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Law Society to convene special general meeting

[posted April 24, 2014]

On April 23, 2014, the Law Society received a written request to convene a special general meeting of the Society, which was signed by at least five per cent of the members.

The nature of the business that is proposed to be considered at the meeting is a resolution directing the Benchers to declare, pursuant to Law Society Rule 2-27(4.1) that Trinity Western University is not an approved faculty of law. A resolution passed at a general meeting is not binding on the Benchers except as provided in section 13 of the Legal Profession Act.

Lawyers interested in this decision who have not already done so are encouraged to read the supporting documents considered by the Benchers and review the webcast that has been archived.

In accordance with our Rules, the Benchers will call a special general meeting within 60 days of the request. A notice of the special general meeting will be mailed to members at least 21 days before the meeting.

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Benchers approve TWU Faculty of Law

[posted April 11, 2014]

Following an open and transparent process, which included a webcast of the Benchers meeting on April 11, the Benchers have approved the proposed Faculty of Law at Trinity Western University. This means that graduates from that law school will be eligible to enter the Law Society’s admission program.

President Jan Lindsay, QC said: “The Benchers arrived at their decision through a process that has been open, thorough and fair – from the beginning, right through to the decision. It has involved consideration of legal advice from a number of advisors, review and consideration of the Federation reports and the proposal from TWU and the public submissions. It has occupied our attention for some time and the decision was thoroughly considered and not taken lightly.”

The webcast of the Benchers meeting and a video of President's Lindsay's statement to the media may be viewed at new.livestream.com/mediaco/lsbc041114.

For more information, including background and supporting material, see Bencher meeting consideration of TWU, April 11, 2014.

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Prince Rupert district by-election: call for nominations

[posted April 4, 2014]

The recent resignation of Barry Zacharias has created a vacancy for the position of Bencher in the County of Prince Rupert (District No. 8). Law Society Rule 1-36(2) requires the Benchers to hold a by-election to fill a vacancy promptly. A District No. 8 Bencher by-election has been scheduled for Friday, June 6, 2014.

The term of the Bencher elected will begin immediately on election and will end on December 31, 2015.

Download the nomination form
Read the Notice to the Profession

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Barry Zacharias resigns, by-election scheduled for Prince Rupert district

[posted March 20, 2014]

[updated March 28, 2014]

Barry Zacharias has resigned as a Bencher. Zacharias has represented the County of Prince Rupert since 2011. President Jan Lindsay, QC said, “I regret his resignation and on behalf of all the Benchers wish to thank him for his contributions to the work of the Law Society.”

A by-election in the County of Prince Rupert has been set for Friday, June 6, 2014. Calls for nomination will be mailed to Prince Rupert district members in early April. The term of the new Bencher will begin immediately on election and end on December 31, 2015.

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Court of Appeal consultation on mandatory e-filing

[posted February 5, 2014]

The Court of Appeal is seeking input from the profession, the public and filing agents on a proposal to require mandatory e-filing of civil and criminal factums and criminal statements by January, 2016. E-filing of factums will not be required for self-represented litigants.

The changes to the filing procedure and the requirements are outlined in the consultation paper on the court’s website. Comments may be submitted to FactumConsultation@courts.gov.bc.ca by April 30, 2014. Any comments received may be used anonymously in a public report.

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Firms advised to be aware of malware threat

[posted December 13, 2013]

Two BC law firms hit to date with Cryptolocker ransomware

Law Society practice advisors have learned recently of BC law firms that have fallen prey to a devastating computer virus called Cryptolocker ransomware. Known as malware, Cryptolocker is typically installed on a computer by opening an infected email attachment, watching an infected video file or plugging an infected USB flash drive into your computer. Emails appear to be from legitimate sources, such as government, banks, delivery companies such as FedEx, major corporations or even friends whose email addresses have been "spoofed."

Cryptolocker encrypts files and can lock up an entire computer network. It may also source passwords and credit card numbers. It then demands a ransom to unlock the system. Of the two firms that were hit in BC, one paid the ransom and recovered its files. The other firm did not pay the ransom, but was able to recover its accounting data that had been stored in a .zip file that was not encrypted by the malware.

For more information on how to protect against Cryptolocker and other computer threats, read the Practice Resource: Cryptolocker Ransomware Alert.

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Accreditation of family law ADR professionals

[posted June 27, 2013]

[updated January 15, 2014]

The government of BC is urging the use of alternate dispute resolution professionals to diffuse the ­adversarial nature of family law matters and have more of them resolved out of court. Under the new Family Law Act, the Law Society has been given the authority to oversee the accreditation of lawyers who wish to act as family law mediators, family law arbitrators and/or parenting ­coordinators.

As of January 1, 2014, lawyers must complete the applicable hours of training in a course of study and register their training with the Law Society. Specifically, all dispute resolution professionals are required to have, as a minimum, the following:

  • 14 hours of approved training in family violence, which must include skills for identifying, evaluating and managing family violence and issues of power dynamics in particular relation to the dispute resolution process;
  • depending on their specific role, up to 10 years of related experience and 40 or more hours of mediation, arbitration and/or parenting coordinating training;
  • sufficient training in family law.

For more information, see Family law alternate dispute resolution accreditation.

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