Lawyer and paralegal conduct rules and paralegal guidelines amended
Convocation amended the lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct, the Paralegal Rules of Conduct and the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines regarding the following matters.
Dishonesty, Fraud by client or others
The lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct and the Paralegal Rules of Conduct were amended to reflect changes to the Model Code of Professional Conduct of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. The amendments relate to a lawyer’s and paralegal’s obligations regarding dishonesty, fraud, crime or illegal conduct by a client or others.
Competence and the provision of legal opinions
Amendments to the commentary of the lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct and the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines provide additional guidance about the provision of legal opinions. The impetus for the amendments was the recommendation by the Canadian Bar Association Legal Futures Initiative, which emphasised the importance of lawyer independence and raised the possibility of undue influence being exercised by powerful clients over a licensee’s legal opinions.
The Paralegal Rules of Conduct that address a client’s right to receive legal services in the official language of their choice were amended to include explicit reference to aboriginal languages. This reflects similar amendments made to the lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct in September 2015.