|For immediate release||January 14, 2013|
Law Society implements new code of conduct detailing lawyers’ ethical responsibilities, enhancing interprovincial mobility
Vancouver – The new Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia (BC Code), the governing document concerning professional responsibility and ethics for BC lawyers, is now in effect. It replaces the almost two-decades-old Professional Conduct Handbook.
“All of the Benchers and Law Society staff who worked on the BC Code should be commended,” said President Art Vertlieb, QC. “It is the product of a lot of hard work at both the provincial and national levels, and I’m confident it will provide excellent ethical guidance for lawyers.”
The BC Code is based on the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s Model Code of Professional Conduct. The Model Code is one of several initiatives aimed at harmonizing the overall regulatory framework for the legal profession in Canada. Also underway is a pilot project to test uniform standards for disciplinary regulation, as well as work to create national standards for admission to the profession.
“The reality is lawyers today are mobile and often travel and work in different provinces,” said Vertlieb. “In order to better protect the public, and to help lawyers do their job, it is important that law societies harmonize their standards wherever possible.”
Lawyers with questions about the BC Code should contact a Law Society practice advisor. The Law Society and Continuing Legal Education Society of BC are also offering free education on the Code in January and February. Registration information is available on the CLEBC website.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is the national coordinating body for Canada's 14 provincial and territorial law societies that together govern over 100,000 lawyers, 4,200 licensed Ontario paralegals and 3,500 Quebec notaries in the public interest.
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