E-Brief: May 2017

Brexit, Presidential Executive Orders and the Rule of Law: A discussion on the limits of executive power

Join us at our first annual Rule of Law Lecture to hear from speakers Anne Egeler, Deputy Solicitor General of Washington State and part of the attorney team challenging President Trump's executive orders, and Richard Gordon, QC, lead counsel for Wales in the high-profile Brexit case Miller v. Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. For event details, see the website. Admission is free but registration is required. To RSVP, contact policy@lsbc.org.

For more information on the work of the Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee, follow @RuleofLawBC on Twitter and visit our website.

Law Society expresses concerns regarding border searches of electronic devices

President Herman Van Ommen, QC has sent a letter to the federal government on behalf of the Law Society expressing concern about searches of electronic devices at the Canadian border. The letter urges federal ministers to provide assurances that CBSA agents will not seek to obtain passwords from lawyers to their electronic devices, and that if such a request is made and a lawyer refuses it, border agents will not confiscate the electronic device or otherwise detain the lawyer. Read the letter here.

Amendments to the Law Society Rules

The Benchers have approved amendments to the Law Society Rules: 1) to provide for voting at a general meeting either partly or fully by electronic means, allowing members who are unable to attend in person or by telephone to hear the proceedings and vote by way of the internet; and 2) to change the qualifications required to act as a principal to an articled student, including reducing the period of qualification from seven of the previous 10 years to five of the previous six years and allowing prorated credit for part-time practice. Click here for highlights of amendments.

Recruitment and Nominating Advisory Committee

At their April 7 meeting, the Benchers approved the creation of a Recruitment and Nominating Advisory Committee. The committee is expected to assist in identifying well-qualified persons with the requisite experience, expertise and willingness to serve on Law Society committees and other organizations. The committee will provide advice about potential appointees to the President, Executive Committee and Benchers. The members of the new committee can be found on our website.

From the courts

The unveiling ceremony for a bust honouring the late Chief Justice Allan McEachern will be held on Thursday, June 22 at 4:30 pm in the Great Hall of the Law Courts. All are welcome to attend. Inquiries may be directed to the Office of the Chief Justice of BC, Court of Appeal at 604.660.2710.

The Court of Appeal has issued a new Practice Note on booking civil chambers applications and an updated Practice Directive on commencing an appeal when uncertain if leave to appeal is required. Both came into effect on May 8. Visit the court's website for more information.

The Supreme Court of BC has issued a Practice Direction on standard directions for appeals from decisions of masters, registrars or special referees, effective May 1. For more information, visit the court's website.

The Federal Court has issued Trial Management Guidelines. Visit the court's website for details.


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Send your comments or questions to communications@lsbc.org.