Notice of by-election in Cariboo (District No. 7) and call for nominations

February 25, 2010

The appointment of Ronald S. Tindale as a judge of the Provincial Court on February 5, 2010 creates a vacancy for the position of Bencher in the County of Cariboo (District No. 7).

Law Society Rule 1-36 requires the Benchers to hold a Bencher by-election to fill a vacancy promptly. A by-election is set for Cariboo district on Friday, April 16, 2010.

The term of the Bencher elected will begin immediately on election and end on December 31, 2011.

Nominations

Nominations of candidates for election as a Bencher in this by-election must be received by the Law Society by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, March 16, 2010. Each nomination must be signed by two nominators (who are members in good standing and eligible to vote in Cariboo district) and must contain the consent of the nominee.

Nomination and Consent forms (PDF) are available for download on the Law Society website at lawsociety.bc.ca (see this Notice to the Profession in Publications & Forms, or follow the link on the home page). You can also request a form by contacting Diana Papove, Executive Support Administrator, at 604-443-5768 (toll-free in BC 1-800-903-5300) or dpapove@lsbc.org.

Election rules

For information on the election of Benchers, see Law Society Rules 1-18 through 1-42. If you have questions about the by-election process, contact Bill McIntosh, Manager, Executive Support, at 604-443-5706 (toll-free in BC 1-800-903-5300) or bmcintosh@lsbc.org.

Rules 1-21 and 1-22 address the qualifications required of a candidate for Bencher and the nomination process.

Qualifications of candidate for Bencher

1-21 (1) To be eligible to be a candidate for election as a Bencher, a member of the Society must

(a) be in good standing at the time of nomination,

(b) have been in good standing for at least 7 years,

(c) if a practising lawyer, maintain his or her chief place of practice or employment in the district in which he or she seeks to be a candidate, and

(d) if a retired or non-practising member, reside in the district in which he or she seeks to be a candidate.

(2) A retiring Bencher who qualifies under subrule (1) and is not disqualified under Rule 1-2 is eligible to be nominated as a candidate for re-election as a Bencher.

Nomination

1-22 The nomination of a candidate for election as a Bencher is valid only if

(a) it is in writing, signed by at least 2 members of the Society in good standing who are eligible to vote in the district in which the nominee seeks to be a candidate,

(b) the nominee consents in writing to the nomination, and

(c) the nomination and consent are received by the Executive Director on or before February 5, 2010.

Role and duties of the Benchers

The Benchers are the Law Society’s board of governors. They govern the work of the Society in accordance with the Legal Profession Act, set and enforce standards of professional responsibility for lawyers and preside at discipline and credentials hearings. Benchers can expect their duties to consume four or five full days a month. For more information on the role and duties of the Benchers, visit lawsociety.bc.ca/about/governance_policies.html.

Voting package

The by-election voting package will be mailed in late March, after the close of nominations. The package will include a basic listing and photograph of each candidate along with a ballot. Biographical summaries and candidates’ election statements will be posted on the Law Society website at lawsociety.bc.ca. For voters without web access, information about how to obtain a printed copy of the biographical information will be provided in the package.

For details on submitting biographical information, a photograph and an optional election statement, see Parts B and C of the Nomination and Consent form (PDF).


Benchers encourage diversity in candidates seeking office

The Benchers have noted that women, Aboriginal and visible minority lawyers, and solicitors continue to be under-represented among elected Benchers. All lawyers who meet the qualifications for Bencher and want to contribute to the profession are encouraged to stand for election, but women, Aboriginal and visible minority lawyers and those practising predominantly in solicitors’ fields are particularly encouraged to do so. The Benchers believe that the profession will be best served by representatives of diverse backgrounds and experience.