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Founded in 1874, Dye & Durham Corporation (D&D) has been a reliable provider of timely and accurate information for well over a century. With 150 employees and 5 locations, we are the largest, most comprehensive provider of legal support services in British Columbia and across Canada.

LSS Launches Aboriginal Legal Aid Portal

Written on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

The Legal Services Society has announced the launch of their new website, Aboriginal Legal Aid in BC.

With the goal of "Helping Aboriginal people across BC understand their legal rights", the website gives plain-language information on topics such as:

  • Family law and specific consideration for Aboriginal people regarding property, child support, guardianship, parenting arrangements and contact with a child, along with child protection information and the Extended Family Program (EFP)
  • Gladue rights in bail and sentencing, and restorative justice
  • Fishing, hunting, and gathering Aboriginal harvesting rights

The site also explains more about BC's three First Nations Courts in Duncan, Kamloops and New Westminster.

The new website is mobile- and tablet-friendly and includes links to many LSS publications and  details for key LSS contacts and other organizations who can help, plus community events listings for events such as support groups and Common Experience Payment Personal Credit deadlines.

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CA Issues Practice Note on Addressing the Court

Written on Monday, October 27th, 2014

The BC Court of Appeal issued a practice note on Friday, effective that day, reminding newer lawyers and self-represented litigants of the proper protocols for addressing the court.

The practice note, which applies to Civil and Criminal matters, covers topics such as where appellants and respondents sit; when to rise and sit down; order of junior/senior counsel introductions for appellants, respondents and intervenors; and when to go to the podium to speak.

The note also sets out the proper ways to address the Justices and Registrar.

View the Practice Note: Addressing the Court for more information.

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BC Civil Litigators: Don't Miss This Symposium!

Written on Friday, October 24th, 2014

Regardless of experience level, civil litigators in BC should consider attending this upcoming CLE course. Civil Litigation in BC Symposium: Rules, Culture and Change will be held at the Pan Pacific Hotel from 9am to 4pm on Wednesday, November 19th (a live webinar will also be available). From the course description:

"It has been more than three years since British Columbia adopted a new set of Supreme Court Rules to govern civil litigation—rules aimed to make civil justice more efficient and affordable. It would be fair to say that the 2010 Civil Rules have only partially realized the lofty goals that were set out for them.

This course will review the jurisprudence that has developed under the 2010 Rules to more deeply understand whether change for the better has been realized, and the factors that have shaped, and continue to shape, the evolution of the Rules in practice. We will examine the theoretical and practical challenges of improving civil justice and what this entails for the bench and bar going forward.

At this course you will learn about...

  • the impact of the 2010 Rules on civil litigation practice
  • litigation and its evolving status relative to other dispute resolution mechanisms
  • the lessons of other jurisdictions that have sought improved civil justice
  • the current front line practice issues and practice pointers that the 2010 Rules have given rise to
  • the impact of technology on litigation practice and how to prepare for coming changes"

Among the distinguished course speakers: The Honourable Mr. Justice Thomas Cromwell of the Supreme Court of Canada, who will speak on "Why is Civil Justice so Hard to Fix?"; the Honourable Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson of the Supreme Court of BC; and lawyer Geoffrey Cowper, who authored the criminal justice system reform report in 2012.

 

Registration is $610/$335 for students (includes lunch), or $585 for the live webinar. The webinar will be rebroadcast in March 2015. The course qualifies for 6 Law Society-approved CPD hours.

For more details, including registration, agenda and full speaker list, visit the course homepage at CLE.

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BCCA Announces Results of eFiling Consultation

Written on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The results of the BC Court of Appeal's consultation on improving its electronic filing systems have been made public.

The initial consultation paper was released in February 2014, followed by a consultation of several months. The CA reports that:

"Responses were generally in favour of conducting further electronic filing. With the exception of one response, all were supportive of the Court’s initiative to access trustworthy, accurate and authentic electronic court records while paper is reduced over a number of years. The Court is committed to including these perspectives as we move to develop, within the Court’s means, improvements and expansions in the way the Court receives electronic filings."

The major themes to emerge from the consultation include:

  • E-filing process and CSO e-filing functionality, including why at present the initiative is limited to factums and statements
  • The exclusion of self-represented litigants from mandatory e-filing
  • Education and support 
  • The integrity of court records and concerns about the hybrid (paper/electronic) transitional period
  • Suggested filing timelines
  • Access to the electronic court record, specifically when publication bans are in force

Anonymized submissions are included for each theme. See the 19-page report here.

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Categories: BC Courts

LSAP Volunteer Challenges E-Signature Defect and Wins

Written on Monday, October 20th, 2014

There was a great item in the "Your UBC Law" newsletter this month. It describes how Law Students' Legal Advice Program (LSAP) volunteer and upper-year student Dave Ferguson uncovered a "wide-ranging systemic defect" related to the status of electronic signatures in oaths used as evidence. He argued the case at provincial court and won.

The issue came to his attention while working on a case on behalf of an LSAP client with fellow volunteer Mikhael Magaril (whom Ferguson credits with the original idea for bringing the challenge).

Of the case, UBC prof Mary Liston said:

"Dave is a smart, articulate and committed student who made a really novel and clever argument that the defect was not merely a technical issue but indeed had the legal effect of voiding the oath itself, and the judge agreed…Dave’s experience shows that even a relatively mundane file can have real justice ramifications and lead to improvements in access to justice. This underscores the importance of the legal representation and services that LSLAP provides to low-income communities in Vancouver."

Read the whole article here: Court Victory for UBC Law Student

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