E-Brief: November 2017

Benchers consider report on continuing professional development

The Benchers considered the final report of the Lawyer Education Advisory Committee on the continuing professional development requirement. The report proposes a number of modifications that will result in an expansion of eligible learning activities and greater flexibility on how and when lawyers can satisfy their CPD credits. The Benchers will decide on the recommendations at the December Benchers meeting. Read the report here.

Benchers discuss 2018-2020 strategic plan

The Benchers had a robust discussion on the Law Society's potential priorities and goals for its 2018-2020 strategic plan, including enhancing access to justice, advancing legal aid and improving mental health in the legal profession. The Benchers will consider a final version of the plan at their next meeting.

Truth and Reconciliation Symposium on Thursday, November 23

The Law Society, in collaboration with CLEBC, is holding a Truth and Reconciliation Symposium on Thursday, November 23 to engage with lawyers about the profession's role in reconciliation and gather feedback on the next steps and priorities for the Law Society's reconciliation efforts. The theme of the symposium is "Transforming the Law from a Tool of Assimilation into a Tool of Reconciliation." The free event will be eligible for six hours of continuing professional development credits. See the website for details.

Law Society submits letter to the Minister of Public Safety regarding Bill C-59

The Law Society has sent a letter to the Honourable Ralph Goodale to outline its considerations regarding Bill C-59, "An Act respecting national security matters." Read the full letter here.

Amendments to the Law Society Rules

The Benchers have approved amendments to the Law Society Rules: 1) to clarify that restrictions on temporary articled students appearing on certain Supreme Court matters do not apply with respect to Provincial Court; 2) to make a minor amendment to reflect the current in-house nature of the Equity Ombudsperson program; and 3) to update fees for 2018. Click here for highlights of amendments.

Access your Proof of Insurance Certificate in Member Portal

The Proof of Insurance Certificate acts as proof that a lawyer has professional liability insurance. The Law Society website has been updated to allow lawyers to create and access a Proof of Insurance Certificate on their own, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To access the certificate, log in to the Member Portal, scroll down to the "Proof of Insurance Certificate" heading and click "Download Proof of Insurance Certificate." Members who are not insured will not see the option to request a proof of insurance certificate. For more information on certificates, visit our website.

Draft rule changes on interviewing and communicating with witnesses

The Ethics Committee seeks feedback on draft changes to BC Code rules 5.3 and 5.4 on interviewing and communicating with witnesses. Consultation materials are posted on the Law Society's website.

Call for applications: Land Title and Survey Authority board member

The Law Society makes appointments of qualified individuals to boards, councils and committees whose objects are related to the Society's public interest mandate. The Law Society is accepting applications for the appointment of one board member to the Land Title and Survey Authority, to take effect on March 31, 2018. The deadline to submit applications for this position is November 15, 2017. For more information on eligibility, responsibilities and directions on how to apply, read the website highlight.

Ministry of Finance hosts information session on changes to property transfer tax return

The Ministry of Finance is offering a free information session on November 9 from 9 am to 11 am for legal professionals who file property transfer tax returns. Participants can attend in-person at the Victoria and Vancouver offices of the Land Title Survey Authority of BC or attend online. Changes to the property transfer tax returns will be effective December 4, 2017. To register, email pttenq@gov.bc.ca by November 3 indicating whether you will attend in person in Victoria or Vancouver or online, and with the subject line: Registration: PTT RETURN V.29 session NOV 9/2017.

Judicial vacancies in BC

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada invites candidates to apply for federal judicial appointment. It is anticipated that a number of vacancies on the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of BC will occur before year-end. See the notice for further information.

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