Chair

Robert Janes, Q.C., Principal, JFK Law Corporation, Victoria, BC. Mr. Janes is a litigator with extensive experience in Aboriginal law. Recognized by Lexpert for many years as a leading lawyer in Aboriginal law, he has appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta acting for Aboriginal people. He has also appeared many times at the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeals. In addition to his litigation work, Mr. Janes advises nations involved in the BC Treaty Process.

   

Faculty

Claire Truesdale, Associate, JFK Law Corporation, Victoria, BC. Claire advises Indigenous governments and individuals on a variety of legal issues. She has particular expertise in Indigenous membership or citizenship, Indian registration (status), legal interests in land and land management, water and fisheries. She also advises First Nations on these issues in modern treaty negotiations. Claire was initially drawn to working for Indigenous peoples through studying natural resource management and the conflict between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers on the Fraser River. She brings this interest in ecology and natural resource management to her legal practice. Claire assists her clients in seeking justice through the courts in judicial review, civil and appeal proceedings on matters of Aboriginal and treaty rights, consultation and accommodation, Charter rights and disputes under the Indian Act. She has appeared at the British Columbia Supreme Court, British Columbia Court of Appeal, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, Alberta Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada. Prior to joining JFK, Claire was a judicial law clerk at the Ontario Court of Appeal where she worked on a wide range of criminal and civil law issues for Justices Watt, MacFarland, Jurianz and Strathy (now Chief Justice of Ontario). Claire had the honour of assisting Justice Harry LaForme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the first Indigenous person appointed to an appellate court in Canada, with a paper on the development of Aboriginal rights under section 35 of the Constitution. Outside of her work Claire enjoys the beautiful outdoors of BC by running, hiking, camping and skiing, often with her faithful companion, Holly the dog. Claire is a former university athlete and now volunteers her time as the Chair of the University of Victoria Vikes Women’s Rowing Alumni Chapter to support the next generations of student athletes. She is also the Communications Officer of the Aboriginal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association and former Chair of the Aboriginal Law – Vancouver Island Subsection (2016-2018).

   

Robin Phillips, Associate, JFK Law Corporation, Victoria, BC. Prior to joining JFK, Robin worked as a local government lawyer with communities and local government entities across the province of British Columbia and in Alberta. Robin has worked for a wide range of local governments and understands that each community and situation is unique and solutions must be tailored to fit the particular place, circumstances, and issues at play. Robin has advised on a variety of matters including bylaws, conflicts of interest, planning, contaminated sites, and development. Robin is honoured to have the opportunity to bring her legal skills to assist First Nations Governments to achieve their goals and objectives. Robin is also a mediator on the Civil Roster of Mediate BC and has experience mediating a range of disputes. Robin’s mediation skills assist her in negotiations and in developing creative solutions to legal problems. Prior to her call to the bar, Robin clerked for five justices of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. In law school, Robin was part of the criminal law clinic, where she regularly appeared in court, defending clients in criminal matters. She completed a specialization in social justice and worked as a research assistant for a family law professor and an environmental law professor. Robin also filmed and produced a documentary on Inglis v. British Columbia (Minister of Public Safety), 2013 BCSC 2309, and conducted original ethnographic research on how the law school environment constrains careers choices. Robin is originally from Vancouver and is grateful to have grown up on Coast Salish territories. As a former baker and cook, Robin is a bit of a foodie and outside of work Robin enjoys trying new foods and learning about and improving upon new recipes. Robin also enjoys a range of activities, such as skiing, hiking, and martial arts, and loves to spend time with her husband and son.