Real Estate Declaration to be included in Lawyer Annual Report
To help combat the high costs of real estate-related complaints, particularly mortgage fraud, Convocation approved a requirement that lawyers who practise real estate law declare their compliance with the Law Society’s rules and by-laws regarding this area of practice.
The new requirement focuses on mortgage fraud issues and does not involve any rule or by-law changes. Nor does it create any new obligations. It consolidates and reinforces the real estate requirements outlined in the Rules of Professional Conduct
and Law Society By-laws.
As a transitional step, the Real Estate Acknowledgement will be included in the 2013 Lawyer Annual Report, to be filed by March 31, 2014. In 2014 and subsequent years, lawyers practising real estate law will be required to complete an Annual Declaration of their compliance. Full report
. National Mobility Agreement 2013 approved
Convocation approved in principle the National Mobility Agreement 2013. When fully implemented, the agreement will provide for full, permanent mobility between the Barreau du Québec and the rest of Canada and replace the Canadian Legal Advisor regime set out in the Québec Mobility Agreement. Convocation also agreed to recommend that the Federation of Law Societies of Canada develop a guide on the key differences between the legal systems in Québec and the common law jurisdictions. The agreement builds on a series of national mobility initiatives undertaken by the Federation and its member law societies, beginning in 2002. Full report
. By-Laws 6 and 7 to be amended re: insurance requirements for certain partnerships
Convocation approved in principle amendments to By-Law 6 [Professional Liability Insurance] to require paralegals working in partnership with lawyers to purchase insurance from LAWPRO, effective January 2014. Full report
Convocation also approved in principle amendments to By-Law 7 [Business Entities] to clarify that lawyers who enter into partnership with non-licensees, and lawyers who enter into partnership with both paralegals and non-licensees, are to obtain insurance for the non-licensee partner from LAWPRO. Full report
Motions to amend the wording of the by-laws will be prepared for a future Convocation. Rules of Practice and Procedure amended re: Costs
The Rules of Practice and Procedure were amended to incorporate the Tariff for the Calculation of Costs, which was previously approved at June Convocation. Convocation also approved new subrule 25.01 (5), which provides that when awarding costs, the Hearing Panel shall consider, but is not bound by, the tariff of fees for services. The amendments to the Rules resulted from the work of the Joint Working Group on Costs, which examined a number of issues relating to costs awards made in Law Society proceedings. Full report
. Rules of Practice and Procedure amended re: Practice Direction on Adjournments
The Rules of Practice and Procedure were amended to reflect the provisions of the Practice Direction on Adjournments, adopted by Convocation in October 2011. The Rules were also amended to expand the authority of pre-hearing conference panellists to provide directions. Full report
. Paralegal Guidelines amended re: Member Assistance Program
The Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines
were amended by the Paralegal Standing Committee to include reference to the Law Society’s new Member Assistance Program offered by Homewood Human Solutions™. Full report
. Human Rights Monitoring Group interventions
The Law Society intervened in the following cases:
- The arrest and detention of human rights lawyers in Turkey.
- The arrest and detention of human rights lawyer Le Quoc Quan in Vietnam.
The Human Rights Monitoring Group was established to monitor human rights violations that target lawyers and judges as a result of the discharge of their legitimate professional duties. Full report.