Annual Report 2015/2016

  • August 16, 2016

Submitted by Section Chair, Devon C. Windsor-Doyle

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held: 7

September 24, 2015
Guest Speaker: Claudia Walker, Occupational Therapist - Claudia Walker & Associates Margherita Jess, Occupational Therapist - Vector Rehabilitation Service Phil Penner, Partner - Jones Emery Hargreaves Swan
Meeting Title/Topic: Occupational Therapy in Practice and in Court
Synopsis: Our panelists discussed the use of occupational therapy evidence in prosecuting injury cases pre-trial, as well as the effective presentation of such evidence in court.

October 15, 2015
Guest Speaker: Stephen Andrew – journalist; CTV, CHEK, C-FAX and CBC
Meeting Title/Topic: Crisis Communication – controlling your client’s matters in the media
Synopsis: The days of the "no comment" response when media ask questions about your case is a thing of the past. Some counsel believe that talking to the media will harm their case and their client, but staying silent can often hurt your client’s reputation – especially in a crisis. And repairing reputation is time consuming and costly. Remember, if you’re not talking… someone else is. As a journalist on CTV, CHEK, C-FAX and CBC, Stephen Andrew has more than 20 years experience covering stories that centre on a crisis. His unique and “behind the scenes” presentation on how media really works, and why opening up the lines of communication is a real benefit, is an informative and provocative session.

November 12, 2015
Guest Speaker: Sarah Klinger
Meeting Title/Topic: Going Out on your Own
Synopsis: Owning your own practice can be both rewarding and challenging. Issues of overhead and how to attract new clients are likely to keep you up at night. The more you know going into it though, the less frequent the nightmares and the better sleep you will get! Sarah Klinger will discuss the ins and outs of opening a civil law practice on the Island including issues of overhead, office sharing and advertising. Questions are welcomed in advance of the presentation and time will be allotted for discussion during the meeting.

January 14, 2016
Guest Speaker: Paul Pearson; Partner - Mulligan Tam Pearson
Meeting Title/Topic: The Evolution of Law Firm marketing
Synopsis: Marketing ourselves and our businesses as sole practitioners, associates or partners in a firm is an ever-changing monetary, logistical, technological and regulatory challenge. Please join us for a discussion of these issues with Paul Pearson, a partner at Mulligan Tam Pearson in Victoria. Paul will share his knowledge and experience in this area, including the regulation of law firm advertising, as well marketing strategies and the cost and benefits of each.

February 11, 2016
Guest Speaker: Mr. Justice Johnston - Supreme Court of British Columbia
Meeting Title/Topic: A View from the Bench - Trial tips
Synopsis: Mr. Justice Johnston has kindly agreed to provide us with some views from the Bench regarding effective trial strategies. For example:

  • What arguments or evidence tend to catch the attention of trial judges?
  • What types of evidence are trial judges more likely to ignore or give little weight?
  • What annoys trial judges?
  • How do trial judges make decisions?
  • What Orders can trial judges make?


April 7, 2016
Guest Speaker: Trudi L. Brown QC, Brown Henderson Melbye Richard S. Margetts QC, Johns Southward Glazier Walton & Margetts David S. Mulroney, Mulroney & Company
Meeting Title/Topic: Ethics Panel – Discussion surrounding common ethical dilemmas faced by lawyers
Synopsis: Civil litigation is full of ethical dilemmas for lawyers, from interacting with clients to communicating with opposing counsel. Our experienced panel will discuss ethical issues faced by lawyers and provide real-life examples and practical advice on how to deal with dilemmas that may arise. There will be an opportunity for a question and answer period following what is sure to be a lively and informative presentation.

May 5, 2016
Guest Speaker: Kate Gower - Devlin Gailus Westaway
Synopsis: In this discussion, Kate Gower - who acted as counsel Victoria's first electronic trial - will discuss her experience in preparing for that trial, the technology that was used, and the lessons she learned from running an etrial. As more members of the judiciary express a preference for the use of technology in the courtroom, Kate will tell us how these developments might impact our practices in the future.

Comments and Observations of the Chair

We've had a great year of well-attended meetings and have been fortunate to have such high-quality speakers. Our members often remark that the main value of their participation in our section is the CLE and social aspects of our in-person meetings.