E-Brief: February 2021

Guidance on calculating limitation periods

Since the provincial government announced that it will be lifting the suspension of limitation periods on March 25, 2021, the Lawyers Indemnity Fund and Law Society practice advisors are being contacted about what this will mean for calculating limitation periods. The following helpful guidance was developed in conjunction with government to assist you in calculating limitation periods for civil and family proceedings in Provincial Court, the BC Supreme Court and BC Court of Appeal. But why wait? The best plan you can make to avoid missing a limitation is to commence your action or appeal by filing your notices now.

Update on Indigenous intercultural competency course

The launch of the Indigenous intercultural competency course, which was planned for this January 2021, has had to be postponed due to delays in developing some parts of the course as a result of the pandemic. The course is still expected to launch in Spring 2021, and lawyers will have up to two years to complete all modules of the course. For more information about the initiative, visit our website.

Grace period to February 26, 2021 for registry acceptance of former Supreme Court family forms

Chief Justice Hinkson has issued a Notice to the Profession, the Public and the Media, which implements a grace period of up to and including February 26, 2021 during which the registry will accept former Supreme Court family forms or new Supreme Court family forms that were amended by Order in Council. Effective Monday, March 1, 2021, registry staff will no longer accept the former forms and will only accept Supreme Court family forms as amended.

The Bill C-78 Divorce Act changes

The federal government has enacted substantial changes to the Divorce Act that come into force on March 1, 2021. To assist you in understanding the amendments, the Department of Justice Canada and experts from its Family and Children’s Law Team are offering free virtual training sessions during the month of February. A list of course dates and times, with links to register, is available here. DOJ is also offering online courses, with the first one – Introduction to Federal Family Law Amendments – available here.

ICYMI: new Rule of Law Matters episode eligible for CPD

January 28, 2021 was International Data Privacy Day, and to mark the occasion the Law Society published a special episode featuring Richard Peck, QC on privacy, surveillance and the rule of law. This episode and episodes recorded in 2020 are eligible for continuing professional development credits. Future episodes will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for CPD credits. To listen to the Rule of Law Matters podcast, visit the Law Society’s website, or subscribe and find past episodes on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

ICYMI: Video message from 2021 Law Society President Dean Lawton, QC

As part of an ongoing commitment to keep you informed about Benchers business and priorities, the Law Society presented this video of President Dean Lawton, QC, outlining Strategic Plan 2021-2025 and speaking about the aspects of the plan that will be the focus of the next few months.

Tips for web filing with the Land Title and Survey Authority

The LTSA recently published Tips for Web Filing in response to quality verification issues with web filing submissions. For more information about web filing, visit their website.

Notice from BC Assessment for purchasers of private managed forest land

BC Assessment would like to bring attention to those acting for purchasers for private managed forest land that: purchasers may be responsible for paying taxes on timber previously harvested by the vendor; and purchasers may be responsible for paying exit fees to the Managed Forest Council if the property is removed from managed forest class. More information on understanding Managed Forest Land Classification and Assessment is available on their website and their web pages: Understanding Managed Forest Classification in BC and How Managed Forest Land is Assessed.

From LIF

Two years means two years: BC Court of Appeal confirms strict limitation period for third party claims for contribution and indemnity

Under the former limitation act, a court could consider delay and prejudice in determining whether to allow third party proceedings to be commenced after the limitation period had expired. This is no longer the case. The Court of Appeal in Sohal v. Lezama recently held that a court does not have the discretion to permit a third party notice for contribution and indemnity if the limitation period has expired under the current limitation act. The two-year limitation period starts to run on the “discovery” of the claim, which is the later of: (1) date the defendant was served with the Notice of Civil Claim; or (2) the first day the defendant knew or ought to have known that it could claim contribution or indemnity. Remember to give timely consideration to potential third party claims for contribution and indemnity in order to preserve your client’s right to make these claims.

LIF Risk Management Video Series − Will Drafting Mistakes

Three times as many people over 65 live in BC today as compared with 35 years ago. This aging demographic, coupled with the surge in demand for wills resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, means that challenges to the validity of wills will become more frequent. Wills and estates lawyers are vulnerable. The number one cause of claims for wills and estates lawyers? Oversights — primarily clerical mistakes in drafting wills and just forgetting to take some step that needs to be taken. Claims Counsel Leanne Wood will describe an actual will-drafting mistake from one of our claim files in this video. Find out even more information about common mistakes in wills and estates here. For the latest updates from LIF, follow us on Twitter @Lifbc.

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