Advancing the Practice of Law in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada


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  • Wednesday, June 07, 2023 1:13 PM | Anonymous

    Surrey Bench and Bar come together to form Inns of Court

    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.”

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    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!

  • Monday, June 05, 2023 8:54 PM | Anonymous

    Another successful Battle of the Bar Bands raised over $168,000.00 for the CBC (BC) Benevolent Society that provides emergency funding to lawyers, students and their families in times of crisis when no other resources are available. 

    Congratulations to the Vancouver band "Still Living at Home" for winning the 2023 competition.

    But most importantly, A HUGE THANK YOU to our local bar and others for your support!

    As a result of your incredible generosity, our local band Crown Jewels was able to sell over 230 tickets and in combination raise over $40,000.00 for the Benevolent Fund!  Much of that support came from our local small firms and individual lawyers.  Well done!!  

    The SBA and Crown Jewels wishes to thank all who purchased tickets and acknowledge the following firms and individuals for their financial support:


    Joseph M. Prodor 

    Jack Hittrich

    Leo Fumano 

    David Ferguson 

    Dale Melville 

    Paul McMurray 

    David Milburn 

    Julie Grenier 

    Jordan Allingham

    Allen Goldin 

    Harbir Rehlan 

    Ranjit Randawa 

    David Karp 

    Kristy Neurauter 

    Kevin Westell 

    Mike Klein 

    Gail Barnes 

    Vince Michaels 

    Abdul Abdulmalik 

    Mark Swartz

    Aman Jaswal

    Diana Davidson 

    Nima Sahebi

    Hovan Patey 

    Zack Myers 

    Darrel Schultz 

    Guillaume Garih 

    Mark Berry 

    Casey St. Germain 

    Justin Dosanjh 

    Jeff Ray 

    Mark Gervin 

    Edison Heba

    The Muldoon Family 

    Brian Coleman

    Gordon Kabanuk

    Brian Shaw

    Vanessa Soon

  • Wednesday, January 18, 2023 11:38 PM | Anonymous

    We are looking forward to a great 2023 and have elected a new executive to serve the SBA!  

    In particular we are pleased to announce Peter Buxton KC as our new President.  Peter has a long history with the SBA going back to its earliest days and we are privileged to have him return to serve on our Executive. Check out Peter's profile and the rest of our crew here.

    If you have any suggestions for ways the SBA may engage with our local legal community, please do not hesitate to reach out to any one of our executive members.

  • Thursday, December 01, 2022 4:20 PM | Anonymous
    • What an interesting year it’s been! As we gradually re-emerged following the immense challenges of COVID, the SBA moved back from an online world to what we love the most: in person social gatherings, networking, friendships and mentoring.  In addition to “get togethers” in April, May, June, and October, 2022 saw the full official launch of our very own “Inns of Court for Surrey” – a sold out mentoring program established in the long- standing inherited tradition of fostering meaningful mentoring relationships between junior lawyers and experienced counsel and judges.  Thank you to all the judges and senior lawyers who have given of their time and expertise along the local law firms that came alongside in sponsorship! 

      This year also saw the return of our very own Annual Bench & Bar Dinner after a 3- year hiatus!  We were able to once again, enjoy an evening together reconnecting as friends and colleagues and welcoming additions to our local Bench.

      The SBA continues to:

    • inform and provide a voice regarding issues impacting our local legal community through our website and emails; 
    • offer CPDs;
    • participate in the Surrey Provincial Court Users Committee and the Surrey Court Mental Health Committee;
    • promote access to justice and sponsor initiatives (ie Access Pro Bono);
    • manage and support the Barrister’s Lounge at the Surrey Courthouse; and
    • look for ways to serve our local legal community.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed working with this wonderful organization as President (once again) this past year, and wish to thank our members, hard-working executive, and partners in the local bar and judiciary for another successful year.

    Gordon K. Kabanuk
    SBA President 2022


  • Monday, October 17, 2022 9:42 PM | Anonymous
    We are excited to announce that our flagship annual event: the SBA Bench & Bar Dinner, returns Nov 3/22 after a 3 year hiatus!  Details may be found here.
  • Wednesday, May 18, 2022 5:57 PM | Anonymous

    The SBA has set up a Discord forum where members may post on a variety of topics and even join voice channels to communicate live.  We envision this online community to be a place for members to network and share. There are areas where members may post potential job offers, items for sale, suggest new CPD topics or discuss local and legal issues. You will need to set up a Discord account but the service is free.

    Join SBA Discord

  • Tuesday, October 26, 2021 8:53 PM | Anonymous

         President's Report 2021 - Chelsea Dubeau

    First off, I wish to express my appreciation to our members as we continue to navigate and adapt to our new normal. 

    We have transitioned to virtual meetings and events, including our Lunch & Learn featuring the Honourable Judge K. Ferriss discussing the transition to the new Provincial Court Family Rules, and the first session of the Surrey “Inns of Court" mentoring program focussing on effective cross-examination techniques. The success of this program is the result of the collaboration and hard work of a dedicated committee including both judges and lawyers, and we look forward to future sessions ranging in topics addressing all areas of practice. 

    The SBA remains committed to supporting charities and local causes. This year we were able to provide donations and support to Access Pro Bono, as well as assist new lawyers building their practices in Surrey by offering Criminal Codes, White Books, and other resources at no cost. We continue to appreciate the donations and support from our members. 

    The Barrister’s Lounge continues to be operational, providing court users’ access to copying and caffeine. We appreciate the cooperation of our members with the Surrey Court COVID protocols. 

    Our membership has steadily increased over the last few years, and we look forward to meeting with each other in person again. 2022 looks to be the return of the Bench & Bar Dinner, Westminster County Golf Tournament, and of course, our infamous seasonal Minglers. 

    To the departing executive directors, it was a pleasure to work with you and I offer my sincere thanks for your contributions to the legal community in Surrey. It has been my pleasure to serve as president of the Surrey Bar Association over the past year. 

    Chelsea Dubeau, SBA President 2020-2021

  • Tuesday, March 30, 2021 5:27 PM | Anonymous

    We are pleased to announce that the Inns of Court for Surrey has officially launched with our first session to be held on April 29, 2021.  For further details click here.

    The Surrey Inns of Court was established in the long standing tradition of our profession to foster lasting mentoring relationships between newer calls to the Bar and experienced counsel and judges.  

    Ultimately, our plan is to hold meetings in more informal social settings. However, given the current restrictions as a result of COVID19, we will hold our sessions online for the time being. 

    For more information, contact Cheryl Stanley or Gordon Kabanuk

  • Monday, November 09, 2020 8:29 PM | Anonymous

    BC Provincial Court Family Process 

    Early Resolution & Case Management Registries 

    Implementing in Surrey and Victoria on Dec. 7, 2020 

    The Provincial Court of BC and Ministry of Attorney General have been working together to modernize the Provincial Court Family Rules. 

    On December 7, 2020, the Early Resolution and Case Management process model is being implemented in Surrey and Victoria after being prototyped in Victoria since 2019. The early resolution and case management process is designed to encourage parties to resolve family disputes by agreement or to help them obtain just and timely decisions in Provincial Court. The amended rules BC Reg. 525/2020 will apply to matters under the Family Law Act (FLA) in these two designated registries. 

    The early resolution and case management process introduces early resolution requirements for family law matters proceeding through Provincial Court. In the designated registries, people who want to resolve family law matters (parenting arrangements, child support, spousal support, contact with a child or guardianship of a child) will use this process. 

    Where appropriate, and not otherwise exempted, the process requires a party to meet early resolution requirements before filing an application about a family law matter. The requirements include: filing a notice to resolve and providing a copy of the notice to the other party, participating in a needs assessment with a family justice counsellor, completing a parenting education program and, if appropriate, participating in at least one consensual dispute resolution session. All other parties must also have met the early resolution requirements before filing a reply to an application about a family law matter. 

    If the parties have issues that can’t be resolved consensually with the help of a family justice counsellor or child support officer, a privately hired family mediator or a collaborative family law practitioner, they can ask the court for help by filing and serving an application about a family law matter. 

    The new process also introduces the family management conference, which is an informal, time-limited appearance scheduled before a judge, replacing the traditional first appearance. During this conference, the judge will further assist people to identify issues to be resolved and explore options for resolution. The judge may make certain interim orders, orders with the parties’ consent, case management orders to assist the parties in getting disclosure or otherwise assist with resolution and/or readiness for a hearing or trial, as well as conduct orders to manage interactions between the parties. 

    Note that the amended rules include a process for seeking orders related to protection orders under the FLA and priority parenting matters (which are defined in Rule 5.01) on a time sensitive basis. 

  • Sunday, October 11, 2020 3:56 PM | Anonymous

    Due to technical difficulties, the Surrey Bar Association Annual General Meeting that was originally set for Tuesday, September 8, 2020  has been rescheduled  to take place on November 4, 2020 @ 5:30 p.m. via MS Teams.  To register click here.

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