Waterloo Region Law Association 2022- 2023 Committees & Practice Groups
Chair: James Rhodes, WRLA Treasurer
Members: Cynthia Davis, Gord Harris, Milena Protich, James Rhodes, John Webster, Sarah Huie and Pia Williams
The members of the library committee are also members of the finance committee as the two co-exist in LIRN income and expenditures. This committee reviews expenditures, library operations and staff policies and procedures and works to develop the Association’s annual budget for presentation to the Board. Meetings are usually quarterly although there are additional meetings to address the budget process. Ideally, the Chair of the committee would be a trustee who is familiar with the library. LIRN provides an annual grant, in quarterly installments, for library related Collections, Operations and Staffing. The WRLA submits quarterly financial reports (trial balance) to LIRN, via the Senior Financial Advisor of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Expenditures outside of budgeted items for the library, for example new computers or software, are reviewed by the committee and submitted to the board (and LIRN) for approval. This committee also reviews income and expenditures of the Waterloo Region Law Association Business Account which consists of income from membership and expenses generated by CPD, Committees and Practice Groups, FOLA Fees and other operating expenses.
Chair: Rob Bickle
Members: Jennifer Bolduc, Rob Bickle, Cynthia Davis, Whitney Hall, Milena Protich, James Rhodes, and Jennifer Roggemann, Sarah Huie and Pia Williams
The membership committee is a sub-committee of the Library and Finance committee. The committee monitors all aspects of membership, including retention and education—bringing in new members, teaching them about the and then ensuring that the member experience meets everyone’s expectations. The committee identifies the needs of members and recommends the development of services to meet those needs. The committee is responsible for increasing membership, keeping membership informed, welcoming new members, and identifying nonmember needs and perceptions. Gathering information on and analyzing non-members’ needs and perceptions of WRLA. Recommending ways in which to meet these needs to attract non-members to join WRLA.
Chair: Milena Protich, WRLA President
Superior Court of Justice: Milena Protich (Chair), Cynthia Davis, Gord Harris, Pamela Krauss, Greg Murdoch, Nicole Soehner and John Webster
Ontario Court of Justice (Criminal): Val Ruoso (Chair), Nicole Soehner
Superior Court of Justice Unified Family Court: Jennifer Bolduc (Chair), Matthew Kelly
Superior Court of Justice Bench and Bar: this committee is chaired by the current president. Members are from various areas of practice representative of the bar. The committee has 2 to 3 meetings per year with the Local Administrative Justice on selected issues or at the LAJ’s request. Sometimes, the chair will meet one on one with the LAJ at his request. The committee is responsible to report to the Board and communicate with members.
Superior Court of Justice Unified Family Court Bench and Bar: this committee is chaired by a member practicing in family law, or by the current president. The committee has meetings with the local Unified Family Court Bench on selected issues or at the request of the judges. The committee reports to the Board and is responsible to communicate items of import to members practicing family law.
Ontario Court of Justice, Criminal Bench and Bar: this committee is chaired by a member of the criminal bar or the current president. Members are from the criminal practice representative of the bar. The committee has meetings with the bench on selected issues or at the request of the judges. The committee reports to the Board and is responsible to communicate items of import to members practicing criminal law.
Chair: James Rhodes
Members: Kelsy Gill, Gord Harris, Erin Kadwell, Matthew Kelly, Greg Murdoch, James Rhodes, Jennifer Roggemann, Nicole Soehner, Sarah Huie and Pia Williams
The social committee assists with the organization and running of the Association’s social events that do not otherwise have a separate committee. This committee is also responsible for the monthly Thirsty Thursday event aimed at providing new lawyers and articling students an opportunity to network with existing members. Thirsty Thursdays are held at a restaurant/bar and have an allocated budget to contribute to the cost of attendees.
Chair: Stephanie Sutherland
Members: Jennifer Bolduc, Stephen Gehl, Kelsy Gill, Greg Murdoch, Erin Uberig, Sarah Huie and Pia Williams
This committee is chaired by a trustee member and includes lawyers and paralegals from various areas of practice representative of the local bar. The committee assess and interpret the needs and expectations of Association members regarding CPD, coordinates the various CPD programming put together by the various practice groups and assists with accreditation, identifies gaps in the programming provided by the practice groups to ensure ample local programming, and develops Continuing Professional Development programs, conferences and events for the Association with the assistance of Association members. This committee also manages, develops and coordinates Continuing Professional Development activities with other groups offering same such as the Law Society of Ontario, and the Canadian Bar Association.
Chair: Ali Victoros
Members: Whitney Hall, Gord Harris, Nicole Soehner, Ali Victoros, Sarah Huie and Pia Williams
This committee arranges for the annual Law Day each year with local students and supported by the Ontario Justice Education Network. Usually held in March or May. Law Day is a mock trial program organized by the committee to inform students about the important role that lawyers, and the judiciary serve in guaranteeing an open, independent and unbiased system
Chair: Cynthia Davis, WRLA Past President
Members: Cynthia Davis, Ryan De Vries, Ioana Mandru, Milena Protich, Ben Tinholt, and Pia Williams
This committee is responsible for the development of Association policies and procedures and monitoring and amending of the Waterloo Region Law Association by-law as required. The committee is also involved with implementing the AGM voting procedures.
Chair: John Webster, WRLA Vice President
Members: Whitney Hall, Erin Kadwell, Pamela Krauss, Milena Protich, Ben Tinholt, John Webster, Pia Williams
This committee, chaired by the vice-president oversees library staff, including performance of job descriptions, performance reviews, staffing issues and concerns and hiring of staff when necessary.
Chair: Nicole Soehner
Members: Jennifer Bolduc, Ioana Mandru, Nicole Soehner, Sarah Huie and Pia Williams
This committee is responsible to organize the Association’s golf tournament which is held annually.
Chair: Ryan De Vries
Members: Ryan De Vries, Stephen Gehl, Whitney Hall, Ben Tinholt, Michael Von Keitz, and Pia Williams
This committee is responsible for promoting consideration of legal and policy issues which are of interest or concern to the Waterloo Region legal community or which the Association can provide input. Requests for input from third party stakeholders are directed to the committee which decides whether to make a submission on behalf of the Association and if so, prepares the submission.
Chair: Rob Bickle
Members: Rob Bickle, Whitney Hall, Gord Harris, Val Ruoso, David Dyer, Lee Fitzpatrick, Stephen Grant, and Pia Williams
This committee also does all of its work from January to the March. After nomination forms are sent out the membership, the committee meets to vet nominees, then makes a submission to the board for their input and approval. Committee members organize speakers for the recipient, are responsible for getting the award engraved and various and sundry other tasks associated with the evening.
Chair: Whitney Hall
Members: Rob Bickle, Whitney Hall, Stephanie Sutherland, John Webster, Sarah Huie and Pia Williams
This Committee focuses on identifying and informing members of relevant and available Mental Health and Awareness (MH&A) resources, and identifies ways to advocate for the importance of MH&A programs for legal professionals.
Chair: Ioana Mandru
Members: Jennifer Bolduc, Elizabeth Kim, Ioana Mandru, Val Ruoso, Stephanie Sutherland, Erin Uberig, Sarah Huie and Pia Williams
The WRLA is committed to fostering a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion that respects and embraces the unique backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and talents of all members of the WRLA. The EDI committee is responsible for developing and coordinating the WRLA’s inclusion initiatives and make recommendations directly to the Board regarding policies, procedures, CPD and any other initiatives.