June 2014 e-Bulletin Resources for Lawyers

 

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Opposing Lawyer or Paralegal Whose Licence is Suspended 

Suspended lawyers and paralegals are prohibited from practising law or providing legal services and from holding themselves out as being entitled to practise law or provide legal services (subrule 6.07(3) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (the "Rules") and subrule 6.01(7) of the Paralegal Rules of Conduct respectively). Part II of By-Law 7.1 and Part II.1 of By-Law 9 outline the obligations of suspended lawyers and paralegals.

Where a lawyer learns that the licence to practice law or to provide legal services of the opposing legal representative in an ongoing matter has been suspended, or that the opposing legal representative has provided an undertaking to the Law Society of Upper Canada not to practice law or provide legal services, the lawyer should first confirm the opposing lawyer or paralegal's status with the Law Society. A lawyer may do so by viewing the online Lawyer and Paralegal Directory and/or contacting the Law Society's Resource Centre at (416) 947-3315 or 1-800-668-7380, ext. 3315.

If the opposing legal representative is no longer suspended or subject to an undertaking not to practice or provide legal services, a lawyer may continue to deal with him or her regarding the file. If the opposing lawyer or paralegal is still suspended or subject to an undertaking not to practice law or provide legal services, the lawyer cannot continue to deal with him or her on the ongoing matter at all or in any way that contravenes the opposing representative's undertaking.

If the opposing lawyer or paralegal insists on continuing with the matter while suspended or subject to an undertaking, the lawyer must refuse to deal with the suspended opposing legal representative on the matter. As lawyers are obligated to assist with the prevention of unauthorized practice of law or provision of legal services (subrule 6.07(1) of the Rules), a lawyer must not negotiate with the suspended lawyer or paralegal as "agent" for the opposing party.

If the client of the suspended lawyer or paralegal does not retain a new legal representative, the lawyer must comply with subrule 2.04(14) of the Rules and deal directly with the opposing party (the client of the suspended lawyer or paralegal) as an unrepresented party. Specifically, the lawyer must ensure the opposing party understands that the lawyer is only protecting the interests of his or her own client and that the lawyer is biased to his or her own client's cause. In addition, the lawyer must urge the party to obtain their own legal representation. The lawyer should also consider confirming this information and recommendation in a letter to the opposing party.

Additional Resources:

Rules of Professional Conduct

Paralegal Rules of Conduct

By-Law 7.1

By-Law 9

Guidelines for Suspended Lawyers

Guidelines for Suspended Paralegals.

Ryerson University is seeking Law Practice Program Work Placements   The Law Society encourages lawyers to offer a paid work placement for 2014-15 Law Practice Program (LPP) candidates and help train the next generation of lawyers. Offering a work placement is a four-month commitment from January 2015 to April 2015. Work placements may be in any area of practice, size of firm and type of organization, including in-house counsel, legal clinics, small and rural firms and criminal and family practices. LPP candidates will be an asset to any practice as they will have already benefited from a four-month skills-based training course using simulated practice scenarios and will have experience working on files from start to finish. 

Enhancements made to the 2014-15 Articling Program  Changes made to the Articling Program as part of the Pathways to the Profession Pilot Project are effective for articling placements starting on or after May 1, 2014. New requirements include submission of an Experiential Training Plan at the start of the placement and filing of a Record of Experiential Training in Articling Program at the end of the placement.  The new evaluative measures mirror those in the Law Practice Program. Over the course of the Pathways pilot project the Law Society will study the effectiveness of both the Articling and Law Practice Programs in preparing candidates for entry to the profession.

The Lawyer and Paralegal Directory is a complete listing of legal professionals who are licensed by the Law Society to offer legal services in Ontario. Each listing includes the practising status of the lawyer or paralegal. If a lawyer or paralegal has a discipline history, restrictions on his or her practice, or if there is a trusteeship, there will be information on this in the directory listing. When using the directory, please see this important notice.

Contingency Planning Guide  Lawyers without a contingency plan leave their clients extremely vulnerable in the event of a major illness or other unexpected practice disruption. The Contingency Planning Guide includes key planning steps for sole practitioners, sample forms, practical checklists and more to assist you with your planning. 

Justice partners launch action group  Justice sector partners met for the inaugural meeting of TAG - The Action Group on Access to Justice, a forum fostering collaboration on initiatives to make justice more accessible for Ontarians.

Important Dates

July 31 - LAWPRO 2014 Second Quarter Real Estate and Civil Litigation Levy Surcharge filings and applicable payments due.

September 15 - LAWPRO  Risk Management Credit deadline: Complete the online declaration by this date to receive the Risk Management Credit on your 2015 insurance premium.

September 24 - Convocation

For more resources, visit the Manage Your Practice section under For Lawyers or phone 416-947-3315 or 1-800-668-7380 ext 3315. 

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