E-brief: May 2018

Law firm registration commences

As the first step in law firm regulation, firms that are required to register under the Rules will be receiving notification by email this week. The online registration form has been pre-populated based on our current information about the firm, and firms will be asked to confirm that the information is correct or amend the information. Firms will also be required to identify a designated representative for the firm for the purpose of receiving and responding to communications from the Law Society.  For further information about the requirements, see Rules 2-12.1 to 2-12.5 and the Law Society website.

Law firm regulation pilot project update

A pilot project will commence in June to evaluate the self-assessment tool that the Law Society has developed. Approximately 10 per cent of firms in BC will be randomly selected to participate in the pilot project. The self-assessment tool will provide the Law Society with information about the policies and processes BC firms have in place and to assess where firms may need additional educational resources. To recognize lawyers for their participation in the pilot project, lawyers involved in completing the self-assessment will be able to claim up to 2 hours continuing professional development credit for the time they spend.

2018 Rule of Law Lecture: Social justice and the rule of law

Join us at the second annual Rule of Law Lecture, with speakers former Supreme Court of Canada Justice and litigator Ian Binnie, CC, QC and National Post columnist Jonathan Kay, for a lively dialogue on how the rule of law and social justice interact and intersect. For event details, see the website. Admission is free but registration is required. To RSVP, contact policy@lsbc.org.

Changes to publication of credential hearing decisions

The Benchers have approved a recommendation to change the way credentials decisions are published. The recommendation, as approved, is to publish the outcome of the hearing that will name the applicant, identify whether he or she has been admitted and, if applicable, set out the conditions on which the applicant was admitted. Reasons will be published separately and will not name the applicant. The Benchers concluded that this approach allows the public to know the outcome of a hearing, and, through the publication of the reasons, to be able to understand the reasoning behind a panel’s decision to admit or not admit. The anonymous publication of the reasons aims to preserve the privacy of the applicant, given the often sensitive personal information that is contained in such decisions.

Protect your lender client and yourself

In Leatherman v. 0969708 B.C. Ltd., the BC Court of Appeal found that the new Limitation Act’s two-year limitation period to enforce mortgage security ran from the first date of default and not, contrary to the lender’s understanding, from the first date of demand. Read the case to properly advise lender clients about the two year limitation and when it starts to run.

Amendments to the Law Society Rules

The Benchers adopted rule amendments to give the executive director the discretion to waive the fee for late filing of trust account where special circumstances apply. Click here for highlights of amendments.

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.

From the courts

The Supreme Court has issued an Administrative Notice on emergency after hours applications in Vancouver. Visit the court’s website for more information.

The Provincial Court of BC has issued a Notice to the Profession and Public on prosecution of offences under the Tla’amin Final Agreement. For more information, visit the court's website.