This week on Legally Speaking with Michael Mulligan
The Provincial and Supreme Court in British Columbia recently introduced practice directives requiring lawyers to indicate the proper gender pronoun for themselves, and their clients, before each hearing.
Lawyers have been directed to indicate if they, and the client, wish to be referred to as he/him/his, she/her/hers or they/them/their.
This was the subject of controversy at the recent BC Law Society annual general meeting where some lawyers were calling for more debate with respect to this direction.
Of interest, in the BC Supreme Court, judges are referred to as either My Lady or My Lord and the practice direction doesn’t require judges to advise which they prefer.
In the BC Provincial Court, all judges are referred to as Your Honour.
Several years ago, some BC Supreme Court Judges attempted to adopt Your Honour but were directed to return to either My Lady or My Lord.
Also on the show, the provincial government is seeking the civil forfeiture of a $3 million Vancouver penthouse that was being used as a nightclub in violation of COVID-19 rules.
The owner of the penthouse is alleged to have had hundreds of unmasked people in the penthouse, on multiple occasions.
The police attended the penthouse on multiple occasions and seized things including DJ equipment, a dance pole, and a $5 bill found at the base of the dance pole.
Unlike in criminal cases, civil forfeiture proceedings only require proof on a balance of probabilities.
If the civil forfeiture proceedings are successful, the province could take the penthouse and things seized from it by the police.
Similar proceedings are also possible for businesses that are failing to abide by the requirement to check the vaccine status of customers.