September 2007

Trust account and record keeping requirements for paralegals approved
Convocation approved recommendations from the Paralegal Standing Committee on trust accounts and record-keeping requirements.  Paralegal licensees will be required to follow the same rules as lawyers regarding trust accounts and books and records. 

Maintaining trust accounts is an important consumer protection practice.  The use of trust accounts ensures that client fees are available for refund in case the licensee is incapacitated or otherwise unable to provide the paid-for services.

To aid implementation of the new requirements for currently practicing paralegals, Convocation also approved a two-year phase-in period for fees collected prior to licensing.

For more information see the Paralegal Standing Committee report.

Paralegal college accreditation criteria approved
Convocation approved the competency profile and application package for accreditation of paralegal college programmes.  Colleges interested in offering an accredited paralegal programme have until May 1, 2010 to submit an accreditation application, be approved and establish their programme in accordance with their application.

Graduates of non-accredited programmes may apply to enter the licensing process if they meet transitional criteria.  Convocation approved criteria for transitional applicants in February 2007.  

For more information see the Paralegal Standing Committee report.

Human Rights Monitoring Group to expand activities
The Law Society's Human Rights Monitoring Group will explore the possibility of establishing a network of leading human rights organizations to develop collaborative strategies to address human rights violations against lawyers and judges.  The establishment of a network of organizations is expected to aid the Group in increasing the effectiveness of its work.

The Group will also collaborate with the Law Society of Zimbabwe to assist in strengthening its self-regulatory capabilities and the independence of the profession in Zimbabwe.  Arnold Tsunga, Executive Director, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Acting Executive Secretary of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, met with benchers in March 2007 and discussed potential opportunities for collaboration.

The Human Rights Monitoring Group was established to monitor human rights violations that target members of the legal profession and the judiciary as a result of the discharge of their legitimate professional duties.  When intervention is appropriate, the group recommends responses to Convocation for approval. 

For more information see the Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee report.

LAWPRO insurance premiums
Convocation accepted LAWPRO's report outlining changes to the Law Society's professional liability insurance program for 2008. The base premium for professional liability insurance coverage for Ontario lawyers in 2008 will be $2,300 per lawyer, $300 less than in 2007.

For more information see the LAWPRO report.

Paralegal fee categories established
Convocation approved three annual fee categories for paralegals: 

  1. 100% of annual fee - paralegal licensees who provide legal services as defined in the Law Society Act, whether they are practitioners or employees.
  2. 50% of the annual fee - paralegal licensees who are working but do not provide legal services.
  3. 25% of the annual fee - paralegal licensees who are not providing legal services and do not engage in any remunerative work or are in full-time attendance at a university, college or designated educational institution, or are on maternity or adoption leave.

The paralegal fee categories mirror the categories currently in place for lawyers.  The amount of the annual fee for paralegals has not yet been set.

For more information see the Paralegal Standing Committee report.

By-Law 4 amended
Convocation amended By-Law 4 [Licensing] to include content that was inadvertently omitted when Law Society By-Laws 1- 38 were revoked, and fifteen (15) new by-laws were made.  The new by-laws were made to reflect changes to the Law Society Act stemming from Bill 14 - the Access to Justice Act.   The omission involved an exemption from one of the L1 licensing requirements respecting law school deans and law school teachers.

For more information see the Professional Development and Competence Committee report.

Rules of Practice and Procedure amended
The Rules of Practice and Procedure were amended to reflect recent changes made to the Law Society Act, by-laws and rules.  The Rules of Practice and Procedure were revoked and replaced due to the number of housekeeping amendments required.

For more information see the Tribunals Committee report.

By-Laws 2 & 3 amended
Convocation amended By-Law 2 [Corporate Provisions] and By-Law 3 [Benchers, Convocation and Committees] to reflect the new mandates for the Audit and Finance Committees. 

For more information see the Finance Committee report.

Compensation Committee mandate approved
Convocation approved the mandate for the Compensation Committee.  The Compensation Committee was established in March 2007 to oversee the Chief Executive Officer's compensation package.

For more information see the Compensation Committee report.

Guidelines for the Determination of Grants from the Compensation Fund amended
The Guidelines for the Determination of Grants from the Compensation Fund were amended to reflect the amended Law Society Act.

For more information see the Compensation Fund Committee report.

Appointments
Bencher Bob Aaron was reappointed as the Law Society's representative on the Canadian National Exhibition Association.

Barbara Laskin was appointed to the Hearing Panel.

Bencher Jennifer Halajian was reassigned from the Access to Justice Committee to the Professional Development and Competence Committee.

Bencher Allan Lawrence was appointed to the Access to Justice Committee.

Reports not reached
The Emerging Issues Committee report was not reached.

 

Agenda and Minutes

Agenda
Minutes

Reports

Compensation Committee

  • Terms of Reference

Compensation Fund Committee

Emerging Issues Committee

Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee

  • Human Rights Monitoring Group

For Information

  • Equality and Access to Justice Template
  • DHC Semi-Annual Report
  • Retention of Women in Private Practice Project - Update
  • Equity Public Education Events 2007

Finance Committee

  • Amendments to By-Laws 2 and 3
  • Denison Fund Applications (in camera)

For Information

  • Fee Categories for Paralegals
  • 2008 Budget Process

LAWPRO Report

  • 2008 Insurance Program

Paralegal Standing Committee

  • Trust Account and Record Keeping Requirements
  • Fee Categories for Paralegals
  • Paralegal Course Accreditation

Professional Development and Competence Committee

  • Amendment to By-Law 4

For Information

  • Quarterly Benchmarking Report
  • Licensing Process
  • Law School Proposal

Report of the Director of Professional Development and Competence

  • Deemed Call Candidates

Tribunals

  • Housekeeping Amendments to Rules of Practice and Procedure

For Information

  • Tribunals Office Quarterly Statistics

REPORTS FOR INFORMATION ONLY

Access to Justice Committee

  • Access to Justice and Equality Template

Audit Committee

  • Amendments to By-Laws 2 and 3
  • Financial Statements
  • Investment Compliance Report

Licensing and Accreditation Task Force Interim Report

Professional Regulation Committee

  • Member's Annual Report 2007
  • Professional Regulation Division Operational Guidelines
  • Professional Regulation Division Quarterly Report
Heritage Committee

Motions