Choosing a practice
B.C.’s Legal Services Society
(LSS) has reached a tentative
two-year agreement for staff
lawyers with the Professional
Employees’ Association (PEA),
Finance Minister Colin Hansen
announced Jan. 12.
The deal contains no wage
increases, a position in line with
policy on other government-sec-
tor contracts, Hansen said.
“These are difficult economic
times, and I want to express my
gratitude to the negotiators who
are working hard to find solutions that meet the needs of
employees,” Hansen said in a
PEA executive director Scott
McCannell says his union is recommending ratification of the
contract but he does not yet
know when the vote will be.
McCannell says wage freezes
are difficult for any employee
but added the loss of 30 staff
positions last year has left the
LSS with six staff lawyers.
As a result, he said, work-
loads and stress are high.
The lawyers had been with-
out a contract since September.
However, with legal aid still
considered by many to be in
crisis in B.C., some are questioning how the system will function
with lawyers not getting raises
and how that will affect
attracting new staff lawyers to
the system in future.
Members will vote on the
tentative agreement in the com-
The previous contract provided for a wage of $32,355 for
an articling student at the start
of the contract up to $113,662
for a lawyer in his or her 14th
year of call to the Bar at the end
of the contract.
See LSS Page 2
Commissioner Michel Bastarache presents his report in Quebec City last week. Bastarache dismissed allegations of
undue pressure in the nomination of judges in Quebec but recommended a systemic overhaul.
FRANCIS VACHON FOR THE LAWYERS WEEKLY
See story on page 3
Civil war within CBA causes casualties
Have the costs
Ousted CCCA board may
start rival in-house
counsel group or join ACC
arrangements on the rise
CRISTIN SCHMITZ OTTAWA
Faced with at least one rival
organization recruiting its members as well as bitter division within
its own ranks, the Canadian Bar
Association (CBA) is pledging to
dramatically improve services to its
4,400 corporate counsel members
after abruptly canning the entire
board of the Canadian Corporate
Counsel Association (CCCA).
Following the failure of an
intense Jan. 15-16 weekend media-
tion session between negotiating
teams from the CBA and the CCCA
(overseen by mediator Martin Tep-
litsky) the CBA moved swiftly the
next day to dissolve the CCCA’s
17-member volunteer board and
terminate its executive director,
mittee) are now considering how
best to achieve their goal of a
vibrant and effective in-house
counsel organization, including
starting their own group.
“The preferred option was to
stay with the CBA,” she stressed.
“The [present] two options would
be either to join with another
group, like the Association of Cor-
porate Counsel, which would be
the obvious option, or start our
own organization. If CBA con-
tinues to deal with corporate coun-
sel the way they have done, I think
we would be responding to a need
that is not filled right now.”
But the CCCA’s newly appointed
interim chair, and its former
president, Halifax in-house counsel
Robert Patzelt, told The Lawyers
Weekly he is confident the CBA’s
internal crisis will lead to improved
service to CCCA members.
The popular spring conference
and the fall “world summit” will be
See CCCA Page 3
Lawyers are drowning
in data these days
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