E-Brief: June 2021 Supplementary Edition

BC’s COVID-19 restart plan

Yesterday, the provincial government announced that, as of July 1, the provincial state of emergency which has been in effect over 460 days will come to an end and Step 3 of its restart plan will begin. In Step 3, office workplaces must still follow communicable disease prevention guidance, but in-person seminars and bigger meetings may be held. Masks continue to be recommended for indoor settings. Further information and guidance may be found in the provincial government’s statement for employers on transitioning from COVID-19 safety plans to communicable disease plans, as well as WorkSafeBC’s communicable disease prevention guide for employers and website.

Law Society Tribunal seeks hearing panel members

The Law Society Tribunal invites lawyers and members of the public to apply to serve on its hearing panels. Indigenous lawyers and individuals are particularly encouraged to apply. Hearing panels hear cases related to allegations of discipline violations and incompetence by lawyers, as well as on the character and fitness of applicants for the admission program and as new lawyers. Lawyers appointed to the hearing panel pool will be assigned to hearings on an as-needed basis and will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses. Further information about the Tribunal and application process, including qualifications, are available on the website.

Deadline extension: National survey on health and well-being of legal professionals

The deadline for students, practising, non-practising and recently retired lawyers to participate in a nation-wide study on the mental health and well-being of legal professionals has been extended one month, to July 30, 2021. Click here to take part in the survey now. Responses to the survey are anonymous. You may take a break at any time by closing the page and continue later from where you left off by visiting the same link. For more information about the initiative, visit our website.

Save the date: 2021 Mental Health Forum on Tuesday, September 14

The Law Society and the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC are hosting a Mental Health Forum on Tuesday, September 14 from 9 am to 12 pm, to bring together the legal community to share practical strategies as to how practitioners, firms and other legal employers can actively work toward improving mental health within the profession. This three-hour event will include a collaborative discussion about the steps legal employers can take to address these issues, with input from firms and employers of various sizes and experts that provide wellness support and resources to lawyers. Registration is open here and more details will be made available soon.

First applicants accepted to the Law Society’s innovation sandbox

The Law Society has opened the innovation sandbox to six proposals for providing legal advice and assistance to legal consumers in British Columbia. For details, read the news release. More service providers will be admitted to the innovation sandbox in the coming months. We invite individuals, businesses and law firms with ideas for the delivery of innovative legal services to submit a proposal for consideration. To find out more or to submit an application, visit the Innovation Sandbox initiative on the Law Society’s website.

Discipline Advisory: Self-represented/Unrepresented litigants

The Law Society receives hundreds of complaints every year from self/unrepresented litigants against opposing counsel. This advisory gives guidance and 10 tips for lawyers when the opposing party is self-represented. Read the discipline advisory here.

New Rule of Law Matters episode on the role of prosecutors in criminal justice and the rule of law

In this new episode, senior prosecutor Christopher McPherson, QC discusses the role and duties of a prosecutor, the standards that must be met before prosecutors decide to lay a charge, the importance of prosecutorial independence, their separation from the government, the investigation and the police, and the rare occurrences of wrongful convictions. To listen to the Rule of Law Matters podcast, visit the Law Society’s website, or subscribe and find past episodes on Spotify or on Apple Podcasts.


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