Two Recent Articles

The new edition (December 2022; volume 100:3) of the Canadian Bar Review includes two articles with CALE/ACEJ connections:

One is “Legal Ethics and the Promotion of Substantive Equality” by Daniel Del Gobbo. An earlier version of this article won CALE/ACEJ’s best paper prize, awarded in October 2022.

The other is “A Mixed Bag: Critical Reflections on the Revised Ethical Principles for Judges” by five members of the CALE/ACEJ board of directors. Elements of this article were presented at ILEC at UCLA in August 2022.

Both articles are available here. Happy reading.

Submission to National Requirement Review Committee

In September 2022 the National Requirement Review Committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada called for input at the outset of a review of the National Requirement (which specifies the competencies and skills graduates of Canadian law school programs and internationally trained graduates and lawyers must have acquired to be admitted to law society admission programs in the Canadian common law jurisdictions). The call for input is available here. CALE/ACEJ has responded to this call for input and its response is available below.

Conference Recap 2022

It was a great pleasure to return to an in-person conference this year. Our host was the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University and we are indebted to Dean Jula Hughes, Wendy Parkes and their team, including several faculty members, for running a terrific event. We met October 20-22, 2022.

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Annual Meeting 2022

On October 22, 2022, CALE/ACEJ held its annual meeting of members at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University. This was the first such meeting held in person since 2019. In her report, President Amy Salyzyn outlined CALE/ACEJ’s activities over the past year, including creating new guidelines for the listserv, updating the members list and drafting submissions to the Law Society of Ontario and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada on topics such as continuing legal education, compensation for articling students and competency requirements for NCA students. She also praised a strong Canadian showing at the recent International Legal Ethics Conference at UCLA.

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Notice of 2022 Annual General Meeting

CALE/ACEJ’s Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 9:30am at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario. All members of CALE/ACEJ are welcome to attend. The meeting is in-person only. Here is the agenda.

We hope that many of our members are able to join us.

CALE/ACEJ Awards: Nominations Now Open

Here’s the annual nominations call for CALE/ACEJ’s two fall awards, with a due date of August 12, 2022.

The two awards are:

  • the CALE/ACEJ Best Paper Award, which recognizes the best legal ethics and professionalism paper by an emerging scholar, and
  • the CALE/ACEJ Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes sustained accomplishments in legal ethics and professionalism.

More information about the awards, including previous winners and the awards’ full terms, is at https://ethicsincanada.com/cale-awards/.

For Best Paper nominations, submit an anonymized version of the paper to basil.alexander@unb.ca (can be your or someone else’s paper) by August 12, 2022. While we cannot ensure full blind review given the nature and size of the community, we will do the best we can.

For Lifetime Achievement nominations, complete and submit the nomination form (circulated in early June to the listserv and also available on request from Corporate Secretary Basil Alexander) and the required supporting letter(s) to basil.alexander@unb.ca by August 12, 2022. If it is easier for you, the form and the supporting letter(s) may be submitted separately.

If you have any questions, contact Basil Alexander.

The selection committee for this year’s awards is Brooke MacKenzie, Pooja Parmar and Stephen Pitel.

Conference Recap 2021

This year’s annual conference was held over Zoom, as public health conditions continue to make in-person gatherings difficult. We had intended to gather at Lakehead University but instead its planning team, led by Jula Hughes and Wendy Parkes, enabled us to meet online. The conference was held October 22-23, 2021. A full agenda for the conference is available elsewhere on this site. The conference featured a more formal opening than in some prior years, including a welcome from Elder-in-Residence Gerry Martin and greetings from Chief Peter Collins of the Fort William First Nation and Deputy Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

One highlight was the session on legal regulation which looked at what several law societies are doing in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Initiatives include mentoring programs for Indigenous lawyers and new continuing professional development programs with Indigenous content and perspectives. There are ongoing debates about what level of competence should be required of the profession and whether particular aspects, such as educational courses, should be mandatory. As an example, Alberta has made the completion of an online course about Indigenous cultural competency training mandatory. Other provinces and territories are considering how to proceed.

Another highlight was a special session on the new Ethical Principles for Judges adopted by the Canadian Judicial Council earlier this year. Several commentators with expertise in the area of judicial ethics offered their perspectives on the most important changes. One of the key themes of the session was the need to update and develop the Ethical Principles on more of an ongoing basis rather than once each generation or so.

The session on teaching legal ethics considered the benefits to students of exposure to real-world discipline cases and ways to address curriculum gaps relating to particular groups. It also featured a debate about the importance of instilling certain ethical values in students. All presentations fueled the notion that teaching legal ethics to the next generation of lawyers is an important responsibility that involves difficult choices in structuring and delivering the course.

The conference featured five presentations about recent research activities by CALE/ACEJ members. These were about (a) ethical issues facing in-house counsel in the Canadian context, (b) the duty on Attorneys General to encourage respect for the administration of justice (and how that relates to potential criticisms of judicial decisions or processes), (c) making decisions to take on litigation clients in cases that are highly unpopular, (d) adopting a modified resolute advocacy model for transnational environmental and human rights litigation involving extractive industry clients and (e) what lawyers should know about the obligations on psychologists concerning the release of patient files for use in legal proceedings.

As usual, the tone was largely informal, allowing for significant debate and disagreement without animosity or hostility. The 40 or so attendees found the material rich and engaging. The obvious drawback was the inability to connect in person and relax in a social setting after the sessions. Lakehead University has generously volunteered to host again in 2022, this time in person in Thunder Bay. CALE/ACEJ members very much look forward to it.

Annual Meeting 2021

On October 23, 2021, 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 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 provided an update on the status of some of the proposed changes to the Model Code relating to discrimination and harassment, ex parte communications and proceedings, and the return to the practice of law by former judges.

Treasurer Basil Alexander reported that the financial position was not significantly different from the prior year and that CALE/ACEJ is current with its corporate and tax filings.

Elected as directors of CALE/ACEJ for 2021-22 are Basil Alexander, Brent Cotter, Richard Devlin, Jula Hughes, Sonia Lawrence, Gillian MacNeil, Andrew Flavelle Martin, Pooja Parmar, Stephen Pitel, Alain Roussy and Amy Salyzyn. Marie Claude Rigaud, having been appointed to the Superior Court of Quebec in May 2021, did not return as a director. New to the board is Gillian MacNeil, an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba.

At a subsequent meeting of the 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.

The directors discussed the Law Society of Ontario’s ongoing consultation about competence issues and agreed that a submission by CALE/ACEJ should be drafted.

Lakehead University agreed to host the 2022 CALE/ACEJ conference, very much hoping that gathering in person in Thunder Bay will be viable. The aim for 2023 is to hold the conference at the University of Victoria.

CALE/ACEJ extended thanks to Amy Salyzyn for her leadership, to Brent Cotter for his significant role in developing the new Ethical Principles for Judges and to Jula Hughes, Wendy Parkes and their team at Lakehead University for their successful organization of this year’s online conference.

Nominations Open for CALE/ACEJ Awards

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 13, 2021. 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 Brooke MacKenzie, Pooja Parmar and Stephen Pitel.

Register Now for Online Ethics Symposium

Each year in the spring, CALE/ACEJ has partnered with the CBA and the FLSC in organizing an annual Ethics Forum. Last year’s forum in Toronto was one of the very last in-person events of its kind before the pandemic. This year the forum is being held as an online symposium (in webinar format) on May 3, 2021.

The symposium features three sessions: “Systemic Discrimination and the Legal Profession: Impacts & Responsibilities” (at 11am), “Mental Health and Capacity: Lawyers’ Professional Responsibilities, Adaptability and Law Society Responses” (at 1pm) and “Technology and the Legal Profession: Ethical Issues and Regulatory Responses” (at 2:45pm). Attendees can register for one, two or all three of the sessions.

Many of the presenters are CALE/ACEJ members. Register now (link is here) to hear from (and support) your colleagues.