I am seeking re-election as a Bencher for the South Region. I feel it is important to represent smaller communities, sole practitioners, and small firms. I want to continue to ensure that our voice and concerns are heard at the Bencher table.
After 20 years of practice and serving as a Bencher I have seen many issues that affect lawyers in Alberta. Serving on the LSA Executive and chairing the following LSA committees: Conduct, Real Estate Practice Advisory Committee, Audit and Finance, and Complaint Appeals, I have come to a few conclusions.
Lawyer Well Being
Working as a lawyer is a great career. We help clients through very difficult and complex life challenges. The downside of this is that we pay a physical and emotional price to meet these demands. A recent study on lawyer’s wellbeing show that lawyer’s mental and emotional health are at a critical tipping point.
A Bencher’s role is to help the Law Society meet the goal of serving in the public interest. The best way to achieve this is to have healthy and safe lawyers.
A healthy lawyer can earn a living. One of the ways to do this is to have fees that are reasonable. As the current Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee I have worked diligently to ensure our annual fees are maintained at reasonable levels.
Lawyers need to be safe in their workplace. The report on harassment and discrimination with articling students is simply not appropriate. There cannot be harassment or discrimination within the legal community. We must ensure that all lawyers are safe in their workplace.
Benchers should ensure that regulation is proportionate to the risks we are required to regulate. Over regulation causes extra stress and extra cost that is not healthy for the profession.
As a Bencher I believe we have started some great projects and completed good work. Moving forward I would like to:
My hope is that if we take a survey 3 years from now the result will show a healthier profession.
I practice in a small firm in Lethbridge with branch offices in Fort Macleod and Magrath in the areas of real estate, family law, and wills and estates.
I have served as the Chair of SASH, a local nonprofit agency that provides support to those with developmental disabilities. I have also served on the Lethbridge Bar Association, LESA, and Chaired Lethbridge Law Day.
I enjoy spending time outdoors with my wife and family.
I hope to continue giving back to our profession by being re-elected as a Bencher.