7:30 a.m.Registration and Continental Breakfast (Belzberg Atrium)
8:20 a.m-8:30am
Pacific Hall
Ceremonial Welcome
8:30 a.m-8:40am
Pacific Hall
Welcoming Remarks
Claire Hunter Access Pro Bono BC, Vancouver BC
8:40 a.m-9:00am
Pacific Hall
Opening Of The Conference:
The Right Honourable Chief Justice Richard Wagner Supreme Court of Canada
9:00 a.m-10:15am
Pacific Hall
Plenary 1 (1.25 CPD)
Cross-Country Round Up and Pro Bono in Context

This panel will locate pro bono legal services in the broader context of efforts to improve access to justice. It will include an overview of Canada’s Justice Development Goals, recent access to justice initiatives in Canada, discuss the current and future plans of the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, and conclude with a reflection on where pro bono activities fit in the bigger puzzle of access to legal services.

The Honourable Thomas Cromwell Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver

Mark Benton QC Legal Services Society of BC, Vancouver BC
The Honourable Elizabeth Corte Action Committee on Access to Justice, Montréal QC
Sarah McCoubrey Calibrate Solutions, Toronto ON
10:15 a.m-10:30am
Morning Break
10:30 a.m.-12:00pm
Pacific Hall

“Unbundled legal services”, “limited scope representation”, “limited scope retainer” or “discrete task representation”… these terms all refer to legal services provided on a specific and discrete task basis. As the gap widens between Canadians who qualify for legal aid and those who can afford to pay for full representation by a lawyer, the movement toward “unbundling” delivers a way to access justice. This panel will offer a wide variety of perspectives and experiences on unbundling from practitioners and change leaders from across the country, and will provide participants with valuable information and tools regarding best practices.

A – Less is More: Access by Unbundling

Zahra Jenab Jenab & Company, North Vancouver BC

Helena Birt Family Law Limited Scope Services Project, Hamilton ON
Kari Boyle BC Courthouse Library Society, Vancouver BC
Doug Munro Law Society of BC, Vancouver BC
The Honourable Justice Peter Voith BC Supreme Court, Vancouver BC
Michael Butterfield Butterfield Law, Victoria BC

B – Unlocking the Professional Development of Pro Bono

This panel will explore the role that pro bono work can play in the professional development of lawyers in private practice. You will hear the perspectives of partners and associates who have taken on significant pro bono matters from the trial courts to the Supreme Court of Canada, and the perspective of firm management about the role this work plays in the development of young lawyers.

Claire Hunter Access Pro Bono BC, Vancouver BC

Ken Mills Blakes LLP, Calgary AB
Jeremy Opolsky Torys LLP, Toronto ON
Tim Outerbridge BC Court of Appeal, Vancouver BC
David Wotherspoon Dentons Canada LLP, Vancouver BC

C – Law Student Pro Bono: Innovations, Impacts and Issues

Vibrant and robust pro bono and clinical programs are essential when it comes to creating a culture of public service. This panel will ask whether there is more that law schools and legal educators can do to instill a commitment to public service, and ensure that all law students graduate with an awareness of access to justice issues and their responsibilities as future members of the profession. Speakers will explore the value of student pro bono, and identify concrete steps law schools can take to cultivate and institutionalize the ideal of lawyer as public citizen.

Nikki Gershbain Pro Bono Students Canada, Toronto ON

Nicole Chan Pro Bono Students Canada - UBC, Vancouver BC
Michelle Christopher QC University of Calgary Faculty of Law, Calgary AB
Tamara Levy QC UBC Law Innocence Project, Vancouver BC
Vandana Sood Rise Women’s Legal Centre, Vancouver BC

D – Tech Tools for #A2J

New and emerging technologies provide increasingly powerful and accessible tools for meeting the access to justice needs of self-represented litigants and pro bono clients, and for supporting legal service providers. This panel will highlight different ways that technologies are being used to improve access to justice for ordinary Canadians—from DIY divorce applications to local hacking meetups to PLEI smart forms—and the next big technological developments to make an impact.

Michael McCubbin Sinclare and Company, Courtenay BC

Jocelyn Gagne Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan, SK
Brandon Hastings Justice Hack BC, New Westminster BC
Timothy Mallett UNDO

12:00 p.m-1:20pm
Lunch Plenary I
Evolving Adjudication for Access to Justice

Over the past several years, the Canadian justice system has seen significant progress in alternative dispute resolution. Litigants increasingly avoid costly and complex trials by way of processes like preparatory conferences, arbitration and mediation. But adjudication is often unavoidable. Some Canadian courts and tribunals have been creative in becoming more accessible and adaptable to a new generation of users who still seek a decision on the merits. This panel will discuss some of the new adjudicative techniques that courts and tribunals are adopting to move with the times, such as online adjudication, specialized courts, and tailored support for self-represented litigants. The revolution is now.

The Honourable Marie Deschamps Pro Bono Canada, Montréal QC

John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers, Calgary AB
The Honourable Judge Nancy Phillips BC Provincial Court, Vancouver BC
Shannon Salter Civil Resolution Tribunal, Vancouver BC
1:30 p.m-3:00pm
Pacific Hall

A – Connecting with Clients: Cultural Competency for A2J

Competence in legal practice cannot be separated from our ability to relate to others respectfully, appropriately and productively. Effective communication with clients who are different from us is essential to providing excellent legal services in pro bono practice and otherwise. We all interpret the world through a unique worldview; these interpretations can shape how we perceive—positively, negatively, erroneously—the actions and decisions made by our clients. This panel will discuss concepts of cultural awareness through a lens of cultural humility, and provide tools to actively combat unconscious bias and the fallacy of a culturally “neutral” approach to legal services.

The Honourable Justice Len Marchand Jr. BC Supreme Court, Vancouver BC

Patricia Barkaskas Indigenous Community Legal Clinic, Vancouver BC
Dr. Lorna Fadden Kamloops BC
Zahra Jimale Jimale Law, Richmond BC

B – Decolonizing and Expanding Pro Bono Service for Indigenous Peoples

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #50 calls upon government to work with Aboriginal organizations to develop wider understanding of Indigenous laws and greater access to justice in accordance with the unique cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The goal is equity for Indigenous peoples in our justice systems, and progress cannot occur without the full and direct participation of Indigenous communities large and small. This panel will discuss how to give life and forward movement to the expression, “Nothing about us without us,” in the context of pro bono service.

Ardith Walkem QC Cedar and Sage Law Corporation, Chilliwack BC

Shain Jackson Spirit Works Limited, North Vancouver BC
Nancy Leggett-Bachand Pro Bono Québec, Montréal QC
Tamara Pearl Saskatoon SK

C – Innovations in Service Delivery to Rural and Remote Communities

Your place of residence shouldn't deny you access to justice. This panel explores innovative approaches to overcoming geographic, technological, transportation, resource and lawyer-scarcity challenges that confront clients in rural and remote locations. The presenters will share their expertise and experiences in developing projects that deliver critical legal services to underserved communities.

Michelle Quigg Access Pro Bono, Nanaimo BC

Erin Brandt Reach Legal, Vancouver BC
Lynn Burns Pro Bono Ontario, Toronto ON
Vicky Law Rise Women’s Legal Centre, Vancouver BC
Kathy Parsons Central Alberta Community Legal Clinic, Red Deer AB

D – Truth be Told: Redressing Historical Wrongs through the Legal System

This panel will explore the legal system’s response to the harms of gendered violence and trauma. How well does the adversarial legal system serve as a truth finding mechanism for survivors of sexual assault and abuse? What should be said when survivors seek legal counsel? What forms of redress does the legal system offer them? What are some best practices for crafting non-judgmental settlements that are sensitive to people who suffer trauma? What impact has the #MeToo movement had in this arena? Join us for a practical and interactive discussion of these and related topics.

Angus Gunn QC Eyford Macaulay Shaw & Padmanabhan LLP, Vancouver BC

Megan Ellis QC Megan Ellis & Company, Vancouver BC
Dalya Israel WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver BC
David Klein Klein Lawyers LLP, Vancouver BC
Kate Rossiter Ending Violence Association of BC, Vancouver BC
3:00 p.m-3:30pmAfternoon Break
Pacific Hall
Plenary II

Regulating in the Public Interest to Increase Access to Justice

What role can and should law societies play in promoting access to legal services? What challenges do regulators face in these efforts? This panel includes representatives of two law societies engaged in access-related issues and legal academics who study access to justice issues who will explore these questions from both theoretical and practical perspectives.

The Honourable Lance Finch QC Guild Yule LLP, Vancouver BC

Janis Criger Hamilton Small Claims Court, Hamilton ON
Dr. Julie Macfarlane University of Windsor Law School, Windsor ON
Jeffrey Campbell QC Merrill, Long & Co., Nanaimo BC
Andrew Pilliar Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law, Kamloops BC
National Pro Bono Awards Dinner Reception
National Pro Bono Awards



8:00 a.m-9:00amContinental Breakfast
9:00 a.m-10:15am
Pacific Hall
Plenary 3 (1.25 CPD)
Reflecting on the Politics of Access to Justice

Kerry Simmons QC

Michael Bryant
The Honourable Wally Oppal QC
Geoff Plant QC
10:15 a.m-10:30amMorning Break

A – Frontline Family Law: Targeting the Greatest Need

Following on yesterday’s CLE session about how unbundled legal services can extend greater access to justice for litigants of limited means, this panel will consider—among other issues—whether unbundled legal services have the potential to the move the dial in the high needs area of family law. Judges, practitioners and frontline service providers will provide differing perspectives on the special problems posed by family disputes, and some possible solutions to the complaint that families in crisis are the most underserved participants in our justice system.

The Honourable Ross Collver QC Access Pro Bono, Vancouver BC

The HonourableJudge Patricia Bond BC Provincial Court, Vancouver BC
John-Paul Boyd John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers, Calgary AB
Kim Hawkins Rise Women’s Legal Centre, Vancouver BC
Jane Reid Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP, Vancouver BC

B – Collaborating for A2J: Working with Social Service Providers

This panel will look at the opportunities and challenges inherent to meeting the needs of low-income clients when the optimal service approach relies on inter-organizational collaboration. The presenters will discuss ethical considerations and best practices for working together to provide timely holistic help and effective referrals for their clients. They will explore tested strategies for making the best uses of one another as resources.

Kayla Johnson Access Pro Bono, Vancouver BC

Andrea Bryson Rise Women’s Legal Centre, Vancouver BC
Nicky Dunlop PovNet, Vancouver BC
Nancy Leggett-Bachand Pro Bono Québec, Montréal QC
Amber Prince Atira Women's Resource Society, Vancouver BC

C – Getting Engaged: A Conversation about Growing the A2J Movement

Jane Morley QC Access to Justice BC, Pender Island BC

Jason Kuzminski Law Society of BC, Vancouver BC
Jennifer Muller Access to Justice BC, North Vancouver BC
Caroline Nevin Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, Vancouver BC

D – Measuring Success: Evaluation and Outcomes for Pro Bono Initiatives

Canadian pro bono initiatives have experienced significant growth over the last decade. This panel will discuss a range of topics including a) the purposes and capacity of evaluating the outcomes of initiatives, b) how to overcome obstacles that programs often encounter in the pro bono context, c) how corporate law firms approach social justice issues and measure the success of their initiatives, and d) how to maintain a client-centred approach to modernize evaluative criteria for measuring the success of initiatives.

Wayne Robertson QC Law Foundation of BC, Vancouver BC

Karen Fellowes DLA Piper LLP, Calgary AB
Sarah McCoubrey Calibrate Solutions, Toronto ON
Jerry McHale QC University of Victoria Faculty of Law, Victoria BC
Tim Roberts Focus Consultants, Victoria BC
12:00 p.m. Lunch
12:15pm-1:20pmLUNCH PLENARY II

Setting the Stage for Pro Bono Counsel

This lunchtime panel will discuss how non-profit organizations can best position themselves to find senior counsel to help with their strategic litigation interests. Battle-hardened veterans of pro bono legal campaigns will share different models for engaging senior counsel in pro bono work, consider how non-profits can best support senior counsel in their pro bono work, and talk about some of the opportunities and challenges common to pro bono partnerships.

Simon Coval Fasken, Vancouver BC

Ranjan Agarwal Bennett Jones LLP, Toronto ON
Josh Paterson BC Civil Liberties Association, Vancouver BC
Mark Surprenant Adams and Reese LLP, New Orleans LA
Sheila Tucker QC Shapray Cramer Fitterman Lamer LLP, Vancouver BC

A – First on the Scene: Advocacy in Administrative Tribunals

Administrative tribunals generally offer a more accessible forum for resolving disputes, and decision makers with specialized knowledge. However, many self-represented litigants still face significant barriers in effectively presenting their cases at this level. Drawing on their respective professional experiences, the presenters will discuss specific challenges that parties face at hearings, and the critical need for support and representation. They will also discuss best practices for effective advocacy before tribunals, with a particular focus on working with marginalized clients.

Erin Pritchard Access Pro Bono, Vancouver BC

Dale Beck Regina SK
Marie-Noël Campbell Access Pro Bono, Vancouver BC
Stephen Portman Together Against Poverty Society, Victoria BC
Cheryl Vickers Surface Rights Board of BC, Vancouver BC

B – Finding Funds for Pro Bono Programs

Pro bono organizations require a great deal of support from the legal community, both in the way of volunteer hours and operating funds. The question is: How do we make the most of these relationships? This panel will consider various methods of fund solicitation related to the unique landscape of pro bono volunteers, donors and supporters. Specifically, the presenters will discuss how to land cy pres awards, how to create mutually beneficial relationships with major donors, how to cultivate a pro bono culture within your law firm, and how to motivate your supporters.

Jasmine Allen Mission Possible, Vancouver BC

Greg Heywood Roper Greyell LLP, Vancouver BC
Les Mackoff Mackoff Mohamed, Vancouver BC
Roy Millen Blakes LLP, Vancouver BC
Lauri Thompson Charitable Impact Strategies, Vancouver BC

C – New Models of Service to Self Represented Litigants
The growing number of self represented litigants appearing in Canadian courts and tribunals is the most telling access to justice story of our time. Pro bono programs have largely adapted to this permanent reality by developing new and creative means of support to SRLs beyond the conventional full representation model. From lawyers coaching clients to advocate for themselves, to law students accompanying clients at hearing or trial, to paralegals drafting court documents on an unbundled basis, this panel will examine new models of pro bono service to SRLs.

Dom Bautista Law Courts Center, Vancouver BC

Barbra Bailey Law Society of Saskatchewan, Regina SK
Emmanuelle Bernheim University of Québec at Montréal, Montréal QC
Yvonne Choi Amici Curiae Friendship Society, Vancouver BC
Nikki Gershbain Pro Bono Students Canada, Toronto ON

Truth and Reconciliation Blanket Exercise

The “KAIROS Blanket Exercise” is an interactive learning experience that demonstrates Indigenous perspectives on Canadian history. In this participatory workshop, participants will consider 500 years of history as they take on the roles of Indigenous peoples in British Columbia. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they will walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. They will be directed by facilitators representing a narrator and the European colonizers. The exercise is designed to educate and increase empathy.

Andrea Hilland Law Society of BC, Vancouver BC
Jamie Maclaren QC Access Pro Bono, Vancouver BC
Ardith Walkem QC Cedar and Sage Law Corporation, Chilliwack BC
3:00 p.m-3:15pmAfternoon Break
3:15 p.m-4:15pm
Pacific Hall
Plenary 4 (1.0 CPD)
New Frontiers in Pro Bono Service

This panel will discuss national and international developments in relation to pro bono service. In particular, it will address how to engage senior members of the bar in access to justice work and the challenges of securing and maintaining government support for pro bono activities.

Claire Hunter Hunter Litigation Chambers, Vancouver BC

The Honourable Marie Deschamps Pro Bono Canada, Montréal QC
Jeffrey Leon Bennett Jones LLP, Toronto ON
Dinyar Marzban QC Jenkins Marzban Logan LLP, Vancouver BC
Guy Pratte Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Montréal QC
4:15 p.m-4:30pm
Pacific Hall

The Honourable David Eby QC Attorney General of BC
Session Streams:

A – Accessible Practice CLE
B – Building Capacity for Service
C – Clients and Communities
D – Delving into Details