January 27, 2005
Approval of rule, by-law changes relating to money laundering
To assist in the fight against money laundering and fulfill its mandate to govern the legal profession in the public interest, the Law Society has made amendments to its Rules of Professional Conduct and By-Laws 18 and 19. The amendments include:
- a prohibition on lawyers accepting large amounts of cash ($7,500 or more) from clients or third parties
- new record-keeping requirements with respect to receipt of cash, and
- new commentary to rule 2.02(5) on lawyers' responsibilities when their suspicions are raised about the legality of a transaction for which the lawyer receives instructions
Beginning in 2006, as part of the 2005 Member's Annual Report, Ontario lawyers will be required to advise the Law Society if they have received cash, and if so, whether the receipt was in compliance with the by-laws.
Through these amendments, the Law Society is enhancing its ability to regulate the profession in the public interest, which interest includes eradicating money laundering.
The amendments are based on a Federation of Law Societies' model rule which the Federation has requested each law society in Canada to implement through its own regulatory instruments. To date, similar amendments have been adopted by the law societies in the Northwest Territories, Newfoundland and British Columbia. View the report .
Law Society to rally legal resources for Ontario communities hurt by tsunami disaster
Convocation gave its approval to a plan that calls for the Law Society to mobilize legal assistance to Ontario communities affected by the aftermath of the tsunami in South and South East Asia.
View the report
Convocation reaffirms support for the Discrimination and Harassment Counsel Program
Convocation reaffirmed its support for the Discrimination and Harassment Counsel (DHC) Program. The review of the program indicates that the profession and the public use the program and that it functions effectively.
Introduced in 1999, the DHC program is among the Law Society's on-going efforts to promote equality and diversity in the profession and prevent discrimination and harassment. In addition to a comprehensive evaluation - a requirement stipulated during the DHC Program's inception - the Review of the Discrimination and Counsel Program includes several recommendations concerning promotional activities to heighten awareness of the program and the overall issue of harassment and discrimination.
Available free-of-charge to lawyers and the Ontario public, the DHC Program provides confidential assistance to anyone who may have experienced discrimination or harassment by a lawyer.
For more information about the recommendations, view the report .
Terms of reference for the Investigations Task Force
Following its decision to create the Investigations Task Force on November 25, 2004, Convocation today approved the Task Force's terms of reference .
Vern Krishna was appointed to the Council of Federation of Law Societies of Canada.
Ian Hull was appointed to the Law Society Foundation.
The following benchers were appointed to the Law Society Medal/Lincoln Alexander Award Committee: John Campion, Laurie Pawlitza, William Simpson and Bonnie Warkentin.
The following benchers were appointed to the LL.D Advisory Committee: Constance Backhouse, John Campion, Anne Marie Doyle, Neil Finkelstein, William Simpson and Beth Symes.