Professional Regulatory
Professional Regulatory
Overview
Experience
People
News + Views + Events
Publications + Roundtables
Workshops
Webinars

Field Law serves as a trusted advisor to regulatory colleges and organizations across numerous sectors – health care, policing, legal, financial, engineering, geoscience plus many more – and provides strategic guidance on matters such as governance, legislative reform, registration, continuing competence, discipline, unauthorized practice and privacy.

With one of the largest and most experienced professional regulatory groups in Western Canada, our lawyers appear before a variety of tribunals to prosecute allegations of unprofessional conduct, resolve registration issues and act as independent legal counsel to tribunals. We also have substantial experience at all levels of Court in applications for judicial review and appeals relating to the regulation of professions, and in defending lawsuits brought against regulatory organizations. 

At Field Law, we acknowledge that our clients are sophisticated professionals who are proficient in resolving many legal issues internally but provide them with support when complex situations arise involving significant legal risk that require a rapid response and our group’s breadth of experience and industry knowledge. In these instances, we collaborate with our clients and deploy the right team to develop a timely, innovative solution that achieves the best outcome possible under the circumstances.

We take a proactive approach that empowers clients to make practical, effective decisions and take preventative measures to avoid conflict, including in-house training on industry trends and regular updates on matters of interest to professional regulators. We also help clients build an interactive community with their colleagues by hosting round table discussions and a variety of social events designed to facilitate strong relationships among community members. 

The lawyers of Field Law’s Professional Regulatory group have represented professional regulators or their regulatory tribunals in hundreds of discipline and registration cases. Our Professional Regulatory lawyers focus on “preventative lawyering” to assist regulators to carry out their mandates while avoiding appeals, applications for judicial review and other litigation wherever possible. Sometimes administrative or civil litigation is unavoidable. Our Professional Regulatory team is experienced and can respond with strategic advice and representation.  

Our lawyers have been involved in many significant professional regulatory cases.  

Click on the links below to review our experience:

September 19, 2018
Issues in Professional Discipline Investigations: Tips + Traps
Webinar
Effective professional discipline investigations are fundamentally important to the professional discipline process. The information that is obtained is used to make decisions about complaints that are received, including whether there is sufficient ev...
September 2018
The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019
28 Field Law Lawyers Recognized
Field Law is proud to announce that 28 of our lawyers have been included in the 13th edition of The Best Lawyers™ in Canada. These lawyers have been recognized in 17 service areas, resulting in a total of 36 rankings.Among the 28 Field Law l...
August 2018
Alberta Appeal Court Rules Against Dentist in Regulatory Body’s Free Speech Complaint
The Lawyer's Daily
June 2018
Supreme Court Defers to Law Societies in Denial of TWU’s Law School
Professional Regulatory Alert
June 19, 2018
Professional Regulation in the Age of Social Media
Professional Regulatory Roundtable
Join the Field Law Professional Regulatory Group and your professional regulatory colleagues for another lunch time roundtable. This roundtable is designed to assist complaints directors and other regulatory professionals to navigate the issues that ca...
June 11, 2018
Sexual Abuse Amendments to the Health Professions Act and Health Disciplines Act: Implications for Regulators
Professional Regulatory Workshop
On June 1, 2018 regulators received a discussion document from Alberta Health “Protecting Patients from Sexual Abuse By Regulated Health Professionals” which outlines potential amendments to the Health Professions Act and Health Disciplines...
April 19, 2018
Resolve to Resolve Alternatively
Professional Regulatory Roundtable Series
Join the Field Law Professional Regulatory Group and your professional regulatory colleagues for a lunchtime roundtable. This roundtable is designed to assist regulators and their staff whose mandates include resolving complaints, including by assessin...
March 2018
Unauthorized Practice: Strategies that Work
Perspectives for the Professions
March 2018
Duty of Fairness at Investigative Stage and the Importance of Cooperation in an Investigation
Perspectives for the Professions / Canadian Employment Law Today
2013-2018
Professional Regulation and Ethical Issues in the Laboratory (University of Alberta)
November 2017
Bill 27: Expansion of the Conflicts of Interest Act to Public Agencies
November 2017
Discipline Hearing Processes
Seminars
Professional Investigation and Discipline Procedures Workshop, Regina, SK
November 2017
Decision Writing
Seminars
Professional Investigation and Discipline Procedures Workshop, Regina, SK
October 2017
No Loyalty Program for Drugs: Court Confirms Prohibition on Pharmacy Inducements
Professional Regulatory Alert
October 2017
Perspectives on Transparency for Professional Regulators
Conferences
The Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation (CNAR) Conference, Halifax, NS
September 2017
The Relationship Between Council and the Chief Executive Officer
Perspectives for the Professions
September 2017
Importance of Clear Guidelines and Policies
Perspectives for the Professions
September 2017
Standing of Complainants on Judicial Review
Perspectives for the Professions
September 2017
Your Career May Be An Open Book: Privacy and Regulatory Investigations
The CAP Monitor
August 2017
The Best Lawyers in Canada 2018
25 Field Law Lawyers Recognized
25 Lawyers from Field Law Recognized in The Best Lawyers™ in Canada 2018 Field Law is pleased to announce that 25 lawyers have been included in the 12th Edition of The Best Lawyers™ in Canada. Three of these lawyers are new additions a...
June 2017
The Canadian Free Trade Agreement – “Old Wine in New Bottles” for Labour Mobility
Professional Regulatory Alert
May 2017
If It Looks like a Duck: British Columbia Court of Appeal Rules on Title Use
Professional Regulatory Alert
April 2017
Supreme Court of Canada Confirms Regulators Have Broad Authority and Discretion to Fulfil Mandate
Professional Regulatory Alert
January 2017
Case Summary: Third Party Accreditation
Perspectives for the Professions
January 2017
Case Summary: Test for Interim Conditions
Perspectives for the Professions
January 2017
Joint Submissions on Sanction: The Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies the Amount of Deference that Should be Given
Perspectives for the Professions
October 2016
Court of Appeal Recognizes Regulator's Robust Implied Power in Name of Public Protection
Professional Regulatory Alert
October 2016
Professional Regulatory Workshop: Assessing Credibility: More Art Than Science
Seminars
June 2016
Counsel Comments: Lum v. Alberta Dental Association and College (Review Panel), 2016 ABCA 154
June 2016
Performance Reviews: Check-Ups Keep Regulators Running in Top Condition
Perspectives for the Professions Newsletter
June 2016
Case Summary: Duty to Cooperate with Regulator
Perspectives for the Professions Newsletter
June 2016
Case Summary: Good Character Requirement
Perspectives for the Professions Newsletter
May 2016
Court of Appeal Confirms Deference Owed to Registration Decisions and Explores Meaning of "Good Character and Reputation"
Professional Regulatory Alert
May 2016
Prohibition on Pharmacy Inducements Beyond College of Pharmacists’ Authority
Professional Regulatory Alert
April 2016
Restoring the Balance: Lessons from the Human Rights Appeal of Mihaly v Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta 2016 ABQB 6
Perspectives for the Professions Newsletter
March 2016
Significant Consequences Mean Significant Procedural Rights: Alberta Court of Appeal Provides Guidance on Procedural Fairness in Incapacity Assessments
Professional Regulatory Alert
February 2016
The Regulator Knows Best: British Columbia Court of Appeal Upholds Bylaws Prohibiting Customer Incentive Programs
Professional Regulatory Alert
January 2016
Alberta Court Determines APEGA’s Registration Examinations Are Not Discriminatory
Professional Regulatory Alert
January 2016
The Role of the Board - Practical Strategies to Add Value and Minimize Risk
Presentations
December 2015
Case Summary: Liability of Regulators for Negligence
December 2015
Professional Regulation and Ungovernability
December 2015
How Not to Regulate the Profession: Findings of Discrimination at B.C. Veterinary Body Offers Cautionary Tale
October 2015
Case Summary: Expired Appeals
October 2015
Case Summary: Standard of Review in Discipline Matter
October 2015
Requirement on Regulator to Follow Policies
July 2015
Question Everything… Except the Witness - Tips on Maintaining Impartiality From R. v. Crawford, 2015 ABCA 175
June 2015
Merely a Witness? The Uncertain Rights of a Complainant in Disciplinary Proceedings
May 2015
Alberta Courts Enforce Fair Access to the Professions: Farhat v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
February 2016
Case Summary Ho v. Alberta Association of Architects
February 2015
Case Summary Katsoulakos v. Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario
February 2015
Case Summary Levesque v. Nova Scotia College of Optometrists
February 2015
Good Character and Reputation - The Registrar Knows Best!
November 2014
B.C. College of Optics Inc. v. The College of Opticians of B.C., 2014 BCSC 1853
October 2014
Case Comments: Interpretation of Standards of Practice and Standard of Review
October 2014
Case Comments: Finality and Relitigation
October 2014
Infonex Professional Regulation and Discipline Conference
October 2014
Professional Discipline and Reasons Workshop
May 2014
Complying with Notice Provisions
May 2014
Ready, Set, Charge!
May 2014
Avoiding Regulatory Liability
March 2014
Hearing Panel Training
December 2013
Recent Cases of Interest to Regulators
November 2013
To Adjourn or Not to Adjourn, That is the Question
October 2013
Hearing Tribunal Orientation
September 2013
Did SCC Flip Flop on Finality?
September 2013
Recent Cases of Interest to Regulators
November 2012
Recent Cases of Interest to Regulators
November 2012
Round Table Discussion: Human Rights Issues for Regulators
November 2012
Round Table Discussion: Human Rights Issues for Regulators
November 2012
Round Table Discussion: Human Rights Issues for Regulators
June 2012
Professional Regulators Must Address Human Rights Issues: Burden or Blessing?
April 2012
The Social Media Challenge -  Discipline, Good Character, and the Right to Freedom of Expression.
November 2011
Should Applicants Be Denied Registration Based on Past Criminal Conduct?
September 2011
Discipline and Appeal Panel Training under the Regulated Accounting Profession Act
Summer 2011
Joint Submissions on Sanction: The Hearing Tribunal’s Role
April 2011
Round Table Discussion: Registration and Use of Title Under the Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act
February 2011
Discipline and Appeal Panel Training
Fall 2010
Recent Cases of Interest to Regulators
Fall 2010
Written Reasons: Elucidating, or Merely Complicating...
Fall 2010
Changes to the Health Information Act
September 2010
Case Update: Visconti v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
Summer 2010
Is Non-Compliance With Statutory Timelines Fatal?
April 2010
Professional Regulatory Organizations and the Law: Current Trends
December 2009
How to Run a Professional Discipline Hearing and Writing Administratively Fair Decisions
December 2009
Orientation and Training for Complaint Review Committees
Winter 2009
HIV/AIDS Reporting
April 2008
Compellability of Witnesses in Arbitration
April 2008
Compellability of Witnesses in Arbitration
February 2007
Expert Witness Immunity in a Disciplinary Setting
2006
Alberta Guidelines for the Disclosure of Harm to Patients
April 2005
A New Era in Resolution of Complaints Against Professionals
2005
Police Experience with the Health Information Act:  The Edmonton Police Service's Submissions to the Select Special Health Information Act Review Committee
 The Edmonton Police Service's Submissions to the Select Special Health Information Act Review Committee

Field Law’s Professional Regulatory group is committed to ensuring regulators are aware of recent legal developments  and that staff of regulatory organizations have opportunities to develop their knowledge and experience. Our lawyers publish our “Perspectives for the Professions” newsletter on a regular basis. We also publish “Professional Regulatory Alerts” about recent cases of interest to professional regulators and we host “Professional Regulatory Roundtables” for members of the professional regulatory community to meet for lunch and discuss challenging issues in professional regulation.  Please visit the News + Views + Events tab to access any of our past publications. 

*Publications may be reproduced only with permission.  

Subscribe to Field Law's Professional Regulatory email list

Professional regulatory organizations are committed to the ongoing professional development of their members. Equally, professional regulatory organizations should be committed to the ongoing professional development of their regulatory committees and administrators. The reasons are self-evident: regulatory functions are challenging; the stakes are high for the member; and the public interest is fully engaged. Volunteers serving on regulatory committees are experts in their own profession but are usually not experts in regulatory functions. Training helps our volunteers and staff become high-performers in their roles while at the same time minimizing legal risks.

As part of our commitment to “preventative lawyering”, our Professional Regulatory Group provides a broad range of formal training and workshops for regulatory committees and administrators. “Preventative lawyering” means helping clients take proactive steps to prevent legal problems from arising rather than only addressing the legal issues after a problem has occurred. Regular training is cost effective and in the public interest helping regulatory committees make better decisions and greatly reduce the risk of successful legal challenges. Preventing just one legal challenge from arising will pay for many years of training.

Training for regulators is most effective when it is offered on a regular, annual basis with adjustment to the training program each year depending on need. The composition of regulatory committees frequently changes. New members need orientation and experienced members require reinforcement of their knowledge and skills. Regulators which offer training on an irregular basis will fail to reap the full benefits of a formal training program.

Our Professional Groups customizes our workshop depending on the needs of the individual organization. Workshops that we currently offer are as follows:

Registration

  • “Making Appropriate Registration Decisions”: This half day workshop addresses how to interpret governing legislation regarding eligibility to enter practice; how to assess “good character”, and how to reduce the risk of human rights challenges in the registration context. The workshop also provides tips on how to prepare written reasons in the registration context.  This workshop is appropriate for members of registration committees or staff working in the registration area.

Privacy 

  • “Privacy:  Understanding Privacy Legislation in the Context of Professional Regulation”: This half day workshop explains a regulator’s obligations under the Personal Information Protection Act , including what constitutes “personal information”, and the key rules relating to collection, use and disclosure of personal information. Other topics covered include tips to ensure compliance, and how to deal with privacy breaches if they occur.  This workshop is useful for staff members of regulatory organizations.

Investigations

  • “Conducting Effective Professional Discipline Investigations”: This full day workshop is designed for investigators and those who supervise the investigatory process.

Complaint Dismissals

  • “Reviewing the Dismissal of Complaints”: This half day workshop is designed for members of Committees which have the obligation to review dismissal of complaints. What is your role? What is the standard of review? What are the major areas of focus? How do you prepare effective reasons for your decision? 

Discipline Hearings

  • “Orientation of Public Members”: This half day workshop is designed to familiarize new public members with their role and responsibilities as the “public member.” Participants are provided with an overview of the discipline and hearing process. Tips on meeting the challenges are presented including tips on how non-professionally trained public members can effectively judge the conduct of professionals in a technical context. 
     
  • “The Top 10 Tips and Traps for the Conduct of Discipline Committee Members During Hearings”:  A two hour presentation providing practical guidance to discipline committee members on how they should and should not conduct themselves during a hearing. What type of conduct engenders confidence in the process and what creates legal and institutional risk. The “traps” identified are all taken from case law in which tribunal member conduct resulted in a judicial review or an appeal. 
     
  • “Running a Professional Discipline Hearing and Preparing Effective Decisions”: A full day workshop designed for members of discipline committees. This workshop can be custom-tailored to the appropriate degree of complexity but the workshop is generally presented at an introductory level and is useful for new discipline committee members, those without significant hearing experience, and experienced members wanting a refresher.
     
  • “Assessing Credibility: More Art than Science”: Assessing credibility is one of the most difficult of all the adjudicative arts. This half-day, interactive, small group workshop is designed to teach discipline committee members how to make credibility assessments. Members of Field Law’s Professional Regulatory Group present the credibility factors that must be considered in every case. What factors are considered reliable indicators of credibility and what factors are unreliable? In addition, we present a structured methodology for discipline committee members to use in caucus while assessing credibility. Tips and pitfalls with respect to addressing credibility in written decisions are addressed. The pitfalls are identified from the case law where credibility findings by tribunals were challenged in Court. After the initial presentations, participants are shown a videotaped mock discipline hearing professionally developed by our Professional Regulatory Group. The video is based on some of the most challenging credibility issues we have faced in real-life hearings. After each examination and cross-examination the video is stopped and Field Law lawyers facilitate discussion with the participants identifying what factors are important in the particular examination. The video proceeds with more group discussion after each witness. Closing arguments are made. The participants are broken into small groups to act as a discipline committee making credibility findings and preparing reasons for their decisions.  A spokesperson for each “committee” reads their reasons.  Field Law lawyers critique providing supportive coaching. By the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to identify the credibility factors to be considered; practiced the assessment of credibility through use of the video and role plays; applied the structured methodology of assessing credibility while in caucus; and practiced writing the part of a decision dealing with credibility assessment. 
     
  • “Professional Discipline Sanctions”: This half day workshop is designed for members of discipline committees. We address the purpose of disciplinary sanctions, the role of case law, the range of options available, and pitfalls to avoid. 
     
  • “Developing Advanced Skills in Running Discipline Hearings”: This full day small-group workshop is designed for experienced adjudicators seeking to enhance their skills or develop the skills necessary to be a Chair. The workshops consist of a series of role plays with attendees serving as members of a discipline committee. The hearing  scenarios unfold with members of Field Law’s Professional Regulatory Group playing the roles of prosecuting counsel, defence counsel, and witness. Each scenario represents real-life difficult challenges faced by chairs and discipline committees. At the end of each scenario, we review how the discipline committee handled the situation. What went well? What did not? While we critique how the scenario was handled, the goal is to provide supportive coaching to improve performance.  All attendees will have the opportunity to sit on one or more of the committees addressing a scenario.
  •  “Conducting Effective Caucus Sessions and Preparing Effective Reasons”: A workshop designed for members of discipline committees that can be completed in a half day or extended depending on preference. The workshop is useful for all committee members but it is especially useful for committee members who have the responsibility of leading caucus meetings or preparing a first draft of the decision. A useful template for decisions is presented. 


Appeals

  • “Hearing Discipline and Registration Appeals”: A half day workshop designed for Council or committees serving in an appellate role. Topics include standard of review, the conduct of appeals, new evidence, and preparing effective reasons.

Governance and Strategy

  • “Trends in Professional Regulation: Identifying and Formulating Effective Responses”: This workshop is designed for Council members and senior regulatory staff. The workshop explores major trends affecting professional regulators across Canada. The Field Law presenter facilitates discussion helping attendees identify effective responses for their organization.

We typically offer our workshops on a “fixed fee” basis so that our clients have complete cost certainty with respect to the training initiative. The precise cost will depend on the nature of the workshop. However, given the number of individuals that an organization can send to a workshop, our training is cost-effective for organizations and is much less than an organization would spend sending attendees to conferences offered by professional conference companies. We offer our workshops across western Canada. 

Any organization that wishes to explore retaining our Professional Regulatory Group to provide a workshop to one or more of its regulatory committees are invited to contact the leader of our Professional Regulatory Group, Greg Sim (gsim@fieldlaw.com;  780-423-7673). Greg can discuss your particular needs and provide you with a fixed fee quotation for the proposed workshop. 

Issues in Professional Discipline Investigations: Tips + Traps

Effective professional discipline investigations are fundamentally important to the professional discipline process. The information that is obtained is used to make decisions about complaints that are received, including whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a hearing. It is critically important for investigators or others who are involved in receiving and managing complaints to understand the legal issues that can arise during the course of an investigation, since the failure to properly manage these issues can create unintended consequences.

Presented by Katrina Haymond and Leanne Monsma of the Field Law Professional Regulatory Group, this webinar will focus on several difficult situations that can arise during the course of an investigation. The presenters will outline some of the traps that regulators may fall into, as well as tips for preventing and managing these situations. Issues that will be addressed include:

  • Avoiding allegations of bias against the investigator
  • What to do when a member fails to cooperate with the investigation
  • What to do when the complainant or a witness fails to cooperate with the investigation
  • Conducting an investigation when there are parallel proceedings
  • Investigating new issues or concerns not identified in the original complaint
  • Conducting undercover investigations
  • Responding to requests to maintain the confidentiality of information submitted by the complainant or witnesses

Who should attend? This webinar is designed for all individuals or committee members involved in receiving, managing or investigating complaints.  Individuals or committee members involved in discipline hearings are also welcome.

DETAILS
Date: Wednesday, September 19
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM MDT
Cost: 

Individual Attendee $100
3-5 Attendees $250
6+ Attendees $500

Group pricing is available to attendees from the same organization watching the webinar together in the same room.

REGISTER

Questions? Contact Kate at krieger@fieldlaw.com
 


Don't Forget the Sanctions...

You’ve heard all the evidence and the charges are proven. For the professional whose career is on the line, nothing could be more important than what comes next...

Presented by James Casey, QC and Gregory Sim of the Field Law Professional Regulatory Group, this webinar (Fieldinar) will discuss important considerations for assessing and imposing sanctions in professional discipline cases, including:

  • The purposes and types of professional discipline sanctions
  • Factors to take into account when assessing and imposing sanctions
  • (Un) governability: What is it? When does it exist? 
  • How to ensure you comply with the duty of fairness
  • Human rights considerations
  • Costs and how to fairly assess them

Who should attend? This webinar is designed for regulators and their tribunal, board and committee members involved in discipline hearings and appeals.

Original broadcast: May 3, 2018

Cost: $100

Please click here to purchase a copy of the recording. The recording will be sent to you within one business day following payment.