February InForum: Council Member Opportunities, 2021 Statistical Snapshot of Nova Scotia’s Legal Profession & more
- Society News
- Andrew Nickerson QC Acclaimed as Second Vice-President
- Be part of the Society’s Council as a Halifax District Council Member
- Contribute to Nova Scotia’s Legal Profession as an NSBS Public Representative
- Lawyers Appointed to the Queen’s Counsel
- 2021 Statistical Snapshot
- January Council Meeting Highlights
- Articling/PREP Information Session Webinar
- 2022 Accelerated PREP
- Read the Equity in Action Blog Series
- Your Practice
- Changes in Category: January 27, 2022-February 24, 2022
- For Your Information
- Vulnerable Afghan Legal Professionals with A Significant & Enduring Relationship with Canada
- Fraud Alert: Hopkins Law Firm & Associates
- Volunteer Opportunity: Board of Directors for The Marguerite Centre (TMC)
- Nova Scotia Women’s History Society seeking board members
- Heat Theatre Seeking Board Members
- Missing Wills
- News from the NS Courts
- Career Opportunities
- Upcoming Events
Andrew Nickerson QC Acclaimed as Second Vice-President
Andrew Nickerson QC is the Society’s 2022-2023 Second Vice-President.
Andrew was acclaimed as Second Vice-President after the nomination process closed on February 15th. He will assume the post and its responsibilities after the Society’s Annual Meeting on June 18, 2022. Melanie Petrunia will serve as the 2022-2023 President and Mark Scott QC will serve as 2022-2023 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.
“I have had the opportunity to work with Andrew on committees and the Society’s Council. His insight and experience will be an asset to the Society, to the membership and to the public, ”said the Society’s First Vice-President Melanie Petrunia
Andrew Nickerson QC practises with Nickerson Jacquard Russell Barristers | Solicitors, a full-service law firm in Yarmouth. Andrew was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1978 and received his Queen’s Counsel appointment in 1997.
Andrew was on Council in the 1980s but also finished his third term on Council as the Southwestern District representative this past June. He has sat on many committees and currently serves on the Society’s Governance and Nominating Committee and the Distinguished Service Award Committee.
Andrew is recognized for his work in corporate law, business acquisitions, business financing, commercial law, fisheries law and taxation, and is often called on to handle real estate transactions. He also regularly handles a wide variety of civil litigation cases, many of which are related to commercial matters, construction or shareholder disputes.
Representing some of Western Nova Scotia’s leading companies, Andrew also regularly performs agency work for several Halifax law firms. He has substantial international experience and has managed legal matters for clients doing business in Africa and Southeast Asia and supervised litigation in the United States and the United Kingdom. Andrew regularly appears before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada.
From 2006 to 2013, Andrew served as a member of the Canada Pension Plan Review Tribunal. Since 2014, he has been a Small Claims Court Adjudicator sitting in Yarmouth, Shelburne, Digby and Annapolis Royal.
Be part of the Society’s Council as a Halifax District Council Member
Connect with colleagues across the province and contribute to your profession on the Society’s Council.
We truly value diversity on Council and welcome applications from all equity deserving groups. We also have the technology required for volunteers to attend meetings via a video link.
Are you a practising lawyer in the Halifax District? The Nominating Committee invites interested members to submit an expression of interest for a Halifax District Council member appointment.
As a Council member, you’ll help lead the Society and lend your voice and unique insights to decisions that impact Nova Scotia’s legal profession. Review the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan to learn more about our current goals and objectives.
This opportunity closed on March 3, 2022.
Contribute to Nova Scotia’s Legal Profession as an NSBS Public Representative
The Society’s Public Representatives are valued members of Council who bring their varied expertise and insight to the table and ensure that the public’s perspective is reflected in Council’s decision-making.
We’re seeking two members of the public, who have a keen interest in contributing to Nova Scotia’s legal profession and to their community, to fill a vacant Public Representative seat on Council. We encourage members of equity-deserving groups to apply for this position as we aim to reflect Nova Scotia’s diverse population.
Public Representatives have full voting rights on Council and sit on several Society Committees. The time commitment includes up to eight Council meetings per year, committee meetings and time spent reviewing necessary reading material.
“On the Society’s Council I have gained a better understanding of the legal profession and the reality that lawyers in this province have the same vision as I do – a justice system which is better for all Nova Scotians. I have also learned a way of critical thinking that is different than my learned experience which has made me a more experienced social worker. I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to get involved in the NSBS.” – Michelle Ward, Social Worker and Executive Director of Kids First Association.
Are you interested in being considered for this appointment?
To be considered, please complete our online expression of interest form which includes an area to upload your 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 Society’s Council as a Public Representative.
Please note: Those who are not selected for the position will remain in a pool of interested candidates who may be asked to serve on the Society’s Committees when vacancies arise.
Please note that this opportunity closed on March 4, 2022.
Lawyers Appointed to the Queen’s Counsel
Nine of the province’s lawyers are being awarded the prestigious Queen’s counsel (QC) designation.
The QC designation is awarded annually to members of the legal profession to recognize exceptional merit and outstanding contributions to the legal community.
“Each one of these individuals is deserving of the honour of the Queen’s counsel title, for demonstrating dedication, integrity and exceptional commitment to their careers and community,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General Brad Johns. “I congratulate these exceptional lawyers and thank them for their contributions to the people of Nova Scotia and to the legal profession.”
The appointees are:
- David Hirtle, Lunenburg – NSBS Council Member, Southwestern District
- M. Michelle Higgins, Halifax
- Melanie Comstock, Halifax
- Kevin Kindred, Halifax
- Heidi Gayle Schedler, Halifax
- Trevor Bernard, Membertou
- Rebecca Hiltz LeBlanc, Halifax
- Karen E. Endres, Halifax
- Mary Kathleen McManus, Halifax.
A formal ceremony to honour the QC designates will be held at a future time.
Jacqueline Mullenger, Acting Executive Director, Nova Scotia Barristers’ SocietyCongratulations to all of the Queen’s counsel designates for this well-deserved recognition. I know that the lawyers in our province give their time generously to their profession and to their communities. To see them being recognized with a QC designation is a testament to their leadership and many contributions.
2021 Statistical Snapshot
The Society’s Annual Lawyer Report (ALR) asks practising lawyers questions related to demographics, employment type, area of practice, equity and diversity within the profession, access to justice issues and compliance-related questions to help us track trends and identify areas where additional support or resources are valuable.
We use the statistical data from the ALR and information from our membership database to create an annual Statistical Snapshot.
January Council Meeting Highlights
The Society’s Council met Friday, January 28, 2022, at 9:00 AM via videoconference. Highlights from the meeting include:
- Strategic Plan Check-In, Activity Plan Check-In & Preparation for Next Strategic Initiative – Acting Executive Director, Jacqueline Mullenger, provided an overview of the current status of the activity plan. It was noted the current Strategic Plan was extended to June 2023 so later this spring work would start to prepare for the next strategic plan.
- Award for Mi’kmaq & Indigenous Peoples Excellence in the Legal Profession (AMIE) – Council approved the creation of The Award for Mi’kmaq & Indigenous Peoples Excellence in the Legal Profession.
- Report to Council on the ALR results – Highlights from ALR were presented including the rapid growth in members, a clear trend of the profession becoming both more gender balanced and more diverse.
Articling/PREP Information Session Webinar
Watch the replay of the NSBS/CPLED Articling/PREP Information Session held on February 15, 2022.
2022 Accelerated PREP
The Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) received feedback from students of the challenges they experienced balancing competing priorities between their Bar admission program and their articles. To address this concern and offer students and firms greater flexibility in selecting the program delivery style that best suits their needs, CPLED is adding a full-time version of the Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP), called Accelerated PREP. Accelerated PREP is not replacing the nine-month program; it is an additional program intake.
Accelerated PREP is an online full-time 14-week compressed version of PREP. The program demands students to dedicate a full day (seven and a half hours) of study, five days a week. Due to the program’s fast-paced nature and heavy workload, firms should not assign work while students complete the program; it also does not allow time for students to be absent or take breaks, such as a vacation while enrolled.
CPLED first offered Accelerated PREP during the summer of 2021 to a small cohort of students. Firms reported that students who participated in the inaugural offering arrived prepared and confident on day one of their articles. After the successful inaugural offering of Accelerated PREP, CPLED is offering a soft launch of the program, with cohorts across all CPLED jurisdictions in the summer of 2022. As part of CPLED’s commitment to excellence, it will limit Accelerated PREP registration this year to one cohort of Nova Scotia students, allowing for the delivery of a high-quality program that meets the needs and expectations of their stakeholders. Cohorts consist of a maximum of 32 students each.
The 2022 Accelerated PREP will begin on May 30, 2022, and conclude on September 2, 2022. Registration will open at cpled.ca on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, with limited enrolment, and it will operate on a first-come, first-served basis. To promote a fair and transparent registration process, CPLED will not hold enrolment spaces for firms or students. For more information about the program and the registration process, visit the CPLED website.
Equity & Access
Read the Equity in Action Blog Series
Have you read the Society’s Equity in Action blog series?
The Society’s Equity in Action blog series explores ways to make your legal workplace more equitable. In addition to featuring educational equity-related blog posts, we present real-life scenarios that ask the question “what would you do?” and provide practical suggestions to improve equity in your workplace.
Changes to CDIC Trust Account Reporting Requirements
Important changes to the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (“CDIC”) regime are coming into effect after April 30, 2022.
What is the CIDC?
The CDIC is a Crown Corporation providing deposit insurance to depositors in Canadian financial institutions. It insures eligible deposits at each member institution in the event that a member financial institution is unable to meet its debt obligations. Not all financial institutions are CDIC insured. Notable exceptions are credit unions or caisse populaires incorporated under Provincial Legislation.
Eligible deposits include the types of accounts used for trust accounts (chequing accounts, daily interest savings accounts, term deposits or guaranteed investment certificates). In all cases eligible deposits must be payable in Canada. CDIC coverage is extended to a maximum of $100,000.00, inclusive of interest, for each eligible deposit.
The Society reminds members of subregulation 10.2.11 which requires compliance with the reporting and disclosure requirements set forth in The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act (the “Act”) and its Schedule.
What is changing?
The CIDC is changing its disclosure system and altering reporting requirements for professional trustees, including legal professionals with client trust accounts. The changes arise from amendments to the CDIC Act in 2018.
The current practice under the CDIC regime requires legal professionals to disclose the beneficiaries of trust accounts directly to financial institutions annually. The banks then share that information with the CDIC so that it can identify beneficiaries of trust accounts in the event of the failure of a financial institution. There has, however, been a CDIC policy permitting legal professionals to use alpha-numeric identifiers instead of disclosing client names as a measure to protect solicitor-client privilege.
The new regime will create a special category of “professional trustees”, which includes lawyers, Quebec notaries and Ontario paralegals, who will have unique disclosure requirements. Rather than making an annual disclosure of the identities of the beneficiaries of trust accounts, professional trustees will be required to advise their financial institutions that their accounts are “professional trust accounts” and will be asked to provide information identifying beneficiaries only in the event of the failure of a financial institution. The CDIC requires this information to identify those eligible for compensation through the deposit insurance program.
This means that once the changes come into effect, there will be a reduced reporting burden on lawyers operating trust accounts. Legal professionals will, of course, need to obtain the consent of their clients before disclosing this information to the CDIC. A client who does not consent to the disclosure will not be eligible for compensation through the CDIC. That would not prevent the client from seeking recovery through a bankruptcy proceeding or the courts.
What you need to do
To qualify for the professional trustee (PT) reporting rules, legal professionals will have to:
- Designate trust accounts as Professional Trustee Accounts (PTAs) with their financial institution(s).
- Maintain up-to-date trust account beneficiary records capturing required information.
- Attest annually to financial institution(s) their continued eligibility as a PT and confirm their accounts are to be treated as PTAs.
- Provide/update the legal professional’s own contact information to their financial institution(s).
- Notify their financial institution(s) if their status changes (i.e. they no longer qualify as a PT).
- Deliver information on beneficiaries of PTAs to the CDIC when requested.
Note that you will have to re-attest your PTA designation each year, otherwise it will be lost. All trust accounts must have professional trustee account status and that status must be maintained with the CDIC in order to ensure that client confidentiality is protected. The alternative status of “trustee” is not an option because the bylaw that had permitted the use of alpha-numeric code in place of the client name has been repealed and, therefore, client confidentiality can no longer be protected. In addition, a trustee who is not a professional trustee has significant reporting obligations that are not designed or suitable for a law firm trust account and client funds would be placed at risk.
The CDIC has published educational resources for professional trustees on its website: https://www.cdic.ca/financial-community/for-trustees/for-professional-trustees/. The CDIC has also advised that it will be providing further educational information beginning early in 2022. The Society will keep you updated as new resources become available.
If you have questions in the meantime, contact Legal Services Support at LSS@nsbs.org or (902) 422-1491.
Complimentary Services from LexisNexis Sponsored by the Society’s Library
Please note that this offering is a trial, offered by the Society until March 31, 2022. After the trial on March 31st lawyers may proceed with purchasing at their cost and LexisNexis will offer discounted pricing for lawyers who are interested in taking out a subscription.
Legal Research & Practice Materials
Between December 1 and February 28, 2022, register for complimentary access to 2 key tools to support you in your legal research and practice management. Access to these tools will be available from your office during this period.
Lexis Advance Quicklaw
Access the robust collection of caselaw that includes every case reported by publishers from 1970 forward and as well as all cases decided prior to 1970 that have been cited after 1970 are included. LexisNexis also offers a unique collection of more than 140 boards and tribunals decisions from all jurisdictions. The collection includes over 944,000 Canadian tribunal decisions, many of which are not available elsewhere.
Lexis Practice Advisor
Practice Advisor provides step-by-step guidance in managing matters and completing tasks efficiently while avoiding potential pitfalls through tools such as checklists, flowcharts, precedents with drafting notes, alternative clauses and current awareness. Practice notes are also included to help practitioners identify legal and procedural issues and solve them quickly, without the necessity of getting overwhelmed with legal history or theory.
You will receive an email from LAWelcomeKit@lexisnexis.com with the URL to the service, your credentials and information on accessing complimentary support.
PodCasts & Webinars
The LexisNexis series of podcasts and webinars feature timely discussions with top legal professionals from across Canada. They cover a wide range of timely issues within the legal profession and offer free CPD that can be applied to your annual plan. Access the recordings.
The LexisNexis newsletters provide an overview of the latest developments in many areas of practice. Review all of the latest Lexis Nexis newsletters.
Questions? Contact the Society’s Library Library Technician, Jennifer Haimes, at email@example.com.
Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia
Professional Responsibility Notices
Changes in Category: January 27, 2022-February 24, 2022
In every issue of our newsletter InForum, we provide updates on category changes.
Welcome to our new Articled Clerk:
|Kathleen Jean Kontak Adams|
These members have changed to Practising status:
|Mitchell Wade Gallant|
|Linda Lee Oland, QC|
These members have changed to Non-Practising status:
|Katherine F. Carrigan|
|Allison Jean Godwin|
|James Braden Isnor|
|Terry D. Kelly|
|Catherine Marie Torraville|
These members have changed to Retired status:
|Emma-Lee Suzanne Adlakha|
|Kevin Aquinas Burke, QC|
|Susan Dee Coen|
|Judith Anne MacDonald|
For Your Information
Vulnerable Afghan Legal Professionals with A Significant & Enduring Relationship with Canada
We have received a communication from CasselsBrock & Blackwell LLP (“Cassels”) bringing the Society’s attention to an urgent matter regarding a group of vulnerable Afghans, including lawyers, judges and other professionals, at Shajjan & Associates (the “Target Individuals”), who were contracted to provide services to the Government of Canada in connection with the mission in Kabul and had a significant and enduring relationship with the Government of Canada, which has put them in significant danger under the Taliban regime. These Target Individuals are currently in Afghanistan and I believe they meet the requirements under Canada’s special immigration measures program for Afghan nationals (the “SIM Program”). The Target Individuals have contacted Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for an application through this SIM Program but to date have had no response.
Members are encouraged to review this correspondence from Cassels and to reach out to your local Member of Parliament calling to allocate appropriate resources to assess the eligibility of the hundreds of thousands of individuals awaiting a response from IRCC and prioritize those individuals who have assisted the Canadian government and are eligible under the SIM Program (specifically including the Target Individuals). There is a sample letter provided together with sample text for the covering email correspondence to tailor as you see fit.
If you have any questions, please contact Kristin Taylor, Managing Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuma Young QC
Fraud Alert: Hopkins Law Firm & Associates
The Society has received numerous reports of the following scam attempt by someone posing as a lawyer named Andrew Hopkins with a fake law firm website (Hopkins Law Firm & Associates). Andrew Hopkins, Mitchel Holiday, and Michael Gammage are NOT lawyers licensed in Nova Scotia or anywhere in Canada.
Members of the public are advised not to respond to this fraudulent scam.
Hopkins Law Firm & Associates
Barrister & Solicitors
1535 Dresden Row, Halifax,
NS B3J 3T1, Canada
Tel; +l (902)201-9685
REF: HOPKINS/HTYB/211122 Date:
Dear [YOUR NAME]
My name is Andrew Hopkins: I am a senior partner at Hopkins Law Firm & Associates, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Apologies if my letter came to you as a surprise, since there has been no previous correspondence between us. There is an unclaimed “permanent life insurance policy” held by our deceased client.
The transaction pertains to an unclaimed “transfer on death” (“TOD”) savings monetary deposit in the sum of Thirteen Million, Five Hundred and Ninety One Thousand, Two Hundred United States Dollars ($13,591.200.00). The policy holder was one of our clients, Late [Your last name], who was a Real Estate Investor and precious stone dealer. He died in an auto crash, over Nine years ago with his family on their vacation trip. Since after his death, no one has come forward for the claim and all our efforts to locate his relatives have proved unsuccessful.
The insurance company code stipulates that “Insured Permanent Policies ” not claimed must be turn over to the abandoned property division of the municipality/state after 10 years.
Therefore, I ask for your consent to be in partnership with me for the claim of this policy benefit, in view the striking similarity in same last name and nationality with the deceased. If you permit me to add your name to the policy, all proceeds will be processed on your behalf, I wish to point out that I want 10% of the money to be shared among charity organizations while the remaining 90% will be shared between us.
This is 100% risk free; I do have all necessary documentation to expedite the process in a highly professional and confidential manner. I will provide all the relevant documents to substantiate your claim as the beneficiary. This claim requires a high level of confidentiality and your consent to this transaction will be appreciated.
For more details please contact me via: email@example.com
Name on will: Deborah Desveaux (Moore)
Last known residence: 65 Richmond Street
Any lawyers with information please contact Janine Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-317-9256
Name on will: Wayne Corney
Last known residence: Gables Lodge
Any lawyers with information please contact Todd Corney at toddcorney72@Gmail.com or 902-817-4662
Name on will: Rita MacIntyre (Tushaus)
Last known residence: Sydney, Cape Breton
Any lawyers with information please contact Marguerite Kennedy at Kar3n_k3nn3dy@hotmail.com or 902-574-5448
Name on will: Paul Thomas Wiswell
Last known residence: New Annan, NS
Any lawyers with information please contact Mandai Mohan at email@example.com or 902-229-2783
Name on will: Deborah Radich
Last known residence: Big Tancook Island/South Shore
Any lawyers with information please contact Kristin Dobrosky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-275-5093.
Additional information: Other names she went by Deborah Carlson, Deborah Stewart, Deborah Page, Deborah Page Radich
Name on will: Frederick Kennedy
Last known residence: Onslow, NS
Any lawyers with information please contact Kara Kennedy at email@example.com or 902-222-0579
News from the NS Courts
- Provincial Court Updates Process for Individuals in Police Custody
- Provincial Court Hearing More Matters in Person
- Supreme Court Returns to a Safe Services Model
- Courts Remove Operational Guidelines for Out-of-Province Court Participants
- Project Consultant – Legal Project Solutions
- Legal Assistant
- Corporate Commercial Lawyer
- Legal Assistant, Family Law- MDW Law
- Litigation Associate/Lawyer
- Legal Assistant – MDW Law
- Legal Assistant
- Junior Lawyer or Experienced Paralegal
- TAX LITIGATION ASSOCIATE
- Executive/Legal Administrative Assistant
- Legal Assistant, Family – Patterson Law – Bridgewater
- Adjudicator-Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia
- LITIGATION LEGAL ASSISTANT
- General Counsel
- Legal Assistant, Tax – Patterson Law – Halifax
- Legal Assistant-Receptionist
- People & Culture Administrator
- Labour and Employment Lawyer
- Associate Lawyer (Business)
- Litigation Assistant – Personal Injury
- Paralegal – Real Estate
- Property Assistant – Patterson Law – Bridgewater
- Accounting Clerk – Creditor Practice
- Associate Lawyer
- In-House Legal Counsel – Intact Financial Corporation
- Labour & Employment Lawyer
- Crown Prosecutor
- Real Estate Paralegal
- Property Paralegal
- File Opening Clerk
- Legal Assistant
- Associate Litigation Lawyer
- Associate Lawyer
- Litigation Legal Assistant
- Property Support Assistant
- Property Legal Assistant
- Experienced Legal Assistant
- Legal Assistant/ Paralegal
- Collections Agent (Caller) – English & Bilingual Positions Available
- REAL ESTATE PARALEGAL
- Legal Assistant – Business Law
- LEGAL OFFICE ASSISTANT – OVERFLOW
- FAMILY LAW PARALEGAL
- Legal Assistant – Float
- Creditor Practice Paralegal
- Associate Lawyer
- Due Diligence Analyst
These events include NSBS events as well as professional development opportunities and related events posted to the events page on our website.
- Workplace Investigations from Complaint to Closure: Top recent cases and practical pointers (March 1)
- Atlantic Motions Advocacy (March 4)
- The Independent Medical Exam: Working together to make it work (March 10)
- CCDC Document Webinar on CCDC 40 – 2018 Rules for Mediation and Arbitration of Construction Industry Disputes (March 24)
- Online LRA Qualification Assessment (April 6-27)
- Limited Scope Lawyering in Family Law Cases (April 28)