September InForum: President’s Update, AMIE Award, Indigenous Cultural Competence Training, and more!
- Society News
- Equity and Access
- Your Practice
- Clarification on Remote Client Identification Verification using the government-issued photo ID method (Videoconference)
- Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Canadian Legal Profession Online Learning Program
- Update to the Law Office Management Standards on Client Service and Communication
- Canadian Bankers Association: Updated Contact List for Mortgage Discharges
- Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia
- Professional Responsibility
- Changes in Category
- For Your Information
- Career Opportunities
- Upcoming Events
President’s September Update
As the summer winds down and we gear up for what I expect to be a very busy fall, I hope that you are all doing well and have been able to work some time outdoors into your busy lives. I want to share with you what the Society and I have been working on and what we have planned.
In June, I took over as President from Melanie Petrunia. I was honoured the speak with the members at the AGM to share some of my thoughts about the upcoming year and was equally honoured to share in presenting new lawyers to Justice Norton for admission to the Bar. To see the new calls left me with a real sense of optimism for our profession and for the practice of law in Nova Scotia.
Following the AGM, a newly constituted Council had our first meeting. The overall composition of new and returning members has me assured that we will have excellent, candid discussions to move our mandate forward.
There are still a few vacancies that the Society will look to fill in the coming months, and I encourage members who are considering volunteering their time to keep an eye out for these opportunities.
I also attended the IB&M students’ reception in late June. The event was organized by the staff of the Society and the Racial Equity Committee and held at the Mikmaw Friendship Centre. The food was provided by R&B Kitchen and was incredible. We had an impressive turnout of judges, practitioners and friends to celebrate the students’ accomplishments.
In July, the CBA and Society joined in hosting the Pride Reception. Stewart McKelvey kindly hosted the event, and, again, the turnout was excellent. Many thanks to the organizers from the CBA Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee and the Society’s Gender Equity Committee’s subcommittee.
While it is summer, Cheryl and the staff have been busy with day-to-day operations and also with planning for upcoming Council meetings and strategic planning. This will shape the focus of the Society and Council for the next three years and I am extremely grateful for their work.
As a final note, want to repeat my gratitude for the leadership, mentorship and friendship of past President, Melanie Petrunia. I will do my best to live up to the standard that she has cultured and to help support the challenging but rewarding work ahead.
Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society to Launch Mandatory Indigenous Cultural Competence Training
Beginning in October, practicing lawyers in Nova Scotia can begin taking the Indigenous Intercultural Awareness and Competency Training called The Path.
The Path was approved by Council at the November meeting as mandatory training for all practicing lawyers in Nova Scotia. All practicing members must complete this training by June 2025.
This is part of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society’s commitment to improving the cultural competence of the legal profession and responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. In particular, Call to Action Number 27 calls upon Canadian law societies to ensure all lawyers have received appropriate cultural competency training:
“…which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal – Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.”
The course consists of six modules and is expected to take a total of six hours to complete. The modules are:
Module 1 – Name Calling
- Lesson 1 – Indians, Inuit, Metis
- Lesson 2 – Stereotypes and Misconceptions
Module 2- Land and Stories
- Lesson 1 – Land Acknowledgements
- Lesson 2 – Origin Stories
- Lesson 3 – Inuit Across the North
Module 3 – Canada’s Colonial History
- Lesson 1- From the Arrival of Strangers to a Royal Proclamation
- Lesson 2 – Denial of Rights from after the Royal Proclamation to the Dominion of Canada
- Lesson 3 – Colonization Since Confederation
Module 4 – Contemporary Realities
- We Reap what We Sow
- The City is Home
- Who We are Today
Module 5 – Relationship Building
- Lesson 1 – Worldviews and Cultural Values
- Lesson 2 – Increasing your IQ
Module 6 – Towards Truth and Reconciliation
- Lesson 1 – Rights and Resurgence
- Lesson 2 – The Path Forward
The Path is an educational course developed by Indigenous consulting firm NVision Insight Group, Inc., based in Ottawa, Ontario. The course was designed to help Canadians increase their Indigenous cultural understanding in a Canadian context. This training counts towards mandatory continuing professional development.
The Society will be posting additional information about the course in the coming weeks.
Call for Expressions of Interest: Disability Equity Committee
The Society is seeking expressions of interest from individuals interested in joining the Disability Equity Committee. The Disability Equity Committee supports Council in the governance of the Society and in advancing Council’s strategic framework by promoting, monitoring and providing advice about programs and policies that address issues of accessibility and discrimination in the legal profession and with regard to the administration of justice.
If you are interested in joining a committee, please send the following documents to Jane Willwerth at [email protected]. We will review your materials and refer your application to the Nominating Committee for review and recommendation to Council.
- 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 Matrix
We value diversity on the Disability Equity Committee and welcome applications from members from equity-deserving communities. We also accommodate volunteers who wish to attend meetings via video. The Society asks applicants to submit a skills matrix to better understand the skills and backgrounds of members who wish to fill these vacancies.
If you require an accommodation, assistance with preparing an application, or have any questions, please contact Marla Brown, Director of Equity and Access, at [email protected].
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:
- recognition by other members of the profession as an exceptional barrister or solicitor,
- exceptional contributions through legal scholarship, teaching or continuing legal education,
- demonstration of exceptional qualities of leadership in the profession, and
- 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:
- A signed Authorization for Disclosure of Information and Release Form;
- A signed Application or Nomination Form;
- A completed Information Form (The form is three pages and provides for an additional two pages if required); and
- 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: September Update
I hope that as we approach the beginning of fall you have all had some time to enjoy the sun and perhaps a holiday over the summer months. I am hoping to share a brief update about what the Society’s Equity and Access department has been doing over the last few months.
Earlier this month, the Society’s Gender Equity Committee hosted the Dara Gordon QC Leadership event. The event was well attended despite the weather, and we heard from Cheryl Hodder KC, our Chief Executive Officer, Marjorie Hickey KC, and Michelle Kelly KC about the life of Dara Gordon and the outsized role she played in advancing equity for women in the legal profession. The Society and Gender Equity Committee are grateful for the generous support we received from McInnes Cooper to be able to host this event.
Currently, we are having the Society’s office space audited to ensure that our physical space is accessible and that we are doing everything that we can to create a space that is welcoming to people living with disabilities. In the months to come the society will be looking into ways to ensure that our website is also meeting accessibility standards and is accommodating to all its users.
This month we are excited to welcome several pro bono students to work with our team on the Equity Lens Toolkit update, a survey for articled clerks on their experiences generally, and from an equity and access perspective, as well as the creation of a new criminal law cultural competency standard focusing on persons with disabilities. We look forward to sharing more about our work together with our pro bono team.
The Society has also launched The Path, a set of mandatory Indigenous Cultural competence training modules for practising members. The entire Society team is looking forward to rolling out this training and believe that this is an important step in building a Bar that is welcoming and culturally competent. We appreciate the work that you are all doing.
As an update on some of the other work our department has been doing, our Advisor Vanessa Fells has been selected join a committee to ensure that the recommendations from the Mass Casualty Commission’s report are implemented and that the relevant bodies are accountable to make the necessary changes. Additionally, Vanessa has been selected to join the RCMP’s steering committee to assist in creating an action plan as a companion to the organization’s forthcoming apology to African Nova Scotians and all people of African descent for the harm caused by their historical use of street checks.
At the last Council meeting, we shared an update on our department’s work and where some of our key projects and committee work stands. Council also received training on engagement with a specific focus on stakeholders from equity deserving communities. We are looking forward to working more with Council on finding meaningful ways to engage with a diverse range of communities and we will be sure to provide an update on any engagement events that we have in the future.
Finally, we would like to congratulate Heather McNeill for being the 2023 recipient of the Award for Mi’kmaq & Indigenous Peoples Excellence in the Legal Profession. Heather is the second recipient of the award and is an excellent ambassador for our profession. Congratulations, Heather!
The Disability Equity Committee is also recruiting new committee members to provide guidance to Council and the Society about accessibility. If you are interested in volunteering your time and joining this committee, the details about how to apply are available above. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions about this committee and our work.
As we look at the months ahead, the Society would like to remind members that September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Below, we have shared a list of resources for member to review. We encourage you to take some time, as with years past, to reflect on Truth and Reconciliation and what it means in both your personal and professional lives.
— Marla Brown, NSBS Director, Equity and Access
Congratulations Heather McNeill N.W.L., KC, recipient of the Award for Mi’kmaq & Indigenous Peoples Excellence in the Legal Profession!
The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society is pleased to announce that Heather McNeill N.W.L., KC is the 2023 recipient of the Society’s Award for Mi’kmaq & Indigenous Peoples Excellence in the Legal Profession (AMIE).
This award recognizes outstanding Mi’kmaq and Indigenous lawyers within Nova Scotia who have contributed to their community, their Nation, the legal profession and to the Society. For more information about this award and the nomination criteria is available on our website.
“Receiving this award is a very special moment for me and brings forward feelings of immense gratitude. It not only honors the many years I’ve dedicated to advocating for a more equitable legal system, particularly for Mi’kmaq and Indigenous people, but for all peoples who have experienced substantive inequity.
As in all good things that have come to me, I give my profound appreciation and thanks to family, Elders, Millbrook First Nation, community, friends, colleagues, and the many teachers, all of whom have supported, guided, and counselled me along my journey. There were many. And I thank those who nominated me for this prestigious award and the AMIE Selection Committee for determining I was worthy. “
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day: Resources for Members
The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society will close its office on Monday, October 2 in observation of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a federal statutory holiday that “honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities” and to recognize and reflect on the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation responds to one of the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls for a national day to “honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
The Province of Nova Scotia announced last year that it will annually recognize Truth and Reconciliation Day in alignment with the federal government.
The Society encourages all staff, members, and Nova Scotians to reflect, learn and consider what we can do to advance reconciliation in our province and live in peace and friendship.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Resources
- Resource list gathered by the Society’s Truth and Reconciliation Working Group (TRCWG) to connect Indigenous members, especially residential school survivors, their families and communities, with existing supports.
- Truth and Reconciliation related practice resources collected by the Society
- Residential School History
- Survivors’ Stories
- Reading List by First Peoples Law
- Indigenous Canada free online course offered by the University of Alberta
Orange Shirt Day
September 30th is also Orange Shirt Day a day to honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada and learn more about the history of those schools.
Phyllis Webstad, a member of the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, started Orange Shirt Day. Phyllis is a survivor of the St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in British Columbia and the colour orange always reminded her of her experiences at residential school and, as she has said, “how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared, and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying, and no one cared.”
She shares her memories in a presentation outlining the meaning of Orange Shirt Day.
Mental Health and Wellness Resources
The TRCWG has collected resources to connect Indigenous members, especially residential school survivors, their families and communities, with existing support resources they can access to support them towards their healing journey.
The TRCWG does not specifically endorse any of these resources and recognizes that they may not provide the support that is needed. It is offered as a round-up of the most comprehensive list of options we are aware of.
Clarification on Remote Client Identification Verification using the government-issued photo ID method (Videoconference)
Money laundering and identity fraud continue to be a serious concern. To avoid becoming involved in this type of illegal activity, please continue to manage risk, and remain highly vigilant.
As a reminder of Client ID rules, when a lawyer is retained to provide legal services, engages in or gives instructions involving the receiving, paying or transferring of funds, they must verify their client’s identity using one of three methods:
- reviewing government-issued photo ID;
- reviewing the client’s credit file; or
- the dual-process method (reviewing two original, valid and current documents or information from independent and reliable sources).
The most common method chosen to verify a client’s identity is the government-issued photo ID method. This is usually completed in person during the first face to face meeting with the client. However, there is still a misconception that the government-issued photo ID method can be completed using videoconference (e.g., zoom). This is not the case. You are not allowed to have the client hold up their Driver’s License to the camera over zoom. However, there has been an update provided by the Federation of Law Societies. Videoconference can now be used for the government-issued photo ID method if you use it conjunction with an authentication technology.
If the individual is not present, you or your agent may use the government-issued photo identification method if you have a process in place to authenticate the government-issued photo identification document and to determine that it is valid and current.
To authenticate the document, you could use a technology capable of determining the document’s authenticity. For example, you could:
- ask the individual to scan their government-issued photo identification document using the camera on their mobile phone or electronic device; and
- use a technology to compare the features of the scanned document against known characteristics (for example, size, texture, character spacing, raised lettering, format/design), security features (for example, holograms, barcodes, magnetic strips, watermarks, embedded electronic chips) or markers (for example, logos or symbols) to be satisfied that it is an authentic document as issued by the competent authority.
Where can I find authentication technology?
This type of technology is still new and is just being introduced in Nova Scotia. Please consult the Law Society of Alberta’s list of approved sandbox participants and the directory of identity management and proofing products composed by DIACC.
Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Canadian Legal Profession Online Learning Program
The Federation of Law Societies has launched an online learning program about the responsibilities and best practices for lawyers related to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. The training is composed of five modules:
- Understanding the Problem of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
- Assessing and Managing Money Laundering Risks
- Key Due Diligence Requirements
- Proper Use of Trust Accounts
- Cash Transactions
The training is available here.
Update to the Law Office Management Standards on Client Service and Communication
The Law Office Management Standards Committee has updated the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society standards related to Client Service and Communication. The following major updates have been made:
- Title has changed from client service to client service and communication
- Significant additions following the application of equity lens with explicit reference to culturally competent services with extensive guidance and context provided below the line.
- A lawyer must provide reasonable accommodation to the point of undue hardship or as required by law.
Canadian Bankers Association: Updated Contact List for Mortgage Discharges
The Canadian Bankers Association has updated its contact list for matters involving mortgage discharges. The CBA has requested that it be made available to lawyers immediately. If this is relevant to your practice, please visit this link for more information.
Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia
- FRAUD ALERT: Alberta Issues Bad Cheque Scam Warning for Lawyers
- NSLAP WELLNESS: Engaging Employees in Multi-Generational Workplaces
- Save the Date: LIANS & NSBS Solo and Small Firm Virtual Conference – November 15, 2023
Changes in Category
In every issue of our newsletter InForum, we provide updates on category changes. These are the Changes in Category from July 26, 2023 — September 26, 2023:
Welcome to the members who were recently called to the Bar:
- Aodhan Patrick Murphy
- Melvin Mulo Farenkia
- Mr. Michael Lee Byrne
- Jonathan Noah Adams
These members have changed to Practising status:
- Marian F. Mancini
- Michael Andre Arseneau
- David Allen Daniels
- Gillian Ruth Lush
- Kelsey Jane Nearing
- Karla Lourdes Bray
- Selby Andrew Evans
- Colin Isaiah Smith
- Jonathan Noah Adams
- Séamus Padraig Moriarty
- Adedoyin Anuoluwapo Adeniji
These members have changed to Non-Practising status:
- Ms. Lisa Dawn Bevin
- Ms. Hayley Victoria Smith
- Ms. Melinda Joy Lukwinski McCrindle
- Ms. Erin Louise Wagner
- Ms. Katie Elizabeth Armstrong
- Mr. Joseph John Hollis
- Zachary Lawrence Seaward
- Nicole Frances Tomasic
- Lewis Raymond Waring
- Navid Dehghani
- Ms. Marki MacArthur Arsenault
These members have changed to retired status:
- Mr. John Michael Dillon, KC
- Mr. Frank G. Gillis, KC
- Mr. Gary Andrew Richard
- Mr. Tim Linwood Cranston
These members have resigned:
- Ms. Deborah Lee Rozee
- Ms. Pamela M. Stewart
- Ms. Rebecca Dawn Gasek
- Mr. Scott MacKenzie Hughes
- Mr. William Murray Wilson
- Kristen Ruth O’Keefe
- Ms. Lindsay Michelle Silliker
- Mr. Tristan David Carroll
- Ms. Haneen Salahuddin Mohammad Al-Noman
- Zachary Henry Stanley Halper-Johnson
For Your Information
Recruitment for Legal Membership at the Nova Scotia Health Research Ethics Board
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]
CBA-NS Annual Professional Development Conference
The Canadian Bar Association Nova Scotia Branch’s Annual Conference will take place on Thursday, December 7 and Friday, December 8, 2023 – Just in time to top up your yearly CPD requirements! The preliminary schedule is now available on the user-friendly conference website. With 26 engaging and provoking sessions planned over two days, there’s something for everyone.
Member discounts are available if you are a student, articling, in your first 3 years of call or attending from outside of HRM. And don’t forget about the group discount that applies when registering 5 or more members from the same firm. Non-members welcome. To learn more and register visit cbans.ca or contact the branch at 902-422-1905.
Join the Lawyer Referral Service
If you are a lawyer in private practice, join the Legal Information Society’s Lawyer Referral Service.
Thousands of Nova Scotians call the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia’s Legal Information Line each year, and many of them need a lawyer. In 2022, we provided over 770 referrals!
- It’s a great practice-building tool;
- It’s a great way to raise your professional profile;
- It’s a rewarding way to give back to your community;
- And it’s completely free to join!
All referrals a reviewed for merit by our team of Legally Trained Professionals, and all referrals have been advised that if they proceed they may be required to pay a retainer fee.
To find out more or to sign up right now online go to legalinfo.org/lawyers/lawyer-referral-service
The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (or LISNS) is a public legal information and education charity. We’ve been providing Nova Scotians with easy-to-understand information and resources about the law since 1982.
- Legal Assistant
- Legal Assistant
- Receptionist or Legal Assistant
- 41812_Crown Attorney
- 41811_Crown Attorney
- 41810_Crown Attorney
- Policy Analyst
- Legal Assistant
- Legal Assistant
- Law Clerk, Nova Scotia Court of Appeal
- Legal Assistant/Paralegal
- Litigation Associate
- Property Paralegal/Legal Assistant
- Associate Lawyer
- Labour Standards Officer 3
- Junior Lawyer – Plaintiff Litigation
- Paralegal – No experience required
- Legal Assistant
- Wills & Estates/Probate Paralegal – Patterson Law, Quinn Street Office
- Legal Assistant – Wolfville
- Litigation Legal Assistant
- Senior Family Law Lawyer
- Associate Lawyer Position
- Legal Assistant
- Family Law Associate
- Associate Lawyer – Real Property and Estate Law
- Property Paralegal
- WAGNERS – PARALEGAL POSITION
- Administrative Assistant Merida Law
- Corporate Tax Paralegal
- Agent for the Direct of Public Prosecutions
- Associate: Real Estate & Corporate and Commercial Transactions / 3 – 5 years’ experience
- Senior Solicitor
- Virtual Health & Safety Conference
- Truth and Reconciliation at Work: Affirming Indigenous identity and promoting cultural safety in the workplace
- Estate Planning for Beneficiaries with a Disability
- Underused Housing Tax Act
- Protecting Mental Health in Remote and Hybrid Workplaces: New challenges, innovative approaches
- Labour Relations Certificate
- Balancing Employee Privacy and Employer Access to Personal Information: Who gets to know what and when?
- Atlantic Advocacy Symposium
- Persuasive Legal Writing
- Building Respectful Workplaces: Preventing harassment, restoring relationships
- Tax & Estate Planning Issues for New Canadians
- The Latest in Workers’ Compensation: Experts examine recent trends and legal developments