Notice of by-election in Okanagan (District No. 6) and call for nominations'

January 8, 2010

The appointment of Marguerite (Meg) E. Shaw, QC as a master of the Supreme Court of BC on December 11, 2009 creates a vacancy for the position of Bencher in District No. 6, Okanagan.

Law Society Rule 1-36 requires the Benchers to hold a by-election to fill a vacancy promptly. A by-election is set for Okanagan district on Tuesday, March 9, 2010.

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


Nominations of candidates for election as a Bencher in this by-election must be received by the Executive Director on or before Friday, February 5, 2010. Each nomination must be signed by two nominators (who are members in good standing and eligible to vote in District No. 6, Okanagan) and must contain the consent of the nominee.

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

Law Society election rules

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

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.


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.

Voting package

The by-election voting package will be mailed in mid-February, after the close of nominations. The package will include a basic listing and photograph of each candidate. Biographical summaries of candidates will be posted on the Law Society website at 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 more women and solicitors to seek office

The Benchers have noted that women 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 lawyers and lawyers 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.