February InForum

February InForum: Halifax District Council Election, District Acclamations & more

Mark Scott QC acclaimed as 2021-2022 Second Vice-President

Mark Scott QC is the Society’s Second Vice-President for the 2021-2022 Council year.

“After having worked with Mark on various committees, I know he will be an asset to the Society, to the membership and to the public at large. Mark is thoughtful, dedicated, and his skills and experience as a public prosecutor will certainly support the Society as we work to advance our strategic priorities, “said the Society’s First Vice-President Tuma Young QC.

Mark was acclaimed as Second Vice-President after the nomination process closed February 15th. He will assume the post and its responsibilities after the Society’s Annual Meeting on June 19, 2021. Tuma Young QC will serve as the 2021-2022 President.

Mark’s Bio

Mark Scott QC graduated with his LLB in 1994 from the University of New Brunswick Law School and was first admitted to the NL Bar in 1995. In 1996, he was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar and he joined Burchell MacDougall in Halifax focusing on criminal defence, appeals and per diem work for both the federal and provincial Crown.

In 1998, Mark was appointed a Crown attorney in the Halifax office of the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service and in 2000 he moved to Special Prosecutions. In July 2019, he was appointed as Chief Crown attorney of the newly merged Appeals and Special Prosecutions Section. Mark received his Queen’s Counsel (QC) designation in February 2016

As a dedicated Society volunteer, Mark serves as a member of the Society’s Criminal Standards Committee and as vice-chair of the Complaints Investigations Committee. He has also assisted the Society by presenting at continuing legal education conferences and evaluating examinations skills at bar admissions courses.

Since June 2020, Mark has been Co-Chair for the National Heads of Prosecutions subcommittee on Preventing Wrongful Convictions. He is also a coach for Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law’s Gale Cup national moot competition and is a Schulich School of Law second year moot judge.

Mark contributes to his community as the Board Chair for the Bayers-Westwood Family Resource Centre, a non-profit centre aimed at providing support for low-income and recent immigrant families in the Bayers-Westwood region of Halifax.

Society Appoints Craig Garson QC as President

The Society is pleased to announce that Craig Garson QC has been appointed President until June 2021. Mr. Garson is well known to the membership and to the Society. His career has evolved as a litigator, mediator and arbitrator over almost 40 years, with such success that his practice has expanded both nationally and internationally.

Mr. Garson served as President of the Society in 2000-2001. During his time as an Officer, he was involved with many Society committees, so he has an intimate knowledge of our regulatory mandate.

We look forward to Mr. Garson’s leadership of the Society in the coming months. He brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience that will enable the Society to move forward on some very important strategic initiatives including cultural competence education for all lawyers, supporting our members in their practice, and addressing barriers that affect the entry, retention, and advancement in the legal profession of members from equity seeking communities.

“It’s the Society’s regulatory objective to promote diversity, inclusion, substantive equality, and freedom from discrimination in the delivery of legal services and the justice system. One of my goals is to ensure we make significant advances in this regard.” – Craig Garson QC.

Read Craig’s bio

Upcoming Halifax District Election March 1-15th

A Council Election will be held in Halifax District from March 1-15, 2021. Seven practising lawyers will be vying for the four Halifax District seats on Council.

The Halifax candidates are:

Angelina Amaral – Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office
D. Fraser MacFadyen – Stewart McKelvey
Morgan Manzer – NS Legal Aid
Josie McKinney – Public Prosecution Service
Melanie Petrunia– Nijhawan McMillan Petrunia
Mark Rieksts – Department of Justice, NS
Terry Sheppard – Boyne Clarke LLP

Voting is conducted online and starts on Monday, March 1, 2021, at 8:00 AM and closes Monday, March 15, 2021, at 4:00 PM.  Members in good standing in the Halifax District are eligible to vote for no more than FOUR candidates. You are not required to cast all four votes for your votes to count. Review the steps to voting. Your district corresponds to your current mailing address on file at the Society. Review the district map. 

District Election Acclamations

The following nominees were acclaimed as Council members for the 2021-2023 term:

Bronwyn Duffy
J. Patrick Young

David Hirtle
Jamie Vacon

Cape Breton
Shannon Mason

There is a vacancy in the Cape Breton District. This vacancy will be filled by a process to be determined by Council, once the At-Large elections are complete in April.

Member At Large Election – Nominations open March 15, 2021

The Member At Large election the second phase of the Council Election process. All lawyers and non-practising members from anywhere in Nova Scotia who are in good standing are eligible to be nominated. All members are eligible to vote in the Member At Large election.

To submit a nomination:

Please note that nominations are not accepted for the member at large positions until March 15, 2021.

Diversity of representation on Council is a key priority as we want to ensure our governing body reflects Nova Scotia’s legal profession as we work towards our 2019-2022 Strategic Goal of ensuring that Nova Scotians are served by a legal profession that is diverse, inclusive and culturally competent.

Mandatory Cultural Competence Education Focus Groups & Feedback

The Society is seeking to enhance the cultural competence of Nova Scotia’s legal profession by providing mandatory education to all practicing lawyers. The purpose of this initiative is to increase access to quality legal services to the public as Nova Scotia lawyers will be supported with the skills, education, and knowledge to provide culturally competent legal services.

This education is a key step to fulfilling our obligations under TRC Call to Action #27, and it aligns with our strategic objective to “facilitate education and provide resources and support to members to be culturally competent in the delivery of legal services.”

For this project to be a success, planning must reflect the experience and expertise of those in the profession and in the community. Over February and March, we’re holding a series of focus groups to collect formal, focused input to inform the rollout of this initiative. We’re meeting with:

  • Membership-based legal organizations (e.g., CABL-NS, CBA-NS, Eastern Door)
  • Managing partners of large and medium-sized law firms and Past Presidents
  • Solo and rural practitioners
  • Young lawyers
  • Community organizations

We’re asking these groups:

  • How aware are you of the Society’s plans for mandatory cultural competence education?
  • What are your reactions to learning about this initiative?
  • What suggestions do you have for content to include?
  • What are the foundational knowledge and skills all lawyers should possess after they receive this education?
  • What steps should happen after the mandatory education is delivered?

Recognizing African Heritage Month & Resources

On January 26, the Province launched 2021 African Heritage Month where, during the month of February, we celebrate and honour the culture, history, and traditions of people of African descent. This year, the theme is Black History Matters: Listen, Learn, Share and Act, in recognition of the important legacy and important contributions of people of African Nova Scotians, Black Canadians, and their long-standing history in the development of Canada.

The 2021 African Heritage Month poster, Black History Matters: Listen, Learn, Share and Act,

When we learn, listen, share, and act together, change is possible. Sharing knowledge, meaningful stories, celebrating, and acknowledging together that Nova Scotia is the birthplace of Black Presence and its history will inevitably bring about necessary change and form lasting bonds. Watch the virtual opening ceremony on YouTube.

Our Equity & Access Office has compiled the following African Heritage Month resources:


The Hanging of Angelique – The untold story of Canadian Slavery and the burning of Montreal

By Afua Cooper

The professor of sociology at Dalhousie University in Halifax tells the story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave woman convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montréal in the 1700s. The work challenges the idea of a slavery-free Canada by way of documenting cases of legally and culturally endorsed slavery in the country. 

Queer Returns

by Rinaldo Walcott

Rinaldo Walcott takes a look at categories of “queer and Black” and “Black queer” through the lens of multiculturalism and Canadian identity. The essay collection reflects on how capitalism, colonialism and sexual identity intersect and shape culture, politics and Black expression. 

Policing Black Lives

by Robin Maynard

Montreal-based author and activist Robyn Maynard’s Policing Black Lives traces the underreported modern and historical realities of anti-Blackness within a Canadian context. Maynard examines the fact that slavery occurred in Canada for more than 200 years and that enslaved Indigenous and Black individuals were responsible for developing infrastructure for white Canadian settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries — and how that legacy has defined institutionalized racism today. 

Viola Desmond’s Canada

by Graham Reynolds

The story of Viola Desmond, the next face of Canada’s $10 bill, is told in this comprehensive work by academic Graham Reynolds. Desmond, the civil rights pioneer from Nova Scotia, was jailed in 1946 for sitting in the whites-only section of a New Glasgow, N.S., movie theatre. The book highlights this act of resistance by way of an contextual overview of the Black experience in Canada, from slavery under French and British rule in the eighteenth century to the practice of racial segregation and the fight for racial equality in the twentieth century. 

North to BondageLoyalist Slavery in the Maritimes

By Harvey Amani Whitfield

Many Canadians believe their nation fell on the right side of history in harbouring escaped slaves from the United States. In fact, in the wake of the American Revolution, many Loyalist families brought slaves with them when they settled in the Maritime colonies of British North America. Once there, slaves used their traditions of survival, resistance, and kinship networks to negotiate their new reality. Harvey Amani Whitfield’s book, the first on slavery in the Maritimes, is a startling corrective to the enduring and triumphant narrative of Canada as a land of freedom at the end of the Underground Railroad.


Introducing the New Succession Planning Professional Standard

The new Succession Planning Professional Standard, effective February 2, 2021, is a result of work ongoing since 2017, when Council appointed a Working Group to consider the implications for the profession if lawyers and firms do not have effective plans in place to deal with any unplanned practice interruption.

The Succession Planning Working Group found that the lack of support and preparation for lawyers to wind-up practices at the end of their careers is a significant challenge for the profession and a major regulatory risk for the Society.

A consultation process followed and in May 2018, Council approved amendments to the NSBS Regulations, made pursuant to the Legal Profession Act, to include a requirement for lawyers and law firms to develop and maintain succession plans for all lawyers associated with the firm. Review subregulations 4.6.1 (law firms) and 4.6.2 (sole practitioners), and subregulations 4.6.4 through 4.6.6 providing a framework for the development of a succession plan.

Rather than taking a compliance-driven approach, the Society has focused on developing resources and supports to help lawyers and firms realize these obligations in ways that make sense for their practices and circumstances. Initiatives include:

  • Succession Planning Toolkit was developed by NSBS Legal Services Support (LSS). Staff work with lawyers to help them interpret guidance and customize the Toolkit’s policy and plan templates to reflect their unique circumstances. Meetings are held regularly with lawyers to work through file retention and other questions relating to practice succession and wind-up planning. Please contact the LSS team at any time.
  • The Law Office Management Standards Committee developed the new Succession Planning Practice Standard, reflecting requirements set out in Regulations for a succession plan and providing clear guidance ‘below the line’ to assist lawyers and firms in fulfilling their obligations.
  • Council, staff and committees continue to work on identifying and breaking barriers to effective practice succession. The Law Office Management Standards Committee is working toward amending professional standards to make file retention and destruction easier. The Trust Account Working Group continues working on solutions to enable timely access to trust funds for successors. A Working Group is being developed to consider, among other issues, the additional pressures on rural lawyers to find practice successors.  

The Society’s Legal Services Support is interested in your ideas for how we can help you comply with your obligations. Connect with us at [email protected].

Feedback relating to the Standard will be brought back to the Law Office Management Standards Committee. ‘Below the line’ guidance on the new Succession Planning Standard will be updated as work across the Society evolves and new solutions are developed.

Questions? Please contact Legal Services Support at [email protected].

Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia

Changes in Category: January 28, 2021-February 25, 2021

In every issue of our newsletter InForum, we provide updates on category changes.

Welcome to the following new articled clerk:

Caitlin Marie Mailman

The following members have changed to Practising status:

Thomas J. Feindel
Rhoda Jean Lemphers
Michael Thompson Pugsley, QC

The following members have changed to Non-Practising status:

Nicole Marie Campbell
Vanessa Lynne Kinnear
Jason Alexander Oxner

The following members have Retired:

Roland Vincent Levesque
Brian Edward McConnell
Robert Clark Stewart, QC
Greg J. Turner

For Your Information

Missing Wills

Name on will: Deborah Whitman
Last known residence: Dartmouth, NS
Any lawyers with information please contact:
Ian Whitman at [email protected] or 902-430-6308. My Aunt passed without giving any indication of having a will, and having no spouse or children. She has been a resident of Halifax, Dartmouth, and Bedford. Her father was Fred P. Whitman who lived in Dartmouth, Bedford, and finally New Minas

Name on will: Diane Sagadore or Sagadore-Duffy
Last known residence: Timberlea, NS
Any lawyers with information please contact:
Cheryfa Jamal at [email protected] or 416-407-8626.

Name on will: Martin Montreuil
Last known residence: Dartmouth, NS
Any lawyers with information please contact:
Stephane Montreuil at [email protected]

The Bill C-78 Divorce Act Changes: What you need to know

Substantial changes to the Divorce Act come into force on March 1, 2021. Experts from the Family and Children’s Law Team, Department of Justice Canada, are offering free virtual training to provide you with an overview of the amendments.

This course will be helpful to those who need an introduction to the amendments and to those who need a refresher on the eve of implementation.

It is likely to be of interest to lawyers, courts and dispute resolution practitioners, as well as other family justice professionals.

The course will cover the following:

  • Status of Act, objectives
  • Language of parenting, parenting orders
  • Best interests, family violence
  • Relocation: process, substantive law
  • New duties: courts, parents, lawyers
  • Jurisdiction for parenting orders
  • Official Languages amendments
  • Inter-jurisdictional support
  • FOAEA Act  changes
  • Regulations, consequential changes, etc.

Courses Dates and Times:

February 22, 2021 – 11 am to 2 pm (English): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/138501899911

February 23, 2021 – 12 pm to 3 pm (English): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/138514728281

February 24, 2021 – 9 am to 12 pm (French): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/138660672805

February 24, 2021 – 1 pm to 4 pm (English): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/138517119433

February 25, 2021 – 11 am to 2 pm (English): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/138519163547

February 26, 2021 – 9 am to 12 pm (French): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/138665168251

For Department of Justice employees: A limited number of seats will be reserved for Department of Justice employees in each session. You must also register through People Soft using course code: 017757

Accreditation by Law Societies:

Barreau du Quebec: This activity may be eligible for up to 3 hours of continuing education content (but ultimately it is the lawyer’s responsibility to determine whether it fits the BQ’s regulation concerning mandatory continuing education activities)

Law Society of British Columbia: The Department of Justice Canada (Legal Practices Policy Division – LPPD) is a pre-approved provider; this activity counts for up to 3 hours

Law Society of New Brunswick: application in process

Law Society of Ontario: This activity is eligible for up to 3 hours of Substantive content (but ultimately it is the lawyer’s responsibility to determine whether the activity qualifies under the LSO’s CPD Requirement regarding the Substantive content)

Law Society of Saskatchewan: This activity is accredited for 3 CPD hours

**Please also note that the Department of Justice Canada is offering online courses related to Bill C-78. You can find the first one Introduction to Federal Family Law Amendments at: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/cfl-mdf/trai-form/index.html

Association of Justice Counsel: Guidance on Health & Safety in Court

News from the NS Courts

Career Opportunities

Upcoming Events

These events include NSBS events as well as professional development opportunities and related events posted to the events page on our website.