May 2008

Derry Millar acclaimed as next Treasurer of the Law Society
Derry Millar has been acclaimed to lead the Law Society as its top elected official. He will succeed current Treasurer Gavin MacKenzie on June 26, 2008.

Convocation accepts recommendations to retain women in private practice
The Working Group on the Retention of Women in Private Practice presented its final report at May Convocation, including the results of its province-wide consultation with the profession. Convocation voted in support of the nine recommendations to enhance the retention and advancement of women in private practice.

The recommendations include the establishment of a parental leave program for sole and small firm practitioners, as well as a practice locum service. A recommendation to create the Justicia Think Tank, a project in which the Law Society will work with a group of large and medium-sized firms across the province committed to implementing programs aimed at improving the retention of women was also adopted.

See the Retention of Women report and Retention of Women news page for more information.

Profession to be consulted on proposed new Rules of Practice and Procedure
Convocation approved the Tribunals Committee request to begin a phased consultation on proposed new Rules of Practice and Procedure. The committee will first seek input from a number of lawyers who appear regularly as counsel before Law Society Hearing Panels and incorporate any appropriate changes. The committee will then seek input from legal organizations and the profession at large. The consultation will continue until September 2, 2008. Following the consultation, the Committee will return to Convocation with revised Rules for consideration and approval.

The Rules of Practice and Procedure govern the Law Society's hearing process. Convocation authorized the development of new Rules of Practice and Procedure in May 2005 with its approval of the Tribunals Task Force Report. The proposed rules apply only to Hearing Panel matters. Once the new Hearing Panel rules have been approved corresponding rules for appeals will be developed.

See the Tribunals Committee report for more information.

Finance Committee
Convocation approved the transfer of $2.7 million from the Unrestricted Fund Balance to the Working Capital Reserve to raise the Working Capital Reserve fund balance to $10.675 million, which is approximately equivalent to two months operating expenses for the Law Society.

See the Finance Committee report for more information.

Definition of conduct unbecoming a barrister and solicitor amended
Rule 1.02 (Definitions) was amended to clarify the definition of conduct unbecoming a barrister and solicitor.

See the Professional Regulation Committee report for more information.

Withdrawals of notices of application to be published on website
Convocation approved the Tribunal Committee's recommendation to publish withdrawals of notices of application in the 'tribunal decisions' section of the Law Society website. Withdrawals of notices of application occur when the Law Society, as prosecutor in a matter, requests that a matter be withdrawn from the hearing process. Withdrawals occur during the hearing stage after particulars of the application have already been published in the 'current hearings' section of the Law Society website. The Tribunals Committee recommended the publication of withdrawals as the policy is in keeping with the Law Society's commitment to transparent processes. Publication will enable the public to determine the outcome of proceedings.

Convocation also agreed that no steps should be taken to retroactively remove previous published interim orders or reasons regarding the withdrawn proceeding. In addition, Hearing Panels will be encouraged to include an endorsement of the Law Society's request to withdraw the matter on the notice of application rather than issuing a formal order withdrawing the application.

See the Tribunals Committee report for more information.

Housekeeping amendments to Rules of Professional Conduct
A housekeeping amendment was made to the commentary following subrule 6.07(3) (Practice by suspended lawyer prohibited).

See the Professional Regulation Committee report for more information.

Undischarged bankrupts and LAWPRO policy exclusions for mandatory real estate practice coverage
Convocation voted to maintain the status quo respecting LAWPRO's policy exclusion for undischarged bankrupts for mandatory real estate practice coverage.

See the Professional Regulation Committee report for more information.

By-Law 4 amended
Convocation amended By-Law 4 [Licensing] to implement the following previously approved policy changes:

  • 'equivalency' provisions for Justices of Peace applying for paralegal licences, approved in March 2008;
  • a licensing exemption for Pro Bono Students Canada, approved February 2008.

See the Paralegal Standing Committee report for more information.

Professional Regulation Committee Report
The decision item on amendments to By-Law 7.1 [Operational Obligations and Responsibilities] and By-Law 8 [Reporting and Filing Requirements] in the Professional Regulation Committee Report was referred back to the Committee.

Agenda and Minutes

Reports

Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee  

For Information  

  • Public Events

Finance Committee

  • Working Capital Reserve
  • Denison Fund Applications (in camera)

For Information  

  • 2009 Budget Process

Report of the Director of Professional Development and Competence  

  • Deemed Call Candidates

Paralegal Standing Committee

  • Motion re: Approved Amendments to By-Law 4

For Information

  • Amendments to By-Laws 7.1 and 8

Professional Regulation Committee  

  • Undischarged Bankrupts and LAWPRO Policy Exclusions for Mandatory Real Estate Practice Coverage
  • Amendments to By-Laws 7.1 and 8
  • Amendments to Rules 1.02 and 6.07 of the Rules of Professional Conduct  

For Information  

  • Professional Regulation Division Quarterly Report

Tribunals Committee

  • Publication of Withdrawal of Notices of Application
  • Consultation Process for Proposed New Rules of Practice and Procedure

For Information  

  • Tribunal Quarterly Statistics for First Quarter 2008

REPORTS FOR INFORMATION ONLY  

Access to Justice Committee  

  • Strategic Plan of the Law Commission of Ontario

Secretary's Report  

  • Annual General Meeting