Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

June 26, 2008 23:10 ET

Huge Turnout as TLABC Members Denounce Civil Court Rule Changes

Justice will Take Longer and Cost More under the Current BCJRTF Recommendations

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor VANCOUVER/BRITISH COLUMBIA/NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 26, 2008) - This evening's emergency membership meeting of the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia (TLABC) saw an enormous crowd collectively call for the proposed civil court changes to be discarded permanently.

As members packed a ballroom inside the Marriott Pinnacle hotel in Vancouver, other members gathered simultaneously at seven satellite locations set up in various parts of the province. "The turnout was huge because our members care so much," said TLABC president Stephen Frame. "We not only care about our clients, we care about the citizens of British Columbia and their rights, specifically their right to seek justice and to access the courts. These rights are severely harmed under the proposed new rules."

Several members stood to speak at floor mikes and were heard via audio conference after podium speakers addressed the enormous concerns TLABC has with the proposed threats to civil justice. President Frame, first vice-president Robert Holmes and governor Jeff Witten (a past-president of the association) spoke on behalf of TLABC. They were joined by guest speaker Darrell Roberts QC, an honorary lifetime member.

Also in attendance were guests Margaret Birrell, executive director of the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities; and MLA Leonard Krog, the opposition critic to BC Attorney General Wally Oppal. Mr. Krog addressed the audience from the floor, offering support for the association's ongoing efforts.

In opposition to the changes being pushed by the BC Justice Review Task Force, members enthusiastically signed a petition aimed at having the proposed new rules scrapped, a petition earmarked for the annual general meeting of the Law Society of British Columbia, the governing body of the profession. Incoming Law Society president Gordon Turriff QC also addressed the crowd. He expressed that, in his view, the Law Society's concerns (via letter to the task force on June 11, 2008) have not been accurately described publicly by the task force.

"Our message remains: civil justice will take longer and cost more under the proposed rules," affirmed Frame. "Support for the changes cannot be found among the vast majority of the profession, including the governing body. Neither the task force nor the BC Government has any business advancing the proposed changes. They would only hurt individuals, the people who deserve fair play and access to the courts."

Contact Information

  • Bentley Doyle, Director of Communications, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
    Primary Phone: 604-682-5343 ext. 302
    Toll-Free: 888-558-5222