Rules recap: Your Q2-2016 update

Posted: 07/15/2016

Rules recap Q2Recent rule amendments

Convocation made the following amendments to Law Society rules and by-laws in the last quarter:

APRIL 2016

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.

For more information, read the Report to Convocation by the Paralegal Standing Committee, April 28, 2016.

By-Laws amended re: new process for surrender of licence

By-Laws 4 and 8 were amended to implement a new process for the administrative surrender of licence. The new process, which was approved in principle at September 2015 Convocation, permits lawyers and paralegals, who are under audit, investigation, or involved in discipline proceedings, to apply to surrender their licence. The new process will only be used where it would not be contrary to the public interest. The administrative surrender process was approved by Convocation on a policy basis on September 24, 2015.

For more information, read the Professional Regulation Committee’s Report to Convocation, April 28, 2016.

Rules of Practice and Procedure amended

Convocation approved housekeeping amendments to the Hearing Division Rules of Practice and Procedure.

For more information, read the full Report to Convocation by the Tribunal Committee, April 28, 2016.

MAY 2016

Lawyer and paralegal conduct rules amended

Convocation amended the lawyers’ and paralegals’ 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.

For the full report on the lawyer rule amendments, read the Professional Regulation Committee’s Report to Convocation, May 26, 2016.

For the full report on the paralegal rule amendments, read the Paralegal Standing Committee’s Report to Convocation, May 26, 2016.

JUNE 2016

Rules of Practice and Procedure amended

Convocation approved clarifying amendments to the Law Society Tribunal Rules of Practice and Procedure. The amendments update Tribunal procedures and reflect current Convocation policy.

For more information, read the full Report to Convocation by the Tribunal Committee, June 23, 2016.

By-Law 7 amended re: surrender of Professional Corporation Certificate

Convocation amended By-Law 7 [Business Entities] to remove the requirement that a professional corporation provide an accountant’s certificate when surrendering a certificate of authorization. This change reflects current practice.

For more information, read the full Report to Convocation by the Professional Regulation Committee, June 23, 2016.

Visit www.lsuc.on.ca/rules for all rules and by-laws.