News from the Law Foundation
Scotiabank commended for rate of return
Law Foundation Chair Margaret Sasges commends Scotiabank for its commitment to paying a competitive rate of return on lawyers’ pooled trust accounts. Scotiabank agreed to a new interest agreement effective December 1, 2012, that will provide a welcome increase to the Foundation’s overall trust revenues.
The Law Foundation thanks Paula Merrier, Director Western Canada, and Evonne Macleod, Senior Manager of Global Transaction Banking, at Scotiabank for the leadership shown in making this new agreement possible.
Increased revenues enable the Foundation to fund programs that make the justice system accessible to the people of British Columbia. The funded programs include professional legal education, public legal education, law reform, legal research, legal aid and law libraries.
The Law Society, the Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch) and the Law Foundation encourage lawyers to consider which financial institutions provide the best support to the Law Foundation when deciding where to place their trust accounts.
New board chair
At its November meeting, the Law Foundation Board of Governors approved Tamara Hunter as its new chair. Hunter is a litigation lawyer at Davis and Company in Vancouver and practises in the areas of administrative law, privacy law, professional regulation and commercial litigation. She began her legal career as a law clerk to Chief Justice Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada and was called to the bar in 1992. She has represented both private and public sector organizations before the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and in related litigation.
Law Society appointments
As of January 1, 2013, Fred Fatt is the Law Society appointment to the Law Foundation Board of Governors for Cariboo County. Fatt was called to the bar in 1981. He has a diversified legal aid practice, and has regularly been counsel on circuit courts outside of Prince George. For a number of years, he has been the supervising lawyer of the Law Foundation-funded poverty law advocacy program in Prince George, operated by Active Support Against Poverty.
The Society’s appointment for Westminster County is Ajeet Kang, who was called to the bar in 1994. Kang is the managing partner of Kang and Company, a small firm in Surrey. She practises in the areas of immigration, family and criminal law, is a family law mediator, and has worked as a federal and provincial prosecutor. Kang is very involved in the South Asian community, speaking Punjabi and Hindi. She founded CORSA, a not-for-profit organization that works with South Asian youth at risk. She has also served on the BC Review Board.
Provincial Court externships
One of the continuing professional legal education programs that the Law Foundation contributes to is the Provincial Court externship. The externships are a semester-long judicial internship offered for credit to third-year students at the UBC Faculty of Law in partnership with the Provincial Court of BC.
The students receive a week-long orientation to the court, delivered by judges, and then spend the remainder of the semester working in an assigned courthouse four days per week. Students observe the operation of the court, undertake legal research to support the work of the judiciary, and observe the judicial decision-making and court processes. Students also participate in a seminar offered by the Faculty of Law that provides an opportunity to discuss and analyze the work they have done. Students consistently describe the experience as eye-opening and very valuable.
As part of the program, students travel with a judge to one of the circuit courts that serve some of the more remote rural areas of the province. The Law Foundation makes an annual grant that funds the travel costs for those students.