President’s Report - Cheryl Stanley
Surrey Bar Association - September 2020
This has perhaps been the most eventful year in the history of the association. We began 2019 with the usual planned events. The 3rd Annual WCBA Golf Tournament was an unrivaled success. The Annual Bench and Bar Dinner was a wonderful evening, celebrating (and roasting) new judicial appointments and enjoying each other’s company. In addition, we also enjoyed a number of informal social events providing an opportunity to meet new members.
In November, Adam Jantunen revived the Impaired Driving Update evening which was greatly enjoyed (perhaps a little too much)! We also reintroduced the Christmas Coffee event at the Surrey Courthouse to an overwhelming response. Both of these events will continue to be firm fixtures in our calendar. Other CPD events were available during the year.
We are acutely aware of the need to support those affected by mental health issues as they navigate the court process. To that end, we remain involved with the progress of the Surrey Mental Health Committee that Gord Kabanuk co-chairs with Judge Stark to assist in ensuring its success.
Our membership continues to grow in strength, and we have also opened up the criteria to include judges. We have garnered the support of the judges over the years and their addition to our membership has only enhanced the association.
We have continued to support relevant non-profit organizations. Most recently, we supported the Pro Bono Going Public virtual event that was held this month.
An additional focus for the year has been to assist young lawyers in their practice. To that end we called for the previous year’s Criminal Codes and White Books etc. that were no longer needed, to place in the hands of junior lawyers at no cost. This program has been well received and it is hoped to continue and expand the program to include other items that could assist lawyers building their practice.
In the same vein, we have set up a committee including both judges and lawyers to organize a Surrey Inns of Court. I currently co-chair this program with Judge Gill and it was anticipated that our first course would be offered this month. That brings me to the reason I described this year as our most eventful.
With COVID 19, many of the events planned for 2020 have been postponed. There was no 4th Golf Tournament or Annual Bench and Bar Dinner, and social events have had to be deferred to another time.
We are mindful that it is not known when we will be able to gather in person. In November, we will be launching a series of virtual lunchtime events. They will include speakers in all disciplines and there will be opportunity for informal discussions, with no need to change out of your pyjamas! Keep an eye out for the email.
The Surrey Bar Association remains committed to meeting the unique challenges and opportunities that COVID 19 presents. Please take care of yourselves and see you soon!
Cheryl D.A. Stanley President