It’s Been Awhile…

2017 has been a busy and political year here at TLABC!

We have been active in our campaign to End Distracted Driving, (please visit www.distracteddrivingkills.ca) – and have been focusing on political engagement and some very important justice-related campaigns, which we will be able to update you on soon.

As we move into the fall season, we have some exciting new initiatives to share, a jam-packed seminar season, and will be re-launching this site across all of our social media channels!

(We also have some new additions to the team!)

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter (@tla_bc) for campaign updates, association issues, member perspective and our new wellness focus, “Wellness in the Workplace!”  #TLABCwellness 

Stay tuned and enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

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Politics & Passion

[Excerpt from the Fall Issue of the TLABC Verdict] – out now! 

There’s a feeling in the air when summer fades and fall begins… that back-to-school ‘something’ that is crisp and busy and smells like falling leaves and hot apple pie.  Warm afternoons turn into cool, dark evenings and calendars fill up again with meetings, fundraising and campaign strategy.

In short, Fall hits – and it’s go-time.

Not that summer was all that quiet around here- we had multiple retreats and conferences going on for the TLABC Staff, the Board & Executive, and some of our campaign committees, (albeit with a few vacation days tacked on.)  We had staff in Los Angeles and Seattle, Washington, Squamish, the Yukon and Osoyoos, and we’ve been examining our goals and planning for the year ahead, but the work has been strategic and internal and now it’s time for action.

I was fortunate to attend a conference in LA this past July and was asked to present to the National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives (NATLE) on behalf of TLABC.  The meetings were in conjunction with the American Association of Justice (AAJ) and were also book-ended by the GOP and Democratic National Conventions.  It was definitely a busy week in California, and there was an undeniable buzz that distinctly reminded me of my very first AAJ/NATLE trip – pre-US election, 4 years ago.  It was the same conference, but in Chicago – just before Obama’s second term. Now, let’s not get it twisted – this particular buzz was not exactly the same.  4 years ago, it felt exciting and hopeful and I was fascinated by the entire business… whereas this time, it simply seemed to stem from fear.

Fear is a powerful thing.  It’s palpable.  You could feel it in the media, as stories broke about even more racism, more crimes of hate and gender, and in the ongoing antics of that man-who-shall-not-be-named.  You could feel it in the public perception as they carefully went about their days, avoiding the conversation as often as possible, completely unsure of what is to come.  Everyone seemed to be reacting to a series of sometimes silent, but very tangible threats to their society, often with humour, but always in fear.

Well, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my time at TLABC, is that fear does not fuel change – only passion does.

At TLABC, through our PAC fund, we are constantly working against threats to our justice system, and our members remain diligent in monitoring what may be coming down the pipe.  We want to make change – to protect our citizens – to strive towards better access to justice.  These are no small things.  But success lies in our passion and subsequently, our action.

I’ve heard time after time, that TLABC was founded by a “small group of renegades” – lawyers who truly believed in justice and in the access of it.  These lawyers did not act out of fear, but of concern for their clients and a passion for their practice.  As time goes on and more battles arise to be fought, it is imperative that we remember to do the same.

There are other groups and organizations who are better suited to predictable action and reaction – TLABC is not one of them.  The work continues, not out of fear of the unknown, or of systematic dissolution, but because it is the right thing to do.

As an association, we will rise to the challenges ahead and show time and again our commitment to justice.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama

If you want to show your own “Passion And Commitment”then consider making a donation the TLABC PAC fund so that we can take action when the threats to our justice system arise.  Let’s not just sit back, in fear…

Let’s give them something to talk about.

Make a commitment to justice.

[PLEASE NOTE: This was originally published pre- US election]

To donate to the TLABC PAC Fun, please contact megan@tlabc.org

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Perspective: TLABC New Lawyers Retreat

We think it’s important to get some perspective, from time-to-time, on our events and programs from the people they are designed to benefit the most… our members!

Recently, we held our inaugural New Lawyers Retreat in Squamish, BC and from all accounts, it was a huge success!  Set up as a mentorship weekend, TLABC hosted a group of new lawyers and seasoned veterans for an outdoor adventure retreat.

One of the new lawyer committee representatives, Alexia Majidi, shares her account of this awesome event.

“The first ever New Lawyers Retreat this year was nothing short of a true success!

From the mentors, the speakers, and the general collegial atmosphere, everything was just great. Friday night was an opportunity for everyone to meet and to socialize in a more comfortable setting than what we are all used to back in the office. It was a chance for everyone to loosen up and get to know one another before getting down to business on Saturday morning.

Saturday, we all slowly made our way to the conference hall and sat back and listened to some of the greatest in our profession. Barb Cornish and Mary-Ellen Boyd gave us vital insight into a successful mediation, while The Honourable Madam Justice Lisa Warren gave us her “Top DOs and DON’Ts in the Courtroom.” As a new call, there is nothing more valuable than getting these sorts of tips straight from the top!

Later we broke into smaller groups and had a chance to ask general questions, like work-life balance and the key to a successful practice, from amazing mentors. Once the educational part of the retreat was over we all headed off on our Squamish adventures. Once back from the adventures, we got together for a BBQ and beverages before we headed off into town, finding ourselves belting karaoke tunes with (TLABC President,) Aseem, at The Chief!

I am already looking forward to planning and attending next years’ retreat! It was the perfect way to learn, meet great mentors, and to enjoy ourselves with some of the most humble and brilliant minds that make up the BC Bar today.” 

 Alexia Majidi
TLABC Member/Lawyer – Jiwa Law Corporation

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Hit the Ground Running

 

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Well, we’re back.

It’s fall, it’s busy, and we are ready to hit the ground running!

“There’s a feeling in the air when summer fades and fall begins… that back-to-school ‘something’ that is crisp and busy and smells like falling leaves and hot apple pie.  Warm afternoons turn into cool, dark evenings and calendars fill up again with meetings, fundraising and campaign strategy…”  [from the upcoming issue of the Verdict – Fall 2016 – Ejack]

Our committees are kicking off new initiatives and projects, our Executive and Board of Governors will meet next week to begin implementing the strategy that arose from our annual Governance Retreat, and the smell of fresh coffee brewing for those early morning meetings permeates TLABC headquarters.

We’ve been examining our goals and planning for the year ahead, but the work has been strategic and internal and now it’s time for action.

In short, Fall hits – and it’s go-time.

Not that summer has been all that quiet around here- we’ve had multiple retreats and conferences going on for the TLABC Staff, the Board & Executive, and some of our campaign committees, (albeit with a few vacation days tacked on.)  We’ve had staff in Los Angeles and Seattle, Washington, Squamish, the Yukon and Osoyoos, and we’ve even be honoured with a couple of awards!

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The National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives (NATLE) has awarded TLABC it’s innaugural Award of Excellence for Publication of the Year for the Verdict, TLABC’s widely recognized magazine. 

NATLE is an organization whose members are chief executives and staff of justice associations throughout North America. Its 67 member associations collectively represent over 60,000 attorneys. 

the Verdict Board:

  • Editorial Board: Candace Cho, Aseem Dosanjh, Ed Good, Bill MacLeod, Dana Quantz, Harmonie Roesch-West, Michael Sporer
  • Publisher: Julia Chalifoux
  • Managing Editor: Carla Terzariol
  • Editor Emeritus: Ken Price
  • Staff Writer: Ben Doyle

As well, the International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) has awarded TLABC one of only 21 annual awards granted to competitors representing more than 300 organizations.

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An Award for OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT was given to TLABC for our Medical Legal Conference XIII: Hawaii 2015 – Health and Legal Professionals Working Together as Allies in the Best Program category. 

ACLEA members are professionals in the fields of continuing legal education and legal publishing. Its annual ACLEA’s Best Awards are highly competitive and winning projects represent the highest level of achievement for the staff and volunteers involved.

Project Faculty and Staff: 
•    Mock Trial / Focus Group: Robyn Wishart, The Hon. Mr. Justice Nathan Smith, Marc Kazimirski, Joseph Cahan, Dr. Gwyllyn Goddard, and Christy Pratt.
•    Conference Planning Committee: Derek Miura, Robyn Wishart, Dr. Nairn Stewart, Dr. Mark Frobb, Dr. Douglas Lee & Dr. James Kennedy
•    TLABC Staff: Erin Monahan (Education Director) and Carla Terzariol (Executive Director)

While we’re tooting our horns, we were also named as one of the top 10 legal Twitter accounts last year by Lawsome  – see the original post here.  

Follow us on Twitter @tla_bc

It’s been a busy summer and it’s definitely going to be a busy year, so gear up with us, and let’s make 2016/2017 the most successful year yet!

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Help the BC Courthouse Library!

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CLBC is taking a deep look at how they serve value to their membership and lawyers across the province. This is your chance to have a say! This exercise involves several interviews. To get good representation (year of call, region, etc.), they will be doing a quick (4-5 minutes) intake survey and then short-listing folks for a longer 1-hour Skype, phone or in-person interview. Thank you for your interest!

Please email Audrey Jun at ajun@courthouselibrary.ca  before August 9th, 2016 (next Tuesday!)

Commitment to Justice

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Summer may be just around the corner, but our fiscal year is getting ready to wrap up!

Next week, the Staff, Board of Governors and Executive Committee will be heading to Osoyoos for our Strategic Planning Retreat to discuss the past, present and future of TLABC, and we are excited to keep moving forward.

We are so proud of the strength of our membership – as well as the successful work of our PAC – The Public Affairs Committee.  PAC is what fuels our advocacy work and allows us to stand up to threats to our justice system.

We couldn’t do the work we do without the generous support of our PAC donors – and today, we’d like to specifically acknowledge our high-level firm donors, who show an incredible “Commitment to Justice!”  Thank you.

Champions of Justice:

Diamond:

Platinum:

Would you like to learn more about PAC? Contact megan@tlabc.org or call the TLABC office (604-682-5343) and find out how you can make a “Commitment to Justice!”

Twitter Town Hall with Chief Judge Crabtree

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Tomorrow, the BC Provincial Court is holding an event that is the first of its kind in Canada!

From 1-3pm, Chief Judge Crabtree will be online – tweeting live and answering questions about our provincial justice system, in the first-ever “Twitter Town Hall.”

Hoping to get a valuable discussion started, associations like the CBA (Canadian Bar Association,) the Law Society and ourselves, along with many other colleagues and the community, will be submitting topics and questions to address.  While I’m not sure 2 hours will be enough time to cover every single issue, it is certainly a formidable start!  We need to be talking about our justice system, and our citizens need to know that this dialogue is happening.  In my view, this is not just a new-age initiative to prove that Judge Crabtree can roll with the social media crowd, but a glimpse into what the future may hold.

Online engagement is no longer an option, nor is transparency within our systems – and this unique initiative is a perfect opportunity to see how we can effectively progress with both.

Tune in tomorrow to see how it goes – you can follow the hashtag #AskChiefJudge and check in with us (@tla_bc) and the BC Provincial Court (@BCProvCourt) as it develops!

(If you’d like to submit your own question, just tag @BCProvCourt & feel free to send it in advance to provide ample time for a response tomorrow.)

Remember, that you don’t have to be on twitter to follow along – simply click on the links to view the event tomorrow.  If you are on twitter, however, remember to tweet  @BCProvCourt & tag #TLABC and tell us where you are – a courthouse, office etc. 

We’ll “see” you tomorrow – Online!

Hot Off The Press! #TLABC

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The spring edition of the Verdict is out… have you seen it? Print and digital editions are now available. Here is a look at what is inside:www.theverdictmagazine.com

Wellness Wednesday – Workspace

Several years ago I worked with a woman who bought herself fresh flowers every week. She didn’t spend a fortune, often less than $10 a week. I don’t know what it was, but somehow these flowers placed near her workspace made her, and the rest of our office, very happy.

I liked her habit, and soon incorporated it in to my own routine. Once a week I would make a point to stop on my walk home from work, and purchase a few flowers. Rather than taking these flowers to work mind you, I would place them in and around my apartment. Again, the flowers worked their magic, and seeing them around made me happy.

As I write this, I realize the only plants visible from my office, are the illustrated succulents I have chosen as computer screen saver. Cute as they are, I think it is time to add some life to my office.

Just in case I needed any further convincing, this article (below) by the Guardian has sealed the deal! Plants in offices increase happiness and productivity. – Julia Chalifoux, Publisher

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Creating a Happy Workspace with Plants 

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/aug/31/plants-offices-workers-productive-minimalist-employees

Wellness Wednesday

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Stress.

There’s no way around it, particularly in our profession.  In fact, it surrounds the way we think, act, and even succeed.  Part of what is attractive about a career in litigation is the fast-paced,  high-stakes environment itself – There is a certain adrenaline rush that comes from working hard, going to court, helping clients, fighting for JUSTICE.  But with all this comes an immense amount of stress.

In our office, we’re constantly talking about “work life balance.”  It’s a lovely thought. Being able to succeed at life with everything in harmonious balance… work, family, home, health, passion, fitness, sleep… (wait, what’s sleep?)

Well, wouldn’t that be lovely.  So how does it work?

For today’s Wellness Wednesday, we are posting some tips for reducing job stress, found in Chatelaine Online.  While stress cannot be avoided, and the work must continue to get done, it’s crucial for our health to find ways to cultivate balance.

These may seem like basic concepts, but do we do anything with them?  Rarely.

And so… read, digest, implement what you can.  Baby steps, as they say.

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From “The Toxic Effects Of Workplace Stress” by Kathryn Hayward for Chatelaine Online – (October 27, 2015)…

Dr. David Posen’s tips for reducing job stress

1. Leave work an hour earlier. “Never in 30 years have I had a patient who couldn’t get the same amount of work done in less time when they took better care of themselves.”
2. Spend that extra hour after work wisely. Book time for exercise, seeing friends, napping or even just sitting near something you find beautiful.
3. Take a micro-break every 90 minutes. Research shows that’s the longest we can concentrate intensely on something. “The best thing you can do is get up and walk away.”
4. Get a better night’s rest. To do this, Posen advises patients to slowly wean themselves off caffeine.
5. Work out. Every bit helps. Exercise drains off excess stress energy, so it lowers cortisol in the body, which can help reduce anxiety.
6. Change the way you think. Modify unrealistic expectations and try to identify problematic patterns. “Type A people need to slow down, and people pleasers need to learn how to say no occasionally.”