Law Society discipline hearings have potentially serious consequences, and the Society urges all lawyers who are subject to discipline proceedings to retain counsel.
Traditionally, a relatively small group of senior counsel have very capably assisted or represented lawyers in most proceedings, often for reduced fees or on a pro bono basis.
Lawyers nevertheless occasionally appear unrepresented, some because they believe they cannot afford to pay legal fees.
To help ensure the widest availability of counsel throughout B.C. who can offer representation at a hearing or conduct review, or provide advice to lawyers subject to a complaint, the Law Society will compile a list of available discipline counsel. The Society will provide the list of counsel (and summaries of their practice experience) to any lawyer facing a citation, or otherwise on request. The Society will not screen or recommend counsel on the list or become involved in any fee arrangements. In each case, it will be entirely up to a lawyer consulted from the list and the lawyer seeking representation on whether they wish to form a lawyer-client relationship.
However, as the service is intended to help lawyers facing discipline proceedings who are sometimes experiencing financial difficulty, counsel looking to join the list should indicate their willingness to act on a pro bono or reduced fee basis.
If you are a lawyer with 10 years experience or more, particularly in administrative law, criminal law or civil litigation, and would like to have your name on the list, please send the Law Society:
a letter setting out your name, contact information and an expression of whether you would be willing to act on a pro bono or reduced fee basis; and
a resume or summary of your practice experience.
Please forward this information to:
Jean Whittow, Q.C.
Deputy Executive Director
Law Society of B.C.
845 Cambie Street
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 4Z9
Fax: (604) 605-5399