E-Brief: August 2020

Federal limitation periods suspended

An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures received Royal Assent on July 20, 2020. The legislation suspends certain federal limitation periods from March 13 to September 13, 2020, or any earlier day fixed by order of the Governor in Council. Part 3 of the Act enacts the Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19) and sets out which Acts or regulations are affected. For any federal matter, check whether the Time Limits and Other Periods Act (COVID-19) applies. Even though certain federal limitation periods are still suspended, don't wait, take action now.

ICYMI: Provincial guidance on when the state of emergency is lifted

To help you plan for when the state of emergency ends, the provincial government has issued the following information bulletins: information bulletin regarding remote witnessing, which outlines provisions of the COVID-19 Related Measures Act that are in force and apply to the process for remote witnessing of enduring powers of attorney and representation agreements; information bulletin regarding limitation periods, which explains how the CRMA enacts the further suspension of limitations and mandatory time periods and how to calculate the end date of your limitation or time period; and information bulletin regarding civil liability, which explains a new regulation adopted to provide certain protections from civil liability with respect to transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. For details, see the Notice to the Profession sent earlier this week.

Lawyers Indemnity Fund video: Planning for when the state of emergency ends

The Lawyers Indemnity Fund is releasing short videos on risk management once a month to offer guidance and tips to avoid issues that can lead to claims. The second of these videos is about the COVID-19 Related Measures Act. Watch this video of Maryanne Prohl, Director of Risk Management at LIF, to learn more.

Reminder: Second instalment of indemnity fees due August 31

As a measure to assist lawyers and law firms who are facing financial challenges, the deadline for payment of the second instalment of indemnity fees was extended to August 31, 2020. Second instalment invoices will not be mailed and they can be accessed from the Member Portal.

Discipline advisory: Withdrawal under a contingency fee agreement

The Law Society has published a discipline advisory to remind lawyers of the special circumstances that apply for a retainer that is pursuant to a contingency fee agreement. Read the advisory here.

The Law Society Award – Last call for nominations

Nominations for the 2020 Law Society Award close tomorrow, August 14, 2020. Lawyers are encouraged to nominate a candidate for their exceptional contributions to the legal profession. For more information, including how to submit a nomination, click here.

Statement regarding judicial independence

The Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee has issued a statement expressing concerns about the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to his Minister of Justice following the last election. In particular, the directive nature of the language in the letter on the issue of education for judges could be viewed as harmful to the principles of judicial independence. Read the statement here.

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