Annual Report 2011/2012

  • July 26, 2012

Submitted by Karyn Kraemer

Summary of Activities

Number of Meetings Held: 7

September 22, 2011
Guest Speakers: Open Discussion
Family Law practitioners met to discuss the Provincial Court (Family) Rules as feedback was requested by a special committee co-chaired by Associate Chief Judge Brecknell and Judge Margaret Rae. We considered what we would change, what is missing and how the new Family Law Act will affect existing Provincial Court (Family Rules)

November 1, 2011
Guest Speaker: The Honourable Mr. Justice Betton
The Honourable Mr. Justice Betton shared his "views from the bench", and a general discussion with members of the Bar. re: family practice was held

December 8, 2011
Guest Speaker: N/A - Holiday Social
The Okanagan Family Law Subsection joined with the Collaborative Family Law Group to celebrate the season. Together we raised funds and gathered clothing for the Kelowna Women's Shelther, and enjoyed a festive evening.

February 23, 2012
Guest Speaker: Grant Thornton Divorce Team
Divorce: Navigating Through the Financial Aspects. The Grant Thornton Divorce Team discussed servcies available to family practitioners, particularly in the ares of tax, income determination, and valuations. 

April 26, 2012
Guest Speaker: Sandra Hakanson, B.A. L.L.B of Ocana Law Group, Immigration & Citizenship Lawyers
Immigration Issues & Family Law. Ms. Hakanson discussed the overlap in these two areas, and how to deal with these situations in a family file. 

May 16, 2012
Guest Speakers: Joint Section Meeting - Helen Low & Anna Laing of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Family Trusts: The Making and The Challenging (...could this be a family asset?). Ms. Low and Ms. Laing looked at the current Family Relations Act, and the new Family Law Act and how counsel must deal with the pitfalls of family trusts.

June 21, 2012
Guest Speaker: John-Paul E. Boyd, Aaron Gordon Daykin Nordlinger (via video rebroadcast)
Video rebroadcast: The New BC Family Law Act; which provided highlights from the new Act. 

Comments and Observations of the Chair

By far, the highlight of this year for our sub-section was having a joint meeting with the Wills/Estates subsection to bring out excellent speakers from Vancouver to speak on family trusts. As was mentioned by many chairs at the "Section Summit" at Provincial Council on June 23rd, our difficulty is getting members out to meetings. They tend not to come to meetings unless we have interesting and new speakers. They want good value with their membership and want interesting and cutting-edge topics. We cannot always afford new and interesting speakers as we have very little budget, so we get few participants. It truly is a vicious circle. Only with the CBA's support of funding for that joint meeting did we feel successful. 

I have struggled this year without a secretary (our secretary moved out of family law after the first meeting). I am excited to have a full executive next year. We will try to "piggy back" on experts coming into town and use webinars, but this is quite a daunting task to put forward quality programming month after month.

Thanks to Jennifer for coming out to the Okanagan this year to problem solve with the section chairs. She provided support and many ideas. I know we are difficult in always asking for more funding (and likely will be next year too), but we appreciate the efforts along the way, and any support we do get. Thanks again to the entire team.