Amy Mortimore and Mark Weintraub, Q.C., chaired the Trial Lawyers Association’s professional development seminar on estate litigation on April 7, 2017. Amy and Mark’s approach blended substantive law topics with an interactive chambers submission demonstration.
The chambers demonstration had participants make submissions to the Honourable Marion Allan, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, who then made real-time judgments and provided feedback on the participants’ oral advocacy. Additionally, through interactive technology, all attendees anonymously voted on the result they would have found had they been sitting as the judge. The range of responses from the attendees underscored the great diversity of viewpoints attending the seminar.
The substantive law topics included those that estate litigators regularly face: contested committeeships, wills variation claims and applications for a document to be declared as a will. The seminar also included a session on ethical dilemmas and one on expert reports. Finally, there were presentations on contempt of court and jurisdiction questions—both issues that are not commonly encountered, but when they are, counsel must act quickly to protect their client’s interests.
This unique seminar was extremely well-received, with one attendee summing it up:
“Thank you to both of you for hosting and assisting in the planning of an absolutely excellent estate litigation conference today. The speakers, topics and practical tips were very helpful.”