June 2008


W.A. Derry Millar elected as Treasurer
W.A. Derry Millar has been elected to lead the Law Society as Treasurer. The Treasurer is the President and head of the Law Society presiding over Convocation, the Law Society's governing body.

See media release for more information.

New bencher elected
New bencher Glenn Hainey of Toronto was elected at June Convocation. Mr. Hainey was elected to replace W.A. Derry Millar who was elected as Treasurer.

Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project proposal approved
As part of its commitment to improving access to justice, Convocation approved the Access to Justice Committee's proposal to undertake, in conjunction with Pro Bono Law Ontario, a civil legal needs assessment in Ontario.Convocation also approved the Committee's motion to apply to the Law Foundation of Ontario for funding and to include budget funds for the project in the Law Society's 2009 budget.

The Ontario Civil Legal Needs project will focus on civil legal needs from the perspective of the public, particularly low and middle income Ontarians, by directly surveying the public. The project will assess both the legal and social service components of those needs and will identify strategies to best meet those needs. The project also proposes to hold focus groups with legal and social service providers.

At a planning session held in September 2007, benchers identified access to justice as a priority and also identified the need for a comprehensive assessment of the legal needs of low and middle income Ontarians.

See the Access to Justice Committee report for more information.

Human Rights Monitoring Group
Convocation approved the Human Rights Monitoring Group recommended interventions in the following cases:

  • lawyers in Zimbabwe - Statement
  • lawyers P. Uthayakumar, M. Manoharan, R. Kenghadharan, and V. Ganabati Rao - Malaysia (the "Hindraf lawyers") - letter of intervention
  • lawyers Charles Cubaka and Jean-Claude Mubalama - Democratic Republic of Congo - letter of intervention
  • lawyer Francisco Soberon - Peru - letter of intervention
  • lawyer Shirin Ebadi - Iran - letter of intervention
  • lawyer Emanuel Zeltser - U.S. national detained in Belarus - letter of intervention

The Human Rights Monitoring Group was established to monitor human rights violations that target lawyers and judges as a result of the discharge of their legitimate professional duties.

See Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee report for more information.

Committee and other appointments approved
Convocation approved a series of committee and other appointments.

See motion for more information.

By-Law 3 amended regarding bencher remuneration
By-Law 3 [Benchers, Convocation and Committees] was amended to include reasonable travel time as an activity eligible for bencher remuneration and the eligible time allowed for reason writing was increased from one day to a reasonable amount of time. The amendments follow an evaluation of the existing bencher remuneration model by the Audit and Finance Committees.

See the Finance Committee report for more information.

Per diem rate for bencher remuneration adjusted
Convocation approved an increase linked to the Consumer Price Index to the per diem rates for bencher remuneration.The rates will increase to $530 per full day and $320 per half day, effective for work commencing June 1, 2008.The previous per diem rates of $500.00 per day and $300.00 per day were first set in November 2005.

See the Finance Committee report for more information.

By-Laws 4 and 7.1 amended regarding supervision of summer students
Amendments to By-Law 4 [Licensing] and By-Law 7.1 [Operational Obligations and Responsibilities] expand the category of lawyers who are permitted to supervise summer students to include lawyers in government or corporations.Previous amendments, made in April 2008, permit the supervision of students by lawyers in law firms. The By-Law amendments were required to restore student's rights of appearance to that which existed before recent amendments to the Law Society Act .The By-Laws were also amended to entitle licensed paralegals to supervise summer students, where work is limited to the paralegal scope of practice.

See the Professional Development and Competence Committee report for more information.

Increase in number of spots audits will meet approved five-year audit cycle
Convocation approved an increase in the number of random spot audits conducted each year to accomplish the five-year audit cycle for all Ontario law firms originally set in 1997 when the spot audit program was approved. This cycle time has gradually increased because of the increasing number of law firms and in some cases the need for re-audits where problems have been identified. The increase in audits will be undertaken incrementally and will be considered during the 2009 budget process.

See the Professional Development and Competence Committee report for more information.

Rule 3.05 amended
Minor amendments were made to Rule 3.05(5) of the Rules of Professional Conduct to correct a reference to a particular section of By-Law 15.

See the Professional Regulation Committee report for more information.

By-Law 7.1 and By-Law 8 amended
By-Law 7.1 [Operational Obligations and Responsibilities] was amended to clarify amendments made in April 2008 regarding client identification and verification requirements.

Minor amendments were also made to By-Law 8 [Reporting and Filing Requirements] to clarify amendments made in April 2008 regarding information about licensees to be published in the Law Society register.

See the Professional Regulation Committee report for more information.

By-Laws 4 and 5 amended respecting Pro Bono legal services and annual fee
Lawyers in the 25% and 50% (non-practising) fee categories who wish to provide pro bono legal services through Pro Bono Law Ontario (PBLO) may now apply to the Law Society to be exempt from the requirement to pay 100% of the Law Society's annual fee, mirroring the LAWPRO insurance levy exemption for non-practising lawyers who provide LAWPRO-approved PBLO pro bono legal services.By-Law 5 [Annual Fee] and By-Law 4 [Licensing] were amended to reflect the new policy.

See the Professional Regulation Committee report for more information.

Paralegal Standing Committee Report
The Paralegal Standing Committee Report was not reached.





Access to Justice Committee

  • Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project

CEO's Report

Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee

  • Human Rights Monitoring Group Interventions (in camera)

    For Information

  • Career Choices Survey Report

Finance Committee

  • Amendments to By-Law 3 [Bencher Remuneration]

    For Information
  • 2009 Budget Update
  • Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project

Law Commission of Ontario

  • Address by Dr. Patricia Hughes

Paralegal Standing Committee

  • Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines
  • Exemption Application of Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management

    For Information
  • Summer Students - Amendments to By-Laws 4 and 7.1
  • Wording Changes to By-Laws 7.1 and 8

Professional Development and Competence Committee

  • Supervision of Summer Students - By-Law 4 and 7.1 Amendments
  • Spot Audit Program

Professional Regulation Committee Report

  • Amendment to Rule 3.05 of the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Amendment to By-Law 7.1
  • Amendment to By-Law 8
  • Amendment to By-Law 5 Respecting Pro Bono Legal Services and Exemption from Payment of Law Society's Full Annual Fee and Amendment to By-Law 4

Report of the Director of Professional Development and Competence

  • Deemed Call Candidates


Audit Committee Report