E-Brief: May 2011

Invitation to comment on conflicts portion of new code of conduct

As reported previously, the Professional Conduct Handbook is being replaced with the BC Code of Conduct, which is based on the model code developed by the Federation of Law Societies. After consulting with the profession, the Benchers recently approved all portions except the section covering conflicts of interest. The Ethics Committee is now inviting lawyers to review and comment on the draft conflicts portion. Go to the Law Society website for details and to access the draft materials. An effective date for the new code has yet to be set.

Rule changes to expand role of articled students

Effective September 1, 2011 Benchers have approved rule changes to increase the legal services an articled student can provide under the supervision of a lawyer. These changes are part of ongoing efforts by the Law Society to help make legal services more accessible and affordable for the public through effectively trained and supervised articling students. An articled student who is not enrolled in temporary articles will be permitted to provide the legal services that a lawyer does, if supervisory conditions are met and with some prescribed exceptions (see new Rule 2-32.01 and amended Rule 2-43). Look for more information in the coming weeks on the Law Society website and in the summer edition of Benchers' Bulletin.

New resource to help avoid fraud

The Law Society's website features a new section to help lawyers guard against becoming victims of fraud. The webpage features descriptions of the latest scams targeting law firms and lawyers, as well as tips to avoid these schemes. Check out Fraud Alerts.

Notices from the courts

The Supreme Court of Canada has issued a notice about recent amendments to its rules: read Guide to the 2011 Amendments to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court of BC has issued a notice that sets out the procedures for hearings before a Registrar in Bankruptcy. Effective August 8, 2011, the procedures are to ensure consistency in bankruptcy practice throughout the province: read Administrative Notice 9.

Reminder to downtown Vancouver firms seeking articled students

Law firms with an office in the downtown core of Vancouver must keep open all offers of articling positions they make this year until 8 am, Friday, August 12. This timeline, set by the Credentials Committee under Rule 2-31, applies to offers firms make to first and second-year law students, but not to offers to third-year law students or offers of summer positions (temporary articles). Read more.

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