Notice to the Profession
April 01, 2020

LTSA process for remote witnessing of affidavits in Land Title Applications

The Land Title and Survey Authority has issued Practice Bulletin 01-20 Process for Remote Witnessing of Affidavits for use in Land Title Applications, in effect immediately to provide direction about remote witnessing of affidavits in support of land title applications (including section 49) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawyers who remotely witness affidavits must first review the Law Society’s directions on best practices for using video-conferencing when providing legal advice or services (see FAQs on the Law Society’s COVID-19 Information web page), and must incorporate a statement in the jurat of the affidavit confirming this process was used and the best practices followed.

Where lawyers reasonably determine that circumstances require virtual commissioning of an affidavit and follow the procedure set out in the LTSA Practice Bulletin, the Law Society will consider the requirement that the deponent be physically present before the lawyers, set out in Appendix A 1(a) of the Code of Professional Conduct, to have been met.

Support for lawyers to manage impacts of COVID-19

In an effort to get Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s message out, President Craig Ferris, QC has made a video statement to the legal profession about staying healthy while managing your practice. Also view what President Ferris has to say about further actions the Law Society has taken with the courts, government and government agencies to address challenges you are facing in the current situations.

To help lawyers manage the health and social impacts of COVID-19, resources and support are available. LifeWorks is an employee assistance program funded by the Law Society that offers free, confidential, 24/7 support. Further information about LifeWorks is available on our website. In addition to LifeWorks, the Lawyers Assistance Program is open and meeting with clients remotely. Find out more about LAP’s services on their website or contact them by phone at 604.685.2171 or 1.888.685.2171.