E-Brief: February 2020

Province proposes no-fault insurance scheme

The Law Society has issued a statement on the provincial government’s proposal to introduce no-fault insurance, re-introduce limits on expert reports and caps on compensation for disbursements, and increase the role of the Civil Resolution Tribunal in disputes over compensation entitlements between accident victims and ICBC. The full statement is available on our website.

Application of client identification and verification and trust rules for mediators and arbitrators

Law Society Rules 3-98 to 3-110 apply to lawyers who are retained by clients to provide legal services. These rules generally do not apply to lawyers who act as mediators or arbitrators (Rule 3-99(1)). Mediators and arbitrators who take pre-payment of fees for their services from parties or the parties’ counsel must not deposit these funds into their trust account regulated by the Law Society (Rule 3-58.1). See the FAQS on the Client ID & Verification web page for more information.

Benchers adopt recommendations to address mental health in the profession

The Benchers have taken a number of steps to destigmatize mental health issues in the legal profession and encourage lawyers who are struggling to seek support. These include further collaboration with law schools to ensure a seamless transition in services and supports for law students and future lawyers, holding a forum for lawyers and law firms to learn what more they and the Law Society can do to improve mental health, and revising the Law Society Admission Program application form by removing questions about medical fitness. For more information, read the website highlight.

FAQs on Lifeworks’ counselling and referral services

The Law Society funds personal counselling and referral services through LifeWorks Canada Ltd. Services are confidential and available at no cost to individual BC lawyers and articled students and their immediate families. To provide more information on what Lifeworks offers and how to connect with services, answers to frequently asked questions have been posted. Read more about mental health resources on the Law Society’s website.

Consultation on the future of legal services, legal practice and the legal profession

The Law Society’s Futures Task Force is seeking input to assist in its consideration of the future of the practice of law and regulation of the legal profession in British Columbia. Lawyers are invited to comment on factors and forces that are likely to influence the delivery of legal services, the regulation of the legal profession and legal practice over the next decade. Comments can be provided online here. For more information on the consultation, visit our website.

Have your say: survey on legal research platforms

The Law Society is supporting an important initiative to obtain feedback on experience and opinions about conducting legal research. Volunteers are invited to participate in an online survey to gather information about the needs and concerns of members of the legal profession. The survey takes less than five minutes to complete. To participate in the survey, click here.

Tuition tax receipts available in February

T2202A certificates for PLTC will be available for download from the Member Portal in mid-February. The T2202A is an official tax receipt that is issued to all students who paid tuition for qualifying PLTC courses in the previous calendar year. It shows the amount of tuition that can be deducted for income tax purposes, as well as the number of months eligible for the education deduction. For more information on filing your income tax return, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

From the courts

The federal court has published a practice direction on certificates under section 38.13 of the Canada Evidence Act. See the court’s website for more information.

The provincial court has launched revised criminal picklists containing standard wording for bail, probation and conditional sentences as well as associated orders like driving and firearms prohibitions. See revised criminal picklists here.

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