E-Brief: July 2018

Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan approved

In 2015, the Benchers acknowledged the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and committed to addressing all of the TRC calls to action that are within the Law Society's mandate. As a result, the Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan was developed by the Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee. The action plan will guide the Law Society's strategic and meaningful response to the TRC calls to action. A link to the action plan may be found here.

Law firm regulation update

With the registration phase complete, the next phase of law firm regulation involves a pilot project to evaluate the self-assessment tool that the Law Society has developed. Approximately 10 per cent of registered firms are being randomly selected to test an online self-assessment tool, help the Law Society evaluate whether the self-assessment process may help firms enhance their practice management systems and gather feedback on whether firms feel they need additional practice management resources. Designated representatives of firms selected for the pilot will receive an email shortly with a link to the self-assessment form. To learn more about the pilot and the law firm regulation initiative, visit the Law Firm Regulation page on our website.

Law Society and CLEBC receive ACLEA Outstanding Achievement Award

On June 15, 2018, the Association for Continuing Legal Education announced that the Law Society of BC and Continuing Legal Education Society of BC were being recognized with the 2018 Award of Outstanding Achievement – Public Interest for the Law Society's Truth and Reconciliation Symposium that was held in Vancouver on November 23, 2017. Find out more about the Law Society's Truth and Reconciliation initiative here.

Annual fee review consultation

In response to a proposed member resolution submitted prior to last year's annual general meeting, the Benchers established the Annual Fee Review Working Group with a mandate to investigate and consider providing public interest practitioners with reduced rates of practice fees and insurance fees. The working group is seeking comment from members on the idea of reducing Law Society fees for public interest practitioners. A consultation paper is available here. Lawyers should submit their views to annualfeereview@lsbc.org by September 15, 2018.

What to do Before and After a Disaster Strikes

Whether it's a flood, forest fire, earthquake or the threatened earthquake/tsunami forecasted to hit our coast in the future – disaster can strike at any time and can be devastating. Is your firm prepared? See What to do Before and After a Disaster Strikes (July 2018) for five simple steps to reduce your exposure in a disaster and, if a disaster strikes, 10 immediate actions to manage the disaster. In addition, see our detailed Disaster Preparation Checklist and After a Disaster Strikes Checklist.

2018 Law Society scholarships

The Law Society congratulates Christina Gray, recipient of the 2018 Indigenous Scholarship, and Gabriella Jamieson, recipient of the 2018 Scholarship for Graduate Legal Studies. Further details are in the news release.

Winners of the Rule of Law Essay Contest

The Law Society congratulates essay contest winner Michelle Rodrigues, a grade 12 student from Little Flower Academy in Vancouver, and runner-up Katy Berglund, a grade 12 student from Reynolds Secondary School in Victoria, for their exceptional essays on the rule of law and social media. The full essays can be read on our website.

The Law Society Award: Call for nominations

Lawyers are invited to nominate a candidate to receive the Law Society Award in 2018. Offered every two years, the award is based on the criteria of integrity, professional achievement, service and law reform. Nominations are open until August 30, 2018. For more information, including how to submit a nomination, visit our website.

Articling offers by downtown Vancouver firms to stay open until August 17

All offers of articling positions made this year by law firms with offices in downtown Vancouver (defined as the area west of Carrall Street and north of False Creek) must remain open until 8 am on Friday, August 17, 2018. The deadline applies to offers made to both first and second-year law students, but does not affect offers made to third-year law students or offers of summer positions (temporary articles). For more information, read the highlight on the website.

Indigenous Laws Conference

Lawyers involved in Indigenous legal issues may be interested in attending the Indigenous Laws Conference on October 25 and 26, 2018 in Vancouver. Connect with other scholars and practitioners of Indigenous law to consider how Indigenous legal traditions and the common law may co-exist. Visit Continuing Legal Education's website for details.

Potential fraudulent scheme involving historical bonds

The Law Society has become aware of a potentially fraudulent scheme that may involve the purported sale or redemption of historical bonds for a large amount of money, or the chance to invest or participate in such a transaction. Lawyers may be targeted by being asked to certify documents, take possession of bonds, prepare contracts or receive funds into trust. Lawyers are encouraged to be vigilant. For more information on the scheme, visit our website.

Lawyer's survey on the practice of family law

The Department of Justice Canada is conducting a survey concerning family law issues. Lawyers and judges practising family law are invited to complete the survey to help identify trends in family law over time and address emerging issues. The survey will remain open until the end of August and is available to lawyers at this link. Judges may access the survey here.

From the courts

The Provincial Court of BC has issued a Notice to the Profession calling for applications for judicial appointments as judicial justices. Visit the court's website for details.

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