E-Brief: October 2009

Bencher election and referenda

Watch for your Bencher election and referenda package, mailing later this week. The candidates' biographical information and election statements will be published online in conjunction with the mailing, and will be available on the Law Society's home page.

Forensic copying of data during Law Society investigations

At the October 14 meeting, a majority of Benchers voted to accept the recommendations contained in a report by the Mirror Imaging Working Group. "Mirror imaging," or copying of a lawyer’s hard drive during a Law Society discipline investigation, raises a number of issues around supporting effective investigation in the public interest while protecting privacy rights. The Act and Rules Subcommittee will create a rule that requires lawyers to comply with a Rule 4-43 order to preserve all records as they existed at the time the order was presented. Look for a full discussion on this complex and important issue in the Winter issue of the Benchers' Bulletin, mailing mid-December.

Updated guidelines on real estate transactions

The Benchers have amended Appendix 3, Rule 5 of the Professional Conduct Handbook, so that a conveyance is no longer disqualified from being considered a "simple conveyance" simply because the lawyer's vendor client has advised the purchaser that the purchaser need not be separately represented.

Promoting the business case for retaining women in private practice

Members of the Retention of Women in Law Task Force are now embarking on the next phase of work related to the business case: promotion. This fall they are making presentations to law firms, business groups and legal organizations, in an effort to further this important initiative. Download the business case.

AGM resolutions

Law Society CEO Tim McGee reports that the Executive Committee will consider the outcome of recent resolutions passed at the Annual General Meeting, to determine next steps and to coordinate follow-up as part of the annual strategic planning process. The resolutions included amending the 2009-2011 Strategic Plan to include the retention of Aboriginal lawyers as a priority and to strike a working committee comprised of Benchers, Aboriginal lawyers and law students, who will review and update a 2000 report on addressing discriminatory barriers.

Bruce LeRose, QC on the "ladder" to president's position in 2012

On September 29 at the Annual General Meeting, Bruce LeRose, QC was acclaimed as the next Second Vice-President. It means that in 2012, LeRose will become the first President in our 125-year history from the County of Kootenay.

New Chief Justice of Supreme Court

The welcoming ceremony for the Honourable Robert J. Bauman will be held on Friday, October 30 at 9:15 am in Courtroom 55 at the Vancouver Law Courts. Chief Justice Bauman was appointed after Chief Justice Donald Brenner retired in September.

Bench and Bar Dinner Wednesday, November 4

Join fellow lawyers and members of the judiciary for an evening of good company and conversation at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver. The event is organized by the Law Society and the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch. This year, Bencher Art Vertlieb, QC, along with Acting Deputy Attorney General M. Jerry McHale, QC, will be presented with the Georges A. Goyer QC Memorial Award, the CBA’s most prestigious honour. Distinguished guests include the Honourable Steven Point, Lieutenant Governor of BC, the Honourable Michael de Jong, Attorney General of BC, the Honourable Lance Finch, Chief Justice of BC, the Honourable Robert Bauman, Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court and the Honourable Gurmail Gill, Associate Chief Judge of the Provincial Court. To download your ticket order form, go to the Calendar on the Law Society's website.

Legal journalism award

The 2009 Jack Webster Award for Excellence in Legal Journalism was awarded to Vancouver Sun columnist Peter McKnight. The award, which is sponsored by the Law Society, was given for "Governing through Crime," a column in which McKnight explored how federal crime legislation could limit Canadians' freedom from government intervention.

Send questions or comments to E-Brief Editor Lesley Pritchard at lpritchard@lsbc.org.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in E-Brief is accurate. However, the information presented is necessarily a summary. When considering how any amendments or additions to the Legal Profession Act, Law Society Rules and Professional Conduct Handbook might affect their obligations and requirements, readers should refer to the complete text.