Rule 1 – Definitions

Definitions

1 In these rules, unless the context indicates otherwise:

“Act” means the Legal Profession Act, SBC 1998, c. 9;

“admission program” means the program for articled students administered by the Society or its agents, commencing on an articled student’s enrolment start date and including the period during which the student is

(a) articled to a principal, or

(b) registered in the training course;

“advertising” includes letterhead, business cards and the use of paid space or time in a public medium, or the use of a commercial publication such as a brochure or handbill, to communicate with the general public or a group of people, for the purpose of promoting professional services or enhancing the image of the advertiser;

“agreed statement of facts” means a written statement of facts signed by discipline counsel and by or on behalf of the respondent;

“applicant” means a person who has applied under Part 2 [Membership and Authority to Practise Law] for enrolment as an articled student, for call and admission or for reinstatement;

“appointed Bencher” means a person appointed as a Bencher under section 5 [Appointed benchers];

“articled student” means a person who is enrolled in the admission program;

“articling agreement” means a contract in a form approved by the Credentials Committee executed by an applicant for enrolment and his or her prospective principal;

“articling start date” means the date on which an articled student begins employment with his or her principal;

“articling term” means the 9 month period referred to in Rule 2-59 [Articling term];

“Barreau” means the Barreau du Québec;

“Bencher” does not include the Attorney General unless expressly stated;

“chair” means a person appointed to preside at meetings of a committee, panel or review board;

“Chambre” means the Chambre des notaires du Québec;

“company” means a company as defined in the Business Corporations Act;

“complainant” means a person who has delivered a complaint about a lawyer or a law corporation to the Society under Rule 3-2 [Complaints];

“complaint” means an allegation that a lawyer or a law corporation has committed a discipline violation;

“conduct unbecoming a lawyer” includes any matter, conduct or thing that is considered, in the judgment of the Benchers, a panel or a review board, 

(a) to be contrary to the best interest of the public or of the legal profession, or

(b) to harm the standing of the legal profession;

“costs” includes costs assessed under Rule 3-25 [Costs] or 3-81 [Failure to file trust report] or Part 5 [Hearings and Appeals];

“disbarred lawyer” means a person to whom section 15 (3) [Authority to practise law] applies;

“disciplinary record” includes any of the following, unless reversed on appeal or review:

(a) any action taken by a governing body as a result of

(i) professional misconduct,

(ii) incompetence,

(iii) conduct unbecoming a lawyer,

(iv) lack of physical or mental capacity to engage in the practice of law,

(v) any other breach of a lawyer’s professional responsibilities;

(b) disbarment;

(c) a lawyer’s resignation or otherwise ceasing to be a member of a governing body as a result of disciplinary proceedings;

(d) restrictions or limits on a lawyer’s entitlement to practise, other than those imposed as a result of failure to pay fees to a governing body, insolvency or bankruptcy or other administrative matter;

(e) any interim suspension or restriction or limits on a lawyer’s entitlement to practise imposed pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

“discipline violation” means any of the following:

(a) professional misconduct;

(b) conduct unbecoming a lawyer;

(c) a breach of the Act or these rules;

(d) incompetent performance of duties undertaken by a lawyer in the capacity of a lawyer;

(e) conduct that would constitute professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming a lawyer or a contravention of the Act or these rules if done by a lawyer;

“enrolment start date” means the date on which an articled student’s enrolment in the admission program becomes effective;

“Executive Committee” means the Committee elected under Rule 1-41 [Election of Executive Committee];

“Executive Director” includes a person designated by the Executive Director to perform any of the duties assigned to the Executive Director in these rules;

“fiduciary property” means

(a) funds, other than trust funds, and valuables for which a lawyer is responsible in a representative capacity or as a trustee, if the lawyer’s appointment is derived from a solicitor-client relationship,

but does not include

(b) any funds and valuables that are subject to a power of attorney granted to the lawyer if the lawyer has not taken control of or otherwise dealt with the funds or valuables;

“firm” includes one lawyer or two or more lawyers practising together, including in the following arrangements:

(a) a sole proprietorship;

(b) a partnership, including a limited liability partnership or a partnership of law corporations;

(c) an arrangement for lawyers to share certain common expenses but otherwise practise as independent practitioners;

(d) a law corporation;

(e) a public body such as government or a Crown corporation;

(f) a corporation that is not a law corporation, or other private body;

(g) a multi-disciplinary practice;

“foreign jurisdiction” means a country other than Canada or an internal jurisdiction of a country other than Canada;

“Foundation” means the Law Foundation of British Columbia continued under section 58 (1) [Law Foundation of British Columbia];

“funds” includes current coin, government or bank notes, bills of exchange, cheques, drafts, money orders, charge card sales slips, credit slips and electronic transfers;

“general” in relation to accounts, books, records and transactions means those pertaining to general funds;

“general funds” means funds received by a lawyer in relation to the practice of law, but does not include

(a) trust funds, or

(b) fiduciary property; 

“governing body” means the governing body of the legal profession in another province or territory of Canada;

“inter-jurisdictional law firm” means a firm carrying on the practice of law in British Columbia and in one or more other Canadian or foreign jurisdictions, unless all lawyers in all offices of the firm are practising lawyers;

“inter-jurisdictional practice” includes practice by a member of the Society in another Canadian jurisdiction;

“investigate” includes authorizing an investigation and continuing an investigation in progress;

“law clerk” means a law clerk employed by a judge appointed under section 96 of the Constitution Act, 1867, or a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal or the Tax Court of Canada;

“lawyer” means a member of the Society;

“limited liability partnership” or “LLP” means a limited liability partnership under Part 6 of the Partnership Act, including an extraprovincial limited liability partnership registered under that Part;

“metadata” includes the following information generated in respect of an electronic record:

(a) creation date;

(b) modification dates;

(c) printing information;

(d) pre-edit data from earlier drafts;

(e) identity of an individual responsible for creating, modifying or printing the record;

“multi-disciplinary practice” or “MDP” means a partnership, including a limited liability partnership or a partnership of law corporations, that

(a) is owned by at least one lawyer or law corporation and at least one individual non-lawyer or professional corporation that is not a law corporation, and

(b) provides to the public legal services supported or supplemented by the services of another profession, trade or occupation; 

“National Mobility Agreement” means the National Mobility Agreement, 2013, of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, as amended from time to time;

“net interest” means the total interest earned on a pooled trust account, minus any service charges and transmittal fee that the savings institution charges to that account; 

“officer” means the Executive Director, a Deputy Executive Director or other person appointed as an officer by the Benchers;

“Ombudsperson” means a person appointed by the Executive Director to provide confidential dispute resolution and mediation assistance to lawyers, articled students, law students and support staff of legal employers, regarding allegations of harassment or discrimination by lawyers on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, disability or age, and includes anyone employed by the Ombudsperson to assist in that capacity;

“panel” means a panel established in accordance with Part 5 [Hearings and Appeals];

“practice review” means an investigation into a lawyer’s competence to practise law ordered under Rule 3-17 (3) (d) [Consideration of complaints] or 3-18 (1) [Practice review];

“practice year” means the period beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31 in a year;

“practitioner of foreign law” means a person qualified to practise law in a foreign jurisdiction who provides foreign legal services in British Columbia respecting the laws of that foreign jurisdiction;

“principal” means a lawyer who is qualified to employ and employs an articled student;

“pro bono legal services” means the practice of law not performed for or in the expectation of a fee, gain or reward;

“professional conduct record” means a record of all or some of the following information respecting a lawyer:

(a) an order under Rule 2-57 (5) [Principals], prohibiting the lawyer from acting as a principal for an articled student;

(b) any conditions or limitations of practice or articles accepted or imposed under the Act or these rules;

(c) a decision by a panel or a review board to reject an application for enrolment, call and admission or reinstatement;

(d) a decision by the Credentials Committee to reject an application for an inter-jurisdictional practice permit;

(e) any suspension or disbarment under the Act or these rules;

(f) recommendations made by the Practice Standards Committee under Rule 3-19 [Action by Practice Standards Committee];

(g) an admission accepted by the Discipline Committee under Rule 4-29 [Conditional admissions]

(h) an admission and consent to disciplinary action accepted by a hearing panel under Rule 4-30 [Conditional admission and consent to disciplinary action];

(i) any Conduct Review Subcommittee report delivered to the Discipline Committee under Rule 4-13 [Conduct Review Subcommittee report], and any written dispute of that report considered by the Committee;

(j) a decision made under section 38 (4) (b) [Discipline hearings];

(k) an action taken under section 38 (5), (6) or (7);

 (l) an action taken by a review board under section 47 [Review on the record];

(m) a payment made under section 31 on account of misappropriation or wrongful conversion by the lawyer;

(n) an order for costs made against the lawyer under Part 5 [Hearings and Appeals];

(o) any failure to pay any fine, costs or penalty imposed under the Act or these rules by the time that it is to be paid.

(p) the outcome of an application made by the lawyer under the Judicial Review Procedure Act concerning a decision taken under the Act or these rules, including a predecessor of either;

 (q) the outcome of an appeal under section 48 [Appeal];

(r) any disciplinary or remedial action taken by a governing body or body regulating the legal profession in any other jurisdiction;

(s) a decision of or action taken by the Benchers on a review of a decision of a hearing panel;

“professional corporation” includes a law corporation and means a corporation that is a company, as defined in the Business Corporations Act, and that is in good standing under that Act or that is registered under Part 10 of the Business Corporations Act, through which a member of a profession, trade or occupation is authorized under a statute governing the profession, trade or occupation to carry on the business of providing services to the public;

“Protocol” means the Inter-Jurisdictional Practice Protocol signed on behalf of the Society on February 18, 1994, as amended from time to time;

“provide foreign legal services” means give legal advice in British Columbia respecting the laws of a foreign jurisdiction in which the person giving the advice is qualified;

“qualification examination” means an examination set by the Executive Director for the purposes of Rule 2-89 [Returning to practice after an absence];

“qualified CPA” means a person in public accounting practice who is permitted to perform audit engagements by the Organization of Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia;

[added 2015/05, effective 2015/07]

“reciprocating governing body”

(a) means a governing body that has signed the National Mobility Agreement, and adopted regulatory provisions giving effect to the requirements of the National Mobility Agreement, and

(b) includes a governing body that has signed the Territorial Mobility Agreement and adopted regulatory provisions giving effect to the requirements of the Territorial Mobility Agreement;

“record” includes metadata associated with an electronic record;

“remedial program” includes anything that may be recommended by the Practice Standards Committee under Rule 3-19 (1) (b) [Action by Practice Standards Committee];

“respondent” means a person whose conduct or competence is

(a) the subject of a citation directed to be issued under Rule 4-17 (1) [Direction to issue, expand or rescind citation], or 

(b) under review by a review board under section 47 [Review];

“review board” means a review board established in accordance with Part 5 [Hearings and Appeals];

“rule” or “subrule” means a rule or subrule contained in these rules;

“Second Vice-President-elect” means the Bencher elected under Rule 1-19 [Second Vice-President-elect], from the time of the election until he or she takes office as Second Vice-President;

“section” means a section of the Legal Profession Act;

“Society” means the Law Society of British Columbia continued under section 2 (1) [Incorporation];

“suspension” means temporary disqualification from the practice of law;

“Territorial Mobility Agreement” means the 2006 Territorial Mobility Agreement of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, as amended from time to time.

“training course” includes any assessments, examinations or remedial work taken during or after the training course, or an educational program required by the Credentials Committee;

“trust funds” includes funds received in trust by a lawyer acting in the capacity of a lawyer, including funds

(a) received from a client for services to be performed or for disbursements to be made on behalf of the client, or

(b) belonging partly to a client and partly to the lawyer if it is not practicable to split the funds; 

“valuables” means anything of value that can be negotiated or transferred, including but not limited to

(a) securities,

(b) bonds,

(c) treasury bills, and

(d) personal or real property;

“vice-chair” means a person appointed to preside at meetings of a committee in the absence of the chair;

“visiting lawyer” means a member of a governing body who is qualified to practise law in another Canadian jurisdiction.