Distracted Driving is the new Drunk Driving

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“When you are driving—it should not be a secondary task, it should be the only task.”

 – Joel Feldman, creator of End Distracted Driving www.enddd.org

This is not an exaggeration.  Distracted driving has overtaken driving under the influence by a shocking margin.  In fact, incidents involving distracted driving have surpassed driving under the influence at least six fold.  International research shows that 20-30 per cent of all collisions involve driver distraction.

“The moment you take your eyes off the road and your hand off the wheel you don’t have your full attention on the road, which can pose a danger to you and those around you,”  – Kristine Simpson, manager of public affairs at the Canadian Automobile Association.

This is not only texting, but any activity that reduces your ability to focus 100% on the task of driving – in fact, we need to be reminded that even changing the radio station, adjusting your GPS, eating or even putting on makeup are distracting and can be fatal.

TLABC is proud to partner with the End Distracted Driving a program developed by Joel Feldman, a litigator from the US, who lost his beautiful daughter in a distracted driving incident.  Following this horrible loss, Joel created End Distracted Driving – a program designed to be presented in schools, by lawyers, in order to begin to create an effective dialogue about one of the most pervasive driving issues of the past decade.

TLABC is dedicated to creating awareness and bringing attention to distracted driving and TLABC members have been participating in presentations around the province that are geared toward preventing these senseless tragedies.

For more information, or to get involved, please contact the TLABC office at:
604-682-5343, or visit our website www.tlabc.org

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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

Hot Off The Press!

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Have you received your copy winter edition of the Verdict? Print and digital editions are now available. Here is a look at what is inside:

Actions, activities and tasks that occur prior to a trial are vastly different in criminal law and civil law, but one thing is common for the lawyers involved in any legal matter: You must be prepared; your client is counting on you. Proper management of a case typically involves a range of things. If you represent a person accused of a crime, your involvement will get increasingly heavy from the time of arraignment through to an interim or preliminary hearing. If you represent an injured plaintiff in a civil lawsuit, it’s highly likely you will need to be prepared for a full trial whether one happens or not, and you certainly will be front and centre in any pre-trial conferences or settlement discussions, as well as discoveries. The fall 2015 edition of the Verdict explores the pre-trial needs and responsibilities of today’s lawyers and litigators, the duties required when representing laypersons in BC….

Read your copy online today at www.theverdictmagazine.com

Socks For Santa 2015

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‘Tis (almost) the season, which means it’s time, once again, for our ‘Socks For Santa’ holiday campaign!!

This holiday season, TLABC’s Public Affairs Committee (PAC) will again be collecting new or gently used, clean socks to give to the First United Downtown Eastside Shelter.

The shelter provides 60 beds each night– space for 40 men and 20 women. This is one of the largest and busiest shelters in Vancouver.  Each day they provide their clients with foot baths/foot care, as well as provide them with a clean pair of dry socks. Keeping your feet warm, dry and protected can be quite challenging in this rainy city, and the shelter often runs out of socks.

Please help out by participating in one of the following ways:

 1) Send or drop off your new or gently used socks to:
1111 – 1100 Melville St.
Vancouver, BC V6E 4A6

2) Bring your socks to the Fairmont Waterfront for next week’s seminar, the AGM or the Holiday Bash on Friday, December 4th, 2015!

3) Make a pledge towards the purchase of socks for the shelter.

 To make a pledge, or for more info please contact megan@tlabc.org or call the TLABC office:
604-682-5343 / (toll-free: 1 888-558-5222)

Thank you!!

#TLABCCares is dedicated to keeping our less-fortunate safe and dry this holiday season!

Governments Change, TLABC’s Membership Endures

(From the March PowerPAC by Bentley Doyle, Director of Communications and PR)

In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect.”  – former US President Bill Clinton 

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Hand in glove with aspiring for good things, we sought a quote of inspiration. It was a move to counter the lack of encouragement by the latest budget delivered, in February, by the BC Government. There was nary a word nor dollar about legal aid, and nothing to indicate our elected officials will finally address the massive legislative deficiencies neglecting the needs of families who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one.

Instead, we are left with added concern, namely in the form of the BC Government’s proposed congestion tax. If it is materializes (after the vote),  will it be rolled into the already unfair provincial tax on legal fees? TLABC has written to BC’s Premier and the Finance Minister in an attempt to get clarification on the matter. At the same time, TLABC has reiterated its long-held assertion that the tax on legal services (which is more than 20 years old) never should have been conceived and delivered in the first place. The tax should never have been forced on citizens. This NDP-created tax of the early 1990s should have been extinguished by the currently governing Liberals – yet both parties have acted the same way, by taking the tax money into general revenue rather than earmarking it for legal aid, which was the original idea back in the day, despite what either party claims these days.

The tax, by the way, currently cascades more than $145 million each year into the BC Government’s revenue stream. Oh, and the BC Government projected there will be a budget surplus this year of $879 million, made real by the end of March. There is also another $400 million in the contingency fund, and the BC Liberals anticipate having a billion dollars each of the next three years in surpluses, contingencies and for forecast errors and allowances. And all of that is in addition to the non-partisan governing tradition of claiming (make that re-directing) hundreds of millions each year from ICBC’s profits, despite the fact the so-called people’s insurer was never intended to be a money-maker.

At the very least, tax money collected after legal services have been performed should fund legal aid, and profits raked in by our public auto insurer should be used to offset the high cost of premiums paid by the motoring public.

It’s a good thing TLABC and its members take direct action to address wrongs rather than wait for governments to wise up. Case(s) in point, TLABC was directly involved in the case that challenged BC’s system of costly courtroom hearing fees, which resulted in the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, last fall, that BC’s excessive fees are unconstitutional. TLABC since bumped up the challenge in late 2014 by suing the BC Government (Attorney General) and the Director of Sheriff Services over the province’s excessive civil jury fees.

Guest Post – (Borrowed with permission from our friends at Access Pro Bono)

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In a recent series, APB profiled some of the wonderful volunteers who make APB so vital to access to justice in BC. Today’s profiled volunteer is Mosope Fagbongbe, who also happens to be one of our new, engaged members!

Mosope has been very interested in becoming more involved with TLABC and we thank her for that – some of you may have met her at the TLABC Holiday Bash at the Vancouver Rowing Club on December 5th, where she had generously volunteered to help us out!

[4th APB volunteer profile for GivingTuesday: Mosope Fagbongbe]

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Mosope is an exceptional volunteer who commits her time to no less than three of our pro bono programs: the Wills Clinic Project, the Civil Chambers Program and the Summary Legal Advice Program.

Mosope practiced law in Nigeria briefly before moving to teaching and legal research with a specialty in public law. She earned Masters and Doctoral degrees in Canada, and has worn many hats at different times as a lawyer, researcher, teacher, trainer, human rights activist and advocate. She was a sessional lecturer at UBC Law, and recently qualified to pursue a legal practice in BC. She volunteers with other social justice groups as well as APB, mostly serving vulnerable people like seniors and women in dangerous situations.

Mosope’s dedication, hard work and positive attitude make her a highly valued member of our volunteer family.

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– See more at: http://www.accessprobono.ca/news/2014/4th-apb-volunteer-profile-givingtuesday-mosope-fagbongbe#sthash.Im34tDId.dpuf