Annual Report 2016/2017

  • August 16, 2017

Submitted by Section Chair, Mark Gervin

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held:8

September 21, 2016
Guest Speakers: The Honourable Madam Justice Elizabeth A. Bennett, Court of Appeal of British Columbia, The Honourable Judge Alexander M.D. Wolf, Provincial Court of British Columbia, Terence La Liberte, QC, La Liberté Cronin & Company and Retired Judge, Cunliff Barnett
Meeting Title/Topic: Deconstructing Gladue reports: Views from the Bench and the Practitioner's Guidelines
Synopsis: Discussion regarding the making, funding or lack of funding and use of Gladue reports

October 19, 2016
Guest Speaker: The Honourable Judge Melissa Gillespie, Janet Winteringham, Q.C. and Jennifer Lopes
Meeting Title/Topic: In or Out? Voir Dires, A Practical Guide to Statements
Synopsis: A practical guide on how to run a statement voir dire from three very seasoned and excellent criminal law participants. This was a great chance for students and young lawyers to learn "how to" a statement voir dire, it was also a great refresher for more seasoned counsel.

November 16, 2016
Guest Speaker: Lliane Bantourakis
Meeting Title/Topic: Prison Law and Ethics
Synopsis: Greg Delbigio addressed the group for a half hour on behalf of the Law Society regarding changes to the Code of Conduct (ethical issues about what to do with client property/evidence in the lawyer’s possession). Then Eric Purtzki and Lili Bantourakis addressed the group on prison law issues (for slightly more than an hour).

January 18, 2017
Guest Speakers: Associate Chief Justice Austin F. Cullen, Lesley A. Ruzicka - Crown Counsel, and Thomas Arbogast, Defence Counsel on R. v. Dass - A BCSC file where a stay was granted following R v. Jordan.
Meeting Title/Topic: JORDAN!....Death Match, Or A Little Gentle Guidance For Us All
Synopsis: R v. Jordan is causing all court participants problems, from the Bench down to the defence and over to the Crown. The Court needs to be mindful of their obligations to see trials begin within a certain timeframe. The Crown has to make certain that they heed the Courts demands to be prepared to go to trial within that time frame and the defence, as usual, has to decide how to juggle their calendar and their obligations to the Courts and their clients.
We had a great panel consisting of Associate Chief Justice Austin F, Cullen, Lesley Ruzicka from Crown Counsel, and Thomas Arbogast, defence counsel on R. v. Dass, a BCSC file where a stay was granted following R v. Jordan.
This is a two hour panel, therefore 2 hours of cle towards the 2017 cpd hours. The panel, Wednesday January 18, 2017, began at 5:15 pm at Campagnolo Upstairs located at 1020 Main Street, Vancouver and ended at 7:15pm. The reason for the length was to give our panelists enough time to explain Jordan, to explain how all of us may try and apply Jordan and to take questions.

February 15, 2017
Guest Speakers: The Honourable Judge H.K Dhillon - Provincial Court BC, Criminal Division, Debra Carpentier, Susan Daniels, Q.C. and Lyle Hillaby - Crown Counsel - New Westminster
Meeting Title/Topic: The Intersection Of Mental Health And The Justice System In BC And How Counsel Can Best Navigate The System
Synopsis: This meeting was a two part meeting beginning at 5:15 with a half hour explanation on how the Drug Treatment Court works and how your clients can be helped by this specialized court. The second part of the meeting focused on the practice of law in relation to the mentally ill. Attendees heard from legal and health care professionals regarding the intersection between the law and mental health. Topics included Review Board practice, information regarding the Mental Health Act and medico-legal tools meant to assist and protect the mentally ill and the public, and practice tips for defence counsel assisting mentally ill clients. This panel was meant to assist counsel, both young and old, Crown and Defence with the practical aspects of how to help a meantally ill client in custody.
This meeting was from 5:15 pm to 7:15 pm and provided the attendee with two hours of CLE towards their CPD which is a pretty neat thing. This meeting also provided the practitioner, with practical advice on how to help their client and not look foolish in front of the court; also something pretty neat.

March 15, 2017
Guest Speakers: Michael Klein, Q.C. - Michael Klein Law Corporation, Michelle Wray - Crown Counsel-Surrey, and Helen Huzzey - Law Society of BC
Meeting Title/Topic: Ethics: My Favourite Two Hour Panel...Or Two More Hours Of CPD Completed
Synopsis: This is the panel I look forward to each year which had as it's Chair, defence counsel Michael Klein, Q.C. flanked by Michelle Wray of the Crown Counsel's office and Helen Huzzey from the Law Society of B.C. Our panelists examined a number of ethical questions or quandries from different angles. This in turn helped law students, junior counsel all the way up the food chain to senior counsel to examine both old and new problems and ideas that we as counsel encounter daily in our professional lives. One of the best parts of our profession is the opportunity we have to encounter tough ethical situations each and every day of our careers...on Wednesday March 15, 2017 from 5:15 to 7:15pm at Campagnolo Upstairs located at 1020 Main Street we had a chance to listen to three great pratitioners of our recieved the full two hours of the ethical component of our mandatory CPD.

April 26, 2017
Guest Speakers: The Honourable Kathleen Ker, Supreme Court of British Columbia, The Honourable Terrence Alexander Schultes, Supreme Court of British Columbia, The Honourable Eugene Christopher Jamieson, Provincial Court of British Columbia (Port Coquitlam), The Honourable Melissa Ann Gillespie, Provincial Court of British Columbia (Surrey), The Honourable Patricia L. Janzen, Provincial Court of British Columbia (Port Coquitlam), The Honourable Elisabeth Anne Burgess, Provincial Court of British Columbia (Vancouver), The Honourable Joanne Challenger, Provincial Court of British Columbia (North Vancouver), The Honourable Ellen Gordon, Provincial Court of British Columbia (Surrey)
Meeting Title/Topic: Criminal Justice - Vancouver & UBC Young Lawyers Night
Synopsis: This meeting had an hour session of court "how to's" and "how not to's" for young lawyers, followed by an hour and a half of wonderful pizza, and pie, pie, pie!

May 17, 2017
Guest Speaker: Madam Justice Wedge - Supreme Court of British Columbia, Mark Jetté - Sutherland Jetté, and Maggie Loda - Public Prosecution Service of Canada
Meeting Title/Topic: Vukelich....aaaaarg!
Synopsis: Joe Saulnier put together our last subsection hearing for the year and it was a great one. Vukelich Hearings! Our panel was a seasoned group and very knowledgeable in this area. Madam Justice Wedge moderated the panel and has lots of experience moderating counsel such as Maggie Loda from the PPSC and Mark Jetté from Sutherland Jetté.

Comments and Observations of the Chair

My experience as chair of the section was wonderful. I had three other lawyers on the executive with me, Joe Saulnier, Patricia Barkaskas and Tony Paisana who were great to work with. I also brought in Joanna Medjuck, Jessica Lithwick, Michelle Reinhart and Garen Arnet-Zargarian unofficially to provide assistance and input. Finally, I relied on the advice of Janet Winteringham, QC, Kasandra Cronin and Michelle Booker to give me advice as the year progressed.
I think we had the most successful section in well over a decade, almost every if not every meeting was over subscribed, I do not think that there was a meeting where I did not have to turn away people.
Our topics were all of immediate use for the working lawyers and many judges who attended.