E-Brief: July 2016 

Benchers create Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee

At their July 8 meeting, the Benchers established a permanent Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee to provide guidance and advice to the Law Society on justice issues affecting Indigenous people in the province, including those highlighted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Report and Recommendations. The committee will be co-chaired by the President of the Law Society and an Indigenous representative.

Law Society proposes principles for the Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointment process

The Law Society submitted a report to the Minister of Justice that sets out four principles to guide judicial appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada. The report, approved by the Benchers on July 8, recommends that transparency, judicial independence, merit and diversity, and public participation should inform the decision-making process. Read the letter to the Minister and the full report.

Electronic voting at general meetings to be considered by members at 2016 AGM

The Benchers approved a resolution to be brought forth at the 2016 AGM for consideration and approval by members that will authorize the Benchers to amend the rules on general meetings to provide for member voting either partly or fully by electronic means.

Law Society Scholarship awarded to Sarah Pike

President David Crossin, QC presented Sarah Pike with the Law Society Scholarship at the July 8 Bencher meeting. For details on her background and her thesis, visit the website.

Risk management tips for lawyers witnessing signatures

Lawyers who are asked to witness a person's signature on a document that is not required to be witnessed by a lawyer or notary, and where no legal advice is sought regarding the document, should consider declining such requests. Read the risk management tips in "Witnessing a signature? Stop. Read this first." If you have questions, contact a Practice Advisor.

Trust Administration Fee (TAF) due August 2

Because of the previous potential Canada Post service disruption, the mailing of the quarterly TAF filing notices was delayed. To ensure payment by the August 2 deadline, members who have not received the notice can use the Firm Filing ID from previous notices to log in online and create a new TAF invoice. Visit the website for more information or contact the Trust Assurance department.

Bridgepoint Indemnity Company ordered to cease and desist

On June 30, 2016, the Financial Institutions Commission issued a cease and desist order against Bridgepoint Indemnity Company to immediately cease conducting insurance business in British Columbia. For details, read the Law Society highlight.

Law Foundation seeks applications for Legal Research Fund

The Law Foundation is seeking letters of intent from those looking for funding for legal research. The Legal Research Fund awards up to $100,000 annually to support projects that "advance the knowledge of law, social policy, and the administration of justice." For details, visit the Law Foundation website.

From the courts:

Effective August 1, 2016, the Court Services Branch will resume invoicing and collecting hearing day fees, as outlined in the Supreme Court Civil Rules Appendix C, Schedule 1, items 9 and 10. For details, read the Law Society highlight.

The PD- 51-Consent Order to Dispense with Trial Management Conferences in Civil Cases took effect on July 1, 2016 to coincide with amendments to Civil Rule 12-2 dealing with trial management conferences, which also took effect on July 1, 2016.

Effective July 4, 2016, the standard court sitting hours in the Provincial Court in Surrey, Chilliwack and Abbotsford are from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. For details, read the Provincial Court announcement.

  
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