E-Brief: May 2014

Access to justice primary focus at annual Benchers retreat

On May 9, the focus of the Benchers annual retreat was access to justice. In particular, the Benchers considered how lawyers could contribute to improving access to legal services, and what the Law Society might do to assist. Speakers at the retreat included Allan Fineblit, QC, Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of Manitoba, Jay Chalke, QC, Assistant Deputy Attorney General, and Michael Litchfield, Managing Director of Thinklab Consulting.

Special general meeting of the Society to convene on June 10

A notice regarding the June 10 special general meeting (SGM) has been mailed to BC lawyers and articled students. The resolution under consideration at the meeting, if passed, would direct the Benchers to reverse their decision regarding a faculty of law at Trinity Western University. The meeting will take place in 16 locations throughout the province. In all locations, registration will begin at 11:00 am; with the meeting starting at 12:30 pm. The Law Society requests that invitees RSVP by Friday, May 30, 2014. Details about the SGM, including the locations and how to RSVP, can be found on our website.

Law Society 2013 Report on Performance now available

The Law Society's 2013 Report on Performance provides a progress update on the second year of our 2012-2014 Strategic Plan as well as a review of our regulatory performance. In this year's report, key performance measures indicate that we were successful in meeting most of our goals. These measures evaluate the overall effectiveness of Law Society programs, giving us the opportunity for ongoing improvement. In addition, they form a critical part of our regulatory transparency, informing the public, government, the media and the legal community about how we are meeting our regulatory obligations.

Beware of fraudster wanting to upgrade your point of sale terminal

A law firm has advised the Law Society that a fraudster entered its premises posing as a representative of a legitimate company with whom the firm has a relationship. This person claimed that the purpose of his visit was to make an upgrade to the firm's point of sale terminal. Clients use the terminal to deposit funds into the firm's trust account. A quick-thinking law firm representative asked for the fraudster's employee identification and then independently contacted the legitimate company. The company advised that it does not make visits to upgrade point of sale terminals and, further, that it did not have an employee with that identification number. At that point, the fraudster fled the premises. It is assumed that the person wanted banking information to steal funds. Lawyers are encouraged to alert staff about this incident and to independently verify anyone who arrives to perform services who isn't known to the firm.

From the courts

The Court of Appeal has appointed a new Registrar, Timothy Outerbridge, effective June 30, 2014.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has issued BC Reg 74/2014, which amends section 1 of the Law and Equity Regulation to provide that the prescribed discount rates are as follows:

  • The discount rate prescribed under s.56(2)(a) of the Law and Equity Act is 1.5%.
  • The discount rate prescribed under s.56(2)(b) of the Law and Equity Act is 2.0%.

See the court's website.


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