More Tips to help you Successfully Complete your AMR and MCPD Reports …due April 1

Still receiving friendly reminders from the Law Society about your AMR (Annual Member Report) and MCPD (Mandatory Continuing Professional Development) Report and not sure why?… “I could have sworn I submitted that weeks ago”.

Here are a few common pitfalls that may explain why your report was not successfully filed.

Both the AMR & MCPD Reports Must be Completed

The MCPD Report is part of the AMR. When completing your AMR there is a section that asks you to confirm you have submitted your MCPD report. For the AMR to be successfully submitted members must ensure that their CPD activities are recorded in the CPD Tracker and then also confirm (by checking the box) in the AMR that they have reported their required MCPD hours.

Note those programs taken through the Law Society of Manitoba will automatically be populated into your CPD tracker. However, any courses completed outside the Law Society with another CPD provider, like the Manitoba Bar Association, must be manually entered by the member. So when the AMR asks you to confirm that “you are satisfied that your CPD tracker is complete” be sure to review and confirm that the information in your CPD Tracker is correct.

Don’t forget to Click “Submit”!

Once you have taken the time to complete both the CPD Tracker and the AMR save yourself the headache of having to redo this form by remembering to click submit at the very end. The information you enter when going through these forms is  not automatically saved, therefore you cannot leave the member’s portal without clicking “Submit” and expect to return at any time to pick up where you left off.

If you need to go back and edit either the AMR or MCPD Report you may do so until April 1…even if you have clicked “Submit”.

Look at your “Checklist” to Confirm that your Reports have been Successfully Submitted

When you log in to your Members’ Portal the first thing you will now see on the homepage is a checklist outlining the status for various Law Society items and their associated deadlines. This allows you to quickly review the status of any item requiring your response with the completed items highlighted in GREEN and YELLOW for those items not yet submitted.

Tips to help you Successfully File your Reports due to the Law Society by April 1

The deadline for your 2017 Annual Member Report (AMR) and Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) Report is quickly approaching. Here are answers to the common questions and issues that lawyers have when submitting these reports.

I didn’t practise for most of 2017.
Do I still have to complete the AMR and MCPD Reports?

Yes, if you practised for any portion of 2017 you must complete the AMR and MCPD reports.

The minimum MCPD requirement is 1 CPD hour for every month you held active practising status in the 2017 calendar year. And for those that practised for 3 months or more, 1.5 hours of those completed hours must relate to ethics, professional responsibility or practice management. For more details review the Guiding Principles and  Division 8.1 – Professional Development of the Law Society Rules.

Are the Ethics Professionalism Practice Management (EPPM) hours I must complete in addition to the required 12 CPD hours?

No, the EPPM requirement of 1.5 hours per year is not in addition to the overarching requirement of 12 CPD hours.  This means of the 12 CPD hours you have completed, 1.5 of these hours must qualify as EPPM.

For clarification on what type of subject matter qualifies as EPPM please see this Eligible Activities Subject Matter Chart .

I just received my Call in 2017.
Do I still need to complete and report CPD hours?

You still must complete the AMR and MCPD reports in the year of your Call to the Bar, however, there is no minimum requirement for the number of CPD hours you must complete.

So when you complete your MCPD report indicate how many hours you did, even if it was zero, and you will be in compliance with the requirements. Just remember, you must still complete the AMR and MCPD report.

Webinar on U.S. Executive Branch Research

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries/Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit (CALL/ACBD) is offering a webinar on U.S. Executive Branch Research for the Canadian legal researcher.

This program will cover the structure of the executive branch of the government as it relates to the creation and publication of administrative law in the United States.  As in previous seminars led by Professor Hazelton, US and Canadian systems will be compared.

Biography of presenter Professor Penny Hazelton:

Penny Hazelton worked as a law librarian for over 44 years at the University of Washington, the US Supreme Court Library, and the University of Maine. She has enjoyed teaching legal research to law students, lawyers, judges, prisoners, librarians, and members of the public.  She is the editor of Specialized Legal Research and co-author of the Washington Legal Researcher’s Deskbook.

Prof. Hazelton presented a similar program at the annual CALL/ACBD conference in Vancouver in 2016, which I attended. She helped shed some light on some of the more arcane practices of U.S. legislation as compared to Canadian legislation. This would be a great opportunity for anyone who needs a primer on U.S. legal research.

CALL/ACBD webinars are very reasonably priced at $45 for members, and $60 for non-members. (Disclaimer: I am on the Board of Directors for CALL/ACBD.)


CPD With High Conflict Expert

The 2018 Annual Joint Family Law Program is coming up on March 9, 2018.

 “Should an almost two-year “status quo” created by manipulation and deceit prevail in a custody trial?” 

“Can an otherwise “good mother” be entrusted with custody of a three year old, if she has consistently undermined the child’s relationship with an equally “good father”?”

“Why did parents of modest means choose to impoverish themselves – and their daughter’s future — for a needlessly destructive three-year court battle? . . . For the sake of the child? . . . Not a chance.”

These are the questions a judge asked himself in two different custody trials in Ontario.  He was dealing with high conflict cases.  Those are the cases that are heartbreaking for mental health professionals, lawyers and judges when the questions about parenting devolve to which parent will do the least harm to the child.

The organizing committee of the Annual Joint Family Law Program is delighted to announce that Dr. Barbara Jo Fidler , a respected and renowned clinical developmental psychologist with over 33 years’ experience working with high conflict parenting matters in separating and divorcing families, is attending as a featured speaker this year. She has been an expert witness in court on the issues and her research has been cited with approval by judges who must make decisions about custody in the high conflict cases.

High conflict families bankrupt themselves with seemingly unending litigation. They involve the resources of Child and Family Services, the police, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, principals, neighbours and family members.  High conflict parents challenge the legal system by ignoring or defying court orders, abducting the children, alienating the other parent and bringing multiple applications. Dealing with the high conflict case is exhausting and frustrating for professionals who deal with the family, and the unending high conflict has a devastating effect on the physical and mental health of the children who are living in the middle. This year’s program will appeal to all of the professionals who must deal with these families.

Dr. Fidler will share her insights and expertise in high conflict cases, offering specific practical advice to lawyers, judges and CFS professionals in three separate presentations throughout the afternoon at the annual Joint Family Law program, entitled “The Tough Stuff”, on Friday, March 9, 2018 at the Grand Ballroom in Fort Garry Place

In “High Conflict Cases: Characteristics & Interventions”, Dr. Fidler explains the role of cognitive biases that can affect decisions about high conflict cases. She identifies the behaviours and attitudes of parents that characterize high conflict cases and offers some tools for the variety of professionals facing these matters.

Following that presentation, Dr. Fidler is joined by Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench judge, Justice John Menzies from Brandon and experienced Winnipeg family law lawyer, Patricia Lane in a panel on High Conflict Cases in Court.

The panelists will share their unique perspectives in a discussion which will draw examples from four recent Manitoba high conflict cases involving Child and Family Services agencies, multiple interventions and different court decisions.  G. v G. made the news in 2016 when the mother was captured in a park after abducting the children.  Ulloa v Ulloa deals with a family where the delusional beliefs held by one mentally ill parent are destroying her ability to raise her children in a healthy environment. B. v B. is an example of a high conflict case where the hard decision to change custody was made at an early stage in the proceedings.  Wenzel v Wenzel is a case where the Court of Appeal turned a sole custody order into a joint custody order when faced with a procedural error at trial.  The facts will be summarized in the materials sent to registrants in advance of the program, and the discussion on the panel will be frank in the effort to help us learn from our experiences.

In the presentation that closes the program, Dr. Fidler makes direct recommendations for clinical interventions, and offers suggestions about the role of the Courts and the use of legal remedies when dealing with high conflict family cases.

The Tough Stuff  is a day long program that also tackles other complex and challenging issues including family trusts, pensions, professional or family corporations and service on spouses outside of Canada under the Hague Service Convention rules.

To see the full program agenda and to learn more about this year’s program being held on Friday, March 9, 2018 in the Grand Ballroom at Fort Garry Place, visit the Law Society website today.

Early bird registration ends this Friday, February 9, 2018.


Upcoming CPD

The Law Society of Manitoba requires members to complete 12 hours of continuing professional development each year. Here are some upcoming programs that will help you meet these requirements:

The Manitoba Bar Association also offers CPD opportunities. And don’t forget, delivering CPD also counts towards your CPD requirements.