July InForum

July InForum:

Society News

2023 Race and the Law Prize Recipient: Keita Szemok-Uto

This award recognizes and encourages outstanding scholarship by law students in Nova Scotia, on topics pertaining specifically to issues of race and law. The Society’s Racial Equity Committee presents the award and Stewart McKelvey sponsors the award. 

Congratulations to the 2023 Race and the Law Essay Prize recipient Keita Szemok-Uto! Keita received the 2023 prize for his paper “Conflicting Decisions: Why the Privy Council Drifted from Precedent in Deciding Cunningham v Homma.” 

“Thank you to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. I am honoured and humbled to receive this award. As a Canadian with mixed Asian heritage, writing this paper was a deeply engaging and rewarding experience for me. Racial discrimination and xenophobia are unfortunately not issues of the past. Only by exploring how the law has been used to diminish the lives and experiences of racialized people in this country can we understand how necessary it is to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in all aspects of society. Thank you.” – Keita Szemok-Uto

2023 NSBS Presidents’ Leadership Award Recipients

The NSBS Presidents’ Leadership Award emphasizes the importance of leadership in a lawyer’s career and honours the exemplary volunteer commitment and leadership of Past Presidents to the work of the Society. 

Established by Past Presidents Philip J. Star QC and Catherine S. Walker QC, the award is presented each year at the Schulich School of Law to a graduating student who, in the eyes of the teaching faculty, has “exemplified consistent leadership qualities while at law school.” 

A special congratulations to the 2023 recipients of the NSBS Presidents’ Leadership Award Cierra Mateo and Leandra Bouman.

Cierra Mateo

“Each leadership opportunity during my time at Schulich Law showed me that collaboration and empowerment are the most effective tools for a successful team. I am honoured to receive this award and to represent the growing diversity within the legal profession in Nova Scotia.”

– Cierra Mateo

“Receiving this award feels like a recognition of the work that others and I have put into the Dalhousie Black Law Students’ Association in the past years. This work brought meaning to my studies and allowed me to connect with passionate, interesting individuals in the law school community and beyond.”

– Leandra Bouman

Notice to practicing members regarding communications for the Judiciary

The Nova Scotia Courts have requested that the Society share the email addresses of our practicing members with the Executive Office of the Judiciary to enable direct communication with members on changes to court processes and procedures, as well as special events like judicial swearing-in ceremonies and the State of the Courts Address.

The Society has agreed to share this email list to ensure our members are informed of any changes or updates that may impact their work. If you have any questions or do not wish for your email address to be shared with the Executive Office of the Judiciary, please contact John MacGillis at [email protected] by August 15th.

King’s Counsel Applications and Nominations Now Open

The Advisory Committee on King’s Counsel Appointments, chaired by the Honourable Justice Cindy A. Bourgeois, will convene in the fall to consider candidates for the next King’s Counsel appointments.

The criteria for these appointments are:

  • fifteen years or more as a member of the Bar of Nova Scotia as of September 30, 2023 and eligible to practice law in Nova Scotia;
  • demonstrated professional integrity, good character and outstanding contributions to the practice of law through one or more of:
  1. recognition by other members of the profession as an exceptional barrister or solicitor,
  2. exceptional contributions through legal scholarship, teaching or continuing legal education,
  3. demonstration of exceptional qualities of leadership in the profession, and
  4. engaging in activities of a public or charitable nature in such a way as to raise the esteem in which the legal profession is held by the public;

The Advisory Committee also considers regional, gender, race, sexual orientation and representation from other diverse groups among the persons recommended for appointment as King’s Counsel.

In order to be considered as a candidate for a King’s Counsel appointment, you must apply or be nominated pursuant to this request. Applications and nominations from previous years will not be considered. Applications and nominations must be submitted as a single email to [email protected] no later than 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 3, 2023 and include all of the following:

  1. A signed Authorization for Disclosure of Information and Release Form;
  2. A signed Application or Nomination Form;
  3. A completed Information Form (The form is three pages and provides for an additional two pages if required); and
  4. Two Letters of Reference. (One letter is to come from within the Bar or Judiciary. The second letter is to come from outside the Bar and Judiciary.)

The forms are available as fillable PDF documents on the King’s Counsel process page of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society website, here. Please note that the Adobe Acrobat settings may need to be adjusted to highlight the fillable boxes. You can find those settings in Edit>Preferences>Forms. Text is to be confined to the fillable boxes which have a fixed font size.

Persons may either apply personally or nominate another member of the Bar. All applicants will be treated equally by the Advisory Committee whether they are nominated or apply personally.

The above email address is for submissions only. Please direct any inquiries to Glenn Anderson, K.C., Secretary to the Advisory Committee on King’s Counsel Appointments, at [email protected].

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


for: Candace L. Thomas, K.C.

Deputy Minister of Justice

and Deputy Attorney General

Equity and Access

Equity and Access Office: July Update

I hope that you are all having a wonderful summer and have been able to take some time to enjoy the occasional sunny and cloud-free day we have been having. This summer has gotten off to a busy start, and we wanted to update members on a few key projects we have been working on.

I want to provide our members with an update on the accessibility concerns at the Upper Water Street Courthouse in Halifax. In May, our former President Melanie Petrunia and Chief Executive Officer Cheryl Hodder KC sent a letter at the direction of Council to the Honourable Kim Masland, Minister of Public Works, expressing our members’ concerns about the accessibility issues of the courthouse. There are significant barriers for individuals with limited mobility due to construction in the parking garage, which has created a lack of accessible entrances. A representative from the Department of Public Works has responded, and their letter is available here. 

The Society appreciates their response and the interim solutions. Still, we remain committed to hearing the concerns of our members and advocating for long-term solutions that work for our members and their clients. We have also heard from other members outside of Halifax about their concerns about other courthouses in this province, and we are committed to supporting our members and ensuring that these problems are appropriately treated as access to justice issues that must be addressed. We will continue to provide updates on this issue. 

In June, the Racial Equity Committee hosted a reception honouring articled clerks and new lawyers from Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, and Racialized communities. It was a great event that was well attended by our members, the committee, the judiciary, and Society Staff members. We appreciate the opportunity to meet with everyone in a social setting and get together as a community. 

Unfortunately, due to the flooding, the Halifax Pride Parade has been postponed. We look forward to sharing the new date with members once we have more information. Later today, we look forward to meeting up with our members at the Pride Reception, which we co-host with CBA-NS.

As we look ahead to the next month, we wanted to remind members that August 1st is Emancipation Day in Canada. Emancipation Day is the day the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 became law across the British Empire, including Canada. It is recognized as the day that the practice of slavery officially ended for millions of African people and their descendants in Canada. The Halifax Regional Municipality is hosting two events at Grand Parade, a Raising of the Pan-African Flag in the morning and an evening celebration of Emancipation Day. If you are available, we encourage you to attend these events or look through the resources provided below.

If you have any concerns or want to learn more about what Equity and Access have been working on, we encourage you to visit our website or get in touch with us at [email protected]

— Marla Brown, NSBS Director, Equity and Access

Recognizing Emancipation Day on August 1: Resources for Members

August 1st is officially designated as Emancipation Day in Canada. Emancipation Day is the day the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 became law across the British Empire, including Canada. It is recognized as the day that the practice of slavery officially ended for millions of African people and their descendants in Canada.

We encourage our members and all Nova Scotians to use Emancipation Day as an opportunity to learn more about the history of African Nova Scotian people and communities, and to continue to address and put an end to anti-Black racism.

This day will allow us to reflect and acknowledge our shared history of the enslavement of people of African descent in Canada. Most importantly the inaugural Emancipation Day will provide us with an opportunity to maintain ongoing meaningful conversations around race relations and inclusive society.

We encourage you to recognize Emancipation Day and to continue your learning this day and on an ongoing basis by reviewing the following resources:

Valuable related organizations:

The Society’s Acknowledgement of Systemic Discrimination & Review

Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia

Lawyers' Insurance Association of Nova Scotia

Changes in Category

In every issue of our newsletter InForum, we provide updates on category changes. These are the Changes in Category from June 28, 2023 to July 26, 2023

Welcome to the new members who have commenced articles

  • Rachel Phyllis Mader
  • Samuel Kwame Sarkodie Kampeligi
  • Amber Lauren Routledge
  • MacGregor Dennis Michael Malloy

These members have changed to Non-Practising status:

  • Gregory Andrew MacIntosh
  • Peter Thomas Nolen
  • Peter Doig
  • Kandace Terris
  • Jill Agnes Lacey
  • Mary Karen Bailey
  • Cynthia Deanne Janes
  • Melisa Charmaine Marsman
  • Chrystal Marie MacAulay
  • Gary Patrick Mooney, KC
  • David Vincent MacIsaac
  • Sharmi Farzana Jaggi
  • Christopher Patrick Leo Keliher
  • James Gerald Lea
  • Tara Lynn Wilcox
  • Anthony Douglas Rosborough
  • John William Eddy
  • Morgan Stowell Knickle-Smith
  • Duncan Charles Read
  • Guilhem Pierre Gonzague de Roquefeuil
  • Saara Marja Johana Wilson
  • Julia Marie Maloney
  • Karla Lourdes Bray
  • Cherise Noelle Hart
  • Liam James Queripel
  • Mamie Sarah McGinn
  • Syed Ebad Raza Abidi
  • Jonathan David Lerman
  • Joshua Jason Samson
  • Yazan Khader Moh’d Matarieh
  • Daniel Edmond Boucher
  • Roland Marko Simmonds
  • Thomas James Wilson
  • Akinwumi Olawuyi Ogunranti
  • Tamara Melanie Adler
  • Simeon Olaniyi Atunbi
  • Kristopher Lee Dixon
  • Vishal Hari Verma
  • Colin Isaiah Smith
  • Séamus Padraig Moriarty
  • Lewis Raymond Waring
  • Ibikemi Lynn Palmer
  • Jessica Catherine Simm
  • Olalekan Akeem Kolawole

This individual has changed to retired status:

  • A. Anne McLellan
  • T. Ann Smiley
  • Dell C. Wickens, KC
  • Mary Ann Louise Burke-Matheson
  • Ronald Victor Penny
  • Norman Bruce Hill
  • John Wilson Fitt
  • S. Donalda MacBeath
  • Rodney F. Burgar
  • Patricia Ann Dunn
  • M. Gail Murphy
  • Craig Reginald Berryman
  • Darrell Elvin Dexter, KC
  • Elizabeth Anne Whelton, KC
  • Karen Elizabeth Crombie
  • Garry Allan McCay
  • Jocelyn Downie
  • Peter Lawrence Luttmann
  • Emily Jane Mason

This individual has resigned:

  • Douglas John Keefe, KC
  • Christopher Stephen Berryman
  • John Eric Pollabauer
  • Delphis Dwain Caldwell
  • Gary H. Levine
  • Diana Lynn Torrens
  • Anne J. Partridge
  • Stephen Harris Martin
  • John Phillip Maskine

These members have Changed to Life Status

  • Joel Edward Pink, KC
  • Stanley Bruce Outhouse, KC
  • Corinne Ruth Corbett, KC
  • Gary Owen Holt, KC
  • Douglas Leonard Richard, KC
  • George Harry Sutherland, KC  
  • Joseph Mark James Cooper, KC
  • David Frederick Farwell, KC
  • Richard Kinghorn Jones, KC
  • Carman Gordon McCormick, KC
  • Douglas Vincent Tyler
  • Ian Bruce Cowie
  • Donald Brian Donovan
  • Cherry Grace Ferguson
  • Lawrence Kenneth Evans, KC
  • Veryan Neil Graham Haysom
  • Jeffrey Lawrence Schelew
  • Gordon Wayne Beaton, KC
  • Paul Johnson Corban
  • Gerald Alexander MacDonald, KC
  • John Joseph Pius Ashley
  • Keith Franklin Shears Crocker
  • Diane Katherine Zwicker

For Your Information

The Nova Scotia Health Research Ethics Board (NSH REB) is recruiting to fill the role of Legal Members on our virtual provincial board. The REB’s role is to review cutting-edge clinical research that involves human participants or their data and that takes place within Nova Scotia Health to ensure that the research respects and protects our research participants, patients and communities.

Legal members are persons knowledgeable in the relevant law (i.e. health, privacy) and cannot be part of NS Health legal counsel or risk manager.  They review Ethics Application Forms submitted to the board from a legal and ethical perspectives, ensuring that companies or investigators do not limit research participant liability or their rights. Their role is to ensure that the information provided to research participants is readable, correct, and understood. The NSH REB does not expect that legal members understand the science behind the studies; that is the responsibility of scientific and medical board members to simplify the research study so everyone on the board understands what is expected of the research participants.

WHEN:  Meetings are held once per month on Mondays from 4:00 – 6:00 pm 

WHERE:  Virtually through ZOOM. Links and materials sent through email.

INTERESTED? Want to learn more?  Please email: [email protected]

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