E-Brief: November 2010

Lawyers to be surveyed on Law Society communications

Beginning today, Monday, November 15, the Law Society will be calling a random sample of BC lawyers to gather feedback on the quality and usefulness of the various Law Society print and electronic communications, including its website. The telephone survey will be conducted by Concerto Research and is expected to take no more than 8 to 12 minutes to complete. As the Law Society is looking to make changes to how it distributes news and information, your responses to the survey will be invaluable. If you have any questions about the survey, you can contact Communications Manager Robyn Crisanti at 604-697-5845 or rcrisanti@lsbc.org. The Law Society thanks you in advance for your participation.

Changes to Rules and Handbook

Amendments to the Law Society Rules allow the Credentials Committee to require a returning lawyer to take a course, such as the Small Firm Practice Course or the Practice Refresher course (Rule 2-59(1.1), (1.2), (1.3) and (2)). Amendments to the Professional Conduct Handbook clarify a lawyer's obligation to submit to regulation by the Law Society (Chapter 13, Rule 3).

Publication of conduct review reports to increase

To assist the profession in better understanding conduct that may lead to discipline, the Benchers have resolved to publish summaries of all conduct reviews, unless the Discipline Committee decides otherwise in a particular case. The summaries will continue to be published anonymously, unless the lawyer involved in the conduct review consents to have his or her name made public.

Attorney General attends Benchers meeting

The Honourable Michael de Jong, QC provided updates on several topics at the recent Benchers meeting, including feedback received on proposed reforms to the Family Relations Act and the Limitation Act. The Attorney General also made himself available to answer a wide range of questions and expressed appreciation for the ongoing assistance he receives from Benchers and the legal profession in general.

Benchers given a glimpse into the future of BC courts

The Assistant Deputy Minister for Court Services, Rob Wood, made a presentation to the Benchers outlining a new vision for the justice system that is more accessible to the non-legal community and that embraces the latest technology. Among the plans is a goal to pick a court and courtroom to test run a virtual court model within the next year. The Assistant Deputy Minister outlined both the benefits and challenges of this new vision, and said his ministry is looking to the Law Society for advice and comment on the vision.

From the courts

The Provincial Court has issued a practice direction for Victoria-South Vancouver Island District, "Reducing the Number of Appearances Prior to an Arraignment Hearing": see the Provincial Court website.The Supreme Court of BC has issued "PD-28 - Chambers Practice" and "AN-7-Cover Page Requirements": see Practice Directions and Administration Notices on the Supreme Court website.

Job posting

The Law Society has an opening for a Discipline Counsel position. For information on this and other career information, visit the website.

Send your comments or questions to communications@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.