February InForum

February InForum: Conduct unbecoming: What should the Society do when it comes to social media gossip, posts and behaviour?

Table of Contents

Conduct unbecoming: What should the Society do when it comes to social media gossip, posts and behaviour?

PREP Schedule Change Announcement

New Queen’s Counsel (QC) Appointments

Solo & Small Firms Working Group Vacancies

Join our Team: Trust Assurance Advisor (Term)

Denise Mentis-Smith QC is the Society’s 2020-2021 Second Vice-President

Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia

Changes in Category: January 30, 2020- February 27, 2020

For Your Information

News from the Courts

Career Opportunities

Upcoming Events

PREP Schedule Change Announcement

As the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) continues to develop and prepare to launch the new Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP), refinements to their processes are ongoing and this has resulted in minor changes to the previously released schedule.  

CPLED has been consulting with key stakeholders across participant jurisdictions to ensure they are delivering the highest quality Bar admission program while understanding the unique needs of each jurisdiction. As a result, the  PREP schedule has been slightly adjusted to not impact Bar call dates.

“PREP prepares young lawyers to meet the highest standards once called to the Bar, and we didn’t want to delay Bar call dates in any way,” says Dr. Kara Mitchelmore, CEO of CPLED. “We know that our students are anxious to get their legal careers underway.”

Under the new schedule, students will still have flexibility as to when they begin the online Foundation Modules, which opens on Monday, June 1. The schedule adjustments will ensure enough time for CPLED to assess and release the final assessment results by Friday, May 14, 2021.

“Maintaining the integrity of the program while not delaying students entering the profession is of the utmost importance to CPLED, and we believe we have accomplished this with the new schedule,” says Dr. Mitchelmore.

Due to the schedule change, registration will now open on Tuesday, March 31 at www.cpled.ca. Students are encouraged to register early to ensure they select the schedule that best suits their needs.

To stay up to date on the latest CPLED news, subscribe to the monthly e-newsletter.

For more information on PREP, visit www.cpled.ca.

New Queen’s Counsel Appointments

Congratulations to the following 14 lawyers who are being awarded the prestigious Queen’s Counsel (QC) designation:

  • Camille Cameron, Halifax
  • Victoria Rees, Halifax
  • Lydia S. Bugden, Halifax
  • Kenneth C. Greer, Kentville
  • Demetrius Kachafanas, Sydney
  • Lora MacEachern, Halifax
  • Brian K. Awad, Halifax
  • Susanne Margaret Litke, Halifax
  • Robert B. Carter, Halifax
  • Mark Gregory Gosine, Halifax
  • Tuma Thomas William Young, Sydney
  • Daniela Bassan, Halifax
  • Perry F. Borden, Halifax
  • Agnes Elizabeth MacNeil, Halifax

This year’s appointees include the Society’s Director of Professional Responsibility, Victoria Rees QC, and Second Vice-President Tuma Young QC.

“I know that the lawyers in our province give generously of their time 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. A well-deserved congratulations to them all” said NSBS Executive Director Tilly Pillay.

The QC designation is awarded annually to members of the legal profession to recognize exceptional merit and outstanding contributions to the legal community.

Solo & Small Firms Working Group Vacancies

Council has approved the establishment of a new Solo and Small Firms Working Group. The objectives of the Solo and Small Firm Working Group is to identify ways for the Society to support sole practitioners and small firms in their practice, especially in rural communities.

We’re seeking members who may be interested in serving on this Working Group who are sole practitioners or practicing in a small firm. Those practicing outside the Halifax region are particularly encouraged to apply.

If you’re interested in being considered for appointment to this Working Group, please send the following to the Executive Director at tpillay@nsbs.org by Friday, April 3, 2020:

We value diversity on our committees and welcome applications from all employment equity groups.

If you have questions or require assistance, please contact Jane Willwerth at jwillwerth@nsbs.org.

Join our Team: Trust Assurance Advisor (Term)

We’re seeking an Auditor, Trust Assurance to join our team. This is a full-time term opportunity from May 2020-October 2021. Learn more.

Denise Mentis-Smith QC is the Society’s Second Vice-President for the 2020-2021 Council year

Denise Mentis-Smith QC graduated from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University in 1995. She was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1996 and currently practises with the law firm Harris North Law in Bedford, Nova Scotia. Denise serves as a member of the Society’s Complaints Investigative Committee and has previously served on the Society’s Racial Equity Committee.

“Denise’s combination of practice experience, volunteer work with the Society and other community organizations make her an ideal choice‎. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated leadership in promoting access to justice as well as equity, diversity and inclusion. I know she will work hard and help the Society move forward on our strategic priorities,” said President Carrie Ricker.

Denise’s practice over the past 23 years has focused on plaintiff personal injury law and over the past 5 years, she has developed a practice in the area of wills & estates. Denise has also developed an extensive practice in mediation and dispute resolution and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

In April of 2018, Denise was appointed the Queen’s Counsel designation and in January 2019, she was appointed a member of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

Denise was a member of the CBA NS Equity Committee, the Nova Scotia Police Commission and served as a Mentor with the Dalhousie Women and the Law Mentorship Program and the IB&M Mentorship Program.

Denise was a speaker in the Dr. Carrie Best, Champion for Human Rights documentary film produced by Maroon films, a speaker during African Nova Scotia History Month in Truro, Nova Scotia and a speaker at the East Preston Empowerment Academy Society Legal Clinic.

Denise is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association and the Advocates Society.

Denise has been involved in fundraising for various charity organizations including Mulgrave Park Association, World Vision, the United Way, the Heart and Cancer Fund. She also spearheaded a fundraising campaign to raise money for disadvantaged youth to enable them to participate in Basketball Nova Scotia’s provincial program.

Denise was acclaimed as Second Vice-President after the nomination process closed February 15th. She will assume the post and its responsibilities after the Society’s Annual Meeting on June 13, 2020. Jim Rossiter QC will serve as President and Tuma Young will serve as First Vice-President.

The Second Vice-President holds a key position in governance and continues on to become First Vice-President and then President of the Society. Denise will continue on to be the Society’s first African Nova Scotian President.

Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia:

Changes in Category: January 30, 2020-February 27, 2020

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

The following members have changed to the Practising Lawyer category:

Samuel Jacob Perlmutter

The following members have changed to Non-Practising status:

Elizabeth Jane Hughes
Robyn Elizabeth Helen Kennedy
Rhoda Jean Lemphers
Claire Levasseur

The following members have Retired:

John Geoffrey Cooper, QC
G. Douglas Sealy, QC

For Your Information

  • Call for Nominations for the Irving and Ruth Pink Award for Youth Development and Social Justice. This award recognizing an organization or individual whose contribution and involvement with youth reflects the Pink family values and traditions. Nominations are due no later than Friday, March 13, 2020. Learn more.
  • Legal Info Nova Scotia’s Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) can help bring you clients and give you an opportunity to make a difference in your community. We’ve made thousands of referrals to lawyers – we know our stuff! For more information and to join the LRS please visit our website at legalinfo.org/lawyers/lawyer-referral-service. The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia is a registered charity committed to helping people with legal issues find the legal information and advice they need. 
  • Proposed Amendments to the Land Registration Administration Regulations. The Registrar General’s Office is preparing amendments to the Land Registration Administration Regulations and invites comments on the proposed amendments. Comments should be directed to LRARegulation2020@novascotia.ca and be received no later than March 3, 2020. Review the proposed amendments & learn more.
  • Book Launch: The Hon. Justice Michel Bastarche. March 24, 2020 5:00-7:00 PM at Paul O’Regal Hall, Halifax Central Library.Ce que je voudrais dire à mais enfants. In this intimate volume, Michel Bastarache reveals details of his youth in Acadia and his multiple professional roles before becoming the first Acadian justice to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada. Learn more.
  • Registration is open for the 47th National Criminal Law Program, to be held in Victoria BC from July 6-10, 2020. Early bird rates are in effect until April 3. Don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity to fulfill all your CPD requirements in one week by accessing criminal law content of the highest quality.  This year’s content will focus on criminal procedure, ethics and The Charter and will be delivered by our faculty of Canada’s finest judges, Crown Prosecutors and Defence Counsel. Learn more & Register.
  • Missing Wills: 
    H. Mavis Quigley
    Glynn Parsons

News from the 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.