June 15, 2021
"My Experience" Project: Weekly Submissions
Each week, we will feature experiences in our eBulletins collected through the “My Experience” Project. We encourage you to read each experience in its entirety, so it is viewed the way the participant intended. To read more experiences, complete self-reflection questions or submit your own experience, visit the Law Society Listens website.
“At my previous law firm in [a large city in Alberta], I was tasked with drafting all of the
documents on a large asset-purchase in the range of multiple millions of dollars, and, I worked side-by-side with a corporate/ commercial partner to complete the deal.

When meeting with our client to sign all of the asset-purchase documents, and celebrating that
we were near the finish line (and after all of my hard work), the client proceeded to bring out a
piece of paper that he printed off at home and started to read it to me and the partner in the
room – this paper was from an email thread that essentially denigrated First Nation people and
perpetuated some awful myths and stereotypes.

I was livid. Especially after I just toiled for countless hours to get this deal over the goal line.

The client knew I was Indigenous and did not consider that I would not appreciate what he was doing. And the partner who was sitting with us in the conference room knew I was Indigenous, and said nothing to me until after the meeting – at which point the partner said he was not sure
what to do and brought up another similar incident with another client and said he didn’t know what to do in that moment either."

"I am Asian-Canadian. I have lived in Canada for almost my entire life and have no other country that I call home. In less than 1.5 years of practicing law in Alberta, I have experienced the following from the particular legal community that I was practicing in:

  • a negative comment to me by a lawyer, in front of another lawyer, about how people from my culture eat dogs;
  • ...the crossing out of my name on a counsel list at a courthouse by Lawyer “X” for the name of a famous Asian martial artist (he thought it was funny, so he couldn’t resist the urge to show it to another lawyer); and
  • in March 2020, in a busy courtroom and in front of other lawyers and members of the public, Lawyer “X” made a ‘joking’ comment to me that I had started the coronavirus because I was “eating a bat,” which was one of the most racist comments that I have personally experienced in my life (I am not even Chinese-Canadian, and even if I were, it would still have been very offensive)..."

Provincial Court Announcements

On Monday, June 14, the Provincial Court of Alberta resumed some services that had been suspended earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Civil, Criminal, Youth Criminal, Family and Child Protection matters resumed on Monday, June 14, while Traffic Court will re-open as of June 28.

Please visit the Provincial Court of Alberta's website for full details on the reopening plan.

As of June 14, the Provincial Court of Alberta is accepting attendance at bar admission ceremonies to the maximum number of participants currently permitted in each courtroom to allow for social distance measures. Participants are requested to wear masks while in the courthouse. Ceremonies will be scheduled during court hours, with priority given to urgent court proceedings.
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