Important changes effective January 1, 2013

December 28, 2012

The Law Society reminds lawyers about two important changes as of January 1, 2013.

Code of Professional Conduct for BC

First, the Code of Professional Conduct for BC (BC Code) is in effect on January 1. The BC Code, which replaces the Professional Conduct Handbook, is the new ethical guide for the legal profession in BC. While many of the principles contained in the Handbook have been preserved in the BC Code, the new document should provide greater guidance for lawyers facing an ethical dilemma.

For more information about the BC Code, see the recent feature article in the Benchers' Bulletin. The Law Society and Continuing Legal Education Society of BC are also offering free courses on the new BC Code. Information is available on the CLE website. Lawyers with questions about the BC Code can also contact a Practice Advisor.

Designated paralegals

January 1 is also the start date of a new two-year pilot project that allows designated paralegals, working under the supervision of a lawyer, to make limited appearances in some court registries to deal with certain applications in family law. The pilot project will run until December 31, 2014.

The pilot project is in addition to changes approved by the Benchers in July that allow designated paralegals to give legal advice to clients.

More information about designated paralegals giving legal advice, as well as information about the pilot project, including a list of permitted appearances, the affidavit to be presented on first appearance and a list of participating court registries, is available on the Law Society website.