All lawyers in the Fraser Region practicing 6 years or less:
REGISTRATION FOR 2023 is now FULL!
See details below to apply for 2024
Partnering with a faculty roster of local judges and experienced counsel, we are pleased to announce our 2023 Surrey “Inns of Court" mentoring program that will be held over 7 evenings commencing September 28, 2023 and continuing monthly until February 22, 2024.
The Surrey Inns of Court was established in the long standing inherited English tradition of our profession fostering meaningful and lasting mentoring relationships between junior lawyers and experienced counsel and judges to promote professionalism and competence.
Sessions will be held at Morgan Creek Golf Course Creekside Room and other locations TBA and will include discussions of topics relevant to newer counsel along with ample time to connect with senior colleagues and members of the bench over dinner and/or canapés.
Please note that the IOC sessions build on previous topics and discussions. Participants are expected to attend all sessions where possible.
Cost for the entire series of 7 sessions is $485.00. Price includes:
- meals on five of the evenings and canapés for two evenings
- 17 hours of CPD credit (including 2 hours of ethics/practice management)
- SBA membership for the balance of 2023
For those with a Legal Aid practice, bursaries of up to 50% may be available by emailing LABC directly. Please note that the current iteration of our IOC is now SOLD OUT. To be considered for the 2024 IOC, we encourage all interested to download and complete the APPLICATION FORM and return it to Cheryl Stanley.
Session #1 - September 28, 2023 - General Practice - Morgan Creek - Dinner
- Collegiality and Decorum
- Communications with other counsel/colleagues (ie professionalism/ high conflict situations)
- Communications with the Court
- Working/ dealing with self-represented litigants (practice points/access to justice/ views from the bench)
Session #2 - October 19, 2023 - Expert Witnesses - Morgan Creek - Dinner
Guests Richard Fowler K.C. and Dr. Michael Elterman will discuss topics surrounding expert witnesses, (moderated by the Honourable Judge Jetté), including:
- The expert's duty to the court, client's and counsel
- Ensuring a properly qualified expert – duty of the lawyer
- Proper qualification of experts and the dangers of straying outside of permissible bounds
- Disclosure challenges and ethical obligations in family, civil and criminal matters
- Views from an expert
Session #3 - November 2, 2023 - Ethics & Integrity - Morgan Creek - Dinner
Guest Bill MacLeod K.C. will encourage discussing on:
- the BC Code of Professional Conduct
- Conflicts of interest: clients and the court
- Ethical dilemmas: instructions from clients; instructions from other lawyers; navigating situations where you perceive a conflict, but the other side doesn't; and managing situations where your own self-interest doesn't align with your client's interest or your duty to the court
Session #4 - November 30, 2023 - Preparation & Presentation of Your Case - Morgan Creek - Dinner
- The importance of knowing your case and development of a theory
- Drafting litigation documents and brining the theory to life including: correspondence with counsel and the court/ Pleadings, & Minutes of Settlement & Agreements
- Planning and organizing your case to convey the story effectively
- Preparing and presenting compelling oral and written arguments
Session #5 - January 11, 2024 - Advocacy Part 1
Fasken Suite 1800 13401 108th Ave. Surrey BC - Canapés
Session #6 - February 1, 2024 - Advocacy Part 2 - Surrey Provincial Court - Canapés
- Preparing and presenting an opening
- Preparing and conducting direct examination
- Preparing and conducting cross examination
- Preparing and presenting a closing
- Preparing and conducting direct examination (practical session)
- Preparing and conducting cross examination (practical session)
Session #7 - February 22, 2024 - Closing Dinner - Morgan Creek
*Location of sessions and topics subject to change depending on size of the class, venue and guest availability.
The 2023 Inns of Court is sponsored by:
If your firm, business or organization is interesting in sponsoring the Inns of Court, please contact:
Cheryl Stanley or Gordon Kabanuk
Firms under 10: $500.00
Firms over 10: $1000.00
Inaugural Surrey Inns of Court a Resounding Success!
In late 2019/early 2020, a group of lawyers and judges in British Columbia’s fastest growing municipality, Surrey, recognized the need to connect the judiciary and senior counsel with the junior bar to provide mentorship and professional development opportunities. From there the development of the Surrey Inns of Court program quickly took off through a partnership with the Surrey Bar Association and the local judiciary. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and in person training events ceased, the formal Inns program went on hiatus. Not being deterred, the group quickly pivoted and successfully managed to deliver online advocacy training sessions to local lawyers with the help of some experienced presenters. These events were well attended and solidified the need for the Inns program in Surrey.
When pandemic restrictions eased, the Inns program was revived with the inaugural meeting in September 2022. From September 2022 to March 2023, a cohort comprised of lawyers under 6 years call from all practice areas met monthly with volunteer mentor Provincial Court judges and senior practitioners for evenings filled with conversation on topics related to legal ethics, practice management, expert witnesses, trial advocacy and professional responsibility. With the support of the Office of the Chief Judge, participants were also given an opportunity to practice their direct and cross-examination skills in a courtroom setting, afterhours, with the benefit of feedback from a judge and senior lawyer. Each monthly meeting was designed to stimulate conversation between the mentor judges, senior lawyers, and the participants over a meal in a relaxed and friendly environment. When the program’s 2022 session ended, it was clear that it was a resounding success and filled a need within the local bar. Feedback was provided by the participants:
“I appreciated the opportunity to practice conducting a cross-examination and direct examination in front of several judges and senior members of the bar. These mentors took the time to provide meaningful feedback tailored to each participant. Although the cross-examination and direct examination were based on a criminal law fact pattern, the practical tips that I learned during this session are equally applicable to the civil context.”
“What I enjoyed most of all was the informal table conversations, where we had opportunities to ask questions and hear from senior counsel and judges, and just get to know them on a more personal level. A lot of the learning for me happened during those table conversations.”
“I believe that the collegiality of the Inns of Court Program is a very useful thing for younger lawyers. A relaxed and friendly environment, and the sharing of a meal with mentors and judges creates an atmosphere that fosters learning on a variety of topics relevant to the practice of law. The fact that a quest speaker/expert presents on a different topic at each dinner also gives insight into how that topic applies in practice.”
“The Surrey Inns of Court program was a phenomenal opportunity to connect with other members of our profession, and to pick the brains of some of Surrey’s senior counsel and members of the Bench. While each session was full of practical information, having an opportunity to practice direct/cross examination (and receive feedback) in front of a Judge was an invaluable experience - we so rarely get a “test run” in our profession!”
“Coming out of COVID, it was such a pleasure to be able to connect in person with colleagues around my year of call. It was also great to have guest judges and speakers attending both to share their knowledge and perspective, but also to make the courtroom a little less intimidating. It was a good and low-stakes environment to ask questions without being worried about being judged or messing something up mid-trial.”
Because of its success, the decision was made to carry on with the Inns program and a call for expressions of interest to the local bar has been made for the 2023-2024 season. Thank you to all who volunteered their time to enrich the learning of the participants and build the collegiality of the bench and bar in Surrey!