;
  • Possess the ability to teach and present in a variety of contexts including in-house and external seminars, etc.


  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in labour law;
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation covering all areas of labour and related laws;
  • A highly motivated self-starter who has the ability to work well both autonomously and in a team environment;
  • Attention to detail, proven organizational skills and an effective communicator;
  • A member of the Nova Scotia Bar (or the potential to become a member).

Recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Atlantic Canada, Cox & Palmer, Halifax office provides a competitive compensation and benefits package including:

  • Health, dental, life and disability insurance;
  • Group RRSP;
  • Employer paid parking & professional membership fees;
  • Smartphone allowance;
  • Employee assistance program;
  • Annual health and fitness allowance.

Qualified candidates who are interested in this position should send a covering letter and resume by Thursday, March 24 2016 to:

Claude Baldachino
Director of Professional Development
Cox & Palmer
Suite 1100 1959 Upper Water Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3N2
Direct: (902) 491 4453

O’Blenis Law, located in Stellarton, NS, is seeking an experienced legal assistant to provide professional support in the areas of property, wills and estates, family and criminal law. 

Job Summary

  • Provide administrative support, producing timely, accurate work.
  • Provide efficient, professional and knowledgeable support to our firm’s lawyers and clients.
  • Maintain a full-time schedule for at least an 8-week replacement period, beginning immediately


  • Legal Assistant/Paralegal Education.
  • Previous legal assistant experience.
  • Organization skills and iniative.
  • Strong computer skills: Macintosh
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Sound judgment in high pressure and confidential situations.

Please send resume and cover letter to with subject line “Legal Assistant Application”.

We thank all applicants, however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. .    

Position: One year contract Staff Lawyer Position in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Mainly a family law practice with some criminal.

Qualifications: Successful candidate must be a practicing, insured member in good standing of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society with a thorough understanding of family law. Candidate should have experience in representing clients before the courts. Competency to conduct legal proceedings in both the English and French languages would be an asset.

Start Date: To be determined

Salary Range: Per Legal Aid salary scale based on "Relevant Experience" as determined by the Commission at time of hire plus benefits.

Closing Date: March 4, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Reply to:

Joseph A. Cameron, Internal Operations Director
Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission
920-1701 Hollis Street
Halifax, NS   B3J 3M8
Fax: 902-420-3471

NSLA has an employment eqity policy and encourages candidates from historically disadvantaged groups. While we appreicate all applications, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. All applications held in confidence.

We are a small, well-established general practice Dartmouth law firm and are seeking an associate lawyer to join our firm.

While and established or partly established practice would be welcome, we also would welcome an enthusiastic practitioner who would be willing to work hard to build a successful practice.

This is not a salaried position but, rather, a fee-splitting arrangement.We would be willing and able to provide some files but would expect you to increasingly add to that by your own initiative. An opportunity to grow together.

Computer literacy and word processing capability is a must. You must be a member in good standing with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, should also have strong organizational skills and, hopefully, a sense of humour.

Please reply with a PDF version of your resume to:

Privacy and confidentiality are important to us; all applications are kept strictly confidential. We appreciate all who reply to this posting; however only those candidates considered for an interview will be contacted.

Ritch Williams & Richards in downtown Halifax is seeking to hire a part-time receptionist. This front desk position will regularly consist of 2 days per week but will ocassionaly require additional days of employment to cover staff vacations or other absences. 

Basic computer skills will be required along with skills in use of MS Word, Outlook and Excel.

Candidates should have excellent organizational and communication skills.

Previous experience or training as a legal assistant would be considered an asset to enable support for terms of increased workload or regular staff absence.

To apply for this position forward resume via email to:

Dale Black
Executive Director



Volunteer and Pro Bono

The Avalon Sexual Assault Centre is a non-profit, community-based, feminist organization working to eliminate sexual assault/abuse and to change the current socio-political culture that fosters sexism, social injustice and other forms of oppression. The Centre provides immediate care and support, counselling, advocacy and community education.

The Centre is currently recruiting new members to join the woman-only Board of Directors. Individuals who come to the board will support Avalon’s vision and mission and be willing to offer their time and energy to the organization. A commitment of 4-8 hours a month includes monthly board meetings and committee work. We are seeking individuals who reflect diverse backgrounds and professional legal experience who can provide basic legal information in a range of areas.

For more information, please contact Kerry Copeland ( or Sylvia Parris (

The Avalon Sexual Assault Centre Board of Directors welcomes interest from potential candidates from diverse communities.

Call for LEAF Board and Committee Volunteers
Deadline: March 31, 2016

LEAF is a national, charitable, non-profit organization founded in 1985. LEAF works to advance the equality of women and girls in Canada through litigation, law reform and public education using the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  For 30 years, LEAF has held the law accountable to women in Canada.

LEAF invites community activists, lawyers, academics, and anyone else who cares about women's equality in Canada to share your talents with us.

We have a number of Board and Committee vacancies to be filled.

Have you experience and knowledge in any of the following areas?

* Fund development
* Human rights and equality litigation
* Communications
* Law reform
* Non-profit governance
* Program development
* Public legal education

Are you enthusiastic and committed with a broad range of knowledge and expertise? If so, add your voice to ours - we need your ideas and your energy. LEAF offers a stimulating environment populated by others who share your passion for women's equality. Please consider taking a place on the Board of Directors or on a committee:

* Education Program Committee
* Fund Development Committee
* Governance Committee
* Legal Program Committee
* Nominating Committee

Interested applicants please complete and email the volunteer application form with a cover letter and resume stating your board and/or committee(s) preference and relevant qualifications to

Please submit your application as soon as possible.
The deadline is March 31, 2016.

If you have any questions please contact LEAF National at 416.595.7170 or by email:

LEAF encourages applications from Aboriginal women, racialized women, lesbians, women with disabilities and women from other marginalized groups from across Canada. For more information, please visit us at

Upcoming Events
Event Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 09:00
Introduction to Workplace Culture
Offered at ISANS or by distance via live-stream
In this 2-hour workshop, you will be led in a discussion on culture and the workplace and see the direct relationship between your organization’s success and the building of a cross-culturally inclusive workplace.
Objectives – by the end of this workshop you will have:
  • an enhanced understanding of your organization’s unique culture
  • a greater appreciation of the value immigrants can bring to your organization
  • an overview of ISANS, the Employer Support Services offered and specifically the Workplace Culture Program

Workshops are live-streamed, making them available to anyone in Nova Scotia. This a funded program — no cost to employers. Registration is required.

To register, please contact

Event Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 13:00

For information on this event, please visit our program page at the link provided:

Event Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 02:00

Join us for one of the most practical and useful programs you’ll ever attend! North America’s leading expert in negotiations and settlement will teach you how to reduce stress and conflict, obtain better settlement results, and have more satisfied clients. The ability to negotiate effectively is one of the most important skills a lawyer can develop.

Every day you negotiate on behalf of your clients, your firm or yourself. Every file you open, regardless of your practice area, will require you to negotiate key issues before you can conclude the matter successfully. You can learn to be a better negotiator! It’s all about confidence. Understanding the negotiation process reduces the fear of the unknown – it alleviates the stress of not knowing how to respond to a difficult opponent and makes it easier to deal with threats and demands.

After just three hours with Charles Craver, you’ll have new negotiating techniques in your toolkit, and know how to deal with even the worst attacking adversary, and retain control of the process. A half hour ethics session addresses real-world situations you’re sure to face.

Register early to guarantee your seat!

Event Date: Monday, March 7, 2016 - 10:00

This new program will provide you with a comprehensive perspective on current competition law issues, featuring panels of leading competition law practioners, judges, and other senior participants from various jurisdictions.

Topics include:

  • Legal framework for competition law advocacy
  • Advocacy in criminal competition matters
  • Advocacy in civil competition matters
  • The competition tribunal – recent critical developments
  • Nuts & bolts of arguing a case before the competition tribunal
  • A view from the bench/adjudicators

For more information, or to register, please visit

Event Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 11:30

CBA Nova Scotia Government & Public Sector Lawyers and Intellectual Property Joint Section Meeting

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


  • Official Marks: What are they exactly?
  • How does one obtain and protect one?
  • What is their future?

Speaker: Heather Oke, Nova Scotia Department of Justice


Event Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 12:00

Government & Public Sector Lawyers and Intellectual Property Joint Section Meeting

March 9, 2016 at 12:00 noon
Joseph Howe Building, Halifax

Topic: "Official Marks: What are They Exactly? How Does One Obtain and Protect One?  What is Their Future?"


  • Heather Oke, Nova Scotia Department of Justice


Event Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 08:30

For information on this event, please visit our program page at the link provided:

Event Date: Friday, March 11, 2016 - 12:00 to 13:30

Marketing Restrictions on Tobacco and Alcohol Products: International Human Rights and Comparative Law Perspectives

  • Oscar Cabrera, Executive Director, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University

All welcome!
No registration required. Free.
Light lunch set out by noon in Rm 312.
Time will be allotted for questions and discussion.

This series is hosted by the Dalhousie Health Law Institute with sponsorship from the Schulich School of Law and the CIHR Training Program in Health Law, Ethics, and Policy (

Event Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 12:00

Aboriginal Law Section Meeting

March 16, 2016 at 12 Noon
Burchells LLP, 1801 Hollis St., Suite 1800

"Protest and Permanent Injunctions in the Aboriginal Context"
Nunatukavut Community Council v. NALCOR Energy


  • Jason Cooke, Burchells LLP


Event Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 08:00 to Saturday, March 19, 2016 - 20:00

Join LIANS for ABA TECHSHOW® 2016 Conference and EXPO (March 16-19 in Chicago), where lawyers, legal professionals and technology come together. Through the EXPO Hall, CLEs, and presentations, ABA TECHSHOW teaches you how technology can work for you. Learn to manage your business more efficiently, find new clients, and secure your data; even best practices and timesaving tips on the software you use daily. ABA TECHSHOW is dedicated to helping you understand what technology will best suit your needs, and is formatted for “Beginners through to the Techiest of Techies”. This year’s topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Social media and technology policies in the workplace
  • Sessions for Windows and Macs/iOS users
  • Improve client service using technology
  • Security awareness and phishing
  • Running a paperless office

Attend the Conference on a full SuperPass – with ten registrations, each member will pay only $499.50 USD per person! Contact Stacey Gerrard with your intent to attend, and she will coordinate payment with one cheque or credit card number for the registration fee (Code EP1622). Early registration deadline is February 8, 2016.

For additional information, contact Stacey Gerrard, LIANS Counsel, 902 423 1300 x 345 or

Event Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 02:00

Distilling legal documents to their most basic elements is the key to creating effective persuasive legal writing. It’s also the best way to draft readable documents for transactions.

This program will show you how to make your legal writing more clear, concise, and direct. Professional educator and lawyer Stuart Teicher will help you develop a readable mindset, and give you a step-by-step approach for drafting easy-to-read documents. You’ll examine the three parts of writing - thinking, organizing, and executing; explore the technicalities of sentence structure; discover how to reduce long sentences with “shortwriting”; and, learn “the only punctuation you’ll ever need to know.”After taking this course you’ll be able to…

  • navigate and make use of the critical“pre-writing” process
  • use a systematic approach for draftingclearer documents
  • make your documents easier to read

Event Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 08:30

For information on this event, please visit our program page at the link provided:

Event Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 08:30

For information on this event, please visit our program page at the link provided:

Event Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 13:00

For information on this event, please visit our program page at the link provided:

Event Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 12:00

For information on this event, please visit our program page at the link provided:

Event Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 12:00

Insurance Law and Municipal Law Joint Section Meeting

March 23, 2016 at 12 noon - 1:00pm

AON Risk Solutions, Purdy's Wharf Tower 2, 10th Floor
1969 Upper Water St., Halifax, NS

Topic: "The Emerging Risks of Privacy and Cyber Security"


  • Paul Croft, Senior Vice President/Branch manager. AON Risk Solutions
Event Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 09:00
Introduction to the “Immigrant-Friendly” Workplace
New webinar workshop
This 2-hour workshop explores the question “What makes a workplace supportive to immigrants?” 
This workshop will cover 6 key topics:
  • Organizational leadership (by senior managers and directors)
  • Strategy and planning
  • Resource allocation and incentives (financial and non-financial)
  • Recruitment and retention
  • Accountability, transparency and participation
  • Typical behaviours and beliefs
  • Research has shown the more broadly an organization engages with inclusion the more successful the outcomes.
When you are ready to assess the ‘immigrant-friendliness’ of your own organization our staff can walk you through a Workplace Culture Assessment on the 6 above areas (takes approx 1 hour to complete) and then recommend any further supports that may be needed.
Workshops are live-streamed, making them available to anyone in Nova Scotia. This a funded program — no cost to employers. Registration is required.
To register for these workshops or for more information contact us at
Event Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 (All day)

The forum will aim at gathering lawyers and legal practitioners from Hungary and abroad, which will upgrade their knowledge and share best practices regarding contemporary legal challenges. The event is CPD certified. All the participants will obtain certificates for Continuing Professional Development, CPD.


Partners in some of the largest law offices in several countries are invited to deliver their speeches. University professors, judges, notaries and company directors will be also part of the program, which is also aimed at enhancing communication and relations between the business sector and legal practitioners.

For more information, visit


Event Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 (All day)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Accommodating Episodic Disabilities: A guide to dealing with chronic and recurring health conditions

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Workshop SummarySome of the most prevalent disabilities in Canada, including mental illness, cancer, HIV and arthritis, can be characterized as episodic disabilities, which are defined as disabilities involving periods of good health alternating with periods of illness or disability. The accommodation of employees with episodic disabilities presents special challenges, such as maintaining contact between employer and employee during prolonged absences and determining when it’s appropriate for an employee to work and when it’s appropriate for an employee to take time off. Attendees at this workshop will learn strategies for accommodating employees with episodic disabilities that comply with the requirements of human rights legislation.

  • Episodic disabilities generally: Why might it be helpful to categorize disabilities as different as arthritis and depression as “episodic?” What are the common characteristics of episodic disabilities? Which episodic disabilities are most prevalent in the workplace? Are substance use disorders episodic disabilities? What challenges do workers with episodic disabilities face that are different from the challenges of employees who have non-recurring disabilities? What benefits (e.g. sick leave, short-term disability, EI, etc.) are available to employees with episodic disabilities? How do short-term and long-term disability insurance programs apply to employees who may have relatively short but frequent periods of disability? Does the employer have an obligation to explain to an employee what short-term or long-term leave benefits may be available to assist an employee? Does the union have such a duty?
  • Disclosing and recognizing disabilities: Are potential employers legally permitted to ask job applicants if they have a disability? Why is disclosure at the application stage especially problematic from the viewpoint of employees with episodic disabilities? When should an employee disclose that he or she has an episodic disability? Should the employee wait for a period of illness to disclose? If an employee discloses an episodic disability but does not yet require accommodation, is the employer entitled to any medical information? Is the employer entitled to know the diagnosis or simply the nature of the illness? Is it advisable for the employee to provide some medical information? When and how should employers (or union representatives) discuss the need for accommodation with employees who are at work and showing signs of an oncoming episode of disability? How can employers make such inquiries and encourage a reticent employee (or an employee who lacks insight into his or her condition) to accept accommodation and treatment without exposing themselves to a claim of constructive discrimination?
  • Attendance management: Can employers count absences due to an episodic disability in an attendance management plan? What should employers do to maintain communication with employees absent from work for an episode of disability? To how much information is the employer entitled in order to support an ongoing absence or entitlement to benefits? Must the medical information contain the same level of detail for each absence, even after the existence of the episodic disability is established? What information is required before an employee can return to work? What type of communication should unions maintain with members who are off work due to an episode of disability? Do unions breach their duty of fair representation if they do not maintain adequate communication with members regarding their fitness to work, possible accommodations and return to work? What is the scope of the employee’s duty to keep the employer apprised of his or her condition during an absence? How might an employee's disability, particularly a mental disability, affect an employee's ability to maintain communication and must employers and unions take such effects into account? When will an employer reach the point of undue hardship? At what point will repeated absences constitute an inability to attend work regularly that justifies dismissal? What role does the unpredictability of the absences play in the undue hardship analysis?
  • Accommodation: Besides allowances for certain periods of absence, what other accommodations are employees with episodic disabilities likely to need (e.g. flex time, working from home, etc.)? Do employees with episodic disabilities have a duty to engage in treatment that minimizes periods of disability? If so, is the employer entitled to information regarding the employee’s treatment? How much? What if the employee does not pursue treatment because of concerns regarding safety or side-effects? Who decides what treatment is reasonable? What are the best practices to adopt in accommodating employees with episodic disabilities? In what circumstances, besides those in which an employee is unable to attend work regularly, have adjudicators found an employer has reached the point of undue hardship in accommodating an employee with an episodic disability? Is it undue hardship for an employer to continue to accommodate an employee for the duration of the employment relationship? What inquiries regarding an employee's ability to work/prognosis must an employer make prior to dismissing an employee with an episodic disability on the basis that the employee is unable to meet the essential requirements of the job?

Event Date: Friday, April 1, 2016 (All day)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Taking Human Rights Cases to Adjudication: Mastering procedure and presentation

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Workshop SummaryPresenting an effective human rights case at arbitration or before a human rights tribunal requires skill and strategy. In this hands-on workshop, experienced advocates will share insights on crafting a winning advocacy strategy and marshalling persuasive evidence, while giving attendees opportunities to practise their oral presentation skills.

  • Building a strong case: What are the first steps management and union representatives should take when a human rights case appears to be headed for adjudication? How do you develop a theory of the case? How should each side gather facts and evidence? What are the characteristics of persuasive evidence? In what circumstances is expert evidence necessary? When should an agreed statement of facts be considered? What steps should you take to find relevant caselaw? What type of remedies should a party consider seeking?
  • Specific grounds of discrimination: What special considerations should parties be aware of when gathering evidence in cases alleging discrimination on the following grounds: disability, family status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, race/ancestry/place of origin, age? Should allegations of harassment be treated differently from other types of human rights concerns?
  • Accommodation and undue hardship: What evidence should a party gather if it intends to argue that accommodation would result in undue hardship due to financial cost, impact on the collective agreement, operational requirements, or health and safety requirements? What do recent cases say about whether there is a stand-alone duty to take procedural steps to accommodate that, if breached, can itself give rise to a finding of liability and an award of damages, in the absence of substantive discrimination?
  • Practice and procedure in different forums: Do the same procedures for pre-hearing disclosure and summonses apply in cases before arbitrators, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal? If not, what are the key differences? Are there any practical differences in how hearings are run in these three forums?
  • Preparing witnesses: What are some practical tips for preparing witnesses? Is it permissible to suggest to a witness how he or she should answer a question in the hearing? What types of behaviour can raise questions about a witness's credibility and how can these be avoided?
  • During the hearing: What are the best ways to effectively examine witnesses and cross-examine the other side's witnesses? When is re-examination of your own witness advisable? When should an expert witness give testimony in person, as opposed to or in addition to submitting a report? What is the proper way to introduce evidence? When and why should you object to evidence?
  • Opening and closing arguments: What are the key elements of a cogent opening statement and a winning final argument? What are some tips for successful written advocacy in your final submissions? How can you present alternative arguments without weakening your theory of the case? What are some strategies for addressing witness credibility in your closing statement?

Event Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 09:00

For the first time in Halifax, The Advocates' Society presents The Art of Communication and Persuasion with Steve Hughes.

Learn to:

  • Identify the five kinds of decision makers and how to win over each type
  • Utilize the five P's of persuasion to gain buy-in and acceptance of your ideas
  • Communicate values and vision in a compelling way
  • Transform boring material into an interesting narrative
  • Make complex information more winsome and accessible

For more information, or to register, visit

Steve Hughes is the President of Hit Your Stride, LLC, a consultancy based in Missouri that helps lawyers look and sound smart when they talk. He is the author of the forthcoming book Captivate: Presentations that Engage and Win Over Any Audience and his seminars have been featured on BBC Radio, CBS, and Steve works with a host of blue chip clients including law firms, legal and education associations, and Fortune 500 companies. He holds a B.A. in French Literature and European History from the University of Kansas and an M.B.A. in Marketing from Washington University.

Event Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 02:00

Every day lawyers make decisions about whether someone is telling the truth. We do it at home, at work, and in social situations. Most of us rely on stereotypical “signs” that a person is lying and we are no better at it than chance. But with evidence that half of all assessments are flawed, what we think we see and hear in boardrooms and court rooms and other legal settings can have very serious consequences for us and the people we interact with.

This exciting new course, featuring UBC Professor Dr. Michael Woodworth of the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law, takes a critical look at the evolution of deception recognition, with a specific focus on the legal system. With references to the most up to date research available, and examples from his own studies and cases, Dr. Woodworth will address what legal professionalism can realistically detect about deceit and under what circumstances, and offer guiding principles for how to apply that knowledge in practice, including interviewing, investigations, discovery, trial and negotiations.



Event Date: Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 09:00

This conference for women advocates is aimed at maximizing your power as leaders in the profession. Hear directly from accomplished and successful litigators and judges. Acquire career and business development tools, practice management strategies, and effective advocacy tips. Connect with colleagues and learn from the experiences of others. Prepare to be inspired.

Topics include:

  • Developing Your Skills as an Effective Advocate
  • Forging Your Own Style: Creating Confidence & Embracing Your Voice
  • How are Women Doing: The Regulator's Perspective
  • Advocating for Leadership and Advancement
  • Building Your Profile and Credibility
  • The Bench Speaks: Lessons Learned

Keynote Speaker:

  • Marie T. Henein, Henein Hutchison LLP

Program Chairs:

  • The Honourable Justice Linda Lee Oland, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal
  • Michelle C. Awad QC, McInnes Cooper
  • Sandra R. Chaytor QC, Cox & Palmer
  • Nathalie L. Godbout, Lawson Creamer

Faculty includes:

  • The Hon. Justice Barbara L. Baird, Court of Appeal of New Brunswick
  • The Hon. Justice Lois R. Hoegg, Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador (Court of Appeal)
  • The Hon. Justice Elizabeth Jollimore, Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Family Division)
  • The Hon. Justice Nancy L. Key, Supreme Court of Prince Edward IslandTrial Division
  • The Hon. Justice Lucie A. LaVigne, Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick
  • Tanya Chapman, LMI CanadaDarlene Jamieson QC, Merrick Jamieson Sterns Washington & Mahody
  • Mary Lynn Kane QC, Cox & Palmer
  • Martha A. McCarthy, LSM, Martha McCarthy & Company
  • Kathleen McManus, Department of Justice, Civil Litigation and Advisory
  • Mary-Eileen O’Brien, Carleton Law Group
  • Jill Perry, President, The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society
  • Kathryn A. Raymond, BOYNECLARKE LLP
  • Nancy Rubin QC, Stewart McKelvey

For more information, or to register, visit

Event Date: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - 09:00 to Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - 16:15

Human Rights and Labour Law Conference

May 31 - June 1, 2016
The Westin Nova Scotian

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Registration and Hot Breakfast Buffet  7:45 AM - 8:45 AM
Introductory remarks by Co-Chairs 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM 

Panel 1

Sick from Stress: Recognizing and treating psychological disorders in the workplace 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM


The growing emphasis in recent years, at both legislative and policy levels, and in virtually all Canadian jurisdictions, on the legal and practical importance of ensuring psychologically healthy work environments shows no signs of abating. As a result, the need for workplace parties to be able to identify psychological conditions which affect employees at work and take positive steps to address them continues to be vital to the effective management of the workplace and the fulfilment of the duties owed to employees. A panel of Lancaster's experts will provide concrete advice about how to recognize signs and symptoms of employee psychological distress, and how to take effective measures to deal with these conditions. Questions to be addressed include:

  • Understanding mental health and psychological disorders: How common are depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder? What is the difference between these conditions? How is stress defined by medical authorities? Is "stress" a recognized mental health disability giving rise to the duty to accommodate in law? What is the difference between the pressures inherent in any job and stress that constitutes a mental health disability? What is the relationship between workplace stress and psychological disorders? What is post-traumatic stress and how does it differ from other forms of stress? What other common types of psychological disorders are likely to affect employees at work?
  • Recognizing the symptoms: What are the most common signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder that are likely to be evident in someone's behaviour at work? What are the signs that an employee is experiencing harmful levels of stress and/or is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder? What steps should an employer or union take if an individual is exhibiting symptoms of these conditions, but has not disclosed that she or he is suffering from a psychological disorder? How should the issue be raised with the employee, and by whom?
  • Identifying the duties and obligations of workplace parties: What are the legal duties and obligations of workplace parties in relation to employees who may be suffering from a psychological disorder? What are the sources of those duties? Is a precise diagnosis of a particular psychological disorder necessary in order to trigger an employer or union's legal obligations? What is the nature and scope of the legal duty to make inquiries where an employer or union suspects that an employee may be suffering from a psychological condition that is affecting his or her work or the workplace generally? Is a failure to address or reduce high levels of stress a breach of an employer's obligation to maintain a safe and healthy workplace?
  • Meeting the duty to accommodate: What functional limitations are likely to result from the most common psychological disorders? What types of accommodations are useful and appropriate for employees suffering from psychological disorders? Referral to counsellors, therapists, or other medical professionals? Time off? Flex-time? Reduced workload? What medical information can be requested in aid of a search for accommodative measures? When will accommodation constitute undue hardship?
  • Remedying workplace effects and best practices: What best practices can be adopted to reduce or eliminate workplace stress? What best practices can be adopted to assist and support employees suffering from other psychological disorders? What measures should be taken where an employee's psychological disorder is negatively affecting other employees – for example, where the employee is exhibiting disruptive, threating, or dangerous behavior? What practices and measures can be adopted to minimize the stigma associated with psychological disorders and ensure that employees who suffer from such conditions do not face stereotyping and discrimination in the workplace?

BREAK (with refreshments)10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Panel 2

Cracking the Code: Deciphering doctors' notes 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

In this session, an occupational physician will offer guidance to help you overcome common pitfalls in interpreting and understanding health records, and legal practitioners will explain key principles relevant to getting the medical information you need in your capacity as an employer or union representative, while also respecting employee privacy. The following topics will be covered:

  • Understanding health records: What challenges are frequently encountered by lay people in trying to interpret medical notes or health records? What medical codes, abbreviations and jargon are regularly used by physicians and commonly misunderstood by members of the general public? What should you do if you receive a doctor's note that is illegible? What information do doctors need to reach an informed and objective opinion of the cause of a worker's injury or illness, or the employee's functional abilities? What can a third party (e.g. employer, union representative, or lawyer) do to help ensure the objectivity of a doctor's opinion? What information should a third party look for in a medical record to assess the reliability or objectivity of the doctor's opinion?
  • Requesting medical information: What medical information may an employer or union representative legally request? When can they ask for it? How does information required to justify a long-term absence, access to long-term disability benefits or support a request for accommodation differ from the information required to justify short absences from the workplace? What should you do in response to a vague doctor's note that states, for example, that an employee "needs to be off work for three weeks due to workplace stress"? Should you ask for more specific information? If so, how? When do you need information from a specialist? For mental health issues, is information from a family doctor sufficient, or should you seek medical information from a psychiatrist or psychologist? In what circumstances should you insist on an independent medical examination?
  • Protecting privacy: What information is an employer or insurer entitled to obtain from a doctor? What information is a doctor entitled to give without consent from the employee? How should the union or employer respond if the doctor discloses more of an employee's private health information than is necessary? Are employers free to share an employee's medical information with the employee's union in order to facilitate accommodation? What should employers and unions do to protect confidentiality of medical information in their possession? What steps are employers legally required to take to shield medical information in their possession?


Keynote Address: To be determined  1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Panel 3

Arbitrators' Roundtable: A discussion by leading arbitrators of key concerns in accommodation cases 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM


In the "Arbitrators' Roundtable," a panel of seasoned arbitrators will discuss insights gained from hearing challenging accommodation cases and offer suggestions to improve the way parties approach such cases. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Disability: What grievances have arbitrators dismissed due to a failure to prove prima facie disability discrimination that they may have upheld if the grievances were presented differently? Did the outcome result from a lack of medical or other evidence? Is more evidence always better than less in this regard? What type of evidence should the union call to establish that a particular accommodation is necessitated by an employee's disability? If an employer rejects a request on the ground that it is a preference rather than a necessary accommodation, what evidence should it be prepared to offer to justify its decision?
  • Family status: What are some difficult threshold issues that arise in establishing prima facie discrimination on the grounds of family status? What type of evidence do arbitrators find persuasive in showing that an employee's accommodation request is or is not reasonable? When will arbitrators hold that accommodating an employee's childcare or eldercare obligations imposes undue hardship?
  • Religion: What are some tough threshold issues in proving or disproving discrimination on the basis of religion? What evidence is necessary to prove that a religious accommodation request is more than a lifestyle preference? Will arbitrators uphold a grievance regarding religious accommodation when the accommodation appears to infringe upon the human rights of other employees? For example, how are arbitrators likely to decide cases in which a request for religious accommodation conflicts with gender equality?

BREAK (with refreshments) 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Panel 4

Gender Identity and Gender Expression: Best practices for inclusion and accommodation in the workplace  3:00 PM - 4:15 PM


When an employee requires accommodation in relation to gender identity or expression, the process can be challenging for the employer, the union, and especially the employee. In this session, Lancaster's panel of experts will explore best practices for creating an inclusive, accommodating environment, and dealing with trans-specific issues such as washroom accessibility, training, and reluctant co-workers. Topics to be addressed include:

  • Understanding gender identity and gender expression: What is gender identity? What is gender expression? How do they differ? What stereotypes have typically or traditionally been faced by individuals who are transgender, transsexual, or gender non-conforming? What other forms of discrimination are commonly faced by individuals because of their gender identity or gender expression?
  • Seeking legal protection against discrimination and harassment: Which jurisdictions have enacted laws specifically prohibiting discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender identity and gender expression? What protections do these laws provide? Does this vary based on jurisdiction? In jurisdictions that lack a specific prohibition against discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender identity or gender expression, do prohibitions on grounds of gender and/or sex provide the same level of protection? Have such prohibitions against discrimination based on sex or gender been effective in protecting transgendered people in the past?
  • Implementing accommodation: What types of workplace accommodations are necessary/appropriate where an employee is facing discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression? What type of information is required to trigger the need for accommodation? What unique privacy and confidentiality concerns arise for individuals seeking accommodation based on gender identity or gender expression, and how can they be addressed? What role should the union play in ensuring that necessary accommodations are made? When might accommodation be considered to amount to undue hardship? What factors can be considered in assessing undue hardship? Employee morale? What about the religious or cultural beliefs of other employees? Are there any bona fide occupational qualifications which might justify an exception to the duty to accommodate transgendered individuals? If so, under what circumstances could these apply?
  • Adopting best practices for inclusion: How can organizations design or change their rules, practices, and facilities to avoid negative effects on transgendered people? What policies and practices should be examined to determine whether they have a negative impact on employees based on gender identity or gender expression? Dress code or appearance policies? Washroom and change room access? Violence and harassment policies? Confidentiality and privacy policies? Policies relating to the collection of personal employee information? What training or educational programs can be implemented in the workplace to promote understanding and awareness about transgendered people and their rights?


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Panel 5

Scanning the Horizon: Major caselaw and legislative update 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM


In this session, experienced counsel will explain how some of the most important arbitration, court and tribunal decisions of the past year will change the law and affect the way you make decisions. Final selection of cases for this session will take place a few weeks before the conference to ensure up-to-date coverage of major decisions.

BREAK (with refreshments)10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Panel 6

Harassment and the Toxic Work Environment: Examining rights and remedies 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM


Under human rights law and occupational health and safety legislation, the atmosphere of a workplace is a "term or condition of employment" just as much as explicit terms such as hours of work or rate of pay. Thus employers have a duty to take reasonable steps to provide a harassment-free workplace and can be held legally liable for failing to do so. In this session, a panel of Lancaster's experts will discuss practical strategies workplace parties can employ to identify and eradicate harassment, as well as remedies adjudicators will order to address harassment and poisoned work environments.

  • Protection from harassment and poisoned workplaces: How is harassment defined under human rights law? What types of behaviour meet the legal definition of harassment? In what circumstances has off-duty or off-site behaviour been found to be harassment prohibited under human rights law? What obligations are imposed on employers to ensure a harassment-free workplace under occupational health and safety legislation? What is the difference between a workplace in which some harassment has taken place or in which a human rights violation has occurred, and a "poisoned work environment"? Is there a legal distinction?
  • Investigating and responding to harassment complaints: Do employers have a legal obligation to investigate every allegation of harassment? Can an employer be held legally liable for failing to undertake an investigation or for conducting a flawed investigation, even where the underlying allegation of harassment turns out to be unfounded? What criteria do human rights tribunals consider when assessing the reasonableness of an employer's response to a harassment complaint? What policies and procedural protections (as to confidentiality, reprisal, etc.) should be put in place for the employee subject to investigation, as well as for complainants and witnesses? What role should the union play in the process of reporting and responding to harassment complaints? How can unions deal with member-on-member harassment complaints without violating their duty of fair representation?
  • Prevention: What are an employer's obligations to monitor and detect workplace harassment? How can an employer ensure that employees subjected to harassment or a poisoned work environment are not afraid to voice their concerns? Are there warning signs that should alert management to the presence of workplace harassment? If so, what are some typical warning signs?
  • Remedies for victimized employees: What remedies will human rights tribunals order to "make whole" employees who have been harassed or subjected to a poisoned work environment? Do these differ from the remedies ordered by arbitrators and courts? If so, how?
  • Systemic and public interest remedies: What type of broader systemic or public interest remedies will adjudicators order to remedy a poisoned work environment? In what circumstances will adjudicators order mandatory human rights training for employees and management? Monitoring by an external organization? A review and revision of workplace human rights policies? In what circumstances will a tribunal or arbitrator retain authority to supervise the implementation of remedies it orders?


Panel 7

Medical Marijuana: Workplace implications for drug testing, zero tolerance, and accommodation 1:15 PM - 2:30 PM


As medical marijuana use continues to rise across Canada, employers and unions will be called upon to address workplace marijuana use with increasing frequency. In this session, Lancaster's experts will discuss how the obligation to accommodate employees with disabilities should be balanced with the duty to ensure a safe workplace, and provide practical tips on crafting effective and enforceable marijuana use policies. The panelists will address such issues as:

  • Understanding medical marijuana: What are the medical conditions for which marijuana is typically prescribed? What symptoms does it help alleviate? Is there an average recommended dose, or does this vary widely? What are some common side effects of marijuana use? How long do such side effects typically persist after ingesting or smoking marijuana? Is smoking dried marijuana the only legal method by which medical marijuana users are entitled to consume marijuana, or are users allowed to ingest the drug in other ways?
  • Disclosing marijuana use: In what circumstances, if any, are employees required to disclose that they use medical marijuana?
  • Balancing accommodation and safety obligations: What safety hazards might be posed by medical marijuana use on or off the job? Does a prescription for medical marijuana use entitle an employee to be impaired at work? Does the answer depend on whether the workplace or position is safety-sensitive? In what circumstances, if any, is an employer entitled to consider an employee's off-duty use of medical marijuana? What type of medical information should be requested to determine whether an employee can safely and effectively perform his or her job? Is a prescription pad note sufficient? How is impairment measured?
  • Considering specific accommodations: Are authorized users entitled to smoke in the workplace? If so, should a designated smoking area be provided to ensure the employee's privacy and/or prevent passive marijuana inhalation by tobacco smokers? Should employees be asked whether they can ingest marijuana in another form, rather than smoking it, such as eating it or vaporizing it? If an employer denies a request to use medical marijuana on the job, what other types of accommodation may be appropriate? Leaves of absence? Modified work schedules?
  • Crafting workplace policies: Should workplace parties develop a specific policy for medical marijuana use, or a more general drug policy that addresses the use of any prescription medication (including marijuana)? What elements should be included in such a policy? How should terms such as "impairment," "intoxication," and "under the influence" be defined? Should the policy require employees to report their use of medical marijuana during work hours? During off-duty hours? In what circumstances, if any, are zero-tolerance policies for medical marijuana permissible? Is random drug testing allowed? If so, how is impairment measured?

BREAK (with refreshments) 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Panel 8

Employment Broken Beyond Repair: When is reinstatement inappropriate? 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM


Some misconduct is so egregious that arbitrators will uphold an employer's decision to fire an employee without first applying progressive discipline. More complicated are those cases in which the misconduct does not justify dismissal but other factors militate against returning the employee to the workplace. In those cases, employees must be compensated; however, placing a value on the loss of a unionized job is highly controversial. In this panel, experts will explain what types of conduct justify summary dismissal and what factors might lead an arbitrator to decline to reinstate an employee who was dismissed without just cause. They will also debate the appropriate method for calculating compensation in lieu of reinstatement.

  • Exceptions from progressive discipline: What types of conduct do arbitrators view as sufficiently egregious to justify summary/automatic dismissal (i.e. dismissal without the application of prior progressive discipline)? Will arbitrators uphold a zero-tolerance approach to certain types of misconduct, such as theft, violence, bullying, or sexual harassment? How can employers be expected to meet their obligations under health and safety legislation to provide a violence- and harassment-free workplace if arbitrators do not uphold automatic termination for bullying, harassment, and violence? What other factors, besides the nature of the misconduct itself, will arbitrators consider in order to determine whether automatic dismissal is appropriate? Should an employee's silence during an investigation or lack of willingness to admit wrongdoing affect an arbitrator's decision regarding reinstatement?
  • No just cause, no reinstatement: On what bases have arbitrators declined to reinstate employees who have been dismissed without just cause? In what circumstances have employers asked arbitrators to award compensation in lieu of reinstatement? What about employees and unions – in what circumstances have they asked for compensation in lieu of reinstatement? Which factors are most persuasive in arbitrators' decisions to order compensation in lieu of reinstatement? Concerns that an employee poses a health and safety risk? An employee's concerns about a hostile workplace? Lack of trust between employee and employer?
  • Competing frameworks for compensation: What are the dominant approaches to calculating the appropriate quantum of damages to award in lieu of reinstatement? Which approach more accurately compensates for the employee's loss of unionized employment (including loss of job security, loss of seniority, and loss of associated benefits, such as opportunities for advancement, longer vacations, better schedules, etc.)? Can economists or actuaries assign real values to these intangible losses? If a party argues that an employee should be compensated for loss of a job for life, should parties call actuarial evidence?


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