October 2008

Law Society extends effective date of client ID and verification requirements to December 31, 2008 and amends requirements
At its October meeting, Convocation voted to extend the coming into force of new client ID and verification requirements to December 31, 2008 from October 31, 2008. Convocation also approved amendments to the requirements.

See the Professional Regulation Committee and Paralegal Standing Committee reports for more information. See also the notice to the professions .

Lawyer and paralegal rules amended regarding advertising and marketing
Convocation approved amendments to Rule 3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct and Rule 8 of the Paralegal Rules of Conduct . The amended rules are a more concise statement of the key regulatory concepts relevant to advertising and marketing. The amendments focus the rules on three key issues:

  • ensuring advertising or marketing is not false
  • ensuring advertising or marketing is not misleading or deceptive
  • ensuring marketing of legal services is in the best interest of the public and consistent with duties of professionalism.

Convocation approved the amendments based on the Committees' drafts. The Committees will return to Convocation with a final version of the wording following a review by the Society's Rules drafter.

See the Professional Regulation Committee and the Paralegal Standing Committee reports for more information.

Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines to assist paralegals
The Law Society has developed Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines as an educational tool to help paralegals understand and apply the Paralegal Rules of Conduct . Convocation authorized the Paralegal Standing Committee to approve and publish the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines and to amend them as required.

See the Paralegal Standing Committee report for more information.

Lawyers and paralegals to be consulted on amendments to Rule 6.03(9) - Communications with represented organizational clients
Convocation approved a proposed redraft of Rule 6.03(9) on which lawyers and paralegals will be asked for input. The proposed amendments address concerns raised about the restrictions in the current rule when a lawyer or paralegal is dealing with a represented organizational client opposed in interest to the lawyer's or paralegal's client.

See the Professional Regulation Committee report for more information.

Paralegal Rules of Conduct amended
Convocation made a number of amendments to the Paralegal Rules of Conduct. The majority of changes deal with matters related to affiliations and MDPs (multi-discipline practices) and are based on the business structure provisions in the lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct . The amendments are detailed in the Committee report.

See the Paralegal Standing Committee report for more information.

By-Law 7 amended regarding partnerships between lawyers and licensed paralegals
By-Law 7 [Business Entities] was amended to remove the requirement that lawyers control the provision of legal services when practising with licensed paralegals in multi-discipline practices or partnerships. The amendments effectively mean that such partnerships and practices are outside the multi-discipline practice structure. Guidance on such arrangements will be the subject of further discussion at the Professional Regulation Committee.

See the Professional Regulation Committee report for more information.

Exemptions from paralegal regulation granted
Convocation approved a request for exemption for members of the Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management who are Certified Disability Management Professionals or Certified Return to Work Coordinators.

The exemption granted was partial, in that only occasional services are permitted, and the exemption is to be reviewed by May 1 st 2009. This will assist these professionals in deciding whether to obtain a licence or refocus their practice away from the provision of legal services.

Convocation also approved a request for exemption for trade union representatives appearing in Small Claims Court to enforce benefits payable under a collective agreement.

All exemptions granted by Convocation will be reviewed prior to May 2009.

See the Paralegal Standing Committee report for more information.

By-Law 8 amended to extend reporting requirements to paralegals
By-Law 8 [Reporting and Filing Requirements] was amended to require licensed paralegals to file a Paralegal Annual Report (PAR) with details of their practice.

See the Paralegal Standing Committee report for more information.

By-Law 11 amended regarding paralegal practice reviews
By-Law 11 [Regulation of Conduct, Capacity and Professional Competence] was amended to include licensed paralegals in the procedural provisions for practice reviews. The audit program for paralegals was approved by Convocation in February 2008.

See the Paralegal Standing Committee report for more information.

By-Law 4 to be amended regarding voluntary surrender of paralegal licences
Convocation approved an amendment of By-Law 4 [Licensing] to provide that paralegals may voluntarily surrender their licences if they no longer wish to practise. The Paralegal Standing Committee will return to Convocation with the necessary by-law wording to implement the policy.

See the Paralegal Standing Committee report for more information.

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

  • Chinese lawyers representing victims of contaminated milk
  • lawyers Noor Mohammad, Muhammad Shoaib, Zafaryab Jilani and A M Faridi in India
  • director and lawyer of Human Rights Watch abducted in Venezuela

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.

Publication policy when hearing panels issue invitations to attend
Hearing Panels that decide to issue an Invitation to Attend (ITA) to a lawyer or paralegal and dismiss an application once the lawyer or paralegal has attended will note that fact on its endorsements, orders or reasons, although the contents of the ITA will remain confidential. In general, ITA meetings are confidential as they are an extension of the Law Society's confidential investigatory process and not part of the public, discipline and hearing process. ITAs issued by a Hearing Panel are an exception as the conversion of the hearing to an ITA is done publicly. The decision to publicize the fact of the ITA is consistent with the Law Society's commitment to a transparent tribunals process.

For more information see the Tribunals Committee report

Policy on compliance with the Federal Lobbying Act established
Convocation established a policy that benchers obtain authorization from the Treasurer or CEO prior to communicating with officers and employees of the government of Canada on behalf of the Law Society. The policy will allow the Law Society to track and record its dealings with the federal government and ensure the Law Society is exercising due diligence in complying with federal lobbying legislation.

See the Government Relations Committee report for more information.

Policy on access to records of historic discipline proceedings
Convocation approved a policy to permit limited third party access to certain records of in camera discipline proceedings where the member in question is deceased and the request is made no earlier than 100 years after the member's year of birth. The Rules of Practice and Procedure will be amended to reflect the policy.

See the Heritage Committee Report for more information.

Appointments

Bencher Glenn Hainey was appointed to the Proceedings Authorization Committee.

Bencher Jennifer Halajian was appointed to the Tribunals Committee and was removed from the Proceedings Authorization Committee at her request.

Bencher Marshall Crowe was appointed to the Heritage Committee.

Bencher Susan McGrath was appointed as the Law Society's representative on the Alliance for Sustainable Legal Aid.

Bencher Janet Minor and Malcolm Heins were reappointed as the Law Society's representatives on the Ontario Lawyers' Assistance Program Board of Directors.

Agenda and Minutes

Agenda
Minutes

Reports

Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee

  • Human Rights Monitoring Group Interventions (in camera)

    For Information

  • Bencher Election Report
  • Public Education Events

Government Relations

  • Compliance with the Federal Lobbying Act

Heritage Committee

  • Policy on Access to Records of Historic Discipline Proceedings

Paralegal Standing Committee

  • Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines
  • Exemption - Application of Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management
  • Exemption - Trade Union Representatives in Small Claims Court
  • Proposed Amendments to By-Law 11 Re: Practice Reviews for Paralegals
  • By-Law 8 Re: Reporting Requirements for Paralegals (the 'PAR')
  • Proposed Amendments to the Paralegal Rules of Conduct
  • Proposed Amendments to Rule 8 Governing Advertising and Marketing
  • By-Law 4 re: Voluntary Surrender of Licence

    For Information

  • By-Law 7 Amendments Regarding Multi-Discipline Practices
  • Paralegal Compensation Fund Levy for 2009
  • By-Law 7.1 Provisions on Client Identification and Verification

Professional Regulation Committee

  • Amendments to By-Law 7.1 [Operational Obligations and Responsibilities]
  • Proposed Amendments to Subrule 6.03(9) of the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Amendments to By-Law 7 [Business Entities]
  • Amendments to Rule 3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct

Report of the Director of Professional Development and Competence

  • Deemed call candidates

Tribunals Committee

  • Publication Policy When Hearing Panels Issue Invitations to Attend

REPORTS FOR INFORMATION ONLY

Professional Development and Competence Committee

  • Lawyers Oath - Call to the Bar

Motions