E-Brief: February 2016   

Law Firm Regulation Task Force invites lawyers to participate in face-to-face consultation

The Law Firm Regulation Task Force is moving forward with the second phase of consultation. Lawyers are invited to attend focus groups in 10 cities around the province in February, to share their thoughts and views on law firm regulation. For details, please visit our website.

The task force would also like to thank everyone who participated in the online survey in November 2015 — over 100 lawyers responded. Click here to read the survey report.

Lawyers who supervise designated paralegals invited to complete survey

The Law Society is asking lawyers who supervise designated paralegals to participate in a short, voluntary survey to help determine how the program is working and whether improvements are necessary. Lawyers are encouraged to discuss the program with their designated paralegal to garner their feedback and suggestions before taking the survey. The survey is anonymous and the information gathered will be used for the purpose of evaluating the program. If you have any questions, please contact the Communications Department at communications@lsbc.org. The survey is available online.

Justicia in BC Project launches best practice guides

At their January 29 meeting, the Benchers approved the second set of resource materials for the Justicia in BC Project. The materials set out best practices in business development, leadership skills and partnership initiatives for women lawyers. They are available on the Law Society's website.

Next steps to address Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations

The Benchers are encouraged by the positive feedback from the profession in response to the media release sent in November 2015 confirming their commitment to prioritize the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call to action. The next step will be to consult with representatives from the Aboriginal legal community to guide the Law Society's response to the Commission's calls to action.

Update: Legal Aid Task Force

In September last year, the Benchers approved the formation of a Legal Aid Task Force. The task force was charged with developing a principled vision concerning publicly funded legal aid, identifying ways lawyers can be more actively involved in legal aid programs and investigating ways to engage with other organizations to coordinate resources. The Task Force had its first meeting on January 28. The Task Force mandate and members can be found on the Law Society's website.

Practice advice: protect your lender clients and yourselves

The recent decision of Lin v. CIBC Mortgages Inc.,2015 BCCA 518,challenges standard practices for real estate conveyancing in British Columbia. Although it remains to be seen how the decision will be applied or interpreted, lawyers are encouraged to read the case and the Law Society's suggestions on how to protect their lender clients and themselves on our website. If you have any questions, please contact a practice advisor.

From the courts

The Supreme Court of BC has issued two practice directions effective December 15, 2015, to properly reflect amendments to the Supreme Court Family Rules and Supreme Court Civil Rules:

The Provincial Court of BC has issued a Notice to the Profession NP 08 Termination of Small Claims Rule 7.4 Mediations (Robson Square Registry) effective January 4, 2016.

The 2013/CPD-1 CCFM Practice Direction and the CRIM 08 Criminal Caseflow Management Simplified Front End Process (2013) Forms and Procedure have been amended by Chief Judge Crabtree to expand the availability of Form 4 (CPD-1) Consent Arraignment for use in the Vancouver Island and Northern Regions.


Send your comments or questions to communications@lsbc.org.