On October 23, 2020, CALE/ACEJ held its annual conference, the intellectual and social high-water mark of its annual activities. The conference was held virtually and was supported by the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. Heartfelt thanks are due to its Acting Dean Richard Devlin and Zoom Coordinator Conor Falvey for their efforts, without which the conference could not have happened as it did.
The conference featured presentations in three areas: teaching, regulation and research. A complete listing of all presentations is on the CALE/ACEJ website under the Annual Conference tab.
The teaching panel focused heavily on issues relating to teaching legal ethics online. One of the themes in the discussions was which recent short-term developments would continue to be used even after the end of the pandemic. This generated considerable (and heated) debate. Another related topic was whether the current requirement that the JD program be primarily taught in person rather than online is defensible as a matter of pedagogy or access to education.
The regulation panel considered the implications of the pandemic on the regulation of the legal profession. All presenters noted the significant demands the pandemic has placed on the need to improve access to technology and training in how to use it effectively. As with teaching, a major issue was thinking about which changes, made for emergency reasons and often in a very short period of time, will be retained for the future.
The research panels ranged widely over the landscape of legal ethics. Several presentations examined lawyers and the use of social media. Other topics included improving the ability of lawyers to work with and serve trans clients, how to regulate electronic legal services provided directly to members of the public, recent developments in the law on lawyers’ undertakings and on the obligation of advocates to raise adverse authority, and how to respond to the increasing use of analytics to predict judicial decisions (“Moneyball” for judging).
Many conference participants were struck by how much exchange and debate the presentations produced. The chat function in Zoom played a major role, allowing relevant commentary and information to supplement the oral presentation in real time and keeping people very engaged. While regular attendees certainly missed seeing each other in person, the virtual format did allow several people to attend who otherwise would not have done so.
CALE/ACEJ very much looks forward to the 2021 annual conference, to be hosted at Lakehead University. Here’s hoping we will be able to be there in person.
On October 22, 2020, CALE/ACEJ held its annual meeting of members as an online Zoom meeting. President Amy Salyzyn highlighted CALE/ACEJ’s active role in providing feedback to both the Canadian Judicial Council (for its efforts to create a new version of Ethical Principles for Judges) and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (for its ongoing revisions to aspects of the Model Code). She also noted that a priority for 2020-21 would be to review and confirm the composition of CALE/ACEJ’s membership.
Treasurer Basil Alexander reported that the financial position was not materially changed from the prior year and that CALE/ACEJ is current with its corporate and tax filings.
Elected as directors of CALE/ACEJ for 2020-21 were Basil Alexander, Brent Cotter, Richard Devlin, Jula Hughes, Sonia Lawrence, Andrew Flavelle Martin, Pooja Parmar, Stephen Pitel, Marie-Claude Rigaud, Alain Roussy and Amy Salyzyn. At a subsequent meeting of those directors, the following officers were appointed: Chair of the Board Richard Devlin, President Amy Salyzyn, Vice-President Stephen Pitel, Corporate Secretary and Treasurer Basil Alexander, Chief Information Officer Amy Salyzyn and Conference Coordinator Jula Hughes. Members thanked departing director Noel Semple for his service.
In discussion, some members indicated a desire to consider whether it would be appropriate for non-academic members to serve as directors of CALE/ACEJ. The consensus was that this issue should be discussed in the spring of 2021 and in any event in advance of the 2021 Annual Meeting.
Lakehead University has agreed to host the 2021 CALE/ACEJ conference. The plan for 2022 is to hold the conference in western Canada.
This year, the CALE/ACEJ AGM will take place over Zoom the day before the conference: it will be Thursday October 22, 2020, 3:30pm AST.
An agenda can be found on this webpage: https://ethicsincanada.com/minutes-from-meetings/
If any CALE/ACEJ member would like to attend, please email Conor.Falvey@dal.ca by Monday October 19 to note your attendance and to receive the Zoom link.
Registration is now open for this year’s conference that will take place over Zoom on Friday October 23, 2020.
Please note that registration is restricted to current members of CALE/ACEJ. Registration will not be capped initially; however, we reserve the right to impose a limit on registration if numbers so require. Registration will be open until October 15th.
The Board of CALE/ACEJ has made the decision to move the Annual Conference that was scheduled to be hosted by the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, October 22-24, 2020 to a one-day virtual conference to take place Friday October 23, 2020.
Later this summer, we will circulate more information about registration and the platform that we will be using. Registration is not currently available.
Please also note that the original deadline for calls for research and teaching presentations was June 15, 2020, but we are now extending the deadline to June 30, 2020. Further details on the call for presentations and who to contact can be found here: https://ethicsincanada.com/2020/04/05/cale-2020-conference-call-for-presentation-proposals/.
CALE has two annual awards. The first is for the best paper written by an emerging scholar. The second is a lifetime achievement award. The terms for each award are available on the website (here).
The deadline for nominations this year is August 16, 2020. Nominations are to be submitted by e-mail to CALE’s Corporate Secretary and Treasurer, Professor Basil Alexander of the University of New Brunswick. The paper must be submitted in an anonymized format (so that the author will not be identified to the selection committee) and the lifetime achievement award must use the nomination form. This form was circulated to the CALE mailing list and is also available on request from Professor Alexander. Any questions about the awards or the nomination process should be directed to Professor Alexander.
The selection committee for both awards is Pooja Parmar, Darrel Pink and Stephen Pitel.
Today, CALE/ACEJ submitted feedback to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada on its proposal to add new rules to its Model Code addressing the obligations that arise from ex parte communications with tribunals and during ex parte proceedings. The letter that CALE/ACEJ sent can be found here.
In April and May, three new legal ethics blogs were posted at Slaw.ca, which may be of interest to website readers:
- “Trial by Zoom”: What Virtual Hearings Might Mean for Open Courts, Participant Privacy and the Integrity of Court Proceedings, by Amy Salyzyn, April 17, 2020
- What Is Non-Adversarial Advocacy?, by Deanne Sowter, April 24, 2020
- Getting Useful Information to Consumers of Legal Services, by Malcolm Mercer, May 8, 2020
The 2020 CALE Conference will be held October 22-24, 2020 at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. While we do not know what the future holds, we are proceeding on the basis that we will be able to gather in person as we have in the past.
Proposals are invited for presentations on either teaching legal ethics or research and scholarship about legal ethics and professionalism. The latter includes research relating to the regulation of the profession.
We invite anyone interested in presenting on a topic to contact us. We welcome proposals from junior scholars and from those working on legal ethics outside the academy. The eventual format of the presentations will depend on, among other things, the number of proposals we accept, but we expect that each presenter would have about 15-20 minutes plus time for questions. There is no need to have a formal paper accompanying your presentation: slides or oral remarks alone are fine. You need not have a finished product: works in progress are welcome.
One of the reasons for asking for proposals at this early stage is that we understand that for some of you it can be easier to obtain institutional funding to attend the CALE conference once you have been accepted as a speaker. We therefore aim to communicate acceptances as soon as we can so that you can leverage that acceptance to obtain funds.
For teaching, please respond to Marie-Claude Rigaud (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Andrew Flavelle Martin (email@example.com) by June 15, 2020.
For research, please respond to Basil Alexander (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Stephen Pitel (email@example.com) by June 15, 2020.
Further to the feedback that CALE/ACEJ sent to the CJC on December 20, 2020 regarding its draft Ethical Principles for Judges (EPJs), it sent an additional letter today with comments on the French draft EPJs.