October InForum: President’s Message, DSA, Committee and 2nd VP Opportunities, and more.
- Society News
- Equity and Access
- Your Practice
- Professional Responsibility
- Changes in Category
- For Your Information
- NSBS Library Returning to Pre-Pandemic Services and Fees
- Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments Seeking Nominations for Current and Future Vacancies
- Volunteer Opportunity – Halifax Free Legal Clinic
- Access to Justice & Law Reform Institute Consultation on a Parentage Act for Nova Scotia
- Board of Directors – Chebucto Family Centre
- The Independent Legal Advice Program is Looking For Lawyers to Join Our Roster
- Volunteers Needed for Research Study
- Call for Volunteers: Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia
- Career Opportunities
- Upcoming Events
President’s Message: October Update
I hope that you have been able to enjoy the beautiful fall weather we have been fortunate to receive this month. Also, I would like to wish a Happy Diwali to those who celebrated earlier this week.
With the first quarter of my term as President complete, I thought wanted to provide our membership with a brief update on the recent activities and priorities of Council. Moving forward, you can expect an update from me every three months through InForum.
In September, we were pleased to welcome our new Chief Executive Officer, Cheryl Hodder, KC to the Society and back to Nova Scotia. Cheryl has hit the ground running and has committed herself to working with Council and hearing from our members to help guide the Society.
Now that some COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, we have been delighted to attend more in-person events. Being able to engage with members in-person is a privilege that we perhaps took for granted before the pandemic. At the beginning of my term, I noted that meeting with members was one of my priorities, and I am grateful for the members who have taken the time to meet with me.
The Society’s Officers and CEO attended the Western Counties Bar Association AGM to hear from rural practitioners about the unique challenges they face. I want to thank the people who attended for bringing their insights and experiences. Council looks forward to hearing more about these issues and discussing solutions.
I was also joined in Saskatoon by our 1st Vice-President Mark Scott for the Fall Conference of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. The topic was competency-based learning for legal professionals, which sparked some excellent discussions. At the conference, we met with other Presidents and Vice-Presidents from across the country to share updates on our key initiatives.
This week, I am looking forward to attending the launch of the new Canadian Association of Lawyers with Disabilities, as well as a social with the Atlantic Chapter of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association. Next week, all the Society’s Committee Chairs will be meeting for a luncheon to discuss what we have been doing and what work lies ahead. I look forward to identifying how we can collaborate and accomplish our mutual goals.
In short, it has been a busy first quarter as President.
We are recognizing Access to Justice Week from October 24th to28th, a topic that features prominently in our current Strategic Plan. Council will be receiving an update on our innovation sandbox initiative, and we will be striking a strategic planning steering committee to guide our work as we look to develop a new plan to chart our course over the next three years. As issues with access to justice continue to grow in Nova Scotia, I have no doubt it will continue to be a feature of our next strategic plan.
Finally, I want to encourage members to reach out to me at anytime to talk about their concerns and ways we can find solutions. There are currently many opportunities for members to get involved with the Society, including submitting an Expression of Interest for one of our committees or to become our next 2nd Vice-President. If you do have the time to lend your voice and expertise to the profession through either of those opportunities, I wholeheartedly encourage you to. You can expect to hear from me through InForum at the end of the next quarter. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter @NSBSPresident, which is a newly made account that will be passed along to future Presidents of the Society.
— Melanie Petrunia, NSBS President
Contribute to Your Profession on a Society Committee: 2023-2024 Committee Expressions of Interest
We’re seeking expressions of interest from members for various Society committees. The Nominating Committee will recommend individuals to Council to be appointed to regulatory and Council committees for two-year terms (2023-2024) starting January 1, 2023.
As a Society committee member, you’ll connect with colleagues across the province, contribute directly to Nova Scotia’s legal profession and help to advance our strategic priorities. Review our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan to learn more about our goals and objectives. Review the committee descriptions to learn more about the committees & the time commitment required.
If you’re interested in being considered for an appointment, please send the following to John MacGillis at [email protected] by 4:00 PM on Monday, October 31, 2022:
- A brief expression of interest (max. 1 page) – please describe why you’re interested in a particular committee and the skills, attributes and experience you could bring to that committee’s work.
- A brief resume (1-2 pages)
- A completed Skills & Attributes Matrix
We value diversity on committees and welcome applications from all employment equity groups. We also have the technology required for volunteers to attend meetings online via video conferencing.
Questions or assistance? Please contact Jackie Mullenger at [email protected].
2023-2024 Second Vice-President: Are you interested?
Connect with colleagues across the province and contribute to your profession on the Society’s Council.
The Society’s Nominating Committee will nominate a candidate for Second Vice-President by the end of January 2023. All members are invited to provide recommendations or to volunteer to be considered.
As the Second Vice-President, you will 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.
The Second Vice-President has unquestionable integrity, respect for others, leadership and communication skills, strategic thinking, consensus building, and is committed to the Society’s purpose and strategic direction. Review the position description to learn more.
The 2023-2024 Second Vice-President will be elected in March 2023 and will take office at the Annual Meeting in June 2023. The successful candidate will become First Vice-President in June 2024 and President in June 2025.
If you wish to recommend someone for consideration or if you’re interested in being considered, please send the following materials to the Nominating Committee Chair, Mark Scott KC, at [email protected] by Friday, November 18, 2022.
- A brief expression of interest (max. 1 page)
- A brief resume (1-2 pages)
- A completed Skills & Attributes Matrix
- A completed Nomination Form
We value diversity on Council and welcome applications from all employment equity groups. We also have the technology required for volunteers to attend meetings online via video conferencing. All names put forward will be considered and treated confidentially.
Questions? Please contact the Society’s current President, Melanie Petrunia at [email protected].
Distinguished Service Award
We’re pleased to announce that Shawna Paris-Hoyte O.N.S., KC is the recipient of the Society’s 2022 Distinguished Service Award (DSA).
Established in 1999, the Distinguished Service Award is presented to a member who has made significant contributions to their community, the legal profession, and the Society.
“As Chair of the Society’s Distinguished Service Award Committee, I am truly delighted to recognize Shawna Paris-Hoyte as this year’s recipient of the award. Shawna’s nomination and letters of support spoke of her roles as mentor, educator, leader, volunteer, and trailblazer, working tirelessly for the marginalized and disenfranchised people of Nova Scotia. She has devoted her legal practice to the betterment of all, focusing on social justice and access to justice. These roles were epitomized in her representation of a youth who challenged the voluntary nature of his statement to the police in a leading case on rights of young people, under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The case resulted in the Supreme Court of Canada’s clarification of the test to be applied before statements made by youth to police are admissible in court. This is but one of many examples of Shawn’s tireless efforts to enhance the administration of justice. Shawna is indeed a most worthy recipient of this award.”Marjorie Hickey KC, Chair of the DSA Committee and 2013 DSA recipient.
“It is an honour to receive the 2022 Distinguished Service Award from the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and to have my name added to the list of distinguished colleagues. I want to thank my nominator, members of the award committee and all those who have supported me and my work as a lawyer and public servant over the many years. To be considered someone worthy of such recognition is humbling to say the least. As the first Black lawyer/African Nova Scotian and person of color to receive this award, I am beyond words.
“I am grateful for the sacrifices of my children in supporting my career. I acknowledge my community, and my ancestors who guide my path, always. I believe that “to whom much is given-much is expected”. I will endeavor to live up to those words as I continue to set a path for others and remain steadfast in my work and commitment to bring integrated law and social work to a broader public forum in the name of social justice and access to justice. Thank you.”
– Shawna Paris-Hoyte O.N.S., KC
The Society will be hosting the annual Recognition Reception on January 27 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to present this award and recognize our fifty-year practitioners. An invitation will be sent to membership in the coming weeks.
Equity and Access
Register now: Trauma-Informed Lawyering: What I Wish I Knew – the Lawyer Edition
Join the Society’s TRC Working Group (TRCWG) for the education session Trauma-Informed Lawyering: What I Wish I Knew – the Lawyer Edition with lawyer and host of the “The Trauma-Informed Lawyer” podcast Myrna McCallum.
Thursday, November 17, 2022 12:00 PM-1:00 PM
Trauma-informed lawyering is a do-no-further-harm, relational approach to the practice of law that benefits you, your clients, your colleagues and the legal profession generally.
Did you attend the previous trauma-informed lawyering session with Myrna? All members, including those who attended the previous session, are encouraged to attend this free education session. It will not only reflect on the content from the last session but it will also include additional information.
Please let us know if you have any accessibility accommodation requests to facilitate your participation by contacting Kerry Foss at [email protected].
About Myrna McCallum
Myrna is a Métis lawyer from Green Lake in Treaty Six territory and the host of “The Trauma-Informed Lawyer” Podcast. Prior to founding Miyo Pimatisiwin Legal Services in 2019, Myrna served as an adjudicator in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement claims process, and Crown Prosecutor with the Ministry of the Attorney General in Saskatchewan. When she is not FaceTiming her three grandchildren, educating or podcasting, Myrna is advising, advocating, or conducting workplace investigations and reviews. In 2020, the Federal Department of Justice awarded Myrna their first ever Excellence in Legal Practice and Victim Support Award. She lives in North Vancouver, B.C
About the Society’s TRC Working Group (TRCWG)
The TRCWG makes recommendations to the Society’s Council on a response to the Calls to Action. In developing recommendations for consideration by Council, the TRCWG considers the Society’s role in responding to the Calls to Action and the value in supporting any activities the Society may undertake. Learn more.
Participate in the Racial Equity Committee’s Survey on Race-based Discrimination and Harassment
The Society’s Racial Equity Committee (REC) is asking members to complete this survey titled, “NSBS member experiences with race-based discrimination and harassment” as part of its mandate to monitor and provide advice about programs that address issues of racism and discrimination in the legal profession. This survey was approved by the Mi’kmaw Ethics Watch.
This survey focuses on racial discrimination and members’ experiences in their workplaces and the legal profession as well as your experiences with the Society. The external, independent review focuses broadly on all forms of discrimination, but more narrowly on how that discrimination shows up systemically within the Society’s policies and processes.
An email was sent to members who self-identified as racialized, Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, Black, Mi’kmaq, Indigenous, or a member of another community on the Annual Lawyer Report or as an Articled Clerk. For the survey link, please check you email for the subject line: NSBS Racial Equity Survey: NSBS member experiences with race-based discrimination and harassment. If you did not receive this email and would like to participate in this survey, please email the Society’s Communications Advisor at [email protected].
New Practice Resource: First Supplement to the Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples
New Practice Resource: First Supplement to the Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society has added the First Supplement to the Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples to our Practice Resource Search.
The First Supplement to the Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples, created by the Indigenous Bar Association, The Advocates’ Society and the Law Society of Ontario, was released last month. Originally published in 2018, the three collaborating organizations have released this new supplement to address the “many significant developments in Canadian law and its interaction with Indigenous peoples.”
The Society’s Practice Resource Search will help you find websites, articles, webinars, podcasts, videos and more to support you in your legal practice.
Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia
- FRAUD ALERT: Alberta Issues Social Engineering Scam Warning for Lawyers
- NSLAP WELLNESS: Being Anti-Racist
Changes in Category
In every issue of our newsletter InForum, we provide updates on category changes. These are the Changes in Category from September 28, 2022 to October 25, 2022
Welcome to our new Articling Clerk:
- Lauren Christina Campbell
These members have changed to Practising status:
- Suzanne L. Pelham Belliveau
- Cherie Merie Wheeler McLeod
These members have changed to Non-Practising status:
- Ann Victoria Crosbie
- Brittni Louise Anne Deveau
- Norman Bruce Hill
- Andrea Lauren MacGregor
- Binaya Kumar Nepal
- Alycia Novacefski
- Krista Kathleen Smith
These members have changed to Retired status:
- Steven Kent O’Leary, KC
- Janet M. Stevenson
For Your Information
NSBS Library Returning to Pre-Pandemic Services and Fees
As we continue to lift COVID-19 restrictions, we are encouraging members to take advantage of the resources and services offered at the Society’s Library. The library offers members many services, including assistance locating relevant materials, borrowing materials, carrying out a legislative history, troubleshooting difficulties with online information services, and more. A full list of services is available here: https://nsbs.org/legal-profession/library/.
The Society library has returned to its pre-pandemic hours of operation and will be re-instating fees related to library services such as printing, copying, faxes, late returns, and accessing some materials. All service fees are available here: https://nsbs.org/legal-profession/library/library-fees-and-county-bar-libraries/.
For more details, please contact the Society’s Library Technician, Jennifer Haimes, at [email protected].
Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments Seeking Nominations for Current and Future Vacancies
The Advisory Board is launching a call for new applicants to fill current and upcoming Senate vacancies through 2023 for New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The Advisory Board encourages Atlantic Canadians to apply by November 7, 2022 at the latest to ensure the Advisory Board considers their documentation for this cycle. Please note that applications from all Canadians are accepted at any time and are retained for two years.
The Advisory Board is seeking nominations for potential candidates for appointment to the Senate who meet the assessment criteria.You may also wish to nominate or support them by writing a reference letter. Note that reference letters must be submitted by the candidate.
More information is available on the Advisory Board website.
Volunteer Opportunity – Halifax Free Legal Clinic
The Free Legal Clinic at the Halifax Law Courts is looking for lawyers to volunteer their time this fall.
This initiative was first launched in 2015 to fill a gap in services for self-represented litigants needing assistance with their civil law matters and family law appeals, excluding child protection matters. Appointments are offered most Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., excluding holidays. Each session lasts one hour. Appointments can be in person at the Law Courts or by telephone.
The next session of the Free Legal Clinic began on Sept. 22. Volunteer lawyers are needed for the following dates:
- November 3, 10, 17, 24
- December 1, 8, 15
These clinics provide a valuable service to litigants who may not otherwise have access to a lawyer and are a rewarding experience for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please call the Executive Office of the Nova Scotia Judiciary at 902-424-3690 or by email at [email protected].
Access to Justice & Law Reform Institute Consultation on a Parentage Act for Nova Scotia
The Law Reform Institute has released a Discussion Paper on developing a parentage law for Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia is now the only jurisdiction in Canada without a child status law and the Institute’s Discussion Paper makes a number of proposals to develop such as law. The Discussion Paper is available online, here.
Currently, a child’s parents are determined at birth by the common law rule that dictates that the woman who gives birth to the child is the child’s mother and the man married to her is the father. This rule obviously leaves out many families in Nova Scotia.
This is a significant gap in the law as parentage serves to determine important a child’s name, citizenship, status under the Indian Act, lineage, and inheritance rights. For parents, parentage carries important rights and responsibilities including the ability to make medical decisions right from birth.
Among other things, in the Discussion Paper we propose that a child status law for Nova Scotia should:
- Treat birth parents and their partners as parents where egg, sperm or embryo donation is used to conceive;
- Prevent egg, sperm or embryo donors from asserting parentage based purely on genetic factors;
- Clarify when a person is a sperm donor, and when a person is a parent;
- Simplify the recognition of intended parents via surrogacy;
- Provide a path to parentage of posthumously conceived children;
- Provide a path by which a child may have more than two legal parents; and
- Provide unmarried parents with the same legal recognition as married parents.
The Institute invites comments on these proposals, and the others in the paper. We are pleased to accept written submissions, and Institute staff are available to receive comments by phone or in person. We have developed a shorter electronic survey for the bar that can be accessed here.
Board of Directors – Chebucto Family Centre
Join Our Board of Directors!
Are you passionate about community change? Do you want to have a real and meaningful impact in your community? Meet interesting people? Share your existing skills? The Chebucto Family Centre is looking for new board members. At this time, we are seeking a member or members with legal expertise.
About the Chebucto Family Centre:
CFC is a non-profit family resource center and community hub located in Spryfield. It provides free services and supports to enhance the quality of life of families and community members.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Advocacy and support
- Health and wellness programs
- Prenatal and parenting courses
- Volunteer doula program
- Youth programming
- Family Home Day Care Agency.
About our Board:
The Board meets monthly on Wednesday evenings from September to June. Members serve for three year renewable terms. Board members are asked to bring enthusiasm and commitment to supporting the mission of Chebucto Family Centre. Members are expected to attend meetings regularly, special events as they are able,
and serve on Board committees.
Who should apply:
Ideally, new board members will bring one or more of the following skills and qualities:
- Previous board experience.
- Human resources experience
- Knowledge of financial services/accounting.
- Legal expertise
- Knowledge of community issues/community development
- Strategic planning
As part of being an inclusive and representative organization, we are very interested in receiving applications from Black, Indigenous, and persons of colour, immigrants, LGBTQ+, youth (18-35) , and people with lived experience of poverty or other systemic barriers.
What we can offer you:
An opportunity to give back to your community
Experience in working in a not-for-profit governance board
A role in supporting families in need
For more information:
Visit our website, www.homeoftheguardianangel.ca or Chebucto Family Centre on social media.
To apply for Board membership:
Send a letter of interest and your resume to [email protected] by December 15, 2022
Job Deadline/Expiry Date: 12/15/2022
The Independent Legal Advice Program is Looking For Lawyers to Join Our Roster
Who are we:
- We provide up to four hours of FREE independent legal advice to survivors of sexual assault in Nova Scotia, age 16+.
- We provide independent legal advice on recent and historical sexual assaults that have occurred in Nova Scotia.
- Our Lawyers are diverse, speak several languages and are service providers to all regions of Nova Scotia in various areas of practice.
How the Process Works:
- The client calls 211 – they are sent out a package with a certificate/and a list of lawyers – the client then calls the lawyer directly – an appointment is set – after the advice is given the lawyer bills us directly for their hours.
- You are a practicing lawyer
- You are insured
- You are a member in good standing with the NSBS
- You agree to the project service rate of $95/hr.
- You are interested in expanding your knowledge on the issue of sexual assault
- You are interested in being part of a Community of Practice
We are looking for Lawyers that are diverse in culture and languages. Although any lawyer that is interested may apply, currently we hope to obtain an Arabic speaking or Indigenous/Mi ‘maw speaking lawyer.
If you are interested in joining this supportive program for survivors of Sexual assault, please contact: The Independent Legal Advice Coordinator, Victim Services, Department of Justice at 902- 424- 2928. or email [email protected], for an application.
Volunteers Needed for Research Study
My name is Paige Thomb and I am a PhD student in the Faculty of Law at UVic. My dissertation looks at the ways in which religious identity shapes legal practice. I am currently recruiting lawyers, law professors, and law students for 60-90 minute interviews. If your religious identity shapes part or all of your legal practice, then I would love to speak to you. All interviews are confidential and have been approved by UVic’s Human Research Ethics Board.
If you would like to participate or just want more information, I can be reached at [email protected]
Call for Volunteers: Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia
Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia (HSNS) is actively seeking volunteers to join our Board of Directors. The HSNS Board is a governance board, representing the public in providing strategic directions, oversight, and accountability of the organization’s performance in its delivery of hearing and speech services to Nova Scotians. HSNS provides services from 35 clinic sites in 25 communities across Nova Scotia and was recently awarded Accreditation with Commendation by Accreditation Canada.
HSNS Board members have ample opportunity to expand their own skills in board governance and make a larger impact by participating voluntarily in active Board Committees and HSNS working groups. While all expressions of interest will be considered, we are currently looking for established professionals with proven experience in board governance, business, public relations, and government relations. We provide board orientation and ongoing resources to support our members, so do not let a lack of knowledge about the work of HSNS deter you from applying, if you possess the experience we are seeking.
Please click here to learn more about the HSNS Board and how to apply.
- PARALEGAL POSITION – FULL TIME
- Associate Lawyer
- We’re Expanding-Seeking Legal Assistants
- Paralegal/Legal Assistant
- Lawyer (Family Law)
- Director, Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT)
- ADMINISTRATOR, CORPORATE AND LEGAL SERVICES
- Associate Lawyer
- Secretary 2 (Legal Assistant)
- Associate Lawyer, Family Law – Patterson Law, Bridgewater
- Legal Assistant
- Financial Services Officer
- Crown Attorney – Halifax Region
- Crown Attorney – Pictou
- Schulich School of Law – Tenure-track Appointment – Environmental Law
- Notice of Fall 2022 ABC Advertisement Campaign
- Criminal Lawyer
- Litigation Lawyer
- Legal Advisor, Clinical Research – Dalhousie University (3 Year Term)
- Property Paralegal – Patterson Law, Halifax
- Receptionist/Legal Assistant – Patterson Law, Halifax
- Real Estate Paralegal or Real Estate Assistant
- Associate Lawyer, Dumke Plummer Inc.
- Paralegal / Legal Assistant
- Articling Clerk
- Litigation Lawyer
- Family Law Experienced Associate Lawyer
- Corporate Services Manager (Lawyer)
- Paralegal – Personal Injury & Litigation
- Legal Assistant – Business Law
- Crown Prosecutor
- Legal Assistant
- The Role of Cognitive Bias on Lawyers and the Practice of Law
- Young Lawyers Section Social
- Going to Pot? Managing decriminalization, medical cannabis, and psychedelics
- Can’t Buy My Silence Campaign Roundtable on Non-Disclosure Agreements
- A Joint Section Meeting – Guide to the Law of Protests in Nova Scotia
- Online LRA Qualification Assessment
- Criminal Inadmissibility in Canada – by Al Parsai
- Insurance Law Section – Automobile Insurance – Coverage Refresher
- Trauma-Informed Lawyering: What I Wish I Knew – the Lawyer Edition
- Criminal Justice Section – How to get the Most out of CanLII for Criminal Law Practitioners
- Save the Date: LIANS and NSBS Solo and Small Firm Virtual Conference, November 24, 2022
- 2022 Prosecution of Animal Abuse Conference