Law Society and legal organizations to establish working group to facilitate recommendations of Sole Practitioner and Small Firm Task Force
Convocation agreed to form a working group of the Professional Development, Competence and Admissions Committee consisting of two representatives from the OBA, two representatives from CDLPA and two Law Society Benchers. The working group's mandate is to bring forward strategies and priorities for Convocation's consideration based on the Sole Practitioner and Small Firm Task Force's recommendations - taking into consideration legal organizations' submissions to the Task Force.
The Task Force proposed the formation of the working group after receiving submissions from legal organizations and the profession on the recommendations in its Final Report, considered by Convocation in April, 2005.
Submissions on the report revealed a widely shared agreement that sole and small firm practitioners play an integral role in both the public's access to justice and the legal profession in Ontario. The submissions also reflected a need for the Law Society and legal organizations to address the issues faced by sole and small firm practitioners in a coordinated and collaborative way.
In addition, Convocation agreed to allocate $220,000 to fund the activities of a counsel within the Professional Development and Competence department to chair, coordinate and facilitate the work of the working group, prepare reports on the group's strategies and priorities and prepare a proposed business plan for Convocation's consideration.
Sole Practitioner and Small Firm Task Force report - March 23, 2006
Final Report of the Sole Practitioner and Small Firm Task Force - March 2005
Funding approved for project to identify solutions to issue of retention of women in private practice
The Retention of Women in Private Practice Working Group is set to undertake a comprehensive consultation with law firms aimed at identifying successful tools, resources and practices to promote the retention of women in private practice. Convocation approved a budget of $170,000 to fund the consultation.
The consultation will consist of three phases. In the first two phases, the Working Group will consult with law firms to identify solutions and develop recommendations for Convocation's approval. In the third phase, the Working Group will work with law firms to implement the recommendations.
The retention of women in private practice was a core issue identified by the Law Society at a 2005 planning session. The Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee created the Retention of Women in Private Practice Working Group in early 2006.
Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee report
Law Society adopts policy to respond to human rights violations involving lawyers and judges
Convocation approved a policy to systematically respond to global human rights violations that target members of the legal profession and judiciary as a result of the performance of their legitimate professional duties. A group of benchers, whose membership and mandate will be determined by the Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee, will be formed to monitor these events.
Emerging Issues Committee report
Finance and Audit Committee report adopted
Convocation adopted the Finance and Audit Committee report. There were three matters for decision in the report including:
- The Annual Combined Financial Statements of the Errors and Omissions Insurance Fund for the year ended December 31, 2005;
- a recommendation to approve the allocation of funds for the Retention of Women in Private Practice project ; and
- a recommendation to approve the allocation of funds to fund the activities of a counsel within the Professional Development and Competence department to chair and coordinate the work of the working group of the Professional Development, Competence and Admissions Committee charged with facilitating the Sole Practitioner and Small Firms Task Force's recommendations.
Finance and Audit Committee report
Convocation approved a series of Committee appointments.
Rules of Practice and Procedure amended
Rule 1 (General Rules) and Rule 7 (Motions) of the Rules of Practice and Procedure were amended by Convocation. Rule 1.11 was amended to provide that, upon request, the Senior Council and Manager, Tribunals Office shall sign and issue a blank summons to a witness. Rule 7 was amended to include a prescribed form by which a party may abandon a motion.
Tribunals Committee report
Rules of Procedure for Convocation adopted
Convocation adopted rules of procedure for the conduct of Convocation's business. The adopted rules will be brought back to Convocation in the form of by-law.
Secretary's Report to Convocation
Convocation authorizes Treasurer to vote the proxy in favour of proposed LAWPRO shareholder resolutions
Convocation authorized the Treasurer to vote 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 26, 2006. Traditionally, the Treasurer has signed the proxy to vote the Law Society's shares in favour of the resolutions.
Treasurer's Report to Convocation