E-brief: June 2016

Benchers' retreat focused on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's findings

The Benchers held their annual retreat from June 2 to 4 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Convention Centre, where Friday, June 3, was devoted to a forum at which the Benchers heard from Indigenous leaders on the legal and justice issues underlying the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions' findings. At their June 4 meeting, the Benchers agreed to create a permanent advisory committee, with the guidance of key Indigenous leaders, to address Indigenous issues that fall within the Law Society's mandate.

Benchers' nominee for 2017 Second Vice-President

Nancy Merrill, QC is the Benchers' nominee for 2017 Second Vice-President. Merrill was first elected a Bencher in 2011 and is currently Chair of the Ethics Committee and Legal Aid Task Force, and a member of the Executive Committee and Access to Legal Services Advisory Committee. The election for the 2017 Second Vice-President will be held at the annual general meeting on October 4.

Enhanced Lawyer Lookup

While access to information about a lawyer's discipline history has been available on the Law Society website for several years, starting early next week the Lawyer Lookup service will be enhanced to provide more direct access to a lawyer's discipline history. The Lawyer Lookup page will indicate whether a lawyer has a publicly disclosable discipline history and any current discipline proceedings, with a direct link to the information. The enhanced Lawyer Lookup page is consistent with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada's National Discipline Standards and developments in other provinces and reflects the Law Society's ongoing commitment to the protection of the public interest.

Amendments to the Law Society Rules

The Benchers have approved amendments to the Law Society Rules to permit fiduciary property to be held as trust funds provided that the trust accounting rules are followed, to reassign the function of setting a hearing date from the Executive Director to the President and to allow an application for a decision to be made directly to the President. For the highlight of amendments, visit our website.

Supreme Court of Canada's decisions concerning CRA notices of requirements

As a result of the Supreme Court of Canada's decisions, ss. 231.2 and 231.7 of the Income Tax Act are unconstitutional and inapplicable to lawyers and the exception in the definition of solicitor-client privilege in s. 232(1) is constitutionally invalid. Lawyers who are currently the subject of an outstanding notice of requirement pursuant to s. 231.2 or who are a party to an application for a compliance order under s. 231.7 should contact Barbara Buchanan, QC (bbuchanan@lsbc.org) or Michael Lucas (mlucas@lsbc.org) if they have any questions. For more information, read the highlight.

Ministry of Finance announces updated property transfer tax form effective June 10

The updated property transfer tax form (version 26) is now available through the Land Title and Survey Authority's website. Guidance on collecting citizenship and further information is outlined in this information sheet issued by the Ministry of Finance.

From the courts

The BC Supreme Court has issued amendments to Rule 12-2 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules, Trial Management Conferences, which come into effect on July 1, 2016. These amendments establish several new timelines and failure to meet the timelines may result in trials being removed from the trial list. This Notice describes the new timelines and provides an example of how the timelines are calculated. For more information, visit the court's website.

The BC Provincial Court has issued a Notice to the Profession on the South Peace Family Mediation Initiative. For more information, visit the court's website.

The Federal Court has issued Case Management Guidelines for NOC Applications, which can found on the court's website

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