E-Brief: September 26, 2014

Referendum called on Trinity Western University's law school

At their meeting today, the Benchers passed a motion to conduct a referendum of all BC lawyers regarding the proposed law school at Trinity Western University. The referendum will allow all members of the Society to vote on the resolution passed at the special general meeting this past June, in which the Benchers were directed to declare that the proposed law school at Trinity Western University is not an approved faculty of law for the purposes of the Law Society's admission program. The motion further states that the resolution will be binding and will be implemented by the Benchers if at least one third of all members of the Society vote in the referendum, and two thirds of those participating vote in favour of the resolution. The referendum will be held as soon as possible and the results will be available on the Law Society's website no later than October 30. The referendum will be conducted by mail-in ballot, and all lawyers in good standing will be entitled to vote. If you do not receive a ballot by October 15, contact us at referendum@lsbc.org. For more information about the Bencher discussion and decision, please see the webcast at http://new.livestream.com/mediaco/lsbc09262014. The Law Society website will be updated with submissions sent to submissions@lsbc.org throughout the referendum.

Benchers approve 2015 fees

The Benchers have approved the 2015 practice fee and insurance fee, as recommended by the Finance and Audit Committee. The committee based its recommendation on a thorough review of the Law Society's financial position, its statutory mandate and strategic plan. The total annual mandatory fee for practising, insured lawyers for 2015 will be $3,742, a 1.4% increase over 2014. The practice fee will increase by $52 to $1,992 and the insurance assessment will remain the same at $1,750. While not a part of the practice fee, the PLTC training course registration fee will increase from $2,250 to $2,500 per student on September 1, 2015. More information and a detailed breakdown and explanation of the 2015 fee are available here.

Task force examining regulation of legal services invites member and public input

The Legal Services Regulatory Framework Task Force is examining the development of a regulatory framework by which existing providers of legal services other than lawyers and notaries public, or new stand-alone groups who are neither lawyers nor notaries, could provide credentialed and regulated legal services in the public interest. The task force would like to get the views of lawyers, other legal service providers and the public on unmet legal needs and the nature of services that would be required to meet those needs. Legal professionals and the public are invited to participate by completing the appropriate survey. Click here for more information, or to access the surveys.

Annual general meeting set for September 30

BC lawyers and articled students are reminded that the Annual General Meeting of the Law Society will be held on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 in various locations throughout the province. Call to order will be at 12:30 pm. Details about the meeting are posted on the Law Society's website. Members who expect to attend are encouraged to complete the fast track pre-registration form (available through the Lawyer Login at the Law Society website) prior to the meeting.

2014 Law Society Award recipient

The Benchers selected John Hunter, QC as the recipient of the 2014 Law Society Award. Hunter is recognized nationally and internationally as one of Canada's leading counsel and his dedication to service is evident in his exceptional volunteer contributions and pro bono work. Hunter will be presented with the Law Society Award at the 30th annual Bench and Bar Dinner on November 6, 2014.

Latest Discipline Advisory: You are facing a Law Society investigation. What do you need to know?

Simple answer: You must cooperate. The Law Society considers all complaints about lawyer conduct or competency, receiving over 1,100 each year. So it wouldn't be surprising if, at some point in your career, you receive a letter from us asking for a response to a complaint. As a lawyer, you have a duty to cooperate with Law Society investigations, including complaint and forensic investigations. For more, read the Discipline Advisory.

Reminder: Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia Stakeholder Survey - deadline extended

The Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA) is conducting a survey of stakeholders and has asked the Law Society to invite lawyers who deal with the LTSA to complete the online survey. The survey results will enable the LTSA to improve its services. The survey should take less than 15 minutes to complete. The deadline has been extended to October 3, 2014. To complete the online survey, please click here. If you have any problems accessing the site or completing the survey, email Sydney Nusbaum.

BC invites feedback on new franchise law

The province is seeking stakeholder and public comment on a proposed Franchises Act. Learn more.


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