April InForum: President’s Message, Second VP, and More
- Society News
- President’s Message: April Update
- Morgan Manzer Acclaimed as Second Vice-President
- D. Fraser MacFadyen Acclaimed as At-Large Council Member
- Call for Expressions of Interest—Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Liaison Committee
- Nominations open for 2023 Distinguished Service Award
- Save the Date: NSBS Annual Meeting
- Bar Admissions Ceremony: June 16, 2023
- Equity and Access
- Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia
- News From the NS Courts
- Changes in Category
- For Your Information
- Law & Technology Institute at Dalhousie University: From Inequality to Justice: Law and Ethics of AI & Technology (June 16-17)
- JOIN LISNS’ LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE
- Recruitment for Chair of the NS Aquaculture Review Board
- Provincial Court of Nova Scotia Notice to the Profession: January 2023 to June 2023 Intake Date
- Call for Applications: Volunteer at CBA-NS
- Missing Wills
- Career Opportunities
- Upcoming Events
President’s Message: April Update
As the seasons change and the weather begins to warm, I hope that you are all doing well and have been able to work some time outdoors into your busy lives. I want to share with you what the Society and I have been working on and what we have planned.
In March, the Society presented the inaugural Award for Mi’kmaq & Indigenous Peoples Excellence in the Legal Profession to Josie McKinney. The event was well attended by members of our Bar and members of the judiciary to celebrate Josie’s excellent work as a lawyer and an advocate for change in our profession. I extend my thanks to the members of the AMIE Committee for all of their hard work.
I’d like to offer another round of congratulations to those elected and acclaimed in the recent Council elections. We have a few returning members as well as some new faces who will be joining our Council table, and I am excited to welcome our new Council when the current term expires in June. There are still a few vacancies that the Society will look to fill in the coming months, and I encourage members who are considering volunteering their time to keep an eye out for these opportunities.
I also attended the Spring Federation meeting in Quebec City, where I was able to meet with my counterparts to discuss priorities as well as the challenges that face legal societies across the country. One of the central discussions we had was with respect to the National Study on the Health and Wellness Determinants of Legal Professionals in Canada. For reference, here is a link to the report’s executive summary and recommendations.
I encourage everyone to take some time to review the significant findings of this study and the key recommendations. Implementing these recommendations into the work of law societies is integral to our mandate of protecting the public interest in the practice of law.
This timing also aligns with the beginning of our work toward striking a new strategic plan. Discussing broader trends across legal regulation with other law societies will undoubtedly be beneficial in creating a robust and fulsome plan. As part of this work, the Society’s CEO Cheryl Hodder KC and I will be engaging with members to get their feedback on what the Society’s priorities should be in our new plan. We both look forward to hearing from as many of you as possible next month as we visit lawyers across the province.
I also look forward to congratulating and celebrating the new King’s Counsel appointees at the formal celebration in May. The recipients are all well-deserving of this distinguished honour, demonstrating integrity and character in their careers and making important contributions to the legal profession in Nova Scotia.
As a final note, this will be the last President’s Message I include in InForum as I hand off the role of President to Mark Scott KC at the annual meeting in June. This will be the first annual meeting we host in person since 2019, and I hope to see many of our members in attendance. I am confident that the Society’s future is promising and that we have the right people in place to respond to the challenges that lie ahead.
— Melanie Petrunia, President, NSBS
Morgan Manzer Acclaimed as Second Vice-President
Morgan was acclaimed as Second Vice-President after the nomination process closed on April 12. He will assume the post and its responsibilities after the Society’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 17, 2023. Mark Scott KC will serve as 2023-2024 President and Andrew Nickerson KC will serve as the Society’s First Vice-President.
The Second Vice-President holds a key position in governance and continues to become First Vice-President and then President of the Society.
“Working with Morgan gives me great confidence in his ability as not only a lawyer, but as a governance-minded professional who I look forward to working with,” said Mark Scott KC, the Society’s First Vice-President. “Morgan’s unique insights and experience with the Society will give him ample professional experience to draw from as he takes on this new leadership role.”
Morgan Manzer (he/him) is a Staff Lawyer for Nova Scotia Legal Aid (NSLA) practicing child protection and family law. Morgan is presently finishing his Masters of Laws in Dispute Resolution with a focus on culture, equity, and power at Osgoode Hall Law School.
At the Society Morgan has served as a Council member since 2021 and also serves on the Racial Equity and Fitness to Practices committees. For the first half of 2020, Morgan was seconded to the Society’s Equity and Access Office to advise on equity and access issues affecting the legal profession.
Over the past several years, Morgan has also been a practice manager for the bar admission program (PREP). Within Nova Scotia Legal Aid Morgan is an active member of their equity and racial diversity Committee. In early 2021 Morgan concluded four and a half years as Chair of Halifax Pride’s board of directors. He also presently serves as Vice-Chair of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, and as a member of Global News’s DEI Advisory Committee.
In 2019, he was presented the Zöe Odei Young Lawyers Award from the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), Nova Scotia Branch, for his work within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and he is a recent recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his volunteerism in the areas of mental health and equity.
D. Fraser MacFadyen Acclaimed as At-Large Council Member
The Nomination period for At-Large Council Members closed on April 3, 2023.
As per regulation 2.5.11, D. Fraser MacFadyen has been acclaimed to Council for the 2023-2025 term. The other two Council positions will remain vacant until they are filled by Council through an appointment process or through a by-election.
Call for Expressions of Interest—Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Liaison Committee
Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Liaison Committee is seeking to fill two vacancies. The Committee is looking specifically for members with experience working in criminal defence, plaintiff-side civil litigation, or as a lawyer at a small firm.
The Court of Appeal Liaison Committee supports the Society’s mandate by ensuring there is an effective means of communication between the Court and the Society.
There are three main tasks for the Committee:
- to identify practice and policy issues of mutual concern and interest;
- to recommend means for addressing these issues; and
- to communicate the results of this process to the Court and to the Society for further communication to the profession or elsewhere.
To be considered, submit an expression of interest, a skills matrix and brief resume (1 or 2 pages). In your expression of interest, please describe your background, interests, and experience, and indicate why you wish to serve on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Liaison Committee.
We value diversity on all our committees and welcome applications from all equity deserving groups.
Submit your expression of interest by 4:30 p.m. on April 28 to Jane Willwerth at [email protected].
Nominations open for 2023 Distinguished Service Award
The Society’s Distinguished Service Award (DSA), established in 1999, recognizes outstanding lawyers who have contributed significantly to their community, the legal profession and to the Society.
The DSA Committee reviews the nominations and makes a recommendation to Council based on these considerations:
- Integrity: The recipient is of unimpeachably good character, with a reputation for the highest professional integrity.
- Professional achievement: The recipient is amongst the leaders in the practice of law or the academic realm.
- Service to the profession: The recipient has made long-term, exceptional volunteer contributions to elevate the legal profession through work with one or more of the following: The Society, the justice system, legal scholarship or otherwise.
- Community service: The recipient is an outstanding contributor to the community, through volunteer service and a commitment to making the world a better place.
- Reform: The recipient has made an outstanding contribution to the betterment of the law or the improvement of the justice system.
- Overall: The recipient espouses the highest ideals of the legal profession and is a person to whom all members of the profession can look for inspiration.
Do you know an outstanding lawyer who fits the nomination criteria?
Both members of the Society and members of the public may nominate a lawyer.
Questions? Please contact the Society’s Strategy & Engagement Advisor, Jane Willwerth, at [email protected].
Save the Date: NSBS Annual Meeting
The Society’s Annual Meeting will take place on June 17, 2023 at 9:00 am at Hotel Halifax. Information regarding registration will be shared in the coming weeks.
Bar Admissions Ceremony: June 16, 2023
The June 2023 Bar Admission Ceremony will be held at Pier 21, Kenneth C. Rowe Hall on June 16, 2023 with two back-to-back ceremonies at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Applicants will have the option the attend the in-person Call or request a ‘paper’ or administrative call.
Equity and Access
Meet the Equity and Access Office
I hope that you are all doing well as we move out of the winter and into the spring season. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and my colleague Vanessa Fells. The Society’s Equity & Access Office is mandated to promote diversity, inclusion, substantive equality, and freedom from discrimination in delivering legal services and the justice system. At the Society, I serve as Director and Vanessa as Advisor of the Equity and Access Office. A bit of background about us: I am returning to Nova Scotia from Ontario, where I worked as a Senior Human Rights Officer at McMaster University. I attended the Schulich School of Law and have worked as a lawyer at two organizations, specifically to advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Vanessa joined the Society after working as the Director of Operations at the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent.
We have been in our roles for over a month, and I wanted to take a moment to let members know what we have been working on, what we are hoping to accomplish, and how to get in touch with us.
It has been a pleasure to start our work with the Society and hit the ground running. Soon after we arrived, we met with members of all the Equity Committees and discussed our shared goals. As committees have only been recently repopulated, it is an exciting time to come on board as we all strike new goals and work plans for this Committee term. I have also joined the Federation of Law Societies’ Equity Network. I look forward to learning more about what other jurisdictions are doing to advance equity to see where we can improve our practices.
Vanessa and I have also begun reviewing the Society’s existing standards and policies and the upcoming Annual Lawyers’ Report with an equity lens to ensure that our processes and procedures serve all members of our profession and the public equitably.
As we look ahead to our work with the Society, we are working on developing—with consultation from members, the public, Committees, Council, and other departments—our Office’s goals. We intend to review and update the Equity Lens Toolkit to ensure that the Society is able to provide our members with guidance on advancing equity within their organization. We are also working closely with the Society’s department and consulting on equity-related projects in advance of Mr. Doug Ruck KC’s report.
Vanessa and I also want to remind members that May 5th is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People and that people are encouraged to wear red to acknowledge the day. On May 5th, we honour the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender diverse people in Canada and focus on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s forty-first Call to Action, which “calls upon the federal government, in consultation with Aboriginal organizations, to appoint a public inquiry into the causes of, and remedies for, the disproportionate victimization of Aboriginal women and girls.”
— Marla Brown, NSBS Director, Equity and Access
Q&A with Armand Paul about the “Transform your Practice: Trauma-informed Lawyering” Conference
Armand Paul and Madison Joe, both members of the Society’s Truth and Reconciliation Working Group, attended the “Transform your Practice: Trauma-informed Lawyering” Conference in Mid-April. Here is what Armand Paul learned from the conference:
Q1: Tell me about the conference? What were you hoping to get out of this training?
Myself and Madison Joe have just recently attended a conference titled “Transform your Practice: Trauma-informed Lawyering”. This conference was held in Whistler, British Columbia and was a Professional Development Retreat put on by an Indigenous lawyer and podcast host, Myrna McCallum and Dr. Amar Dhall, who’s background is in law and psychology.
The focus of the conference was how to transform your legal practice to become a trauma-informed lawyer. It was a three-day retreat with an additional day for an intensive workshop.
I attended this retreat with the hopes that I would understand my professional relationship and obligation to be understanding to those with traumatic backgrounds or legal issues. I was hoping to understand how to process when a client shares their traumatic experience, how I can adequately assist them and to learn how to deal with vicarious trauma.
Q2: Can you describe what the conference was like? What were some of the topics you were most engaged in?
The conference was an enlightening experience, the format was very comfortable in how we discussed these topics. Dr. Amar Dhall has a psychology background and was able to break down what is happening to our physical and mental health when we work with individuals who have experienced trauma. We would discuss various topics from interviews and discussions with people who have experienced intense trauma, how that discussion impacts us through vicarious trauma, and how to avoid burnout and empathy fatigue.
The flow of the retreat was that we would be given a presentation and have discussion in smaller and larger groups what our experiences are and how would we navigate them. This was an emotional experience as we got to see the various lawyers and non-lawyers with different backgrounds sharing their experiences in law and when they’ve experienced trauma or assisted someone with trauma. It is a deeply human experience in a profession that has not prepared many of the lawyers for the trauma they would hear and experience. We explored and discussed many of the ways that we will navigate it in the future and how to take care of ourselves when working with someone that shares their trauma.
One of the topics, the intersection between law and trauma I found to be very helpful. It was an interactive session that explored the personal and systemic relationship with trauma in the profession of law. We as lawyers deal with people who bring their trauma to us or have met lawyers who have traumatic backgrounds. In the presentations we learned about how trauma and law intersect in the practice of law and that we need to be better equipped to not only help someone navigate through the law but we also need to take care of ourselves as lawyers so that we don’t burnout or develop empathy fatigue, we owe it to our clients to take care of ourselves so we can be better at what we do.
Q3: Having finished it, how do you think it will impact your work as a member of the TRCWG? What did you learn that you think would benefit our provinces legal profession?
This will impact my work as a member of the TRCWG as I have a better understanding on how to approach individuals about trauma. I feel I have a better understanding of being trauma-informed and that I will navigate discussions and interactions with people who have trauma with more respect and humility. I also think because of the traumatic nature of Residential School and its impact on communities with intergenerational trauma, I will be able to navigate these discussions and provide a safer experience for someone who has experienced this kind of trauma.
There were a few good lessons that I learned throughout the retreat. I immediately thought about how the legal profession would benefit from understanding our anatomy and how trauma is related to what we do in our lives. I think it would be a great learning experience for many lawyers to understand trauma and how to navigate conversations with clients and other lawyers about trauma. It would be especially important for lawyers to understand how to identify and prevent burnout or empathy fatigue as it impacts our ability to provide quality service.
The Society’s TRC Working Group advises, monitors and supports Council in their work and governance on Truth & Reconciliation.
The TRC Working Group makes recommendations to Council on a response to the Calls to Action. In developing recommendations for consideration by the Council, the TRC Working Group considers the Society’s role in responding to the Calls to Action and the value in supporting any activities the Society may undertake.
Race and the Law Essay Prize Now Open
The 2023 Race and the Law Essay Prize, an initiative of the NSBS Racial Equity Committee, is now open for submissions.
The successful essay must demonstrate ‘race’ literacy insight. That is, it should demonstrate confidence, ease and skill in addressing ‘race’. The essay must also interrogate ‘race’ in a broad legal context and explicitly communicate novel insights that contribute to the emerging scholarship on ‘race’ and the law.
Scholarship on ‘race’ and the law includes, but is not limited to, discussions of the construction of ‘race’, the experience of legal institutions by racialized persons, and the law as it affects Indigenous peoples and issues of cultural diversity.
‘Race’ and the law may factor into any of the content areas of legal scholarship such as Contracts, Tax, Employment, Human Rights, Administrative, Jurisprudence, Constitutional, Aboriginal or International Law. In short, students should not feel limited in how they interpret and write about the topic of ‘race’ and the law.
Applicants must be currently or previously enrolled in the JD program at the Schulich School of Law. The essay must have been written in the past 24 months for the JD program.
Essays will be judged on form, content, and race literacy insight.
Submission & Deadline
Applicants must email a PDF or MS Word version of their essay to the Society’s Equity Office at [email protected]. Each paper must be accompanied by an abstract that clearly articulates the ‘race’ literacy aspects of the paper. Papers are accepted until May 19, 2023.
The successful applicant will be notified in June 2023. The successful applicant will receive a plaque and a cash prize of $500 at the NSBS Racial Equity Committee’s reception honouring racialized and Indigenous articled clerks.
Interested or looking for guidance? Contact the Society’s Equity & Access Advisor Vanessa Fells at [email protected].
Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia
- FRAUD ALERT: Increase of Fraudsters Impersonating Real Estate Lawyers
- NSLAP WELLNESS: Coping with Childhood Trauma from Past Abuse and Neglect
News From the NS Courts
- New Courts website launches May 1, 2023
- New process for notifying media of applications for pub bans
- Update on masking in courthouses
- Some court services in Sydney have moved off-site
Changes in Category
In every issue of our newsletter InForum, we provide updates on category changes. These are the Changes in Category from March 29, 2023 to April 26:
Welcome to the members who were recently called to the Bar:
- Marki MacArthur Arsenault
- Marla Richelle Brown
- James Michael Conway
- Thomas Andrew Craig
- Angnakuluk Friesen
- Kevin Robert Douglas Gillespie
- Michelle Deanne Jessome
- Oluwatobi Olawunmi Olaleye
- Kaitlin Brook Pierce
- Andrew Marc Rowe
- Mark Philip Whyte
These members have changed to Practising status:
- Robert Leslie Barnes, KC
- Audrey Laurel Barrett
- Danielle Jessica Cable
- Nora Jane MacIntosh
- Jennifer Lynn Madore
- Lauren Katherine Murphy
- Lori Katelyn Wareham
- Jennifer Star Weston
- Diane Katherine Zwicker
These members have changed to Non-Practising status:
- Pamela Lynn Blaikie
- Osvaldo Carvalho de Sousa
- Ian Robert Morrison,
- David George Yarwood
This individual has changed to retired status:
- Suzanne L. Pelham Belliveau
For Your Information
Law & Technology Institute at Dalhousie University: From Inequality to Justice: Law and Ethics of AI & Technology (June 16-17)
In the current digital landscape, what are the leading questions we must address to ensure that technology is developed with privacy, safety, and ethics in mind? How do we address these issues through code, law, and policy? The Law & Technology Institute is hosting a two-day, multi-disciplinary conference to discuss these questions and more. The conference will bring together leading scholars in technology, artificial intelligence and bias, privacy, data and surveillance, and online harm. June 16-17th, 2023, virtual and in-person tickets are available here.
JOIN LISNS’ LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE
Thousands of Nova Scotians rely on the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia’s Lawyer Referral Service to find the legal help they need. If you are a lawyer in private practice, you should join. We are looking for lawyers from all over Nova Scotia, but in particular: Antigonish, Cape Breton, Cumberland County, Digby, and Annapolis Valley.
Among its many benefits, the Lawyer Referral Service is:
- a practice-building tool;
- an invaluable legal information resource;
- a great way to raise your professional profile;
- a rewarding way to give back to your community;
- free to join!
We need lawyers from all over the province to join the Lawyer Referral Service. To find out more or to sign up right now online go to legalinfo.org/lawyers/lawyer-referral-service
The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (or LISNS) is a public legal information and education charity. We’ve been providing Nova Scotians with easy to understand information and resources about the law since 1982.
Recruitment for Chair of the NS Aquaculture Review Board
Looking for an opportunity to serve your community and build your professional network?
People from diverse backgrounds and communities are needed to serve on Nova Scotia’s agencies, boards, and commissions (ABCs). Participating on an ABC is an opportunity to have input on issues that matter to you and to help unite communities through public service.
The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is seeking legal professionals to sit on the Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board (ARB) established under the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act, as Chair of the Board.
The Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board (Board) is an independent decision-making body with a mandate to decide on aquaculture applications in marine areas for new sites, expansions to existing sites, and the addition of finfish species to sites not currently approved to produce finfish.
This independent tribunal presides over public hearings where applicants and other parties will present their cases in respect to the aquaculture application(s) in question. The duration of public hearings will depend on the number of intervenors and the number of oral submissions by members of the public. Public hearings may require multiple days.
Provincial Court of Nova Scotia Notice to the Profession: January 2023 to June 2023 Intake Date
Courtroom #6 Long Trial (Halifax) – Spring Garden Road
January 2023 to June 2023 Intake Dates
The Mat to June 2023 Intake Dates for Provincial Court matters in CR#6 are:
- May 9, 23, 2023
- June 13, 2023
ALL INTAKE IS AT 9 A.M.
To qualify for dates in CR#6 a Provincial Court matter must require four days or more. All cases will be pre-trialed and time requirements will have to be justified.
CR#6 will continue to provide relief to CR#5 by hearing Youth Court matters requiring four (4) days or more. These longer youth cases will be sent to CR#6 on CR#6’s regular intake dates for docketing. Generally speaking, CR#5 will not be scheduling youth cases in the CR#6 docket.
The clerk for CR#6 (Hilary Rankeillor) can be reached at (902) 424-8772.
Call for Applications: Volunteer at CBA-NS
The Canadian Bar Association Nova Scotia branch (CBA-NS) is now accepting applications for volunteer positions for the upcoming membership year (starting September 2023). Develop your leadership skills by serving on a standing committee, as part of council or in a Section leadership role. Learn more about how you can help shape the strategic priorities of CBA Nova Scotia.
Name on will: Randy Smith
Last known residence: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Any lawyers with information please contact Tiffany Smith at [email protected] or (902) 577-5877
Name on will: William McKenna
Last known residence: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Any lawyers with information please contact Sian McKenna at [email protected] or (902) 830-8910
Name on will: Donald Scott Hatcher
Last known residence: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Any lawyers with information please contact Lee-Anne Hatcher at [email protected] or (902) 880-7349
Name on will: Patricia Anne Gates
Last known residence: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Any lawyers with information please contact Karen Matheson at [email protected] or (902) 864-2044
Name on will: Brian Gordon MacDonald
Last known residence: East Lake Ainsley
Any lawyers with information please contact Fushia Wardle at [email protected] or (902) 302-6827
Name on will: Robert Wadman
Last known residence: Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
Any lawyers with information please contact Douglas MacKinlay at [email protected] or (902) 849-1017
- NSBS Auditor, Trust Assurance
- Staff Lawyer (Kentville)
- Corporate Paralegal
- Legal Counsel – Labour Relations
- Articling Clerk and Associate Lawyer
- Family Law Legal Assistant
- Office Manager
- Accounting Manager
- Chair of the NS Aquaculture Review Board
- Articled Clerk
- Paralegal/Legal Assistant
- Legal Assistant
- Secretary 2 (Legal Assistant)
- Crown Prosecutor
- Principal Legal Counsel
- Legal Assistant Business Law
- Senior Regulatory Counsel
- Lawyer – Family & Litigation
- Property Paralegal
- Family Law Lawyer
- Family Law Lawyer
- Associate Lawyer – Real Property and Estate Law
- Legal Assistant / Paralegal
- Litigator – class actions
- Administrative/Legal Assistant
- Labour and Employment Associate
- RESCHEDULED: ADR – Views from the Bench and the Trench (April 28)
- Lancaster’s Workplace Essentials: Issues in union representation (May 9)
- Changing Professional Obligations for Family Law Lawyers Under the New Provisions of the Divorce Act (May 10)
- Medical Information in Accommodation and Adjudication: Practical guidance for employers and unions (May 16)
- Atlantic Canada Labour Law Conference (May 18)
- Dealing with Highly Sensitive Personal Information: Documenting and accommodating mental health disabilities (May 23)
- Succession Planning for Cottages & Recreational Properties (May 25)
- Young Lawyers Conference (May 25)