Caveat and use of Practice Checklists Manual

Practice Checklists Manual

The authors of the checklists have assumed that lawyers will exercise their professional judgement respecting the correctness and applicability of the material. Checklists and forms should be used only as an initial reference point. Reliance on them to the exclusion of other resources is imprudent, as conduct of each file depends on its own particular circumstances and instructions of the client.

The practice checklists should be used only as a secondary reference. For definitive answers, lawyers should refer to applicable statutes, regulations, practice directions and case law.

The Law Society of British Columbia, the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia and the authors and editors of the manual accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions, and expressly disclaim any such responsibility.

All references to statutory amendments, new case law and changes in practice are current to the date indicated at the beginning of each checklist.

Use of the Checklists

Although the checklists are the result of a careful consideration of each area of the law covered, they are not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a lawyer. An attempt has been made to be comprehensive, but the checklists are not exhaustive. Nor are they intended to impose mandatory guidelines for practice in any of the areas covered. In many cases, it will not be necessary to carry out all the activities outlined in the checklists; in other cases, alternative procedures may be more appropriate. The checklists are intended primarily to assist in the organization of a matter and to suggest things that a lawyer should consider.

We suggest that, when opening a file, you place copies of the relevant checklists to place in the file folder. When you first review a “procedure” checklist for a file, assign a responsible individual and due date for each relevant item, and mark inapplicable items with an “X” in the NA (not applicable) column. When you deal with the file subsequently, you will not have to re-read each item on a long checklist; you may concentrate on the applicable items only. It may be prudent, however, to make a final review of all checklist items before finalizing the file in case an item originally marked “NA” has become relevant in the interim.

Some checklists, such as the “drafting” ones, appear in a slightly different form than the “procedure” checklists. They have a column for recording notes.

You may find it useful to customize some of the checklists for use in your particular areas of practice.