E-Brief: October 2021

Nominations now closed for 2021 Bencher election

Bencher elections will be held in the County of Vancouver (11 Benchers to be elected), County of Victoria (2 Benchers to be elected), County of Nanaimo (1 to be elected), County of Westminster (2 to be elected), County of Cariboo (2 to be elected) and District of Kamloops (1 to be elected) for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2022 and ending December 31, 2023. Online voting will take place from November 1 until 5 pm on November 15, and votes will be counted on November 16. Voting instructions and voter credentials will be sent to eligible members on the voting lists for Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Westminster, Cariboo and Kamloops on November 1. Candidate biographies and election statements will be posted on the elections page before voting begins on November 1, 2021.

Law Society to develop alternative discipline process to address mental health challenges

The Benchers adopted a recommendation of the Mental Health Task Force calling for the creation of an alternative discipline process to address circumstances in which there is a connection between a health condition and a conduct issue that has resulted in a complaint investigation. The proposed alternative discipline process will be developed and is expected to be implemented in September 2022, when it will be piloted over three years. At the conclusion of the pilot, the Benchers will make a final determination as to whether to establish it as a permanent regulatory program. Read the full report here.

Update on 2020 AGM resolutions regarding remuneration and hours of work

The Benchers have endorsed in principle establishing standards for hours of work and minimum financial compensation levels during articles. The Law Society will consult further with the profession as it develops a specific formula or method for calculating the new standards and identifies circumstances under which employers and students may be eligible for discretionary exemptions. Specifics of the new standards for hours of work and remuneration will be referred to the Benchers by the Fall of 2022 and 2023, respectively. To address any concerns about a potential reduction in articling positions, and in an effort to ensure that any new standards do not create other additional barriers to licensing, the Benchers resolved that the new standards will not be implemented until at least one alternative to articling as a pathway to licensing is in place. The report can be found here.

Addressing adverse childhood experiences through access to non-adversarial resolution of family law matters

At their October meeting, the Benchers adopted 11 of 12 recommendations of the Access to Justice Advisory Committee, including collaborating with medical and other experts to continue research and raise awareness of adverse childhood experiences and to encourage greater access to non-adversarial alternatives for resolving family law disputes. The recommendations are based on the committee’s research and consultations, which highlighted the effects adverse childhood experiences have on the developing brain and long-term wellness. See the report and recommendations here.

Update on the Indigenous course

Before the end of September, the Law Society opened the course developed as part of its response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 27 to members of the profession interested in previewing it. Over 300 requests to access the course were received within the first hours that it was made available, and well over 600 members of the profession have begun reviewing the content and offering feedback. The preview phase will continue into December and comments received will be incorporated into the version of the course that will launch in January 2022.

Law Society appointments: board vacancies

The Law Society is currently seeking expressions of interest for appointments as the Law Society’s nominees to the British Columbia Law Institute Board of Directors and to the Law Foundation of BC Board of Governors. Further information can be found here. For more information about the appointments process and requirements for each board position, see our Appointments Guidebook. The deadline for applications is 5 pm, Wednesday, November 10, 2021. You may submit an application online.

From Lawyers Indemnity Fund

In case you missed it: Do you have three minutes to learn what’s new in your indemnity policy?

Let’s face it, nobody ever reads the indemnity policy until they need it. But it’s important to your practice to understand what is covered, what is not, and if there have been any changes to your coverage. In this three-minute video, Shelley Braun, Director of Underwriting and Claims at LIF, will tell you what’s new in your 2021 indemnity program. An overview of the policy and answers to frequently answered questions about the program can be found here. For the latest updates from LIF, follow us on Twitter @Lifbc.


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