February 2011

New bencher elected
William Edward Kaplan was elected as bencher for the City of Toronto electoral region to fill the vacancy resulting from the appointment of Glenn Hainey as a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.

By-Law 9 and rules of conduct to be amended re: trust account requirements
Convocation approved, in principle, amendments to By-Law 9 and Rule 2.02 of the Rules of Professional Conduct to emphasize that a trust account must not be used for purposes outside the provision of legal services. The amendments also introduce a requirement for licensees to record the purpose for which they are receiving or withdrawing funds from a trust account.

Convocation also approved similar amendments to Rule 3.02 of the Paralegal Rules of Conduct to maintain the consistency between the lawyer and paralegal rules.

The amendments were approved in principle.  The committees will return to Convocation at a later date with final wording for the amendments following review by the Law Society’s rules drafter. Full Professional Regulation Committee report.  Full Paralegal Standing Committee report.

Approach to adjudicator education requirement approved
Following its 2005 decision for mandatory adjudicator education and to further enhance the quality of adjudication and decisions, Convocation approved a further implementation approach to adjudicator education for benchers, lay appointees and members of the profession who sit on Law Society tribunals. All adjudicators, regardless of experience level, will be required to participate in a minimum number of adjudicator education programs at regular intervals. Full report.

Five years adjudicative experience to be considered equivalent to educational requirement for paralegal licensing
Individuals with five or more full-time years of experience on an adjudicative tribunal will now be exempt from the educational requirement when applying for a paralegal licence. Convocation approved the policy, in principle, as recommended by the Paralegal Standing Committee after its review of a request from the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators for an accelerated route to a paralegal licence for experienced adjudicators.   The committee will return to Convocation with amendments to By-Law 4 to implement the policy.  Full report.

Committee begins discussions re: expanding civility mentoring process beyond judicial referrals
The Professional Regulation Committee has approved discussions with external organizations on expanding the civility mentoring process to include lawyers against whom a civility complaint is received from any source.  Currently, the Civility Complaints Protocols, jointly created with the judiciary, only apply where lawyers are the subject of a civility complaint from the judiciary. Lawyers who are the subject of a complaint, through the Civility Complaints Protocols, can be diverted for mentoring rather than becoming the subject of an investigation. Full report.

Committee considering expanding pro bono duty counsel services to lawyers under investigation
The Professional Regulation Committee is considering the merits of the availability of pro bono duty counsel services to lawyers under investigation by the Law Society. Exploratory discussions will begin with the Advocates’ Society and the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, which currently provide pro bono duty counsel services to lawyers before the Proceeding Management Conference and the Hearing Panel. Full report.

Appointments

  • Bencher Mark Sandler was removed from the Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee at his own request.
  • Bencher Julian Porter was appointed Chair of the Professional Regulation Committee to replace Glenn Hainey.
  • Bencher Julian Porter was appointed as the Professional Regulation Committee appointee to the Proceedings Authorization Committee to replace Glenn Hainey.
  • Gavin MacKenzie was appointed to the Proceedings Authorization Committee to replace Julian Porter.
  • Bencher Alan Silverstein was appointed to the Paralegal Standing Committee to replace Glenn Hainey.
  • Bencher William Kaplan was appointed to the Professional Regulation Committee and the Hearing Panel.

 

Agenda

Reports

 Paralegal Standing Committee

  • Tribunals - Request for Equivalency
  • Proposed Changes to Requirements for the Use of Trust Accounts

For Information

  • Changes to Small Claims Court Rules
  • Quarterly Report from the Professional Regulation Department

Professional Regulation Committee

  • Proposed Amendments to Rule 2.02 and By-Law 9 Respecting Trust Account Requirements

For Information

  • Professional Regulation Division Quarterly Report
  • Report of the Complaints Resolution Commissioner
  • Expanding the Mentoring Process Beyond Judicial Referrals
  • Pro Bono Counsel for Lawyers Under Investigation 

 Report of the Director of Professional Development and Competence 

  • Deemed Call Candidates

Tribunals Committee

  • Proposed Approach to the Law Society Adjudicator Education Requirement

Reports For Information Only

Audit Committee

  • Response to Questions Raised at January 2011 Convocation  on LAWPRO’s Third Quarter Financial Statements
  • Internal Control Assessment
  • Discipline Orders Receivable

Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee

  • Report of the Activities of the Discrimination and Harassment Counsel – July 1 to December 31, 2010
  • Public Education Series Calendar 2011

Letter from Hospital for Sick Children  

Motions