Paralegal Integration Project: Eligible groups determined
Convocation approved the exempted groups to be included in the Paralegal Integration Project, in addition to collection agents. The Paralegal Integration Project is a new process that gives certain groups, currently exempt from the Law Society paralegal licensing requirement, the opportunity to become licensed. Full report.
Rules of Professional Conduct amended re: conflicts of interest
Rule 2.04 of the Rules of Professional Conduct was amended to implement the policy approved January 2010 on the conflicts of interest standard for Pro Bono Law Ontario short term limited legal services. Full report .
Audit Committee report
Convocation approved the audited Annual Financial Statements for the Law Society for the year ending December 31, 2009. The Law Society remains financially sound. The General Fund balance has increased by $750,000 to $9.8 million over the course of 2009. The Compensation Fund balance in total has increased by almost $1.4 to $20.8 million over the course of 2009. The E&O Fund saw a large reduction in 2009 from $76 million to $57 million primarily as a result of the retroactive impact on the cost of claims of $10.5 million as a consequence of HST legislation in Ontario.
Convocation appointed Deloitte & Touche LLP as the auditor of the Law Society and LibraryCo Inc. for the 2010 financial year. Full report .
Law Society settles law suit with former auditors and actuaries
Law Society CEO Malcolm Heins reported to Convocation on the resolution of the law suit by the Law Society and LAWPRO against their former auditors, Ernst &Young and former actuaries Tillinghast. The action was settled in February 2010 following a mediation conducted by the Honourable Warren K. Winkler, Chief Justice of Ontario. As a result of the settlement the Law Societyreceived payment of $8 million from the defendants. The law suit related to the calculation and reporting of claims liabilities incurred in the period 1991 to 1994 in the Law Society's Insurance Plan. No party made any admission of liability as part of the settlement. Full report .
Racialized women drive increase in women lawyers
Nearly 60 per cent of the youngest lawyers in Ontario are women, a significant demographic shift driven in large part by the increasing number of racialized women entering the profession, says a report released by the Law Society. According to the report, racialized women account for 16 per cent of all lawyers under 30, compared to just 5 per cent of lawyers 30 and older. "Racialization and Gender of Lawyers in Ontario", written by Michael Ornstein of York University, is a comprehensive analysis of 2006 and prior census data commissioned by the Law Society.
"While we are pleased to see the continued increase in the number of women lawyers, we are particularly happy to see the broadening diversity of those entering the profession," says Jose Bouchard, Equity Advisor at the Law Society. "We are witnessing a surge in the number of racialized lawyers mirroring the surge of women lawyers that took place 20 years ago."
The number of visible minority lawyers aged 25 to 34 grew from 6 per cent in 1991 to 20 per cent in 2006. The number of Aboriginal lawyers in that age group grew from .9 per cent in 1991 to 1.9 per cent in 2006. Full report .
Human Rights Monitoring Group
Convocation approved the interventions recommended by the Human Rights Monitoring Group in the following cases:
- Malaysia - Lawyers and judges facing harassment, threats of violence and intimidation
- Vietnam - Lawyer Le Cong Dinh
- Turkey - Lawyer Muharrem Erbey.
Full report .
Finance Committee report
Convocation approved the recommendation from LAWPRO's Board to defer consideration of a special levy to replenish the Errors and Omissions Insurance Fund to fund the impact of the HST on LAWPRO's claims reserves. Convocation alsoapproved the revised investment policy for the Law Society. Full report.
Convocation authorizes Treasurer to sign the proxy in favour of proposed LAWPRO shareholder resolutions
Convocation authorized the Treasurer to sign the proxy in favour of proposed LAWPRO shareholder resolutions at the Annual and General Meeting of Shareholders of the Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company to be held April 28, 2010. Full report.
Convocation made appointments to the Hearing Panel , Appeal Panel and Proceedings Authorization Committee .