E-brief: June 2018

Law firm regulation update

As of June 7, more than 2,500 firms have completed their registration forms. Registration of law firms will continue until mid-June, following which a pilot project will commence to evaluate the self-assessment tool that the Law Society has developed. Approximately 10 per cent of firms will be randomly selected to participate. The pilot will provide the Law Society with information about the self-assessment tool, the policies and processes BC firms have in place and whether firms may need additional resources. The designated representative of firms selected for the pilot will receive an email with a link to the self-assessment and will have three months to complete and submit the form.

Benchers’ nominee for 2019 Second Vice-President

At their June meeting, the Benchers acclaimed Dean Lawton, QC as their nominee for the 2019 Second Vice-President. Lawton was first elected a Bencher for Victoria County in 2014. He is currently chair of the Lawyer Education Advisory Committee and a member of the Executive Committee, Discipline Committee, Recruitment and Nominating Advisory Committee and Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee. The election for the Second Vice-President will be held at the annual general meeting on October 30.

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.

Changes to the Indigenous Scholarship

The Benchers unanimously approved expanding eligibility for the Indigenous Scholarship to include students enrolled in Juris Doctor and graduate law programs and increasing the award from $12,000 to $20,000 to be awarded to one student, or divided between two students ($10,000 per student), at the discretion of the selection committee. For more information, visit our website.

Articling offers by downtown Vancouver firms to stay open to 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 is set by the Credentials Committee under Rule 2-58, and applies to offers made to both first and second-year law students. The deadline 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.

2017 Report on Performance and financial statements now available

The Law Society's 2017 Report on Performance and audited financial statements are now available online.The Report on Performance provides a progress update on strategic initiatives in the final year of our 2015-2017 Strategic Plan and provides membership statistics illustrating trends that may influence the delivery of legal services in the future. The annual Report on Performance is a critical part of our regulatory transparency, informing the public, government, the media and the legal community about how we are meeting our regulatory obligations.

Amendments to the Law Society Rules

The Benchers adopted rule amendments to authorize the Complainants’ Review Committee and Practice Standards Committee to refer matters to the executive director for further investigation, and to correct a rule reference. Click here for highlights of amendments.

From the courts

The Federal Court has issued a Notice to Parties and the Profession on the publication of court decisions. Visit the court's website for details.

The Court of Appeal has issued a new Practice Directive on publication bans and sealing orders, effective June 11, 2018. See their website for details.

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