Recent amendments to Paralegal Rules of Conduct
A number of rule amendments were made recently to the Paralegal Rules of Conduct. The amendments were approved by Convocation and appeared in the May issues of Convocation News and Paralegal Update respectively. They are:
Paralegal and lawyer conduct rules amended
Convocation amended the paralegals’ and lawyers’ conduct rules regarding the following:
Transactions with Clients: The amendments ensure the rules on conflicts of interest in circumstances where licensees engage in transactions with clients are clear, consistent, and logical and able to provide appropriate guidance to the professions.
Duty to Report: The amendments clarify when the duty to report a licensee to the Law Society arises. They also revise the rules’ approach to the issue of the duty to report to the Law Society a concern about another licensee’s capacity to provide professional services.
Errors and Omissions: The amendments clarify the rules regarding the relationship between a licensee’s ethical duties and a licensee’s obligations under mandatory liability insurance contracts. The amendments also make it clear that a licensee’s ethical duty to notify their insurer of a potential claim may arise regardless of whether the licensee believes the claim has merit. The amended rules reflect changes made to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s Model Code of Professional Conduct.
Rule amendment: Paralegals’ conduct rules amended re incriminating physical evidence
Convocation approved the addition of new subrule 4 (5.2) to the Paralegal Rules of Conduct.
The new rule prohibits paralegals from the concealment, destruction or alteration of incriminating physical evidence.
The adoption of the new rule follows the addition of a similar rule to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s Model Code of Professional Conduct in 2014 and the lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct in February 2016.