The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

CBA/ABC National

CBA Community

CBA News

By CBA/ABC National September 27, 2016 27 September 2016

CBA News

A breath of fresh Atlantic air: CBA President René Basque

One thing quickly becomes apparent when you meet René Basque, the CBA’s first Acadian president and only the fourth from New Brunswick: he’s a really nice guy. Friendly, down to earth, able to make others feel at ease – Basque is the epitome of East Coast charm.

One thing quickly becomes apparent when you meet René Basque, the CBA’s first Acadian president and only the fourth from New Brunswick: he’s a really nice guy. Friendly, down to earth, able to make others feel at ease – Basque is the epitome of East Coast charm.

This will serve the Association well as it takes its first steps with a new governance model set into action in August, following an unprecedented organization-wide “rethink.” The new CBA puts the needs of its members first, and has a steady focus on the next generation of lawyers. Basque joined the CBA as a young lawyer, and from early on was actively involved, sitting on committees and boards at both provincial and national levels. He’s fully onboard with embracing change and understands how important it is for the Association to engage law students and young lawyers at the dawn of their careers.

Read More
Creative license

The prodigy: Phil Dwyer

By CBA/ABC National September 27, 2016 27 September 2016

The prodigy: Phil Dwyer

 

Phil Dwyer is an award-winning, appointed Member of the Order of Canada, jazz composer, performer and producer. After 30 years in music, he entered his first year of law school in 2014 at the University of New Brunswick. Phildwyer.com

Music has taught me the importance of teamwork, and self-motivation; flexible ‘on your feet’ thinking; and delivering great work on time and under pressure. Lessons learned that I’ll bring to my new career in law.

Read More
Legal innovation

The challenge of scalability for legal start-ups in Canada

By CBA/ABC National September 26, 2016 26 September 2016

One of the challenges facing legal start-ups in Canada is scalability in a relatively small market for legal services – a market that also happens to be governed by 14 governments and as many parliaments.  We raised the issue with Cian O’Sullivan of Beagle Inc, after he won the Pitch, hosted by the CBA and LegalX last month.  What’s interesting about Beagle is that it uses artificial intelligence to help lawyers – often in-house – read contracts.  As such its application isn’t tied to jurisdiction.

Read More
CBA influence

Being reasonable when it comes to temporary residents

By CBA/ABC National September 23, 2016 23 September 2016

When it comes to the rules governing implied status and conditional permanent residence in Canada, a little reasonableness wouldn’t go amiss, the Chair of the CBA’s Immigration Section suggests in a letter to Immigration Minister John McCallum.

The letter follows up on a meeting held in the spring with Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada officials. Section Chair Vance Langford notes that the implied status rules can place an unnecessary burden on temporary residents, here on a work or study permit, who for example might file for an extension but not hear back before the permit expires. “These conditions force a temporary resident holding (implied status) who is required to travel outside of Canada to choose between remaining in Canada until a decision is made on the application or losing the ability to work or study.”

It shouldn’t be assumed that a foreign national who must leave the country doesn’t want to come back, either, the letter says – they may have to leave to do their jobs, or to attend to critical family matters. If they applied for but didn’t receive the extension before they left, they are forced to reapply for the permit at a point of entry. “This burden is greater for citizens of countries requiring a Temporary Resident Visa because a new TRV in addition to a work permit is required to return.”

Read More
CBA influence

Weed whacking: Consultation on legalizing marijuana

By CBA/ABC National September 23, 2016 23 September 2016

Rethinking the role of marijuana in Canadians’ lives is an exercise fraught with obstacles, including nearly a century of social and legal stigma and the confusing dual nature of marijuana use – marginally accepted medical use and still-criminal recreational use. It’s hard for anyone outside the 4:20 culture to sit back and get mellow about it.

And that includes the federal government. The governing Liberals made big waves with their election promise to legalize marijuana. But the CBA response to a discussion paper released this summer notes that legalization is not the same as decriminalization, and legalizing without decriminalizing will be problematic.

Read More