With so many of us working remotely, the June issue of BarTalk is a digital-only issue. Watch for our next print issue in October. 

Uncertain Times

CBABC can help

Uncertain Times

Has there ever been another time when so many of us have reconsidered the work we do, its importance and how best to do it? The global pandemic has captured all of our attention and the restrictions on social contact and the services we take for granted have had an immediate impact on legal services, not to mention our personal lives.

No one was really ready for this. Even those with business continuity or disaster plans in place are finding gaps. All of us are making our best efforts to continue to help our clients and fulfill our legal duties, lead our teams, and sustain the businesses to keep our staff employed. The CBA is here to help.

The best place to start is Pandemics and the Workplace: A Resource for Lawyers. Developed by CBA members from the Labour & Employment Law Section, the written guide address key questions for employers. There is also a webinar and podcast.

CBA has resources online on everything from force majeure, to best practices in virtual mediation, to elevating morale, to help you in your firm and in advising your clients during this unusual time. As well, this may be a good time to catch up on your annual professional development. You can access 3,800 recordings and webinars delivered by Sections and Branches throughout CBA, with more than 50 hours available at no cost.

Our connections to each other within the legal community are important. Your Sections continue to plan meetings, which will be delivered via Zoom video and phone. If you haven’t received a notice of a meeting yet and want to connect, contact sections@cbabc.org and our staff team will help.

With the additional stress we are all experiencing as we react to uncertainty, onslaught of information, and increasing restrictions, you might want to talk to a professional to help. All Law Society members have access to LifeWorks at any time of day or night at 1-888-307-0590. See more details about online access in Dave Bilinsky’s Tech Tips in this issue.

While we individually are adjusting to all of this change, our legal institutions are adapting to these extreme circumstances. Each day another of them announces a modification to enable the use of videoconferencing for receiving information from client identification to legal forms and even affidavit evidence. As members of the profession, we must applaud the leadership in these institutions who are responding to these exceptional circumstances and do our part to make these adaptations work with as little negative consequence as possible.

The leadership of CBABC has participated in the discussions about some of these changes based on the input of members. For example, the Real Property — Vancouver Section took the lead on suggesting changes to the Land Title Survey Authority requirements for the execution of documents, which formed the basis of a discussion with that institution and the Law Society. If you have suggestions for adaptations during this time, or want our government, courts and other institutions to be aware of the day-to-day practice impact, please send that to feedback@cbabc.org. CBABC will advocate for solutions and connect you to resources to help whenever possible.

To help members keep track of the announcements affecting legal practice, we are actively monitoring and distributing announcements from the courts in one place. Each week in News & Jobs we also present announcements from the Law Society, the Land Title and Survey Authority, the courts, and government as they relate directly to legal operations.

As challenging as these current times are for us, I believe that when the pandemic is resolved and restrictions are lifted, we will see positive, progressive opportunities for how we work and connect to help us serve our clients and the public even better than we ever have before.

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