OCTOBER IS HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH: AN UPDATE FROM THE CANADIAN HISPANIC BAR ASSOCIATION (OBA - Young Lawyers Division)
The Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (“CHBA”) is an organization with approximately 230 members. Our membership includes lawyers, internationally trained lawyers, National Committee on Accreditation (“NCA”) candidates, paralegals, law and articling students, and Legal Practice Program (“LPP”) candidates.
Our primary focus is to advocate for and support Latin American and Hispanic people in the legal profession across Canada. We also collaborate with other equity-seeking groups within the profession and the broader Latin American/Hispanic community on initiatives that aim to celebrate diversity and improve inclusion.
The CHBA is currently working on two very important and related efforts which we would like to share. First, the National Student Drive and the related launch of our first ever law student chapter at the University of Ottawa (“CHBA uOttawa Chapter”). The other is increasing our membership and presence across Canada to strengthen our ability to advocate for our members and other equity-seeking communities.
On October 14, 2021, the CHBA uOttawa Chapter held its inaugural event and it has been working with law students and new lawyers from across the country to invite other Latin American/Hispanic law students to join the CHBA and create a national network of Latin American/Hispanic law students. The National Student Drive aims to increase opportunities for mentorship and for students to build relationships with each other and established CHBA members that will support them throughout their careers.
The national expansion effort seeks to strengthen the CHBA’s presence outside of Ontario. While the CHBA certainly has members from outside of Ontario, it needs to increase its presence in other provinces to advocate more effectively for its members everywhere in Canada. Efforts are underway on this front through direct networking, but the CHBA will be looking at more systematic ways to increase its membership in the rest of Canada.
The CHBA would also like to take this opportunity to invite other equity-seeking groups to collaborate with us and know that we are here to collaborate with you. We have a history of collaboration, but believe it is important to continue to offer our support and cooperation. We draw inspiration from the Indigenous Bar Association, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, and Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, among other organizations, and look forward to continuing and strengthening collaboration in the years to come – our profession and society will certainly benefit.
In closing, we would like to thank the Ontario Bar Association for its support of the CHBA and for this opportunity during Hispanic Heritage Month to share a bit about ourselves and our efforts and goals. Hailing from 26 countries, Canadians of Latin American/Hispanic origin make up a large and growing community in Canada. They enrich our national fabric with their diverse and vibrant cultures, experiences, cuisine, music, dance, and they play an important role in Canada’s growth and prosperity, thanks to their entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit.
We invite all Canadians to learn more about our heritage and to honour the rich cultural and artistic traditions of our fellow Canadians of Latin American/Hispanic origin.
We wish you a wonderful and Hispanic Heritage Month!
Gracias and Obrigado!
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, fulfilling one of many recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (the “TRC”). It is an important milestone in Canada’s ongoing reckoning with our nation’s colonial past. As stated by The Honourable Murray Sinclair, Chair of the TRC, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is designed “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
The Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (the “CHBA”) acknowledges the importance of and recognizes the responsibility we share as legal professionals in advancing the goals of reconciliation. The CHBA encourages its members to explore ways in which we can participate and take up the responsibility of gaining greater awareness of Indigenous history and laws, and become respectful and genuine allies with Indigenous peoples, be in our places of work or more broadly in the regions where we live and play – the opportunities are many and varied.
The TRC report documented Canada’s legacy of attempted cultural genocide and charted a way forward for reconciliation. Furthermore, the Calls to Action report articulates what must be done to begin to address the legacy of Canada’s residential school program, namely, the discriminatory effects faced by Indigenous peoples in all areas of Canadian society such as child welfare, education, health, and throughout the nation’s justice system.
In items 27 and 28 of the Calls toAction, the legal profession is specifically called upon to advance legal change, including addressing the over-incarceration of indigenous people; mobilizing resources in the best interests of indigenous children, as ordered through numerous decisions of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal; responding to the victimization of indigenous women, as noted in the Inquiry of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women; and reflecting on how the Crown deals with claims of Aboriginal rights, including Aboriginal title.
The CHBA acknowledges that to contribute to, and be ready for, meaningful changes that reflect Indigenous laws and their applicability within the Canadian legal system, members can play a vital role by gaining greater awareness about Indigenous history and laws, and the diverse relationships that can propel that change. Importantly, for instance, the UnitedNations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act received RoyalAssent in Canada’s Senate on June 16, 2021, marking a historic milestone:Canada’s first substantive step towards ensuring federal laws reflect the standards set out in the UNDRIP. There is much more work to be done and we invite our members to consider and act on the words below.
“With determination, wisdom and kindness, The Honourable Sinclair remains steadfast in his belief that the path to actual reconciliation betweenIndigenous and non-Indigenous people requires understanding, and the acceptance of often difficult truths about Canada's past and present. He leaves Canadians with the challenge to choose one Call to Action and do what you can to make it happen.
- Alanis Obomsawin, Honour to Senator MurraySinclair, documentary featured at the Toronto International Film Festival,September 13, 2021.
CHBA Board Communication re CHBA uOttawa Chapter
The Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (“CHBA”) has partnered with University ofOttawa Faculty of Law students to establish a uOttawa Chapter of the CHBA (“CHBA uOttawa”).
CHBA uOttawa has two initial objectives. First, CHBAuOttawa will strive to serve the needs of Hispanic and Latin American/Latinx-identifyingstudents at the Faculty of Law through relationship building, networking, andmentoring. Second, the executive members of CHBA uOttawa and CHBA will collaborateon a national outreach strategy to identify and connect with Hispanic and LatinAmerican/Latinx-identifying law school students across Canada.
CHBA and CHBA uOttawa are aware of several existingHispanic and Latin American/Latinx law school associations and individuals acrossCanada. Our national outreach strategy will seek to build a rapport with theseassociations and individuals, and consolidate efforts in order to work with thelegal community, promoting diversity, self-identification and a greater senseof community and advocacy for Hispanic and Latin American/Latinx-identifyinglaw school students and professionals.
CHBA and CHBA uOttawa have developed severalinitiatives, including:
- a law school student mentorship program that will pair 1L students with upper-year students;
- a kickoff networking event inOctober 2021 which will be targeted towards Hispanic and Latin American/Latinx-Identifyinglaw school students;
- the creation of content forthe “student corner” page in CHBA’s official website to promote CHBA uOttawaand provide a broader range of resources to students; and
- planning of future events tocontinue engagement with Hispanic and Latin American/Latinx-Identifying lawschool students across Canada.
We are excited to be starting this new initiative.Current and future Hispanic and Latin American/Latinx-Identifying law schoolstudents are the future of the CHBA and will ensure the organization’s growth.Their support is imperative to both the enhancement of diversity in the legalcommunity and continued member engagement in our organization.
Learn with Lerners Bursary & Mentorship Program
Learn with Lerners Bursary & Mentorship Program
Lerners believes that diversity and equitable opportunity in the legal services industry is integral to providing effective legal representation. That is they launched the Learn with Lerners Bursary & Mentorship Program as part of their efforts to help address the systemic barriers experienced early on by Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in the legal services industry.
The program is designed to assist BIPOC students financially in their first year of post-secondary education by awarding a $5,000.00 bursary in addition to 12 months of invaluable mentorship with a Lerners lawyer.
Effective immediately, they are accepting applications online through their website. For more details on this program and to submit applications,
please go to https://www.lerners.ca/diversity-inclusion/bursary-program. Applications will be accepted until 11:59pm EST on October 7th, 2021.
Students who graduated high school and have been admitted to a first-year program at an Ontario college or university in September 2021 are eligible for the Learn with Lerners Bursary & Mentorship Program. Eligible candidates must:
- Be a member of Ontario’s BIPOC community and self-identify as a Black, Indigenous or Person of Colour
- Be 21 years of age or less at the start of the 2021-22 academic term
- Be interested in pursuing a career in the legal services industry (broadly defined)
- Have been admitted to a first-year program at an Ontario post-secondary college or university and plan to attend on a full-time basis during the 2021-22 term
- Meet all other eligibility criteria set out in the Terms and Conditions.
The recipient of the Learn with Lerners Bursary & Mentorship Program will be announced in early November.
You can also help spread the word by re-posting our various links to the Program on your social media channels:
Linkedin: Click here
Facebook: Click here
Instagram: Click here
Twitter: Click here
There cannot be an apology without action. Words are not enough.
24 June 2021
There cannot be an apology without action. Words are not enough.
For approximately 150 years, over 150,000 Indigenous children were sent to 139 residential schools across the country. They were removed from their families and their communities so they would be “assimilated.” The consequences of this decision continue to negatively impact our Indigenous brothers and sisters to date.
Last month, May 2021, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced the discovery of unmarked burials sites of 215children's remains near former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.
This month, June 2021, Cowessess First Nation has announced the discovery of 751 unmarked graves near former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.
Let these tragic discoveries serve as impetus to do better as a country. WE MUST DO BETTER.
Where do we start? It starts individually with each of us. We must:
Lets learn about our real history as a country. Research and study about our Indigenous Peoples. It is our duty to learn so we can better understand our Indigenous communities. We must actively work towards ensuring this tragedy never happens again.
We can pay our respect to our Indigenous brothers and sisters by celebrating them, especially during Canada Day. Our beloved flag must be flown at half-mast.
We can support our Indigenous communities by providing them the tools and resources they need at work, at school. They must have equality of opportunity.
Our actions today will define what kind of Canada we will be tomorrow.
Canadian Hispanic BarAssociation.
Introducing the 2021-2022 CHBA Board of Directors!
We are happy to report that we have had our elections and the positions for the 2021-2022 CHBA Board will be as follows:
Mario Torres - President
Fabian Suárez-Amaya - Secretary
Alanis Ortiz Espinoza - Treasurer
Priscila Jales P. Atkinson - Communications Director
Nadia Halum Arauz - Events Director
Wanessa Oliveira - Membership Director
Natalia Rodriguez - Policy & Programs Director
Victoria Romero - Mentorship & Students Director
We will be working diligently in our different capacities to continue making CHBA’s presence stronger. If you would like to participate in any of our projects, please reach out!
I am thrilled to lead the CHBA for the upcoming year. I first became a member as a second-year law student and to now work towards growing and strengthening our organization as its President is an honour.
The Board is committed to continuing to serve members and the communities we are a part of.
We look forward to a great year ahead and welcome any input or feedback you have.
Western University - BIPOC mentorship (looking for BIPOC mentors)
Western University students are seeking BIPOC lawyers to serve as mentors for their mentorship program. If you want to become a mentor sign up the following form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1svQIDiRGiyEkkx2MY1Fc4pl9rOel7vrYm_0EuKtklYY/edit
The purpose of the program is to connect BIPOC law students with lawyers who have had similar lived experience. Almost every aspect of law school – from academics, to recruitment, to networking and connecting with peers – is very different for racialized students. By connecting BIPOC students with BIPOC lawyers, we hope to be able to increase the representation of racialized people in the legal profession.
The students ran a pilot program last year with a firm in Toronto, and it was very successful. They had over 80 students participate in the program. Any lawyer from any firm can participate, we don’t have any maximum or minimum quotas for firms. Lawyers are also encouraged to only dedicate as much time as they feel comfortable dedicating to their mentee. This program is not supposed to be a source of added stress and the time commitment will undoubtedly vary between mentor/mentee pairs.
The program is planned to start shortly before the start of the academic year (i.e. end of August) or right as the academic year is starting (i.e. start of September).
Please fill out the form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1svQIDiRGiyEkkx2MY1Fc4pl9rOel7vrYm_0EuKtklYY/edit by August 20.
Scholarship Opportunity - CHBA & UofT
The CHBA is pleased to announce the second year of the CHBA Scholarship for the Youth Summer Program at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law.
Please assist CHBA to promote the CHBA YSP Scholarship:
- Encourage Hispanic & Latinx Youth to apply (open to grade 10-12 high school students)
- Donate to the scholarship program. When donating, identify it as "CHBA YSP Scholarship".
The success of the CHBA Scholarship depends on our members!
The CHBA Scholarship for the Law Youth Summer Program at the University of Toronto will be granted to support high school students with an interest in exploring the legal profession and the legal field in the areas of criminal law, law and politics, trial advocacy, corporate law and international law.
With the support of our members, the CHBA has committed to raise funds to support at least one student who identifies as Hispanic or Latinx to attend one module of the Youth Summer Program at the University of Toronto.
Stakeholder Update – December 11, 2020 (LSO)
Stakeholder Update – December 11, 2020-Before we close out this very notable year, we wanted to provide you with an update on decisions and amendments that Convocation has made recently and some new deadlines that apply to licensees. We encourage you to share this information in your communications with your members and colleagues.Please note: 2021 Annual Fee invoices will be issued through licensees’ Portal accounts by mid- January 2021 rather than in December 2020. This change in timing aligns with the LSO’s move to a harmonized date of March 31 for annual fee payment, annual report filing, and CPD requirement reporting. See “Strategic change measures” in this Update.2021 budget approvedOn November 27, Convocation approved the Law Society’s 2021 budget, which will reduce annual fees for licensees, continues the operational focus on proportionate regulation and burden reduction, and decreases the Society’s overall spending on operations.Further, the additional levy to replenish the Compensation Fund has been eliminated. After significant claims experience in 2014 to 2016 due to some major defalcations, an additional $5 million was levied from lawyers in each of the last three years to replenish the fund balance of the Compensation Fund, which had fallen below its minimum benchmark required under the Law Society’s fund balance management policy.As a result of these measures, the annual fees that Ontario lawyers and paralegals will pay will decrease for a second year in a row. In 2021, lawyers will see a decrease of $193, for an annual fee of $1,873, while paralegals will see a decrease of $42, for an annual fee of $964.As well, the current licensing process fee for lawyer candidates remains the same as it has been for the past seven years; Paralegal licensing fees also remain unchanged.Budgetary expenses facilitate the LSO’s ability to regulate the legal professions in the public interest. This includes funding the Compensation Fund, which provides for payments to be made to members of the public who have lost money because of the dishonesty of a member, and responding to strategic issues and delivering programs such as the Practice Management Helpline, the Member Assistance Program and other resources.For more information, see the report to Convocation on the 2021 budget from the Audit and Finance Committee.2021 Annual Fee COVID-19 Deferral OptionConvocation approved an annual fee deferral option that would allow licensees most impacted by the pandemic to apply for a deferral of 2021 Annual Fees to 2022.This option is available where the licensee’s annual fees are paid directly by the licensee or are paid on the licensee’s behalf by a small legal firm. Those eligible include:
- Licensees in sole practices licensed in 2018 or earlier whose gross revenue for 2020 from the practice of law or the provision of legal services has declined by more than 50% in comparison to that of the 2019 calendar year, and whose gross revenue from the practice of law or provision of legal services in the 2020 calendar year is less than $50,000
- Licensees licensed in 2018 or earlier, practising in firms of two to five licensees whose gross revenue for 2020 from the firm’s practice of law or the provision of legal services has declined by more than 50% in comparison to that of the 2019 calendar year, and the firm’s gross revenue from the practice of law or provision of legal services in the 2020 calendar year is less than $50,000 times the number of licensees in the firm
- Licensees first licensed in the years from 2019 to 2021, if the licensee’s gross income from all sources in 2020 is less than $50,000.
There will be a simple application process with licensees attesting to meeting the eligibility criteria and no requirement for the submission of supporting documentation. More information about the process and the application for deferral will be available the week of January 11 – the same week Annual Fee invoices will be issued via licensees’ Portal accounts.Licensees not meeting the criteria, but seeking some form of assistance, may opt for the monthly Pre-Authorized Payment plan to smooth the payment of annual fees over the year. In addition, those licensees who are not working or on parental leave should report their change in status through the Portal in order to be eligible to pay annual fees at the 25% fee category.For those licensees approved for the deferral of their 2021 Annual Fee, when it becomes payable in 2022, licensees may opt for the monthly Pre-authorized Payment plan to spread the combined payment of 2021 and 2022 annual fees over the year.Strategic change measuresConvocation approved by-law amendments to implement previously approved strategic change measures. The amendments reflect broader burden reduction efforts, which include seeking to simplify the Law Society’s by-laws to make them easier for both licensees and for the Law Society to administer.The by-law amendments:
- Establish a new harmonized March 31 deadline for annual fee payment, annual report filing, and CPD requirement reporting; streamlining suspension processes and eliminating late fees. Licensees are still required to report their 2020 CPD hours by December 31, 2020.
- Implement Convocation’s decisions from October 2020, to:
- Remove the annual fee exemption for life members (licensees who have practised law in Ontario for 50 years or more). Licensees who, as of January 1, 2021, have met the requirements for life membership will continue to be exempt from paying the annual fee.
- Create a new fee category for licensees over 65 who do not practise law or provide legal services at 10% of the annual fee and are approved by the Law Society, effective January 1, 2021, removing the current fee exemption for these licensees.
Revocation of licences for long-term administrative suspensions (10+ years)Beginning in 2021, licensees who have been administratively suspended for more than 10 years will be subject to summary revocation of their licence in accordance with section 48(1) of the Act.Those who are currently administratively suspended and who wish to maintain their licence to practise law or provide legal services will need to take steps to reinstate their licence.Changes to Foreign Legal Consultant PermitsAs of November 6, 2020, Foreign Legal Consultant Permit applicants no longer require proof of reciprocity. Convocation has approved this in-principle and it is anticipated that the by-law amendments will follow in early 2021.Information on the application process and requirements are available on the LSO website. Mandatory CPD EDI Hours: complete and report by year-endLicensees who are subject to the CPD requirement, must complete three Professionalism Hours of accredited Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programming (EDI Hours) by the end of 2020. Beginning in 2021, licensees are required to complete one EDI Hour each year.CPD Hours for 2020 must be reported by December 31, 2020. Moving forward, CPD for 2021 will need to be reported by March 31, 2022. See “Strategic change measures” in this Update.The Law Society offers a variety of free, accredited programs. For more information see our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion requirement webpage.Nominations open for 2021 Law Society AwardsEach year the Law Society invites nominations for the Law Society Awards. Awards for lawyers include the Law Society Medal, the Lincoln Alexander Award and the Laura Legge Award. Paralegals are eligible for the William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award. Both lawyers and paralegals are eligible for the J. Shirley Denison Award.Nominations, which close on January 20, 2021, are encouraged for members from all communities, practice areas, firm sizes, and regions across the province. To learn more, or to submit a nomination, visit our website.Human Rights Award: Nomination deadline extended to December 31The deadline for nominations for the Law Society’s Human Rights Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights and/or the promotion of the rule of law provincially, nationally or internationally, has been extended to December 31. The award will be granted for devotion to the advancement of human rights and the rule of law over a long term or for a single outstanding act of service. For more information and to submit a nomination, please check the Award’s webpage.
Alanis Ortiz Espinoza - Selected to represent Brampton Center in the House of Commons
The Canadian Hispanic Bar Association is pleased to announce that one of our members, Alanis Ortiz Espinoza, has been selected to represent my home federal riding, Brampton Center, in the House of Commons for the Daughters of the Vow 2021!
This initiative is ambitious and began in 2017 to commemorate the centenary of some women who gained the right to vote in Canada, and the still incomplete path of full participation by women in politics today. 338 delegates, representing all of Canada's federal drivers, are selected through an open call for applications to participate in a dynamic political leadership summit in Ottawa.
Check out my interview with Nex Noticias (a Panamanian news channel): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr9fZKEFeQo&t=107s&ab_channel=NexNoticias
Check out my feature in Toronto Hispano: https://toronto.hispanocity.com/publicacion/la-estudiante-panamena-canadiense-que-sera-representante-en-la-camara-de-los-comunes/
Accepting Nominations for The Best Lawyers in Canada
Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected guide to the legal profession, is currently accepting nominations for the 16th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada and the inaugural edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Canada.
Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch is the latest initiative by Best Lawyers. This new publication aims to further assist clients seeking representation by highlighting the top legal talent for lawyers with fewer than eight years of experience in private practice.Nominations for The Best Lawyers in Canada and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch can be submitted by the general public, clients, other practicing lawyers, and marketing teams. We only ask that lawyers not nominate themselves. All lawyers included in the previous edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada are automatically nominated in their listed practice area for the 16th Edition.A lawyer can be nominated for The Best Lawyers in Canada or Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch but cannot be nominated for recognition in both publications at the same time. The number of years a lawyer has practiced should be considered when submitting a nomination. Lawyers who have been in private practice for nine or more years should be nominated for The Best Lawyers in Canada. Those lawyers in practice for fewer than eight years should be nominated for Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch. Additionally, it is in the nominator's best interest to only submit nominations for practice areas in which the lawyer specializes.After nominations are complete, lawyers are divided by geographic region and practice area. They are evaluated by their peers on the basis of professional expertise and undergo an authentication review to make sure they currently practice and are in good standing with their local bar associations.
The redesigned Best Lawyers website allows the public to easily enter information for eligible lawyers using the online nomination form. The nomination period ends February 19, 2021.
Search the current edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada results by lawyer’s name, firm, region, or practice area, by visiting www.bestlawyers.com.
Introducing the 2020-2021 CHBA Board of Directors!
We are happy to report that we have had our elections and the positions for the 2020-2021 CHBA Board will be as follows:
Antonio F. Urdaneta President
Nadia Halum Arauz Secretary
Veronica Marson Treasurer
Priscila Jales P. Atkinson Communications Director
Wanessa Oliveira Events Director
Mario Torres Membership Director
Victoria Romero Policy Director
We will be working diligently in our different capacities to continue making CHBA’s presence stronger. If you would like to participate in any of our projects, please reach out! We will be providing exciting news very soon about the new ways we will be strengthening communications and participation among our membership… Stay tuned!!
Congratulations to the Winners of 2020's CHBA Scholarship for U of T's Law Youth Summer Program!
Congratulations to Shantel Marulanda and Michael Franco - the winners of this year's CHBA Scholarship for the University of Toronto's Youth Summer Law Program!Shantel is 17 years old, Colombian and a student at Bishop Tonnos Catholic High School in Hamilton, Ontario. She plans to use her scholarship to take the Law and Politics course as she plans to run for politics in the future.Michael is a 17-year-old Venezuelan Canadian interested in immigration/international and criminal law. He is currently attending Marshal McLuhan Catholic Secondary School in Toronto, Ontario. His goal is to one day become a lawyer and give back to the community.The CHBA Scholarship for the Law Youth Summer Program at the University of Toronto is intended to support Hispanic or Latinx high school students with an interest in exploring the legal profession and the legal field in the areas of criminal law, law and politics, trial advocacy, corporate law and international law.Details below on how to get involved, donate (donation receipt available), volunteer or if you want to refer a student to apply for the scholarship.DONATE TO THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FUNDVOLUNTEER FOR THE PROGRAMSTUDENT SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION
Announcing the CHBA / U of T Law Youth Summer Program Scholarship
Announcing CHBA / U of T Law Youth Summer Program Scholarship
The Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA) is committed in promoting and advancing a more diverse and inclusive legal profession for students who identify as Hispanic or Latinx.The CHBA Scholarship for the Law Youth Summer Program at the University of Toronto will be granted to support high school students with an interest in exploring the legal profession and the legal field in the areas of criminal law, law and politics, trial advocacy, corporate law and international law.With the support of our members, the CHBA has committed to raise funds to support at least one student who identifies as Hispanic or Latinx to attend one module of the Youth Summer Program at the University of Toronto.Details below on how to get involved, donate (donation receipt available), volunteer or if you want to refer a student to apply for the scholarship.We look forward to being part of this initiative!!DONATE TO THE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FUNDVOLUNTEER FOR THE PROGRAMSTUDENT SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION
Run for the CHBA Board of Directors!
CHBA'S VIRTUAL AGM MEETING
Tuesday, July 7th @6PM via Zoom (Members Only)
Call for Applications
Get involved with the CHBA as part of the Board of Directors!We have seven (7) positions up for election this year. Please submit your application by clicking on the link (WE SENT VIA EMAIL) by midnight June, 7, 2020.
ABA Legal Summit of the Americas 2019 Report
The ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities developed the concept of a historic gather of lawyers from Canada, Mexico, and the United States in 2018, establishing a planning committee chaired by Richard Pena from Austin, Texas and CHBA Member, Veronica Marson, from Toronto Canada.The following compromises a summary of the discussions at the Summit on June 19-20 2019 - https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/hispanic_legal_rights/legalsummitoftheamericas-report-072020.pdfFor more information regarding the ABA's Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities, please visit: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/diversity/commission_on_hispanic_legal_rights_responsibilities/
CHBA Member Elsa Ascencio won "Best Twitter Account 2019" #Clawbies2019
CHBA member Elsa Ascencio won "Best Twitter Account 2019" at #Clawbies Blog Awards for her amazing social media work for @DemandInclusion. Check the link for more info:https://www.clawbies.ca/?fbclid=IwAR0npnSYNwp7KJjoC7eszkCosRFU2XmN3wutDyAHPt3oO-oO-WOxfbT-HTE
Membership Renewal and Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration 2019
¡¡¡HOLA!!!First off, our Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration 2019 (HHD) at the Law Society of Ontario (and webinar) is around the corner (October 15, 2019). We look forward to seeing you there. It's free but space is limited; please visit http://www.lawsocietygazette.ca/events/ to register.Secondly, we would love to have you back as a CHBA member for the 2019-2020 term. It's easier than ever to renew your membership.We have grown as an organization for the past few years and we wanted to share our achievements and your engagement.The 2018-2019 term was amazing!!! And thanks to you the CHBA delivered:
- new membership categories with an expanded business network;
- a more frequently visited website www.chbalegal.com ;
- a growing lawyers directory with more lawyer members than ever before;
- ongoing updates and communication with lawyers, students-at-law, and law students
- LSO accredited CPD-EDI programming
- global-scale events led by CHBA or their members:
- 1st Summit of The Americas Chicago 2019 (American Bar Association)
- Internationally Trained Lawyers Networks
- mentorship program;
- bilingual (English/Spanish) blog posts and articles featuring CHBA members.
Remember that your engagement with the CHBA is what fuels our efforts to create a greater and stronger presence of Latin American and Hispanic legal community in Canada.We hope to see you back on our membership list sot that we can continue our efforts as a community.If you are changing your membership status, became a CHBA member on or after March 1, 2019, or have a questions about your membership renewal, please contact the email@example.com.!Un abrazo caluroso!Canadian Hispanic Bar AssociationRENEW TODAY!
Orlando Da Silva to receive Youth Mental Health Hero Award
CHBA member, Orlando Da Silva, who is also the former Ontario Bar Association president and current chief administrator of the Administrative Tribunal Support Service of Canada, is being recognized for his contributions in raising awareness about mental health.Da Silva has been conferred the Mental Health Hero Award from Youth Mental Health Canada, a youth-driven and -led grassroots non-profit organization. He will accept the award on Aug. 17 at the YMHC Mental Wellness Community Fair’s opening ceremonies at George Brown College.For more information about this story, please visit: https://www.lawtimesnews.com/news/general/orlando-da-silva-to-receive-youth-mental-health-hero-award/287328
Orlando Da Silva named chief administrator of the ATSSC
CHBA Member, Orlando Da Silva, has been named chief administrator of the Administrative Tribunal Support Service of Canada, effective October 27th. Congratulations Orlando![:es]CHBA Member, Orlando Da Silva, has been named chief administrator of the Administrative Tribunal Support Service of Canada, effective October 27th. Congratulations Orlando!
Cooperation Agreement Between the CHBA and the PCCC (Peruvian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce)
On July 15, 2019, the Canadian Hispanic Bar Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Peruvian-Canada Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about the Peruvian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, please visit: https://perucanadacc.ca/
Newly-Elected Board Members' Roles
During its first meeting following the AGM on July 18, 2019, the newly-elected Board determined each member's role for the 2019-2021 term. The positions are as follows:President: Wendy LopezSecretary: Nadia HalumTreasurer: Luis ChacinMembership Director: Antonio Franco UrdanetaEvents Director: Veronica MarsonPolicy Director: Victoria RomeroCommunications Director: Laura Chaves Paz
CHBA 2019 AGM Results - Board of Directors' Election & By-Law Amendments
Thank you to all of the CHBA members who participated - by proxy vote (through GetQuorum) or in person - in the Canadian Hispanic Bar Association's 2019 Annual General Meeting on July 4, 2019 at The Advocates' Society in Toronto.The AGM reached quorum. The results of the motions to amend the CHBA's by-laws are as follows:Motion #3 - To amend the bylaws as related to memberships rights (ie to have a Group A and Group B) - Passed.Motion #4 - To amend the bylaws to add a Friend category into Membership Group B - Passed.Motion #5 - To amend the bylaws to add a Corporate category into Membership Group B - Passed.Motion #6 - To amend the bylaws to add an Internationally Trained Lawyer category into Membership Group B - Passed.Motion #7 - To amend the bylaws to add a Licensed Paralegal category into Membership Group B - Passed.Motion #8 - To amend the bylaws to add a Paralegal Licensee Category into Membership Group B - Passed.Motion #9 - To amend the bylaws to add a Paralegal Student category into Membership Group B - Passed. The 2019-2021 CHBA's Board of Directors are:
- Luis Chacin
- Laura Chaves Paz
- Nadia Halum Arauz
- Wendy Lopez
- Veronica Marson
- Victoria Romero
- Antonio Franco Urdaneta
CHBA membership director, Antonio Urdaneta, appointed to TRIEC's Professional Immigration Network's Advisory Committee
Felicitaciones to CHBA membership director, Antonio Urdaneta, for being appointed to TRIEC's Professional Immigrant Network's Advisory Committee!For more information about TRIEC, please visit: http://triec.ca/pins/pins-advisory-committee/
Congrats to CHBA member, Jen Quito, on receiving the 2019 Precedent Setter Award!
Congrats to CHBA member, Jen Quito, on receiving Precedent Magazine's 2019 Precedent Setter Award! The Award was given to six lawyers who, in their first 10 years of practice, have produced sterling legal work and made significant contributions to the community.
Another Latino lawyer, Shane Martinez, also received the Award.For more information about the winners, please visit: https://lawandstyle.ca/career/the-2019-precedent-setter-awards/
Update on April 12th Special Meeting re CHBA By-Laws
Unfortunately, we were unable to call our April 12th Special Meeting to order because we did not have sufficient quorum from CHBA members. The vote was adjourned to the CHBA AGM on July 4th.One of the issues with our existing by-laws is the 51% quorum requirement (!!!) to pass any binding resolutions. This presents quite a challenge, particularly as we look toward electing a new Board at our next AGM.In order to address the quorum issue, we will be having a committee of CHBA members contacting you by phone/email in advance of July 4th.We ask that if you are unable to attend the July 4th AGM, please designate that member or someone else from the CHBA as your proxy so that we can (a) call the July 4th meeting to order, (b) vote on the by-laws, and (c) elect a new CHBA Board.
We need your help to update our by-laws!
The CHBA last updated its by-laws in 2009 (ie 10 years ago!). As part of its strategic plan, the current Board has been very working hard this past year to draft updated by-laws. We reached out to you at our Town Hall last November and also through our membership survey earlier this year.The goal of the Special Meeting is to amend our by-laws to (a) make them easier to use and have them reflect our current governance structure, and (b) allow us to grow our membership and look forward to the future of the profession.It is important for us to ensure that we have clear guidelines on how to work as our organization gets bigger and to also ensure the ongoing financial viability of the CHBA (given that memberships are our main source of revenue).However, in order for the new by-laws to come effect, we need to call a Special Meeting and have our members vote on them.When is the Special Meeting?The CHBA’s Special Meeting will be taking place at the Ontario Bar Association on Thursday, April 11, 2019 @ 6pm (EST).Who can attend the Special Meeting?All current CHBA members can attend and vote at the April 11th special meeting.If you are not sure if your membership is still up-to-date, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.What if I can’t attend the Special Meeting in person?If you are unable to attend the Special Meeting, you can have another CHBA member who is physically present at the Meeting be your proxy. We will also have a Zoom line available if you would like to call in to listen and/or contribute to the discussion prior to advising your proxy how to vote.*Please note* – if you are designating a proxy, you must send us an email prior to the Meeting (email@example.com) to provide us of the name and email address of your proxy.What are we voting on?The first vote will be to clean up the by-laws and provide general governance updates – e.g. the number of CHBA directors.The next vote will be a series of votes on new, *proposed* membership categories – ie Friend, Corporation, Internationally Trained Lawyer (ITL), Licensed Paralegal, Paralegal Licensee Candidate, and Paralegal Student.*Please note* - these proposed membership categories do not have the same rights as other CHBA members – ie they cannot vote and cannot be on the CHBA Board.Will I be given anything to review before the Special Meeting?Yes. CHBA members will be sent copies of the old/proposed by-laws via email prior to the Special Meeting. We will also provide you with copies of the proposed motions that will be voted on at the Meeting.Questions?If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CHBA endorses Caryma Sa'd for Bencher!
The CHBA is very proud to endorse Caryma Sa'd for Bencher in the Law Society of Ontario's 2019 Bencher Election. (Voting opens mid-April 2019 and ends on April 30, 2019).Caryma articled at a top-tier Bay Street litigation boutique where she had the opportunity to work under the direct tutelage of some of Canada’s leading litigators. She was selected for a secondment to one of the Big Five banks. An alumna of the University of Ottawa, she received her Juris Doctor with honours while working towards the Master’s of International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University.
Caryma currently practices primarily in the areas of criminal and landlord/tenant law, with a budding portfolio of cannabis cases. Her clientele is diverse in every sense of the word. She regularly appears at the Landlord and Tenant Board, Ontario Court of Justice, Superior Court of Justice, and Divisional Court.She is running for Bencher because she wants to serve her community. Some of the key issues that she believes should be addressed at Convocation include:▪ Addressing barriers to entry and practice, such as the cost of legal education and licensing;▪ Enhancing access to justice through strategic support for recent calls and solo/small firms;▪ Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion within the profession;▪ Improving mental wellness within the justice sector; and▪ Supporting innovative ways to serve clients, including the unbundled delivery of legal services.Caryma is frequently called upon by the media as a trusted source for their news stories. Her cases and legal commentary have been featured by local, national, and international media outlets including Associated Press, BNN Bloomberg, Canadian Press, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Lawyer, CityNews Toronto, CP24, CTV Television Network, Global Toronto, Globe and Mail, GrowthOp, Huffington Post, Law Times, Lawyer’s Daily, Ming Pao, NOW Magazine, Sing Tao, StarMetro Vancouver, Toronto Star, VICE News, Winnipeg Free Press, and Zoomer Report.To learn more about Caryma and her campaign, please visit:Instagram: CarymaSadLinkedIn: Caryma Sa’dTwitter: CarymaRulesFor more information about the Law Society of Ontario's 2019 Bencher Election, please visit: https://lso.ca/about-lso/governance/bencher-election-2019
The CHBA endorses Isfahan Merali & Jayashree Goswami's joint Bencher 2019 campaign!
The CHBA is very proud to endorse Jayashree Goswami and CHBA member, Isfahan Merali, for the Law Society of Ontario's upcoming Bencher Election (Voting opens mid-April 2019 and ends on April 30, 2019).They are running on a joint campaign. Isfahan is an incumbent Bencher in the Toronto Region, who is championing Jayashree's campaign as a new Bencher candidate.For more information about the Law Society of Ontario's 2019 Bencher Election, please visit: https://lso.ca/about-lso/governance/bencher-election-2019
Isfahan MeraliIsfahan is Tribunal Counsel for the Consent & Capacity Board of Ontario and was called to the bar in 1997. She has advocated for progressive changes at the Law Society of Ontario (LSO). This includes her work on Challenges Facing Racialized Licensees, her leadership as Vice-Chair of the Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee, her active role on the Indigenous Review Panel, her commitment and work on the Mental Health Working Group and Task Forces, and her role as Chair of the Tribunal Committee, which has successfully worked on developing and implementing initiatives to increase the independence and professionalism of the Tribunal.Isfahan is a Bencher who is deeply committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and has a demonstrated track record on these issues. She sat on the LSO's Equity Advisory Group for 6 years prior to becoming a Bencher in 2015. She has practiced human rights and mental health law for the past 23 year years and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee, where she has been leading the implementation of the Inclusion Index and working on implementation of the Challenges Facing Racialized Licensees. She has sat on all the Mental Health Working Groups and Task Forces, including the current one that will look at proactive initiatives on mental health and well-being. She was also one of the few Benchers who sat on the Indigenous Review Panel is also Chair of the Tribunal Committee, which is working on modernizing the Tribunal and ensuring fair, flexible and independent Tribunal processes to advance the public interest.For more information about Isfahan's campaign, please visit: www.isfahanmerali.comJayashree GoswamiJayashree Goswami is Senior Counsel at Intact Financial Corporation in Toronto. She was called to the Bar in 2007 and worked as a litigator at a national law firm for several years before moving to an in-house position. Jayashree is experienced in commercial and insurance defence litigation and has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario. In her current role, she is a member of one of Toronto’s largest in-house litigation departments.Over the last 12 years, Jayashree has built a solid reputation as a community leader, social advocate and progressive thinker. In 2014, Jayashree was awarded the Leading Women, Building Communities Award by the Government of Ontario recognizing her for her volunteer work and leadership in law. Jayashree is the immediate past Chair of the Roundtable of Diversity Associations (RODA) (2016-2018), past President of the South Asian Bar Association, Toronto (2013-2015), past Vice-Chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s Equality Committee (2016-2017) and past director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (2015-2017). In March 2017, Jayashree was appointed to Anti-Racism Strategic Plan Consultation Group of the Anti-Racism Directorate by the Government of Ontario.From her first days as a lawyer, Jayashree has worked closely with the Law Society of Ontario on equity and diversity initiatives. As a new lawyer, Jayashree became the first representative of the South Asian Bar Association, Toronto on the Equity Advisory Group at the LSO. Over the last decade, she has represented community bar associations at the EAG and the Treasurer’s Liaison Group at the LSO. Jayashree is currently a member of the Treasurer’s Roundtable of Corporate Counsel.For more information about Jayashree's campaign, please visit: www.jayashreegoswami.com
Orlando Da Silva is running for bencher!
The CHBA is very proud to endorse its member, Orlando Da Silva, for Bencher in the Toronto Region! (Voting opens mid-April 2019 and ends on April 30, 2019).
Orlando has been a Toronto trial lawyer for 24 years, starting his practice at one of Canada’s largest law firms, and, after 11 years ( five as a partner) he moved to the public sector to lead the Corporate-Commercial Litigation Team at the Ministry of the Attorney General. In that role, he had the privilege of representing Ontario in the most critical and high risk civil litigation involving the province.
More recently, he moved to criminal prosecutions, as an inaugural member of the Serious Fraud Office, where he serves as a Senior Crown Counsel prosecuting the most serious financial crimes in Ontario.
He is also a past president of the Ontario Bar Association, which represents 16,000 lawyers in the province. During his term in 2014-2015, he helped lead the profession across Canada in a mental health anti-stigma campaign by speaking publicly about his own experience with depression how, despite these struggles, he has, and continues to lead, a very successful and rewarding life. His message of hope, resilience, and strength has reached over 6 million people.
For these efforts, Canadian Lawyer Magazine named him one of The Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada in 2015. In 2016, the Law Society of Ontario honoured him with the Law Society Medal. That same year, CBC Metro Morning nominated him as Torontonian of the Year and CAMH presented him with its bi-annual Transforming Lives Award. In 2017, the Ontario Bar Association presented him with its highest honour, the Distinguished Service Award. And in 2018, the OBA Public Law Section recognized his career with the Tom Marshall Award of Excellence for Public Sector Lawyers.
For more information about Orlando's campaign, please visit: https://www.orlandodasilva.net
For more information about the Law Society of Ontario's 2019 Bencher Election, please visit: https://lso.ca/about-lso/governance/bencher-election-2019
Julia Vera and Antonio Urdaneta participate in the Law Society of Ontario's 2018 Access to Justice Week
On October 22, 2018, CHBA member and Family Law Association chair, Julia Vera, participated in a panel about the gap in legal representation in family law as part of the Law Society's Access to Justice Week - https://theactiongroup.ca/2018/10/a2j-week-session-the-access-gap-in-family-law/.
On October 25, 2018, CHBA Board Member, Antonio Urdaneta, participated in a panel on Mentorship, Networking, and Access to Justice as part of that event - https://theactiongroup.ca/2018/10/a2j-week-session-mentorship-networking-and-access-to-justice/
CHBA Joins the OBA's Diversity Program
As of August 29, 2018, the Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA) is an official member of Ontario Bar Association's (OBA's) Diversity Program.For more information about this exciting partnership, please visit: https://www.oba.org/Sections/Committees/Special-Committees/Equality-Committee/Diversity-Program
Congratulations to CHBA Board member, W. Alex Muñoz, on his new book!
CHBA Board Member, W. Alex Muñoz, has published a new book, "The 2019 Annotated Ontario Education Act".For more information, please visit: https://store.thomsonreuters.ca/product-detail/the-2019-annotated-ontario-education-act/
Myriam Seers of Torys LLP Wins the Advocates' Society's 2018 Young Advocates' Standing Committee's Civility Award!
A big congratulations to CHBA member, Myriam Seers, of Torys LLP for being this year's Advocates' Society's YASC Civility Award recipient. Felicidades!!For more information about the award, please visit: https://www.advocates.ca/TAS/Community_Events/Young_Advocates/TAS/Community_Events/Young_Advocates.aspx?hkey=7ffd998f-91e7-4679-9bdc-86fabdfc2ceb
CHBA joins the ABA's Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities
CHBA President, Veronica Marson, has been appointed as a member of the American Bar Association's Hispanic Commission on Legal Rights and Responsibilities.
Fernando Garcia Wins Lexology's 2018 Global Counsel "Thought Leader of the Year" Award
On June 8, 2018 Fernando Garcia, General Counsel of Nissan Canada, Inc. and Infiniti Canada received the 2018 Global Counsel “Thought Leader of the Year Award” from Lexology in association with ACC Foundation at a ceremony in New York City. Fernando is a tireless advocate for the Latino community and enjoys speaking and writing about advancing diversity and inclusiveness within the legal profession, as well as speaking about the future of law and how technology is changing and will change the profession. He was previously recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer Magazine.
Javier González has been named as one of Lexpert's 2017 Rising Stars
Congrats to CHBA member, Javier González of RBC, for being named one of Lexpert's 2017 Rising Stars!For more information about Javier and the award, please visit: http://www.lexpert.ca/rising-stars/winner-detail/javier-gonzalez-royal-bank-of-canada-434
Sandra Lozano has been elected as the NDP candidate for Woodbridge
CHBA member, Sandra Lozano, has been elected as the provincial NDP candidate for Woodbridge.Felicitaciones Sandra!! y toda la suerte!Read the Correo Canadiense article: https://bit.ly/2IS6srz
2018 donation to the On Your Mark Program
The CHBA was proud to donate to the On Your Mark tutoring program for Portuguese and Spanish-speaking students at the Working Women in Toronto this year!For more information about the program, please visit: https://bit.ly/2qITPUj
A Message from our President - Introducing the Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (formerly HOLA)
As many of you know, the Hispanic Ontario Lawyers’ Association (HOLA) was established in 2004 to support, strengthen, and raise awareness of the Latin American Hispanic legal community in Ontario. Since that time, we have grown and developed as an organization and have incorporated federally under the new name of the Canadian Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA).On June 22nd, 2017, the CHBA elected a new Board of Directors. Our seven member team is excited for the upcoming two-year term. We will be working toward achieving the following goals as part of our strategic plan:1. Enhancing membership communication and engagement2. Increasing membership and awareness of the CHBA across Canada3. Improving Board effectiveness and overall governance4. Assuring the ongoing financial viability of the CHBAWe look forward to building on all that we have achieved to date and to setting out a new path to promote the advancement of Latin American and Hispanics in the legal profession.¡Con su apoyo, sí se puede!Veronica Marson, President - Canadian Hispanic Bar Association
Fernando Garcia receives the CCCA's 2018 Professional Contribution Award
Our CHBA member, Fernando Garcia, is the recipient of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association's (CCCA) Professional Contribution Award. Fernando will be honoured at the CCCA's 2018 "Beyond Borders" national conference on April 30. Congratulations! Felicitaciones Fernando!!! https://bit.ly/2HzUhPY
Supreme Court of Canada Rules in Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguaje
On September 4, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously held in Chevron Corp v. Yaiguaje that the Ontario court has jurisdiction to hear an action brought by Ecuadorian plaintiffs seeking the recognition and enforcement in Ontario of a US$9.51-billion Ecuadorian judgment for environmental damage against the U.S. multinational corporation Chevron (Chevron US) and its Canadian subsidiary (Chevron Canada). Remarkably, Chevron US had no connection to and no assets in Ontario and Chevron Canada was a stranger to the underlying judgment in Ecuador for which recognition and enforcement is being sought in the Ontario court.See the full decision here: https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/15497/index.do
Congratulations to Justice Bovard!
The Honourable Justice Joseph W. Bovard will be recognized as on of the 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians at the TD Hispanic Awards on December 15, 2016. Congratulations!For more details about the event, please visit: https://bit.ly/2QflLuW
Julia Vera became the Chair of the Family Lawyers Association
January 2018: Congratulations to our CHBA member Julia Vera for becoming the Chair of the Family Lawyers Association.
New CHBA Board of Directors
On June 22nd the CHBA membership elected our new Board of Directors. Our seven member team is excited for the upcoming two-year term. They are as follows:
- Veronica Marson - President
- Joseph Carpio - Treasurer
- Nadia Halum – Secretary
- Laura Chaves Paz - Communications
- Wendy Lopez - Events
- Alex Munoz – Advocacy & Policy
- Antonio Urdaneta - Membership