2016 Annual Fee will not increase for lawyers and paralegals
Convocation approved the Law Society’s 2016 budget in which lawyers and paralegals will see their annual fees remain unchanged from 2015. Annual fees for 2016 remain at $1,866 for practising lawyers and $996 for practising paralegals. Full report or associated news release.
By-Law 6 amended re: professional liability insurance
By-Law 6 was amended respecting professional liability insurance coverage for professional corporations. The amendments make clear that paralegal shareholders of combined licensee professional corporations (those with both licensed paralegal and lawyer shareholders) are to be insured through LAWPRO. Full report.
LibraryCo Inc. 2016 budget approved
Convocation approved the 2016 budget as submitted by LibraryCo Inc.’s board, incorporating Law Society funding of $7,662,000, which sees funding of county libraries increasing by $133,000. Full report.
Guidelines for Lawyers Acting in Aboriginal Residential School Cases amended
The Guidelines for Lawyers Acting in Aboriginal Residential School Cases were amended to include new rule number references as a result of changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct. Minor editorial revisions were also made. Full report.
Strategic initiatives set for 2015-2019 Bencher Term
At a recent planning session, Convocation approved strategic initiatives to advance the Law Society’s mandate to regulate in the public interest, over the 2015-19 bencher term. The initiatives, listed below, form the basis of the Law Society’s strategic plan.
Lead as a professional regulator
* Enhance regulatory effectiveness to advance protection of the public
* Ensure appropriate considerations for mental health and equity are integrated into regulatory processes
Prioritize life-long competence for lawyers and paralegals
* Evaluate and enhance licensing standards and requirements
* Improve and increase practice supports
* Implement comprehensive mentoring services
Enhance access to justice across Ontario
* Develop and implement a concrete access to justice action plan
* Increase collaboration with access to justice partners and other stakeholders
Engage stakeholders and the public generally with responsive communications
* Improve communication with lawyers and paralegals through greater accountability, transparency and collaboration
* Build a better understanding of the Law Society among the public through heightened engagement
Increase organizational effectiveness
* Continue to enhance the public-interest in the policy-making process
* Improve governance methods and structures
* Enhance measurement and assessment of our services and programs
Compliance-based Entity Regulation Task Force delivers interim report
The Compliance-based Entity Regulation Task Force, which was formed in June 2015, reported to Convocation on its progress to date. The Task Force is considering the range of possible approaches to compliance-based entity regulation and the associated value and merits.
Compliance regulatory models are based on the encouragement and support of improved practices by the regulator. The regulator sets goals and expectations and provides support and information as needed to assist law firms and legal practices to meet those goals. Entity regulation refers to the regulation of entities that provide legal services (firms) in addition to individual licensees. Full report.
Mental Health Task Force provides status report
The Mental Health Task Force delivered a status report on
its progress since its formation in June 2015. The Task Force has reviewed an
in-depth inventory of existing initiatives and activities and engaged with
mental health professionals and others with experience and expertise in the
area, including other regulators. Some key themes have begun to emerge. The Task Force plans to continue to conduct
research and speak with stakeholders to gain further insight and guidance, with
a view to delivering a Mental Health and Addictions strategy for Convocation’s
consideration in the spring.
Convocation approved a number of appointments. Motion.