Lawyers Insurance Fund seeks feedback on new risk management guide, Beat the Clock

June 12, 2007

You can prevent missing a deadline ever — or ever again — thanks to a special risk management publication released by the Lawyers Insurance Fund. The guide, Beat the clock: Timely lessons from 1600 lawyers, was provided to all lawyers in private practice with the May 2007 issue of the Benchers' Bulletin.

Have you found the guide helpful? Do you have additional feedback for the Lawyers Insurance Fund? Fill out our short survey and we will send you a small token of our appreciation (while supplies last). The guide, including a quick reference list for missed limitations and deadlines, can also be downloaded from the Insurance section of the Law Society's website under risk management .

Four amendments to the Legal Profession Act

Four amendments to the Legal Profession Act were passed at the recently completed spring session of the Legislative Assembly, making the Law Society’s regulatory programs more effective. The amendments are the result of ongoing collaboration between the provincial government and the Law Society to support public confidence in the administration of justice.

The four amendments are:

Practice standards

The Benchers may now make rules to do any of the following: permit the Practice Standards Committee to make orders imposing conditions and limitations on lawyers’ practices and to require lawyers to comply with those orders; permit the Discipline Committee to consider the existence of any such order and the failure to comply with its conditions or limitations (section 27(2)(d.1)). Rules made under subsection (2)(d.1) must require notice of the proposed order and been given a reasonable opportunity to respond before conditions and limitations can be imposed (subsection (4)(b)).

Society requests for evidence ex juris

Section 45.1 has been added to permit the Law Society apply to the Supreme Court of BC for a letter of request to judicial authority(ies) outside BC, to compel testimony from witnesses or production of documents outside BC.

Quorum for Bencher reviews

Section 47 now provides that even if a Bencher is unable to complete his or her duties regarding a Bencher review in progress, such that section 6(2)’s quorum requirement is not met, the review may continue to a valid conclusion, provided that at least five Benchers remain to hear the review.

Appointment of the Law Society as custodian

Section 50 has been amended to provide for the appointment of the Law Society as a custodian of a lawyer’s practice. The Society must designate an employee who is a practising lawyer or retain a practising lawyer to act as custodian on the Society’s behalf (section 50.1)

For more information on the four amendments, see the May 2007 issue of the Benchers’ Bulletin.

Notice of suspension

Douglas Warren Welder (1981), of Kelowna, BC, was found guilty of professional misconduct for failing to remit funds collected for GST, Social Services Tax and employee source deductions (report issued November 16, 2005: 2005 LSBC 49). On an application for review of penalty, the Benchers concluded that the hearing panel erred in imposing a one-year suspension and ordered that Mr. Welder be suspended for a period of three months to begin July 3