Recap: Annual Conference 2020

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.

CALE/ACEJ Awards: Nominations Open

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.

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!

Recap: 2019 Conference

CALE/ACEJ held its annual conference at the University of Windsor on October 24-26, 2019. Conference coordinator Professor Jasminka Kalajdzic and her team did a wonderful job hosting the conference in the university’s modern facilities in downtown Windsor.

The conference (detailed schedule here) featured three research panels and one on each of teaching and professional regulation. It also featured a keynote address by Professor Rebecca Roiphe of New York Law School on prosecutorial independence in the United States, examining the degree to which it has been eroded during the Trump administration.

The research panels covered a wide range of topics. Several presentations addressed access to justice and proposed possible initiatives. There was a focus on legal ethics and government lawyers, including discussion of the Edgar Schmidt and SNC-Lavalin cases. Other topics included the regulation of lawyer advertising, comparative approaches to judicial discipline, concerns about independence for in-house counsel, and the tension between what is legal and what is moral in regulating legal ethics. Over half of the presentations were by graduate students or new members of the legal academy, which is a testament to the emergence of new scholarly voices in the field.

The teaching panel discussed several interesting topics including how simulated clients (people trained to play the role) can be used in teaching ethics and the merits of requiring students to create their own podcast about an ethical issue. The panel of legal regulators discussed efforts in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario to develop detailed data about sexual harassment within the profession and steps that can be taken to address the problem.

In conjunction with the conference, CALE/ACEJ held its annual meeting of members and announced the winners of its annual awards. For details see the blog posts on those specific topics.

Annual Meeting 2019

On October 26, 2019, CALE/ACEJ held its annual meeting of members as part of its conference at the University of Windsor. In her report to the members, President Amy Salyzyn highlighted the association’s formal name change to a bilingual name, the revived process for the two annual awards, and CALE/ACEJ’s role thus far in the Canadian Judicial Council’s efforts to create a new version of Ethical Principles for Judges.

Treasurer Jula Hughes reported that the financial position was unchanged from the prior year and that CALE/ACEJ is current with all corporate and tax filings.

Elected as directors of CALE/ACEJ for 2019-20 were Basil Alexander, Brent Cotter, Richard Devlin, Jula Hughes, Andrew Flavelle Martin, Pooja Parmar,  Stephen Pitel, Marie-Claude Rigaud, Alain Roussy, Amy Salyzyn and Noel Semple. 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 Frances Chapman. Members thanked departing director Elaine Craig for her service.

Lakehead University has agreed to host the 2020 CALE/ACEJ conference.  The plan for 2021 is to hold the conference in western Canada.

The members warmly thanked the University of Windsor and conference coordinator Jasminka Kalajdzic for hosting this year’s conference.

Call for Papers: ILEC 2020

The next International Legal Ethics Conference will be held July 23-25, 2020 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  This major legal ethics conference is held every two years.  Recent previous conferences include Melbourne (2018), Fordham (2016) and City University London (2014).

The organizers have now issued a call for proposals (available here), which includes both papers and other kinds of presentation such as panel discussions.  Proposals are due by January 31, 2020.  The theme is “Lawyers in Divided Times”.

It would be great to see a strong Canadian contingent in California next summer.