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.

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.

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.

Call for Presentation Proposals: 2021 CALE Annual Conference

The next annual CALE Conference will be held October 22-23, 2021, hosted by Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario. See the announcement here.

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 (marie-claude.rigaud@umontreal.ca) and Andrew Flavelle Martin (andrew.martin@dal.ca) by June 15, 2021.

For research, please respond to Basil Alexander (basil.alexander@unb.ca) and Stephen Pitel (spitel@uwo.ca) by June 15, 2021.

New Book on Comparative Judicial Discipline Published

Co-editors Richard Devlin and Sheila Wildeman, both of the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, have published the first comprehensive comparative analysis of judicial discipline. Disciplining Judges: Contemporary Challenges and Controversies is now available from Edward Elgar Publishing.

From the publisher’s site (here): “The jurisdictions examined are Australia, Canada, China, Croatia, England and Wales, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, and the United States. The core findings are four-fold. First, the norms and practices of each discipline regime differ in ways that reflect distinct social, political, and cultural contexts. Second, some jurisdictions are doing better than others in responding to challenges of designing a nuanced and normatively defensible regime. Third, no jurisdiction has yet managed to construct a regime that can be said to adequately promote public confidence. Finally, important lessons can be learned through analysis of, and critically constructive engagement with, other jurisdictions.”

Judicial ethics has become an important area of concentration within the field of legal ethics. CALE/ACEJ in its institutional capacity and several of its members are active in that area. The links between judicial ethics and judicial discipline make this book a valuable contribution to the ongoing scholarship about judicial ethics.

Malcolm Mercer becomes new Chair of Ontario’s Law Society Tribunal

CALE/ACEJ is pleased to report that Malcolm Mercer, a long-time member and supporter of CALE/ACEJ and a former Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario, has been appointed Chair of the Law Society Tribunal. Malcolm’s background and experience make him an ideal fit for this role. He replaces David Wright, the first full-time Chair of the Tribunal, who held the position since 2013.

The Law Society Tribunal is an independent adjudicative tribunal within the Law Society of Ontario. The Tribunal processes, hears and decides regulatory cases about Ontario lawyers and paralegals in a manner that is fair, just and in the public interest. It is divided into a Hearing Division and an Appeal Division.

The notice from the Law Society of Ontario is available here.

Annual Meeting 2020

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.

CALE 2020 Conference: Call for Presentation Proposals

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 (marie-claude.rigaud@umontreal.ca) and Andrew Flavelle Martin (andrew.martin@dal.ca) by June 15, 2020.

For research, please respond to Basil Alexander (basil.alexander@unb.ca) and Stephen Pitel (spitel@uwo.ca) by June 15, 2020.

 

Legal Ethics Professor Appointed to the Senate

On January 31, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the Governor General had appointed W. Brent Cotter as an independent Senator for Saskatchewan.  CALE/ACEJ extends its warmest congratulations to Brent, a founding member of CALE/ACEJ who has served on its board of directors and as its Board Chair.

Prof. Cotter is one of Canada’s foremost legal ethicists.  Over the course of his career, he has taught at universities across the country.  He was the Dean of the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan.  His scholarship on legal ethics has been foundational to the development of the field in Canada.  He is a co-author of Canada’s leading legal ethics casebook.  He has been a tireless mentor to many other more junior legal ethics scholars.

Register for CBA-FLSC Ethics Forum 2020

The annual CBA-FLSC Ethics Forum will be held on Friday, March 13, 2020 in Toronto.  The Forum brings together legal academics and professionals for a day of discussion, debate and review.  This year it features a keynote address by Justice Alice Woolley, former professor of law at the University of Calgary and President of CALE.

The detailed program of events for the day is available here.

Information about registering is available here.  You can register online.  We hope to see you there!