E-Brief: November 2015
Benchers call on all BC lawyers to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report
At their October 30 meeting, the Benchers unanimously agreed to take action to address the challenges set out in the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. While recommendations 27 and 28 speak specifically to the legal profession, the Benchers agreed that many of the calls to action in the report require the engagement of the legal profession. The Law Society will begin immediately to implement several key initiatives, starting with encouraging all lawyers to read the report and consider how they can better serve the Indigenous people of BC. More on the Benchers' decision can be found in a recent Law Society news release.
Bencher election is Monday, November 16
An election in all districts for Benchers of the Law Society will be held on Monday, November 16. Benchers are elected for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2016. Ballots, voting instructions and candidates' information have been mailed to all lawyers. Lawyers are reminded their ballots must be received at the Law Society office before November 16 to be counted. Information on the process and the candidates can be found on the Law Society website.
Seeking input on law firm regulation
The Law Firm Regulation Task Force is seeking input from lawyers. Making law firm regulation a reality is part of the Law Society's Strategic Plan for 2015-2017, and in the fall of 2014 the Law Firm Regulation Task Force was created to pursue that strategic goal. BC lawyers are now invited to review a summary of the task force's work to date and to complete an online survey before November 27. The summary and survey are available here.
Highlights from the 2015 annual general meeting
The annual general meeting of the Law Society was held on October 14. At the meeting, Miriam Kresivo, QC was acclaimed as second vice-president with her term starting in January 2016. Other orders of business included appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers as Law Society auditor for 2015, authorizing electronic distribution of AGM notices and amending the Law Society Rules to allow appointed Benchers to attend and speak at a general meeting.
Practice resource on fiduciary property
The Law Society has provided guidance on the accounting records lawyers need to maintain when they hold fiduciary property. Fiduciary property is funds (other than trust funds) and valuables entrusted to a lawyer acting in a fiduciary capacity, where the appointment of the lawyer derives from a solicitor-client relationship. Lawyers are reminded that accounting records for fiduciary property may be requested by an auditor during a Law Society compliance audit. For more information, see the Fiduciary Property FAQs and if you have any questions, contact a trust assurance auditor at 604.697.5810 or a practice advisor at 604.669.2533.
Equity Ombudsperson survey
The Law Society is seeking input from past and present users of the Equity Ombudsperson's services through a brief, anonymous and confidential program evaluation survey. If you have used these services and wish to provide feedback on your experience with the program, an online survey is available here. Responses will be used to determine the effectiveness of the program and make improvements, where appropriate.
Send your comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.