Annual Report 2012/2013

  • July 10, 2013

Submitted by Section Chair, Laurel Courtenay

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held: 6

October 9, 2012
Guest Speakers: Lindsay Lyster and Katherine Hardie
Synopsis: Administrative Law Overview: Lindsay Lyster (Moore Edgar Lyster) and Katherine Hardie (counsel at the BC Human Rights Tribunal) provided an overview of administrative law and some legal research issues that arise in this area. Along with the topics discussed in the handout, Ms. Lyster and Ms. Hardie had several practical tips for researching administrative law topics, including: review the administrative body’s website, if any, as this generally contains legislation, rules, practice guidelines, etc. and will give you a general overview of that administrative body; start with the enabling statute to see what sections of the Administrative Tribunal Act may apply; tribunals are not bound by precedent. While consistency is important and other decisions may be persuasive, adjudicators are not obligated to follow other decisions in the same way as courts are Both Ms. Lyster and Ms. Hardie were contributing authors to the British Columbia Administrative Law Practice Manual, published by the BC Continuing Legal Education Society in 2012. A handout was provided and is enclosed with these minutes.

November 20, 2012
Guest Speaker: The Honourable Mr. Justice Grauer
Synopsis: The Honourable Mr. Justice Grauer provided an overview of the law of causation in tort leading up to and including the decision in Clements v. Clements, 2012 SCC 32, a case in which Mr. Justice Grauer was the trial judge. A handout entitled “Causation in the Law of Tort” was provided.

February 6, 2013
Guest Speaker: Timothy Martiniuk
Synopsis: Researching Workers Compensation Issues: Timothy Martiniuk of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (the “WCAT”) provided an overview of legal research tools available to lawyers practicing in the workers’ compensation area. Tim briefly explained the appeals process, including changes to the process since 2002, and the roles of the Workers’ Compensation Board, the WCAT, the Workers’ Advisor Office, and the Employers’ Advisors Office before moving on to practical tips on how to best use the WorkSafeBC website and WCAT website to research policy, regulations and decisions of the Review Division and WCAT. As Tim explained how to navigate the sites, the live webinar provided members of the Section attending remotely the same live view as those present in person. A handout was also provided.

April 16, 2013
Guest Speakers: Tim Outerbridge, Willa Duplantis, Do-Ellen Hansen, Johanne Blenkin
Synopsis: Tim Outerbridge introduced the topic. The purpose of the meeting was to get commentary from the Legal Research Section on the Court of Appeal’s practice directive “Citation of Authorities” (civil and criminal Practice Directive, September 19, 2001) with a view to substantially amending the practice directive. Members discussed such matters as: the need for uniformity across Canadian jurisdictions; the need to conform to practices of the Supreme Court of Canada; the utility of including parallel citations where cases have a neutral citation; the advantages and disadvantages of including periods in citations; and the utility of referring to a style guide (such as the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation) in a practice directive and indicating where the practice deviates from the style guide.

May 14, 2013
Guest Speaker: Professor Joost Blom, Q.C.
Synopsis: Professor Blom provided an overview of recent developments in conflicts of law. Professor Blom discussed the Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act, S.B.C. 2003, c.28 and its application by B.C. courts as well as the Supreme Court of Canada’s watershed decision in Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda, 2012 SCC 17. Professor Blom provided attendees with an outline of his presentation as well as a copy of an article he wrote for the Canadian Business Law Journal entitled: New Ground Rules for Jurisdictional Disputes: the Van Breda Quartet.

June 26, 2013
Guest Speaker: Sean Jones
Synopsis: Researching First Nations Issues: Sean Jones of Borden Ladner Gervais provided a synopsis of emerging issues in consultation with First Nations for research lawyers. He also explained the types of First Nations Lands and described various methods for researching interests in First Nations Lands. A handout was provided.

Comments and Observations of the Chair

The Legal Research Section held six meetings in the past year. Each meeting was well-attended and all of our speakers were very well received. All speakers provided handouts which will serve as useful resources to members. In addition, the Legal Research Section provided commentary to Tim Outerbridge, Law Officer of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia regarding proposed changes to the Court of Appeal's practice directive "Citation of Authorities". The Legal Research Section invited members of other Sections (Civil Litigation, Appellate Advocacy, Insurance Law, Aboriginal Law) to attend those of our meetings which were of interest to those Sections.

The Legal Research Section provided a valuable educational experience to its members and members of other Sections this year.