May 11, 2018
Remembering Jocelyn Frazer
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Jocelyn Frazer, Practice Advisor and Equity Ombudsperson, on Monday, April 30. 

Jocelyn joined the Law Society as a Practice Management Assessor and became a Practice Advisor in 2007. She later added the role of Equity Ombudsperson to her responsibilities.

“Jocelyn was a wonderful person to have as part of the Law Society team,” says Don Thompson, Executive Director. “In the office she was determined and skillful, while at the same time being warm and personable. She brought a solicitor’s temperament and skillset to her work – always seeking to understand, and then would use her knowledge to help practitioners do their best work for their clients. She was a strong leader, and could see that in many cases there were creative ways to solve regulatory problems without resorting to discipline. She helped many lawyers in her work, and through them helped provide better legal services to the public. We miss her very much.”

Jocelyn took her role seriously, and never passed up an opportunity to make a difference. Over the past decade, so many lawyers and articling students have commented how grateful they have been for her help and guidance.

Jocelyn developed and delivered countless educational materials, training programs, and policies for the Alberta legal community, with many focusing on equality, equity and diversity topics. She was the driving force behind SoloNet, which provides an online networking platform for sole and small firm lawyers. Jocelyn worked with the Legal Education Society of Alberta to develop relevant and topical seminar content, and often acted as the session chair. She led seminars for women in law and internationally trained lawyers to help them thrive in practice. She was a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community and worked tirelessly to establish the Canadian Bar Association - Alberta branch of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community, which now boasts a thriving membership base.

In her role as a Practice Advisor, she visited startup firms, imparting her wisdom and advice to help new lawyers succeed in the business of law. In her role as Equity Ombudsperson, she lent a sympathetic ear, and sometimes a tissue, to anyone who needed a safe space to vent and cry. After patiently listening, she would provide the advice and support needed to navigate any situation.

Long-time colleague and fellow Practice Advisor, Nancy Carruthers, says, “I’m so very proud of the work we did together, but I’m also proud to have called Jocelyn a friend, a colleague and a mentor. Jocelyn was so dedicated to the work she did, but made it look effortless and did it all with a sense of humour and grace. All of us at the Law Society who worked with her miss her beyond words. Our thoughts are with her family – thank you for sharing your wonderful wife and mom with us.”

She will be remembered for her tenacity, passion for diversity issues, deep caring for her work and love of her family. 

Condolence messages may be shared here and memorial donations may be made directly to the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s Ride to Conquer Cancer (to either the Accenture Brainiacs team or any other participant or team), Suite 120, 707 7th Avenue SW, Calgary AB T2P 3H6 Telephone: 1.888.624.2453,
Code Amendments
The Law Society of Alberta regulates the legal profession in the public interest by promoting and enforcing a high standard of professional and ethical conduct by Alberta lawyers. We derive our authority from the Legal Profession Act  and set standards of conduct through a Code of Conduct  and the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta.

At the April Board meeting, amendments to Rule 3.2-13 of the Code of Conduct were approved. The rule change was implemented to ensure that lawyers are aware that they must not assist any party, including both clients and third parties, in the commission of a fraud or crime. This is an important rule because it supports the Law Society’s mandate to protect the public interest.

This change to the Code of Conduct is based on Model Code amendments that were passed by the Federation of Law Societies in March 2017. The approach in Alberta to dealing with this rule is consistent with the other law societies, and with developing case law. Lawyers may be sanctioned for facilitating a fraud or crime where they had some level of knowledge, or where they demonstrated negligence or incompetence.

The ethical principle has been in place in Alberta for years, but this is an opportunity to remind lawyers that they have a responsibility to pay attention to the bigger picture when advising clients. Lawyers have an obligation to learn how to detect potential frauds and to make inquiries if a transaction looks suspicious.
Judicial Appointments
Congratulations to Justice Anne Kirker, former Law Society President, and Justice Nancy Dilts, Board Member, who were appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench on May 4, 2018.

Madam Justice Kirker served as a Board Member of the Law Society from 2012 to 2016 and was President of the Law Society from 2016 to 2017.

Madam Justice Dilts served as a Board Member of the Law Society from 2012 to 2018; Justice Dilts also served on the ALIEX Board. We thank Justice Kirker and Justice Dilts for their time, commitment and dedication.

We would also like to congratulate Justice James T. Neilson, Justice Jane A. Fagnan and Justice April D. Grosse who were also appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench.

For more information, read the Government of Canada Department of Justice’s news release .
Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta Notices
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