Hearings and Discipline

Protecting the Public

The Law Society regulates Ontario's legal profession to ensure a competent and ethical bar. Legislation passed by the Government of Ontario, (primarily the Law Society Act and Regulations made under the act) authorize the Law Society to license Ontario's lawyers and paralegals and regulate their conduct, competence and capacity.

Law Society by-laws and Rules of Professional Conduct — both based in the Law Society Act — set out the professional and ethical obligations of all members of the profession. Members failing to meet these obligations are subject to the Society's complaints process.

Some matters proceed to a hearing and result in an order by a hearing or appeal panel. Information about regulatory proceedings is public and available in this section of the Law Society website. The Law Society also prosecutes individuals who provide legal services directly to the public without a licence.

The Law Society and the Ontario Courts have established Civility Complaints Protocols designed to improve civility and professionalism among lawyers and paralegals appearing in court proceedings. The protocols provide a procedure for judges and justices of the peace to refer incidents of misconduct such as incivility or unprofessionalism to the Law Society.

Practice advisory guidelines for lawyers and paralegals, dealing with ethical and professional conduct issues related to specific topics, and practice management resources are located in the Resource Centre.

Ontario's legal profession is self-regulating with public representation. See How the Law Society is Governed, for more information.