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The Advocates’ Society<br />

SPRING <strong>2022</strong>

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05<br />

06<br />

10<br />

12<br />

14<br />

24<br />

Chair Chat<br />

Emily Lawrence, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP<br />

Cultural Competency, Implicit Bias, and the<br />

Assessment of Credibility<br />

Michelle Alton<br />

Bold Moves in Uncertain Times:<br />

10+ Advocates share their experiences of<br />

making big career changes<br />

Zoe Oxaal, Department of Justice<br />

Word to the Wise: Moneyball for Legal Mentors<br />

Megan Keenberg, Van Kralingen & Keenberg LLP<br />

Art in our Offices<br />

Tamara Ramsey, Dale & Lessmann LLP<br />

Interview with Brian Duong,<br />

Hunter Litigation Chambers<br />

Compiled by Miranda Spence, Aird & Berlis LLP<br />

Editor: Tamara Ramsey, Dale & Lessmann LLP<br />

The opinions expressed by individual authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Advocates’ Society.<br />

<strong>Advocacy</strong> <strong>Matters</strong> Editorial Team: Michelle Alton, Tribunal General Counsel, Daniel Baum, Langlois Avocats, Megan Keenberg, Van Kralingen &<br />

Keenberg LLP, Ayesha Laldin, Department of Justice Canada, Ontario Regional Office, Zoe Oxaal, Department of Justice, Canada, Civil Litigation Section,<br />

Miranda Spence, Aird & Berlis LLP, Christine Vanderschoot, Vanderschoot Family Law<br />




Carol A. Albert<br />

J.D., LL.M. (ADR)<br />

Retired Construction Lien Master, SCJ<br />

Carol’s areas of expertise include<br />

construction, landlord and tenant<br />

and municipal law. She is<br />

particularly qualified to case<br />

manage civil actions, and to hear<br />

motions and conduct arbitrations<br />

and references under the<br />

Construction Act.<br />

Leslie Dizgun<br />

M.A., LL.M., C.Med.<br />

Leslie’s areas of expertise include<br />

corporate/commercial, defamation,<br />

wrongful dismissal, human rights,<br />

condominium, franchise and real<br />

estate disputes. He teaches Dispute<br />

Settlement in the Civil Justice<br />

System at Osgoode Hall Law School<br />

and is a highly regarded speaker<br />

and instructor.<br />

2021-22<br />

2021-22<br />

READERS’<br />

CHOICE<br />


416.362.8555 • 1.800.856.5154 • booking@adr.ca • adrchambers.com


Chair Chat<br />

Emily Lawrence,<br />

Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP<br />

As I write my final Chair Chat of my term as<br />

Chair of the 10+ Committee, my neighbourhood<br />

– where I am still working much of the time – is<br />

bustling with the beginnings of <strong>Spring</strong>: the fresh<br />

flowers budding, birds chirping, and the sounds<br />

of construction. I am very proud of the work of<br />

the 10+ Committee this year. We have focused<br />

on bringing mid-career advocates from across the<br />

country together for engaging discussions on the<br />

themes of mentorship, running a successful law<br />

firm, and numerous series on current events.<br />

In my first Chair Chat last Summer, I approached<br />

the re-emergence out of pandemic<br />

lockdowns with optimism and some trepidation.<br />

I called for this year to be a time to gather<br />

and renew our connections. Looking back, it<br />

feels this year has been filled with fits and starts<br />

towards a return to pre-pandemic practices,<br />

with a fair number of steps backwards along<br />

the way. Over this year, both in our Committee’s<br />

work and in my conversations with peers and<br />

colleagues, it strikes me that the pandemic has<br />

been a period of deep reflection for many – on<br />

how we want to work and who we want to work<br />

with, how we weigh the practice of law against<br />

other pursuits and obligations, and how our<br />

justice system serves (and too often, fails) those<br />

who interact with it. Our recent session on Bold<br />

Moves in Uncertain Times, summarized by Zoe<br />

Oxaal in this edition, is one such example.<br />

Seasons of reflection and transition bring the<br />

opportunity for lasting structural change on<br />

issues that have long needed overhaul. How<br />

do we build inclusive communities, and retain<br />

and elevate women and historically excluded<br />

communities to leadership positions in our<br />

workplaces, the bench, and the broader legal<br />

community? How can we provide meaningful<br />

mentorship across generational and other differences,<br />

especially when many of us continue<br />

to work from home part of the time? How can<br />

advocates leverage their privileged position to<br />

create positive social change? As we emerge<br />

from lock-downs, home-schooling, and lawyering-from-home,<br />

I hope that we will continue to<br />

share our experiences, our insights, and most<br />

importantly our blind spots and mistakes, as we<br />

wrestle with these and other important issues.<br />

I am very proud of the work of the 10+ Committee<br />

this year and feel very privileged to have led<br />

such a creative, insightful and engaged group.<br />

I am also immensely grateful to my co-executive<br />

members, incoming Chair Chloe Snider, incoming<br />

Vice-Chair Steven Frankel and incoming<br />

Secretary Sonu Dhanju-Dhillon. I know they are<br />

ready for the challenge of maintaining and expanding<br />

the offerings of the Committee in the<br />

coming year. I look forward to seeing some of<br />

you in-person at End of Term, and I wish you a<br />

safe and restorative summer.<br />



Cultural Competency,<br />

Implicit Bias, and the<br />

Assessment of Credibility<br />

Michelle Alton<br />

The assessment of a witness’s credibility is recognized as being particularly difficult. As our<br />

understanding of what it means to be culturally competent develops, and the relationship between<br />

implicit bias and decision-making is further explored, it will be necessary to re-examine<br />

many foundational aspects of our justice system. This article provides a high-level discussion<br />

of how the assessment of credibility may benefit from a more focused examination from a<br />

culturally competent lens.<br />

Cultural Competency and Implicit Bias<br />

The term “cultural competency” is often used to refer to the skills, behaviours, attitudes, and knowledge<br />

that enables professionals to deliver services that are appropriate to a diverse range of clients. 1<br />


help break the link between implicit bias and<br />

decision-making include:<br />

• Providing training on implicit bias and cultural<br />

competency to promote awareness of the<br />

prevalence and impact of implicit biases;<br />

• Altering decision-making conditions and<br />

encouraging the use of scripts, checklists,<br />

and other tools to encourage more deliberative<br />

decision-making; and<br />

• Requiring the provision of written reasons. 7<br />

Historically, cultural competency training has<br />

been outward focused, striving to increase an<br />

individual’s understanding about different cultures<br />

and teaching the best ways for this culturally<br />

specific knowledge to be deployed. More recently,<br />

cultural competency training has evolved<br />

to focus on critical self-reflection, particularly<br />

with respect to one’s own implicit biases. 2<br />

There is a growing body of research that supports<br />

a link between implicit bias and intuitive decision-making.<br />

3 Although implicit bias is not necessarily<br />

negative in every circumstance, 4 in the<br />

specific context of judicial decision-making, intuition<br />

has been identified as the “chief source” of<br />

unwanted influences affecting decisions. 5 Intuitive<br />

decision-making also risks decisions being made<br />

without an assessment of all relevant information.<br />

While studies have shown that everyone, even<br />

judges, have implicit biases, research has also<br />

illustrated that steps can be taken to reduce or<br />

even eliminate the undesirable influence of intuition<br />

on decision-making. 6<br />

Some of the actions that have been shown to<br />

Assessing Credibility in a<br />

Culturally Competent Manner<br />

Assessing a witness’s credibility is often described<br />

as the most difficult task required of<br />

a decision-maker, particularly when the testimony<br />

of witnesses is diametrically opposed or<br />

there are cultural aspects to consider. 8<br />

The assessment of credibility has been recognized<br />

to be a highly individualistic exercise<br />

that is dependent on “intangibles”. 9 This is partly<br />

why it can be difficult for judges to articulate<br />

with precision the complex intermingling of<br />

their impressions after listening to and watching<br />

witnesses. 10 It is also these characteristics<br />

that in part explain why appellate courts generally<br />

defer to a trial judge’s credibility findings.<br />

However, it is also these qualities that make the<br />

assessment of credibility particularly vulnerable<br />

to the influence of implicit biases.<br />

Courts have stressed that any assessment of<br />

credibility must avoid reliance on stereotypical<br />

impressions. 11 Like other parts of decision-making,<br />

the assessment of credibility can also be<br />

improved by taking direct action to promote<br />

deliberative decision-making.<br />

Two aspects of the assessment of credibility that<br />

could specifically benefit from a focused examination<br />

from a culturally competent manner are:<br />

• The assessment of the reasonableness or<br />

plausibility of a witness’s testimony. Often,<br />

the reasonableness of a witness’s testimony<br />

is evaluated with reference to the perspective<br />

of a “practical and informed person.” 12<br />

However, as our understanding of implicit<br />


iases develops, it is important to critically<br />

assess the perspective being relied upon to<br />

inform this evaluation, including any personal<br />

assumptions or cultural factors which<br />

might impact the assessment in a particular<br />

situation. A focus on more deliberative decision-making,<br />

including ensuring that all the<br />

relevant information is obtained, can also<br />

help lessen the impact of any unwanted influences<br />

when evaluating plausibility.<br />

• The role of demeanour evidence. A trial<br />

judge’s findings on credibility are shown<br />

deference at least in part because the trial<br />

judge has the “overwhelming advantage”<br />

of seeing and hearing witnesses. 13 However,<br />

there is also a growing and consistent<br />

appreciation of the potential unreliability<br />

of demeanour evidence. Specifically, it has<br />

been recognized that an assessment of<br />

credibility based on demeanour can be affected<br />

by several factors, including the culture<br />

of the witness, stereotypical attitudes,<br />

and the pressure and artificiality associated<br />

with testifying in a courtroom. 14 In light<br />

of these concerns, many decision-makers<br />

have advised that demeanour evidence<br />

should be approached cautiously. 15<br />

As our understanding of implicit bias and its<br />

impact on decision-making grows, it is likely time<br />

to re-consider whether it is necessary to rely on<br />

demeanour evidence at all when assessing credibility.<br />

This assessment will require examination<br />

of how decision-makers actually use demeanour<br />

evidence in their decision-making, as well as consideration<br />

of the potential implications of rejecting<br />

reliance on this type of evidence.<br />

The Role of Advocates<br />

As the cultural competency of individuals within<br />

the justice system evolves, all members of<br />

the justice system will have important roles to<br />

play to support the required response to these<br />

changing societal norms and values. For advocates,<br />

the issue of how to best assess credibility<br />

in a culturally competent manner presents an<br />

opportunity for opposing counsel to work together<br />

to provide the court with the best information<br />

available to consider these issues.<br />

For a more in-depth look at this topic, please<br />

see, Michelle Alton, “The Evolution of Impartiality<br />

and the Need for Cultural Competency when Assessing<br />

Credibility”, 35 Canadian Journal of Administrative<br />

Law & Practice 51 (March <strong>2022</strong>).<br />

Notes<br />

1. Pooja Parmar, “Reconciliation and Ethical Lawyering: Some<br />

Thoughts on Cultural Competence,” (2019) 97-3 Canadian Bar<br />

Review 526, 2019 CanLIIDocs 3803.<br />

2. Jowsey, T., “Three zones of cultural competency: surface competency,<br />

bias twilight, and the confronting midnight zone,” (2019)<br />

19 BMC Medical Education 306.<br />

3. See for example, Wistrich, Andrew J. and Rachlinski, Jeffrey John,<br />

Implicit Bias in Judicial Decision Making How It Affects Judgment<br />

and What Judges Can Do About It, Chapter 5 in Sarah E.<br />

Redfield, ed., Enhancing Justice: Reducing Bias (Chicago, Illinois:<br />

ABA Book Publishing, 2017) [Wistrich and Rachlinski]. Intuitive<br />

decision-making operates outside of conscious awareness<br />

and involves relying upon one’s first instinct, producing rapid,<br />

effortless, and confident judgments. In contrast, deliberative<br />

decision-making is of a higher order and is slower and more<br />

conscious – see Wistrich and Rachlinski, at p. 90.<br />

4. See Anona Su, “A Proposal to Properly Address Implicit Bias in the<br />

Jury”, (2020) 31 Hastings Women’s L.J. 79 at p. 81.<br />

5. Wistrich and Rachlinski at pp. 91. See also Melissa L. Breger,<br />

“Making the Invisible Visible: Exploring Implicit Bias, Judicial Diversity,<br />

and the Bench Trial”, 53 University of Richmond Law<br />

Review 1039 [Breger] at p. 1055.<br />

6. See for example, Wistrich and Rachlinski.<br />

7. Wistrich and Rachlinski at pp. 105 – 119; Breger at p. 1057;<br />

David L. Faigman, Jerry Kang, Mark W. Bennett, Devon W.<br />

Carbado, Pamela Casey, Nilanjana Dasgupta, Rachel D. Godsil,<br />

Anthony G. Greenwarld, Justin D. Levinson, and Jennifer<br />

Mnookin, “Implicit Bias in the Courtroom”, (2012) 59 UCLA L.<br />

Rev. 1124 at p. 1132.<br />

8. R. v. S. (R.D.), 1997 CanLII 324 (SCC) at para. 128 and Shaath v.<br />

Zarifa, 2005 CanLII 25185 (ON SC) at para. 2 and.<br />

9. R. v. S. (R.D.), at para. 128.<br />

10. R. v. Gagnon, 2006 SCC 17 at para. 20, positively quoted in R. v.<br />

G.F., 2021 SCC 20 at para. 81.<br />

11. R. v. Khan, 2019 ONSC 7397 (CanLII) at para. 44.<br />

12. Faryna v. Chorny, 1951 CanLII 252 (BC CA) at p. 357.<br />

13. R. v. N.S., 2012 SCC 72, at para. 25, referencing Housen v. Nikolaisen,<br />

2002 SCC 33, [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235, at para. 24. See also<br />

White v. The King, 1947 CanLII 1 (SCC), at p. 272 and R. v. W. (R.),<br />

1992 CanLII 56 (SCC) at p. 131.<br />

14. R. v. Rhavel, 2015 ONCA 377 (CanLII) at para. 85. See also R. v.<br />

McDougall, 2009 CMAC 2 (CanLII) at para. 44 and R. v. Ramos,<br />

2020 MBCA 111 at paras. 112 and 158.<br />

15. For example, see R. v. Hemsworth, 2016 ONCA 85 CanLII at para. 45.<br />


Free Member<br />

Resource<br />

Library<br />




Bold Moves in<br />

Uncertain Times:<br />

10+ Advocates share their<br />

experiences of making big<br />

career changes<br />

Zoe Oxaal, Department of Justice<br />


The 10+ Standing Committee’s Speaker Series<br />

returned with a look at Bold Moves in Uncertain<br />

Times. Three mid-career lawyers, who have each<br />

made bold career moves during the pandemic,<br />

gave candid and up-close insights into the challenges<br />

and rewards of making those changes.<br />

Faren Bogach and Joelle D. Ruskin both left<br />

partnerships at big firms and took the plunge<br />

to open their own firms. Faren launched<br />

Construct Legal, a firm that focuses on legal<br />

advice for construction and infrastructure projects.<br />

The new firm gave her the opportunity<br />

to do business differently, from profit sharing<br />

with associates to “maximum billable hours”<br />

targets. Joelle founded JJ Integrative Family<br />

Law, transforming the environment in which<br />

her family law clients are received in times of<br />

personal crisis, and integrating client mental<br />

health support into her practice.<br />

Jason W.J. Woycheshyn made a bold geographical<br />

move leaving Bay Street for the Atlantic<br />

region to join Stewart McKelvey as a Halifax<br />

partner. His growing family and the desire<br />

to be nearer to close relatives motivated the<br />

change. Professionally, exposure to an entirely<br />

different legal market has proven to be extremely<br />

rewarding.<br />

All three panelists shared advice on managing<br />

the stresses and fears of leaving a well-established<br />

practice to forge a new path. The importance<br />

of preserving relationships with former<br />

colleagues and the feeling of divided loyalties<br />

during the transition was a common theme. “It’ll<br />

never be the perfect time,” recalled Faren, “you<br />

just have to jump”.<br />

Chloe Snider of Dentons Canada moderated<br />

the event and shared these closing words, “Our<br />

panelists reminded us to seek help when we<br />

need it and to believe in ourselves, whether or<br />

not we are looking to make a big move.”<br />



Word to the Wise:<br />

Moneyball for Legal Mentors<br />

Megan Keenberg, Van Kralingen & Keenberg LLP<br />

In Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, author Michael Lewis exposed the flawed metrics<br />

of predicting success and assessing player value in Major League Baseball. The central premise of<br />

the book is that the traditional wisdom of baseball insiders was outdated and subjective. A deeper<br />

dive into game statistics revealed differential indicators of success that were largely ignored or<br />

overlooked. The identification of these indicators allowed Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics to<br />

recruit and foster the talent of undervalued players to gain a competitive advantage. One of those<br />


players was Jim Mecir. Mecir walked with a limp.<br />

He was born with a club foot resulting in asymmetry<br />

in the length and strength of his legs. His<br />

unique physique gave him an unconventional<br />

pitching motion that he credits with making his<br />

screwball pitches harder for batters to hit. In<br />

short, the traits that made Mecir a great pitcher<br />

were precisely those that led others to underestimate<br />

his value in professional athletics.<br />

I’ve been thinking about how we as mentors<br />

in the legal profession can apply a Moneyball<br />

lens to reframe the assessment of our<br />

mentees’ skills and traits. Conventional legal<br />

mentoring operates under a conformity-based<br />

apprentice model. In a conformity-based framework,<br />

the things that make us stand out are<br />

often the things that invite criticism and corrective<br />

action. Applying a Moneyball lens, we<br />

might see that the very traits that we identify<br />

for corrective action in our mentees might<br />

just be their superpowers.<br />

Every trait and pattern of conduct has a flip<br />

side that can be viewed as either a strength or<br />

a weakness: tenacious is just another word for<br />

stubborn; “prickly” is another way to say principled.<br />

Consider how that flipside might be mined<br />

for undervalued superpowers in your mentees.<br />

That associate who barely reaches target<br />

hours? Maybe she just works faster than everyone<br />

else. Look at her output, and if it’s comparable<br />

to others with higher billable hours, put her<br />

on fixed fee files to optimize the value of her<br />

speed. The associate who procrastinates and<br />

hands things in at the last minute? She probably<br />

performs admirably under pressure. Help<br />

her find other ways to keep the pressure on as<br />

a motivator without compromising the team’s<br />

time management (e.g., schedule hard internal<br />

deadlines well before the filing deadline). Try to<br />

pinpoint the hidden value in every “flaw” before<br />

you prescribe corrective action – you just might<br />

find a latent superpower in need of fostering.<br />



Art in our Offices<br />

Tamara Ramsey, Dale & Lessmann LLP<br />

Introduction<br />

Art has always been important. Art connects us to the world around us and inspires us in different<br />

ways. While many of us curated our spaces long before COVID-19, being locked out of our offices<br />

and forced onto Zoom prompted us to reflect even more about the space around us. We want our<br />

offices, both at home and in our workplaces, to be spaces where we are happy to work. If possible,<br />

we also want offices to look presentable as digital backgrounds. I personally swapped a piece of<br />

art and a coat rack for the sake of my digital background.<br />

It is a privilege to be able to collect art and hang it in our offices. When we let people into our<br />

office to see our art, we are also sharing something about ourselves, so we thought it would be<br />

fun to ask TAS members to share pictures of art from their offices and to tell us something about<br />

those pieces and what they mean to them<br />


Jessyca Greenwood, Greenwood Defence Law<br />

The whimsical world of Anna Valdez is vibrant, detailed<br />

and beautiful. Her art provides inspiration and brings a<br />

piece of California sun to my workspace daily. This piece,<br />

Natural Curiosities, showcases Anna’s technical skills<br />

and has all of the elements we know and love in her<br />

work. My favourite element is the sketch of the painting<br />

within the painting, a small detail not to be missed.<br />

Megan Keenberg,<br />

Van Kralingen & Keenberg LLP<br />

“Honest Abe” by Antony Zito,<br />

New York City, c. 2007. Antony<br />

Zito is a New York artist<br />

and cultural icon. We became<br />

close friends when I lived there<br />

and remain so today. I’ve nicknamed<br />

the piece “Discourage<br />

Litigation” as a hat tip to Lincoln’s<br />

famous quote, and a<br />

cheeky nod to my dual identity<br />

as a Commercial Litigator and<br />

Arbitrator/ Mediator.<br />


16<br />

Elizabeth Dipchand, Dipchand LLP<br />

Creativity, inspiration and people is what we had in mind when we designed<br />

our space because the effect of our environment has such a profound<br />

impact on our wellbeing and facilitates excellence. Life is too short to be<br />

surrounded by industrial carpet and beige walls.

Andrew Winton,<br />

Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP<br />

Among other things, Tom Chitty<br />

draws portraits of people’s houses. I<br />

commissioned him to draw our family’s<br />

first house a few years before we tore<br />

it down and replaced it with something<br />

new (construction during COVID – that’s<br />

another story)! Two of my three boys<br />

were born in this house. When I look<br />

at this drawing, it reminds me of when<br />

my three boys were much younger and<br />

always out on the driveway playing one<br />

sport or another.<br />


Deborah E. Palter,<br />

Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP<br />

“The Argument” by P.H. Palter, Cornwall,<br />

ON, c. early 1970s. The artist is my father<br />

who painted this abstract during a turbulent<br />

period and who instilled in me a passion for<br />

advocacy. It reminds me of the need to fight<br />

for the things that matter, but to remain<br />

careful about when and how.<br />

Sana Halwani, Lenczner Slaght<br />

Commemorative stamps celebrating<br />

the photographer Yousuf Karsh (a<br />

gift from my father). Karsh came to<br />

Canada as a refugee and survivor of<br />

the Armenian genocide. The sheet<br />

features his 1956 portrait of Audrey<br />

Hepburn, his 1941 portrait of Winston<br />

Churchill, and a self-portrait.<br />


Karey Brooks, JFK Law<br />

This piece was a commissioned gift. It<br />

lifts my mood every time I look at it. The<br />

talented artist is Rande Cook from Kwakwaka’wakw<br />

in Alert Bay. You can find<br />

more of his amazing work at Fazakas<br />

Gallery and his online shop Leaf Modern.<br />


20<br />

Christine Vanderschoot, Vanderschoot Family Law<br />

Gail Hill’s artwork is unique. She combines photography and painting, as<br />

well as her personal wordsmithing. This piece is very personal to me, as<br />

it acts as a mark for me during my career. I first saw the piece hanging in<br />

George restaurant, when I was a “baby lawyer”. Fast forward a few years,<br />

and I was able to join the Verity club affiliated with George. I quickly met<br />

Gail, and we became friends. Gail agreed to create for me a version of<br />

the piece I had admired for years at George. It now hangs in my office,<br />

where I can appreciate it every day.

Jeff Feiner, Corman Feiner LLP<br />

Map of Toronto from 1872 and original seat<br />

back from Massey Hall. I love my hometown<br />

of Toronto. I collect all things Toronto, including<br />

old books about the city. It is a privilege to<br />

be able to live and work here. The art reminds<br />

me that I’m a part of life here, like many others<br />

who came before me.<br />

Jennifer Hunter, Lerners LLP<br />

“Double Fist” and “Sanity is a Cozy<br />

Lie” by Formento + Formento,<br />

a husband and wife team. She<br />

styles and art directs, he lights<br />

and photographs. These are<br />

from a series called Circumstance<br />

(2008-2010), during which they<br />

took a 1 year road trip from New<br />

York to Los Angeles and back,<br />

photographing women they met<br />

along the way. I’ve had them<br />

hanging in my office for more<br />

than 10 years and the expressions<br />

on her face still get me.<br />


22<br />

Tamara Ramsey, Dale & Lessmann LLP<br />

The “Power Explodes from Within” by<br />

Marianne Enhörning is one of the first art<br />

pieces I bought for my office. Through a<br />

series of fortunate events, I was able to hang<br />

a gorgeous abstract Tom McNeely painting<br />

in my office. Both pieces bring me joy and<br />

remind me of lessons I learned as a dance<br />

student to simply “be me”.

#TASProud<br />

Congratulations to the TAS leaders appointed to the bench<br />

in 2021/22 to serve the justice system after going above<br />

and beyond to serve our members and the work of TAS.<br />

The Hon. Justice Mahmud Jamal, former TAS Director,<br />

appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.<br />

The Hon. Justice Lorena K. Harris, former member of the<br />

Alberta Regional Advisory Committee, appointed as a Judge<br />

to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.<br />

The Hon. Justice Jill R. Presser, former TAS intervention<br />

counsel, appointed as a Judge of the Superior Court of<br />

Justice of Ontario.<br />

The Hon. Justice Colin C.J. Feasby, former member of the<br />

Alberta Regional Advisory Committee, appointed as a Judge<br />

to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.<br />

The Hon. Justice Jacqueline D. Hughes, former member of<br />

the British Columbia Regional Advisory Committee, appointed<br />

as a Judge to the Supreme Court of British Columbia.<br />

The Hon. Andres C. Garin, former Vice-Chair of the Quebec<br />

Regional Advisory Committee, appointed as a Judge to the<br />

Quebec Superior Court<br />

The Hon. Peter J. Osborne, former TAS Director and Chair<br />

of the Modern <strong>Advocacy</strong> Task Force, appointed as a Judge of<br />

the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.<br />

The Hon. Robert Centa, longtime TAS skills instructor and<br />

mentor, appointed as a Judge of the Superior Court of<br />

Justice of Ontario.


Interview with Brian Duong,<br />

Hunter Litigation Chambers<br />

Compiled by Miranda Spence, Aird & Berlis LLP<br />

Brian Duong maintains a generalist practice in civil and administrative litigation at Hunter<br />

Litigation Chambers in Vancouver.<br />


Q. Tell us a little about your practice. What does a typical week look like for you?<br />

A. There is no “typical” week in terms of the kind of work with a generalist litigation practice, which<br />

can be both terrifying and exhilarating. My practice has taken me through a broad range of matters,<br />

including contract and shareholder disputes, property issues (including expropriations and<br />

certificates of pending litigation), franchise litigation, wrongful dismissal claims, municipal bylaw<br />

enforcement, and freedom of information requests. The only real constant is a trip to Starbucks<br />

around 2pm with my colleague Aubin Calvert.<br />

Q. You have had a unique career path. Can you tell us about it?<br />

A. I was recruited as a 3L to Ropes & Gray in Boston for their summer pre-clerk program, before<br />

clerking at the B.C. Court of Appeal. I returned as a litigation associate in 2010. After that, I did<br />

an LLM at Cambridge in International Law from 2012-2013, followed by a Juriste/Associate position<br />

in the International Arbitration Group at Freshfields in Paris. My wife and I lived in Paris<br />

for two years, and our first son was born there. We returned to Vancouver in 2016 to be closer<br />

to family (see: childcare). Upon our move to Vancouver I happily returned to Hunter Litigation<br />

Chambers, where I had articled when my start date in Boston was deferred due to the financial<br />

crisis, and who had graciously allowed me to use their office for independent research before<br />

heading to Cambridge.<br />

Q. What has been your most challenging experience as a lawyer? What did you learn from it?<br />

A. My most challenging experience was transitioning back to practice in Vancouver after so many<br />

years abroad. I certainly felt like I had a lot of catching up to do compared to my peers of the<br />

same vintage. Within the first month, I was thrown into a time sensitive, highly charged property<br />

dispute that had me in the office day and night. During this period, I admittedly had some second<br />

thoughts about whether private practice was the right situation for me. However, it turned out to<br />

be a blessing: I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much about the practice of law in such a short period<br />

of time (approximately 9 months), including with respect to civil procedure, chambers<br />

practice, contract review and issue spotting, effective advocacy and stress management.<br />

And for that I have Ken McEwan, QC to thank.<br />


Q. Have you faced discrimination as a racialized lawyer? Do you have any advice for younger<br />

lawyers in this regard?<br />

A. No, I cannot say that I have, certainly not any blatant form of discrimination. That is not to say<br />

that there haven’t been incidents that have given me pause, but it would be tough to pin them<br />

on racial discrimination as opposed to other possible reasons. With respect to stories of discrimination,<br />

stereotyping and bias experienced by members of the Pan-Asian community, I would<br />

encourage all lawyers to watch, and reflect upon, the documentary “But I Look Like a Lawyer” produced<br />

by the BC Chapter of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL BC): https://faclbc.ca/<br />

documentary. To younger lawyers, I would encourage them to be vigilant and to speak out about<br />

incidents of racial discrimination. In the alternative, to the extent confrontation is not a feasible<br />

course of action, I would encourage younger lawyers to make use of the resources available from<br />

your respective Law Societies. In BC, lawyers can reach out to the Equity Ombudsperson with<br />

respect to concerns about discrimination and discriminatory harassment, and who will receive<br />

inquiries, provide information and discuss options, including possible mediation by consent.<br />

Q. How has the pandemic impacted your practice, positively or negatively?<br />

A. The pandemic has coincided with a progression and expansion of my practice. I made Partner<br />

during the front end of the lockdown, and then found myself largely occupied by the Cullen Inquiry<br />

on Money Laundering, whose hearings were held entirely remotely. The pandemic has forced<br />

me to become more comfortable with both the idea and execution of remote work and remote<br />

hearings. With that all said, I am welcoming (perhaps more so than most others) the transition<br />

back to in-person work. I still firmly believe there is so much more to be gained from working in<br />

the same physical space as your colleagues in terms of work satisfaction, generating ideas, and<br />

building a strong firm culture that remote work can never replace, as nice as it is to roll out of bed<br />

and move to the laptop still in pyjamas.<br />

Q. Most proud moment as a<br />

litigator?<br />

A. If we count law school, I had<br />

the honour of doing the Grand<br />

Moot at the University of Toronto,<br />

with my mom in attendance.<br />

Q. Most embarrassing moment as a litigator?<br />

A. At the cocktail reception after the Grand Moot, my<br />

mom approached Chief Justice Winkler and asked<br />

him why he was so mean to her son. She has not, to<br />

date, come to any of my court appearances.<br />


Q. Your key to staying healthy<br />

in a stressful profession?<br />

A. Exercise and<br />

meditation/prayer.<br />

Q. Other than files, name 3 things that are always<br />

on your desk<br />

A. Fountain pens, a notebook, and something my kids<br />

have made for me and insisted that I bring to work.<br />

Q. Favourite vacation spot?<br />

A. I like to go back to the familiar, so Paris and<br />

Boston where I used to live and work.<br />

Q. A food you can’t stand?<br />

A. I had the unfortunate experience<br />

in my youth of mistaking<br />

wasabi for green tea ice cream,<br />

and now I can’t stand even a hint<br />

of wasabi in my food.<br />

Q. Your best advice for young<br />

litigators just starting out?<br />

A. Never underestimate the<br />

power of sitting yourself down<br />

in a colleague’s office to bounce<br />

ideas, vent, celebrate victories or<br />

reflect on setbacks.<br />


The Advocates’ Society Annual Gala<br />

April 28, <strong>2022</strong> | Calgary<br />

28<br />

Oliver Ho of Jensen Shawa<br />

Solomon Duguid Hawkes LLP<br />

receives the 2020 Alberta<br />

Excellence in Mentoring Award.<br />

Presented by Melissa Burkett.<br />

Mike Donaldson of Lawson<br />

Lundell LLP receives the<br />

<strong>2022</strong> Alberta Excellence in<br />

Mentoring Award. Presented<br />

by Melissa Burkett.<br />

Master of Ceremonies Doug McGillivray,<br />

Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

Keynote Speaker: The Honourable Marshall Rothstein, CC QC, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP<br />


Insolvency Group Social<br />

May 17, <strong>2022</strong> | Toronto<br />

Details & Correspondence Calendar & Tasks Financial Summary Time & Fees General Account Trust Funds Safe Custody<br />

Save &<br />

Close<br />

New<br />

Document<br />

New<br />

Email<br />

Forms &<br />

Templates<br />

New<br />

Comment<br />

Import<br />

Share<br />

Document<br />

eSignature<br />

Message<br />

Send<br />

Document<br />

Timesheet<br />

Matter New Correspondence<br />

LawConnect Mobile<br />

Microsoft Teams<br />

Time & Fees<br />




Search correspondence<br />

180025<br />

James Stevenson<br />


Applicant<br />

Ms Sally Penfold<br />

Correspondence<br />

James Stevenson<br />

JS<br />

9:36 AM<br />

Matter type<br />

Property Division<br />

Sally Penfold and Paul Penfold Property..<br />

jharris@email.com<br />

JS<br />

9:32 AM<br />

Respondent<br />

Mr Paul Penfold<br />

Financial Statement<br />

James Stevenson<br />

JS<br />

Apr 2, 2020<br />

Respondent's lawyer<br />

Harris & Jacobs Solicitors<br />

Your Settlement/Property Affairs<br />

jharris@email.com<br />

JS<br />

Mar 29, 2021<br />

Mr Joshua Harris<br />

Trust Statement<br />

JS<br />

Mar 29, 2021<br />

Client correspondence<br />

181 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5H 3M7<br />

Critical fam law details<br />

Costs agreement - Property Settlement<br />

James Stevenson<br />

Letter to Mr Penfold<br />

James Stevenson<br />

JS<br />

JS<br />

Mar 28, 2021<br />

Mar 27, 2021<br />

LEAP is everything you need to run a law firm<br />

Secure Document Management<br />

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<strong>2022</strong> END OF TERM DINNER<br />

Thursday, June 23, <strong>2022</strong> | Royal York Hotel | Toronto<br />

Keynote Speaker:<br />

The Hon. Justice Mahmud Jamal,<br />

Supreme Court of Canada<br />

The Advocates' Society is proud to have The Honourable Justice<br />

Mahmud Jamal present the Keynote Address for this event.<br />

Justice Mahmud Jamal was appointed to the Supreme Court of<br />

Canada on July 1, 2021 after serving on the Ontario Court of Appeal<br />

from 2019 to 2021. As a lawyer, Justice Jamal practised in the fields<br />

of appellate litigation, constitutional and public law, class actions,<br />

and commercial litigation. He appeared before the Supreme Court<br />

in civil, constitutional, criminal, and regulatory cases, including<br />

cases involving Quebec civil law. He also appeared before the<br />

courts of seven provinces, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of<br />

Appeal, the Tax Court of Canada, and various federal and provincial<br />

administrative tribunals. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and law<br />

degrees from the Faculty of Law of McGill University and Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk<br />

to Justice Melvin L. Rothman of the Quebec Court of Appeal and Justice Charles D. Gonthier of the<br />

Supreme Court of Canada.<br />

A limited number of tickets are still available in the satellite Ballroom at the Royal York Hotel.<br />

Deadline June 9 to book.<br />

Generously Sponsored by:<br />

Cocktail Reception Sponsor<br />

Dinner Wine Sponsor<br />

After-Party Sponsors<br />


32<br />


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