February 2007

Paralegal 'Grandparent status' and 'Transitional' applicant criteria approved
Convocation approved the criteria for paralegal applicants who are established in their career and are seeking 'grandparent status' with the introduction of paralegal regulation. In general, the criteria apply to applicants who have worked as paralegals within the permitted scope of practice for at least three of the last five years and who wish to apply for a licence to provide legal services.

Convocation also approved criteria for 'transitional' applicants. These criteria apply to applicants with some work and / or educational experience who do not fully meet the grandparent criteria.

Application forms reflecting the criteria will be made available. Applications will be accepted between May 1 and October 31, 2007.

For more information see the Paralegal Standing Committee report .

Paralegal start-up budget approved
Convocation approved the budget associated with the start-up of paralegal regulation by the Law Society. The budget includes costs for developing the licensing process, professional regulation, communications and systems development. The funds to cover these initial costs will be drawn from existing Law Society reserves and will be repaid over time through paralegal fees.

For more information see the Finance and Audit Committee report .

Rules of Professional Conduct amended to assist in preventing mortgage fraud and to reflect other obligations
Amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct aimed at reducing the risk of mortgage fraud were approved by Convocation. The amendments require a lawyer acting for a borrower and lender to make full disclosure of material facts to the lender and borrower and to provide final reports to lenders within 60 days of the registration of a mortgage.

The changes were based on proposals of the Society's Working Group on Real Estate Issues. The Working Group held extensive consultations with the profession on the draft rule amendments, which helped to inform the substance of the amendments.

The Working Group also prepared Residential Real Estate Transaction Guidelines which were reported to Convocation in January and are available on the Law Society's Member Resource Centre website.

Another amendment to the Rules of Professional Conduct simplifies the manner in which consent is obtained by the lawyer from an institutional lender to act jointly for the borrower and lender.

The Rules of Professional Conduct were also amended to require lawyers to report certain offences to the Law Society, as set out in By-Law 20 (Reporting Requirements), adopted by Convocation in December 2005.

For more information see the Professional Regulation Committee report .

Protocol on law office searches adopted
Convocation voted to approve in principle the Federation of Law Societies of Canada Draft "Protocol on Law Office Searches". The protocol will act as a working document for the purposes of consultation with the Ministry of the Attorney General and other stakeholders with respect to procedures to be followed when a search warrant is to be executed at a lawyer's office.

For more information see the Professional Regulation Committee report .

By-Law 7 [Benchers] amended

The bencher remuneration policy was added to By-Law 7. The policy was approved by Convocation in the fall of 2005 following a member referendum.

For more information see the Finance and Audit Committee report .

By-Law 18 (Record Keeping Requirements) amended
By-Law 18 was amended to extend the time for reconciliation of members' trust accounts from the 15 th day of the following month to the 25 th day.

For more information see the Professional Regulation Committee report .

Appointments
W. Michael Adams was appointed to preside over the bencher election as the current Treasurer is a candidate in the election.

Reports not reached
The Professional Development, Competence and Admissions Committee and the Governance Task Force reports were not reached.

Agenda and Minutes

Reports

Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee/
Comit sur l'quit et les affaires autochtones

  • Human Rights Monitoring Group (in camera)

    For Information
  • Report of the Activities of the Discrimination and Harassment Counsel July 1 to December 31, 2006
  • Public Education Series 2007

Finance and Audit Committee

  • Bencher Remuneration - Amendment to By-Law 7 - Benchers
  • Paralegal Start-up Budget
  • Paralegal Start-up Expenditures and Funding
  • J. S. Denison Fund Applications (in camera)

Governance Task Force Report

Paralegal Standing Committee

  • Criteria for Applicants for 'Grandparent Status'
  • Criteria for 'Transitional' Applicants
  • Start-up Budget for Paralegal Regulation

Professional Development, Competence and Admissions Committee

  • Certified Specialist Program

Professional Regulation Committee

  • Amendments to Rules of Professional Conduct 2.02 and 2.04 and Commentaries
  • Federation of Law Societies of Canada Protocol for Law Office Searches
  • Amendments to By-Law 18 (Record Keeping Requirements)
  • Amendment to Rule 6.01

    For Information
  • Complaints Resolution Commissioner Report
  • Professional Regulation Division Quarterly Report

Report of the Director of Professional Development and Competence (separate cover)

  • Deemed Call Candidates