E-Brief: November 2014

Proposed TWU law school not approved by the Law Society

In a meeting on Friday, October 31, the Benchers decided that the proposed faculty of law at Trinity Western University is not an approved faculty of law for the purposes of the Law Society admission program. This decision comes after consideration of the outcome of a referendum of BC lawyers conducted in October. More than 8,000 lawyers responded to the referendum and 74% voted in favour of not approving TWU's faculty of law. More information can be found on the Law Society's website.

Rule changes: cloud computing

The Benchers have adopted rule changes based on the report and recommendations of the Cloud Computing Working Group. The amendments address the requirements for electronic data storage and processing; producing records in a complaint investigation or forensic audit; and third-party storage providers and security: see the Highlights of amendments to the Rules. Lawyers are also reminded to refer to the Cloud computing checklist if they are considering storing law practice data in the cloud.

Webcasting and online voting for general meetings

The Benchers have accepted the Governance Committee's recommendation that the Law Society Rules be updated to allow for greater and easier participation by members in general meetings. The Benchers have referred the issue of webcasting general meetings and online voting at general meetings to the Act and Rules Committee, with a direction to develop the necessary amendments to provide the Benchers with the discretion to permit members to participate by webcast and to vote online. The Governance Committee expects to report to the Benchers in early 2015 regarding seeking membership approval for further amendments to the Rules about the physical locations for general meetings and electronic distribution of notices and other meeting materials.

Supreme Court civil and family hearing day fees

The BC Ministry of Justice is assessing the impact of a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding hearing day fees. While this assessment is underway, Court Services Branch will not be invoicing clients for Supreme Court civil and family hearing day fees and any amounts currently outstanding will not be collected.

From the courts

The Court of Appeal has issued a Practice Note, effective October 24, 2014, to assist junior counsel and self-represented litigants with how to address the court.

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