Update on Professional Regulatory Conferences, Vancouver, June 2017

CLEBC and Ng Ariss Fong, Lawyers offer 2 days of education on the law and practice of self-governing professions. On June 1st, Lisa C. Fong and Jaia Rai will provide a hands-on, discipline hearing workshop, and the on June 2nd, Lisa C. Fong and Angela Westmacott, Q.C., will chair a program of lectures by senior practitioners.

June 1, 2017: Discipline Hearing Workshop

Vancouver Convention Centre

We received a number of questions last week about this workshop:

Q: What skill level is the workshop designed for?

A: The workshop is designed for a range of experience levels and will be customized to meet the skill level of registrants (that is why we need to talk to you when registering).  For example, attendees who are just being introduced to hearings will learn the basics of how to convene a hearing and what to do to ensure procedural fairness is accorded, while more experienced attendees will have the opportunity to practice managing and deliberating disputed applications.

Q: Would the workshop be useful for administrators or staff as opposed to just people who sit on hearing committees?

A: Administrators and staff who oversee or assist committees that are responsible for conducting hearings need to have a good understanding of how a hearing unfolds in order to know how to prepare for and run an efficient, successful hearing. Do you? You might ask yourself do you know how to vet a hearing panel for conflicts of interests and bias? Do you know what to disclose and what not to disclose to a hearing panel before a hearing, during a hearing, and after a hearing?  Do you understand the different roles of the prosecutor, independent hearing counsel, and registrant’s counsel?  Do you know the different stages of a hearing so you can to plan, organize, and budget for a hearing?

Q: How much effort will be required for this workshop?

A: A lot.  Each participant will be engaged in the role playing, asking and answering questions, working through legal and practice issues, and helping others learn.

Q: Who will be teaching?

A: Lisa C. Fong and Jaia Rai will be the main instructors, and there may be additional guest instructors depending on the skill level and regulatory background of the attendees. Lisa and Jaia are senior lawyers who practise professional regulatory law. Lisa’s biography can be seen here. Jaia is the manager of discipline and unauthorized practice at the Law Society of British Columbia. She manages a cadre of Law Society lawyers in conducting discipline tribunal hearings and court hearings.

To see the course brochure click here, and to register, call Andrea Kreutz at (604) 331-1155.

June 2, 2017: CLE BC Self Governing Professions

Pan Pacific Hotel

The Agenda for the conference is now online and the course is open for registration: click here. The course topics have been selected to highlight current key issues in the law of self-governing professions. In this update, we’ll  focus on the first and the last course topics.

The course begins with a presentation on the controversial topic of regulating professional businesses. The speakers are Deborah Amour of the Law Society of B.C. and Geoff Thiele of the Real Estate Council of B.C. Both speakers have grappled with the pros and cons of regulating professional business entities in addition to regulating professionals.  Key issues in this topic area are what aspects of a business should be regulated when the professional is already regulated.  Does regulating a professional business mean that a registrant who is the subject of discipline will also mean the registrant’s firm will be subject to discipline? How can that be fair to other members of the firm who were not engaged in the misconduct? What kind of penalties can a firm be subject to? If regulating professional businesses means the business will have to register with the regulator, what are the requirements and what happens when they are not met?  What are the regulatory benefits to regulating  professional businesses?

The course ends with a panel discussion about trends in professional regulation across Canada. Our panelist are Lisa C. Fong, Angela Westmacott, Q.C., Rebecca Durcan, and Katrina Haymond. Rebecca is a partner at Steinecke, Maciura, Leblanc in Toronto and  Katrina is a partner at Field Law in Edmonton. The panel will discuss current regulatory trends including the progression of mobility and international registration, national harmonization of professional competency standards, public scrutiny of transparency and privacy in regulatory notifications, collaborative accountability between regulators, and the regulation of professional economic interests. There will lots of opportunity for engagement from attendees with the panel.