Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirement amended
Convocation amended the CPD requirement, recognizing two new types of eligible activities and allowing new licensees to choose from a broader selection of CPD programs and activities.
Viewing archived or recorded CPD programs without a colleague and participating in online courses that prompt responses throughout the learning process are now eligible activities for up to 6 CPD Hours per year. New licensees in their first two full years of practising law or providing legal services may apply any program or alternative activity that is accredited for professionalism, without requiring that each program or alternative activity have 25% professionalism content, and provided that, overall, new licensees obtain three hours of professionalism content annually. The amendments are effective immediately and apply retroactively to any eligible programs or activities taken toward the 2012 CPD requirement. Full report.
Articling Task Force to deliver final report fall 2012
The Articling Task Force has moved the expected delivery date of its final report from May to fall 2012. The extension will provide the Task Force with time to carefully review and assess the broad spectrum of valuable input provided by members of the profession and interested parties during the consultation period. A brief interim report will be provided to Convocation in May 2012.
Update on Legal Needs Analysis delivered
The Treasurer provided an update to Convocation on the Law Society’s legal needs analysis and review of the paralegal scope of practice. Research undertaken to date has raised issues which will be referred to the appropriate Law Society committee. A comprehensive consultation is expected to begin in the fall of 2012. Full report.
Financial statements approved
Convocation approved the audited annual financial statements for the Law Society for the year ending December 31, 2011. The Law Society’s General Fund finished the year with an increase in the fund balance for lawyers of $2.3 million and a decline of $543,000 for paralegals. Convocation appointed Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Law Society and LibraryCo Inc. auditor for the 2012 financial year. Full report.
Cathy Corsetti re-elected chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee
Cathy Corsetti was re-elected the chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee at its April 2012 meeting. The chair is elected by the committee annually.
Priority work plan approved
Convocation approved a work plan to achieve the priorities it established, in December 2011, for the 2011-2015 bencher term. Full report.
Université de Montréal law degree program approved
Convocation approved the Université de Montréal’s proposed program leading to the conferral of a J.D. in North American Law, entitling graduates of the program to apply for admission to the Law Society. Full report.
Rules of Professional Conduct amended
Rule 2.02(5) of the Rules of Professional Conduct and related commentary were amended to clarify the requirement that lawyers be on guard against being used to facilitate dishonesty, fraud, crime or illegal conduct. Full report.
By-Law 3 amended
By-Law 3 (Benchers, Convocation and Committees) was amended to implement the policy approved at February 2012 Convocation regarding the remuneration of lay benchers. Full report.
Finance Committee report
Convocation approved the updated Investment Policy and the continued retention of the Law Society’s Investment Manager, Foyston Gordon & Payne and the Custodian, CIBC Mellon Global Securities Services Company. Full report.
Human Rights Monitoring Group
Convocation approved interventions in the following cases:
- Spain – Conviction and ban from office of Judge Baltasar Garzón
- Iran – Imprisonment of lawyers Javid Houtan Kian, Abdolfattah Soltani and Nasrin Sotoudeh
- Burma – 32 disbarred lawyers
- China – Harassment and imprisonment of lawyers
- Russia – Impunity for Sapiyat Magomedova’s attackers.
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.
Convocation authorized the Treasurer to sign 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 May 1, 2012. Full report.