Two new lawyers called to the bar in Swift Cur­rent

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBENBERG— mlieben­berg@prairiepos­

Two new lawyers were for­mally ad­mit­ted to the Law So­ci­ety of Saskatchew­an dur­ing a call to the bar cer­e­mony in Swift Cur­rent, Sept. 21.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the lo­cal le­gal pro­fes­sion, fam­ily and friends at­tended a spe­cial sit­ting of the Court of Queen’s Bench to wel­come Ash­ley Falk and Jean Jor­daan to the pro­fes­sion.

The newly ad­mit­ted lawyers were of­fi­cially in­tro­duced by mem­bers of the le­gal fra­ter­nity in Swift Cur­rent.

Falk was pre­sented by An­drea Ar­gue from the law firm Kanuka Thuringer LLP and Jor­daan was in­tro­duced by Neil Gib­bings from An­der­son & Com­pany.

This was fol­lowed by the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the oath and sign­ing of the reg­is­ter. Words of wel­come were pre­sented by Jus­tice T.J. Keene on be­half of the Court of Queen’s Bench and by Judge K.P. Bazin for the Pro­vin­cial Court, while John McIn­tosh Q.C. brought greet­ings from the Law So­ci­ety of Saskatchew­an.

Jus­tice Keene said it was a plea­sure to pre­side over this won­der­ful and mean­ing­ful cer­e­mony.

“It has been a long jour­ney for our two new lawyers ... and they've al­most reached their des­ti­na­tion,” he men­tioned. “The fi­nal step in be­com­ing a lawyer in our tra­di­tion is to be for­mally pre­sented to a su­pe­rior court in Saskatchew­an, be­ing the Court of Queen's Bench. This call to the bar cer­e­mony in this, the most beau­ti­ful court house in Saskatchew­an, is full of sig­nif­i­cance. It means that in just a few min­utes from now and ev­ery day there­after, both of you will be for­mally in­tro­duced to the court and will be­come known as lawyers and be de­served to be called a lawyer.”

The ad­mis­sion to the pro­vin­cial law so­ci­ety will give the two new lawyers the right to ap­pear be­fore all the courts in Saskatchew­an.

In terms of the rules of the Law So­ci­ety of Saskatchew­an it also pro­vides them per­mis­sion to ap­pear in any court across the coun­try, in­clud­ing the Fed­eral and Supreme Court of Canada.

“You worked very hard to ob­tain your le­gal ed­u­ca­tion,” he said. “To­day we're part of cel­e­brat­ing with you that great ac­com­plish­ment. In do­ing so, we're not cel­e­brat­ing an end­ing, but more so the be­gin­ning of a ca­reer in law that now com­mences. The le­gal pro­fes­sion is a unique and spe­cial one. Lawyers are part of a priv­i­leged group. Only lawyers may prac­tice law, but this priv­i­lege which has been now given to you come with a cor­re­spond­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

An im­por­tant part of that re­spon­si­bil­ity re­lates to pro­fes­sional ethics and their obli­ga­tion of in­tegrity and good faith to­wards the courts, their clients, to le­gal col­leagues, and to the pub­lic. Jus­tice Keene en­cour­aged them to be in­volved in com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties out­side their law prac­tice.

“Lawyers are an in­te­gral part of our so­ci­ety,” he said. “In ad­di­tion to the func­tions that are part of a lawyer's pro­fes­sional du­ties, you of­ten find lawyers vol­un­teer­ing their time in their com­mu­nity. ... “You're en­ter­ing this pro­fes­sion at a time of un­prece­dented op­por­tu­nity. I wish you good health, hap­pi­ness and suc­cess.”

Judge Bazin thanked lo­cal mem­bers of the le­gal pro­fes­sion for their sup­port and guid­ance to Falk and Jor­daan while they com­pleted their ar­ti­cles in Swift Cur­rent. He noted that both have al­ready ap­peared in front of him in pro­vin­cial court, and they rep­re­sented their clients ad­mirably. He added that pro­vin­cial court is a use­ful place for them to de­velop their lit­i­ga­tion skills.

“Prac­tis­ing in ru­ral ar­eas does have its chal­lenges, but there are many op­por­tu­ni­ties for you that do not ex­ist in the larger cen­tres,” he said.

McIn­tosh spoke on be­half of the Law So­ci­ety of Saskatchew­an, which rep­re­sents about 1,700 lawyers in the prov­ince. The or­ga­ni­za­tion sets the stan­dards for law stu­dents and their ex­am­i­na­tion. Falk and Jor­daan have both passed the ex­am­i­na­tion and they are now fully qual­i­fied and ap­proved as lawyers.

“We know that you have worked hard and have shown for­ti­tude in the face of ad­ver­sity,” McIn­tosh said. “You now have op­por­tu­ni­ties be­fore you and I would ask you to re­mem­ber that the prac­tice of law is never bor­ing. Prob­a­bly you will add new dis­tinc­tion to the le­gal pro­fes­sion in ways that we never had be­fore. This is your spe­cial day, Ash­ley and Jean, and we hon­our you and that hon­our is richly de­served. I'm sure I speak on be­half of all the lawyers in Saskatchew­an and par­tic­u­larly those lawyers who are present here to­day when I wish you the very best in your fu­ture en­deav­ours and we look for­ward to work­ing with you as col­leagues.”

Falk grew up on her fam­ily's farm near Rosen­hof, south of Swift Cur­rent. She went to Wy­mark School un­til Grade 9 and grad­u­ated from Swift Cur­rent Com­pre­hen­sive High School. She con­tin­ued her post­sec­ondary stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Saskatchew­an.

“I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in law and I see how allper­va­sive it is,” she told the Prairie Post af­ter the cer­e­mony. “Law is part of every­thing and so I just think be­ing a lawyer is a great way of giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity.”

It was a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence for her to be the fo­cus of at­ten­tion dur­ing the cer­e­mony, be­cause she is used to be in a court­room to rep­re­sent a client.

“Usu­ally I’m on the other end, but it was great to see all my fam­ily here,” she said. “It’s a re­ally awe­some le­gal com­mu­nity in Swift Cur­rent. It’s a small com­mu­nity, but every­body is just great to work with. So it’s awe­some to be able to ex­pe­ri­ence that.”

She com­pleted her ar­ti­cles at Kanuka Thuringer LLP and is now an as­so­ciate at that law firm. She is in­ter­ested in lit­i­ga­tion with re­gard to both crim­i­nal and fam­ily law. She also en­joys es­tate lit­i­ga­tion and work­ing with real es­tate trans­ac­tions.

“As an ar­ti­cling stu­dent you do some­thing of every­thing,” she said. “They try to give you a broad range of ex­po­sure so that you can get a bet­ter sense of what you would like to spe­cial­ize in the fu­ture. In Swift Cur­rent we a do a broad range of more gen­eral prac­tice. So I got to ex­pe­ri­ence every­thing we’ve got, a re­ally good ex­po­sure, and I’ve been able to fig­ure out more so where my strengths are and where my in­ter­ests lies.”

Jor­daan pre­vi­ously prac­tised law in South Africa, where he was called to the bar in 2007. His main fo­cus was on con­sumer law. He moved with his fam­ily to Swift Cur­rent in 2016, where he has worked with An­der­son & Com­pany as a para­le­gal while study­ing to re­qual­ify as a lawyer in Canada.

“It was quite a chal­lenge af­ter 10 years to go back to the books and to start study­ing and mem­o­riz­ing cases and things again, go­ing back to the the­ory of law, but it was in­ter­est­ing too to look back af­ter 10 years and to see the the­ory af­ter you’ve been in prac­tice so long,” he said.

He noted that the law sys­tems of the two coun­tries are quite sim­i­lar, but the court pro­cesses are a bit dif­fer­ent.

“I’m very happy,” he said about be­ing called to the bar for the sec­ond time. “It was a long road and a lot of work, but with the sup­port from my wife and kids we fi­nally man­aged to get it done and get back and set­tled. So it’s a great day.”

He plans to fo­cus on civil lit­i­ga­tion and other court work as a lawyer in Swift Cur­rent. They de­cided to re­lo­cate to Saskatchew­an be­cause the prov­ince is im­mi­grant friendly.

“We saw a pro­mo­tional video of Swift Cur­rent on YouTube,” he re­called. “That seemed very in­ter­est­ing and when we got here we just felt right at home.… It seemed not too big, just the size we were look­ing for. I par­tic­u­larly don’t like big cities. I en­joy more small towns and this was per­fect for us.”

Photo by Matthew Liebenberg

Two lawyers were called to the bar in Swift Cur­rent, Sept. 21. They are pic­tured af­ter the cer­e­mony with lo­cal judges and the lawyers who in­tro­duced them. From left to right, An­drea Ar­gue, Ash­ley Falk, Jus­tice T.J. Keene, Judge K.P. Bazin, Jean Jor­daan, and Neil Gib­bings.

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