Division 1 – Law Society

Benchers

Term of office

1-1 (1) The term of office for an appointed Bencher begins on the date that the appointment is effective and ends on January 1 of the next even-numbered year.

(2) Despite subrule (1), an appointed Bencher continues to hold office until a successor is appointed.

(3) An elected Bencher holds office for 2 years beginning on January 1 following his or her election.

Term limits

1-2 (1) A Bencher is ineligible to be elected or appointed as a Bencher if

(a) at the conclusion of the Bencher’s term of office, he or she will have served as a Bencher for more than 7 years, whether consecutive or not, or

(b) the Bencher has been elected Second Vice-President-elect.

(2) Despite subrule (1) (a) but subject to subrule (1) (b), a Bencher who was a Bencher on January 10, 1992 and who, at the conclusion of his or her term of office, will not have served as a Bencher for more than 11 years, whether consecutive or not, is eligible to be elected or appointed as a Bencher.

Oath of office

1-3 (1) At the next regular meeting of the Benchers attended by a Bencher after being elected or appointed as a Bencher or taking office as President or a Vice-President, the Bencher must take an oath of office in the following form:

I, [name] do swear or solemnly affirm that:

I will abide by the Legal Profession Act, the Law Society Rules and the Code of Professional Conduct, and I will faithfully discharge the duties of [a Bencher/ President/First or Second Vice-President], according to the best of my ability; and

I will uphold the objects of the Law Society and ensure that I am guided by the public interest in the performance of my duties.

(2) An oath under this rule must be taken before a judge of the Provincial Court or a superior court in British Columbia, the President or a Life Bencher.

Life Benchers

1-4 (1) A person, including the Attorney General, who is ineligible for further election or appointment as a Bencher under Rule 1-2 [Term limits] is a Life Bencher on leaving office as a Bencher.

(2) A Life Bencher

(a) may attend and speak at meetings of the Benchers,

(b) has no vote in Bencher meetings,

(c) except as a member of a committee under Rule 1-49 [Committees of the Benchers], may not exercise any of the powers of a Bencher, and

(d) is ineligible to be elected or appointed as a Bencher.

(3) A Bencher who was a Bencher on January 10, 1992 and who has served for at least 7 years as a Bencher is a Life Bencher on leaving office as a Bencher.

(4) A person who was a Life Bencher on January 1, 2010 continues to be a Life Bencher.

President and Vice-Presidents

1-5 (1) The term of office for the President, First Vice-President and Second Vice-President is from January 1 to December 31 of each year.

(2) Subject to subrule (7), on January 1 of each year,

(a) the First Vice-President becomes President,

(b) the Second Vice-President becomes First Vice-President, and

(c) the Second Vice-President-elect becomes Second Vice-President.

(3) Each year, the members must elect a Bencher who is a member of the Society as the Second Vice-President-elect in accordance with Rule 1-19 [Second Vice-President-elect].

(4) Without further election by the district, the Bencher elected by the members under subrule (3) holds office as a Bencher representing the district that last elected the Bencher until he or she completes a term as President.

(5) If there is a vacancy in the office of President or a Vice-President for any reason, including the operation of this subrule or the failure of a Bencher to take office under this rule, the Bencher who would have assumed the office at the end of the term immediately assumes the vacant office.

(6) If a vacancy under subrule (5) occurs when there is no Bencher elected by the members to assume the office,

(a) the Benchers may elect a Bencher who is a member of the Society to act in the vacant office until a ballot of all members, the next general meeting or December 31, whichever comes first, and

(b) if the next general meeting or a ballot takes place before December 31, the members must elect a Bencher who is a member of the Society to the vacant office for the remainder of the year, and a Second Vice-President-elect.

(7) If the First Vice-President assumes the office of President under subrule (5) on or after July 1, subrule (2) does not operate on January 1 of the following year and the President and the Vice-Presidents continue in office for an additional full year.

(8) The powers of the President may be exercised by a Vice-President or another member of the Executive Committee designated by the President

(a) if the President is absent or otherwise unable to act, or

(b) with the consent of the President.

[(6) amended 2015/12]

Removal of the President or a Vice-President

1-6 (1) On a resolution of a majority of the Benchers to remove the President or a Vice-President from office, the Executive Director must conduct a referendum of all members of the Society to determine if the President or Vice-President, as the case may be, should be removed from office.

(2) If a 2/3 majority of the members voting in a referendum under this rule vote to remove the President or a Vice-President from office, he or she ceases to hold that office and ceases to be a Bencher.

(3) Before conducting a referendum under subrule (1), the Executive Director must notify the President or Vice-President who is affected.

(4) Within 30 days after the Benchers pass a resolution under subrule (1), the Executive Director must make available to each member of the Society in good standing

(a) a notice stating

(i) that the Benchers have resolved to remove from office the President or a Vice-President, as the case may be,

(ii) the reasons for the Benchers’ resolution,

(iii) that a referendum from among the membership is being conducted to determine if the President or Vice-President, as the case may be, should be removed from office, and

(iv) the date on which the referendum votes will be counted,

(b) a statement by the President or Vice-President, as the case may be, stating why he or she should not be removed from office, if that person wishes to have such a statement provided to each member, and

(c) voting materials as required in Rule 1-27 [Voting procedure].

(5) The President or Vice-President in respect of whom the referendum is conducted may attend personally or by agent during proceedings under this rule.

(6) After the counting of the ballots is completed, the Executive Director must declare whether the President or Vice-President, as the case may be, ceases to hold office.

[(4) and (6) amended 2015/12]

Bencher ceasing to be member

1-7 A Bencher, other than an appointed Bencher, must be a member of the Society in good standing to take or hold office as a Bencher.

Meetings

Annual general meeting

1-8 (1) The Benchers must hold an annual general meeting of the members of the Society each year.

(2) Subject to subrule (3) and Rule 1-9 [Telephone connections], the Executive Committee may determine the place and time of the annual general meeting.

(3) Unless the Benchers direct otherwise, the President must preside at the annual general meeting from a location in the City of Vancouver.

(4) At the annual general meeting, the Benchers must present a report of their proceedings since the last annual general meeting.

(5) At least 60 days before an annual general meeting, the Executive Director must, by electronic or other means, distribute to Benchers and members of the Society in good standing a notice of the date and time of the meeting.

(6) In order to be considered at the annual general meeting, a resolution must be

(a) signed by at least 2 members of the Society in good standing, and

(b) received by the Executive Director at least 40 days before the annual general meeting.

(7) At least 21 days before an annual general meeting, the Executive Director must, by electronic or other means, make available to Benchers and members of the Society in good standing

(a) a notice containing the following information:

(i) the locations at which the meeting is to be held, and

(ii) each resolution received in accordance with subrules (6), and

(b) the audited financial statement of the Society for the previous calendar year.

(8) The accidental failure to comply with any requirement under subrule (5) or (7) does not invalidate anything done at the annual general meeting.

[(5) and (7) amended 2015/12]

Telephone and internet connections

1-9 (1) The Benchers may conduct a general meeting by joining any number of locations by

(a) telephone, or

(b) internet connection.

(1.1) Persons participating in and entitled to vote at a general meeting who are connected by telephone or internet connection must be able to hear all others participating in person or by telephone.

(1.2) Persons participating in and entitled to vote at a general meeting who are connected by telephone must be able to speak at the meeting if recognized by the President.

(1.3) Persons participating in and entitled to vote at a general meeting who are connected by the internet must be able to vote in real time when called upon by the President to do so.

(2) The Executive Director may appoint a Bencher or a member of the Society in good standing to act as local chair of a location where the President is not present.

(3) The local chair must record the names of those in attendance and, unless the Executive Director directs otherwise, may dispense with registration and voting and student cards under Rule 1-13 [Procedure at general meeting].

(4) A person participating in a general meeting at any location connected under subrule (1) is present at the meeting for the purpose of Rule 1-13 [Procedure at general meeting] and the calculation of a quorum.

(5) The Executive Committee must designate locations to be joined to the annual general meeting by telephone, including at least the following locations:

(a) one in District No. 1, County of Vancouver, or District No. 4, County of Westminster;

(b) one in District No. 2, County of Victoria;

(c) one in District No. 3, County of Nanaimo;

(d) one in District No. 5, County of Kootenay;

(e) one in District No. 6, Okanagan;

(f) 2 in District No. 7, County of Cariboo;

(g) one in District No. 8, County of Prince Rupert;

(h) one in District No. 9, Kamloops.

(6) As an exception to subrule (5), if, 7 days before an annual general meeting, fewer than 15 members of the Society have indicated to the Executive Director an intention to attend the meeting at any location announced under Rule 1-8 (7) [Annual general meeting], the Executive Committee may cancel that location.

(6.1) The Executive Director

(a) may retain a contractor to assist in any part of a general meeting conducted by way of the internet,

(b) must ensure that votes cast electronically in a secret ballot remain secret, and

(c) must take reasonable security measures to ensure that only members entitled to vote can do so.

(7) A technical failure that prevents any member from participating in or voting at a general meeting does not invalidate anything done at the general meeting.

[(2) amended 2015/12; heading and (1), (5) and (7) amended, (1.1) to (1.3) and (6.1) added 05/2017]

Auditors

1-10 (1) At each annual general meeting, the members of the Society must appoint an auditor.

(2) The auditor appointed under subrule (1) must be a qualified CPA.

(3) A Bencher, Life Bencher or an employee of the Society is not eligible to be appointed auditor under subrule (1).

(4) A member of the Society may require the attendance of the auditor at the meeting at the expense of the Society by giving notice in writing to the Executive Director at least 10 days before a meeting at which the financial statements of the Society are to be considered or the auditor is to be appointed or removed, and, in that case, the auditor must attend the meeting.

(5) The auditor of the Society is entitled to

(a) attend any general meeting of the Society and to receive every notice and other communication relating to the meeting that a member of the Society is entitled to receive, and

(b) be heard at any general meeting that the auditor attends on any part of the business of the meeting that concerns the auditor or the financial statements of the Society.

(6) At any general meeting, the auditor, if present, must answer enquiries directed to the auditor concerning the financial statements of the Society and the opinion on them stated in his or her report.

(7) The auditor is entitled at all times to have access to every record of the Society and is entitled to require from the Benchers, officers and employees of the Society information and explanations that the auditor considers necessary to enable the auditor to prepare his or her report.

[(2) amended 2015/05, effective 2015/10]

Special general meeting

1-11 (1) The Benchers may at any time convene a special general meeting of the Society.

(2) The Benchers must convene a special general meeting of the Society on a written request

(a) delivered to the Executive Director,

(b) stating the nature of the business that is proposed to be considered for the meeting, and

(c) signed by 5 per cent of the members of the Society in good standing at the time the request is received by the Executive Director.

(3) The Benchers must convene a special general meeting within 60 days of the receipt of a request under subrule (2).

(4) Subject to subrule (3), a special general meeting must be held at a time and place that the Benchers may determine.

(5) At least 21 days before a special general meeting, the Executive Director must, by electronic or other means, distribute to Benchers and members of the Society in good standing a notice of the meeting stating the business that will be considered at the meeting. 

(6) The accidental omission to give notice of a special general meeting to any Bencher or member of the Society, or the non-receipt of that notice, does not invalidate anything done at the meeting.

(7) No business other than the business stated in the notice under subrule (5) may be considered at a special general meeting.

[(5) and (6) amended 2015/12]

Quorum

1-12 At a general meeting of the Society, 50 members of the Society in good standing constitute a quorum.

Procedure at general meeting

1-13 (1) Benchers, members of the Society in good standing and articled students are entitled to be present and to speak at a general meeting.

(1.1) Despite subrule (1), a person participating in a general meeting by way of internet connection is not entitled to speak at the meeting.

(2) The Executive Director must register all persons attending a general meeting as follows:

(a) members of the Society in good standing, who must be given a voting card;

(b) articled students, who must be given a student card;

(c) appointed Benchers and persons given permission to attend the meeting by the President, who may be given a card for identification only.

(3) As an exception to subrule (2), the Executive Committee may authorize the Executive Director to dispense with registration or voting and student cards at a special general meeting.

(4) At a general meeting, the President may allow a person not in possession of a voting or student card to speak.

(5) Subject to subrules (6) and (7), in the absence of the President, the First Vice-President or the Second Vice-President must preside at a general meeting and assume the duties of the President under Rules 1-8 to 1-13.

(6) In the absence of the President and Vice-Presidents, one of the other Benchers present must preside at a general meeting and assume the duties of the President under Rules 1-8 to 1-13.

(7) The members of the Society present at a general meeting must choose one of their number to preside at the meeting if

(a) no Bencher is present 30 minutes after the time appointed for holding the meeting, or

(b) all Benchers present are unwilling to preside.

(8) At the beginning of the meeting, the President must declare whether or not a quorum is present. 

(9) If a quorum is not present 30 minutes after the time appointed for a general meeting, the meeting

(a) if convened at the written request of members, is terminated, or

(b) in any other case, may be adjourned to a specified place and a new date within one week, as determined by the President.

(10) No business, other than the election of a presiding Bencher and the adjournment or termination of the meeting, can be begun unless and until a quorum is present.

(11) If the President has declared that a quorum is present, a quorum is deemed to remain present until a member present at the meeting challenges the quorum.

(12) The Executive Committee is authorized to set the agenda for a general meeting.

(13) A dispute concerning the procedure to be followed at a general meeting not provided for in the Act or these Rules is to be resolved in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.

(14) When a decision of the President is appealed, the President must call a vote of all members present, without debate, on whether they are in favour of or opposed to sustaining the President’s decision.

(15) A member of the Society in good standing who is present at a general meeting is entitled to one vote.

(15.1) A member of the Society must not

(a) cast a vote or attempt to cast a vote that he or she is not entitled to cast, or

(b) enable or assist a person

(i) to vote in the place of the member, or

(ii) to cast a vote that the person is not entitled to cast.

(16) Voting at a general meeting must be by show of voting cards, or by show of hands if voting cards have not been issued, unless the President orders a secret ballot.

(17) A member of the Society is not entitled to vote by proxy.

(18) A general meeting may be adjourned from time to time and from place to place, but no business can be transacted at an adjourned meeting other than the business left unfinished at the meeting from which the adjournment took place.

[(1) and (2) amended 2015/12; (1.1) and (15.1) added 05/2017]

Bencher meetings

1-14 (1) Bencher meetings are held in British Columbia, unless the Benchers direct otherwise.

(2) The President or any 2 Benchers may call a special meeting of the Benchers.

(3) At a meeting of the Benchers, 7 Benchers constitute a quorum, provided that a majority of the Benchers present are members of the Society.

Notice of Bencher meeting

1-15 (1) The Executive Director must notify the Benchers of the date, time and place of the next Bencher meeting or of an adjourned Bencher meeting.

(2) The Executive Director must notify the Benchers under subrule (1) at least 48 hours before the meeting, or within less time if that is reasonable in the circumstances.

Procedure at Bencher meeting

1-16 (1) Subject to subrule (4), members of the Society in good standing and articled students are entitled to be present at Bencher meetings.

(2) The President may allow a member of the Society in good standing or an articled student to speak at the meeting.

(3) The President may allow a person not referred to in subrule (1) to be present at all or part of a Bencher meeting, with or without the right to speak at the meeting.

(4) The President may order that only Benchers, or Benchers and specified employees of the Society, be present during the discussion of a confidential matter at a Bencher meeting.

(5) In the absence of the President, or at the request of the President, the First Vice-President or Second Vice-President must preside at a Bencher meeting and assume the duties of the President under this rule.

(6) In the absence of the President, First Vice-President and Second Vice-President, the Benchers present must choose one of their number to preside at the meeting and assume the duties of the President under this rule.

(7) If a quorum is not present 30 minutes after the time appointed for a Bencher meeting, the meeting may, as determined by the President, stand adjourned to a date, time and place set by the President.

(8) The Benchers must not conduct business other than the election of a presiding Bencher and the adjournment of the meeting unless a quorum is present.

(9) A dispute concerning the procedure to be followed at a Bencher meeting that is not provided for in the Act or these rules is to be resolved in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.

(10) When a decision of the President is appealed, the President must call a vote of all Benchers present, without debate, on whether they are in favour of or opposed to sustaining the President’s decision.

(11) A Bencher present at a Bencher meeting is entitled to one vote.

(12) Voting at a Bencher meeting must be by show of hands, unless the President orders a secret ballot.

(13) A Bencher is not entitled to vote by proxy.

(14) A Bencher meeting may be adjourned from time to time and from place to place.

(15) The Benchers may conduct a meeting by joining together 2 or more locations by telephone or by any other means of communication that allows all persons participating in and entitled to vote at the meeting to hear each other, and a Bencher participating in the meeting in that way is, for the purpose of this rule and the calculation of a quorum, present at the meeting.

Quorum for committee meetings

1-17 (1) At least half the members of a committee constitutes a quorum.

(2) As an exception to subrule (1), a quorum of the Executive Committee is 4.

Procedure for committee meetings

1-18 (1) A member of a committee may not vote by proxy.

(2) A meeting of a committee may be conducted by joining together 2 or more locations by telephone or by any other means of communication that allows all persons participating in and entitled to vote at the meeting to hear each other, and a member of the committee participating in the meeting in that way is present at the meeting for all purposes, including the calculation of a quorum.

(3) A committee may take any action consistent with the Act and these rules by resolution of a majority of the members of the committee present at a meeting, if the members constitute a quorum.

Elections

Second Vice-President-elect

1-19 (1) The election of a Second Vice-President-elect is held at the annual general meeting each year.

(2) A nomination for election as Second Vice-President-elect is valid only if

(a) the nominator is a member of the Society in good standing,

(b) the candidate is a Bencher and a member of the Society in good standing, and

(c) the candidate consents to the nomination.

(3) All members of the Society in good standing in attendance are entitled to vote for Second Vice-President-elect.

(4) A vote for Second Vice-President-elect must be conducted by secret ballot.

(5) If only one candidate is nominated, the President must declare that candidate the Second Vice-President elect.

Bencher elections

1-20 (1) Elections for the office of Bencher in all districts must be held on November 15 of each odd-numbered year.

(2) An election in the district represented by the President must be held on November 15 of each even-numbered year.

(3) The Bencher elected under subrule (2) holds office for one year starting on the following January 1.

Regional election of Benchers

1-21 (1) Benchers must be elected from electoral districts as follows:

(a) 13 Benchers from District No. 1, the County of Vancouver;

(b) 2 Benchers from District No. 2, the County of Victoria;

(c) one Bencher from District No. 3, the County of Nanaimo;

(d) 3 Benchers from District No. 4, the County of Westminster;

(e) one Bencher from District No. 5, the County of Kootenay;

(f) one Bencher from District No. 6, Okanagan, being those parts of the County of Yale

(i) east of 120 degrees west longitude and south of the northernmost point of Okanagan Lake, or

(ii) west of 120 degrees west longitude and south of 50 degrees north latitude;

(g) 2 Benchers from District No. 7, the County of Cariboo;

(h) one Bencher from District No. 8, the County of Prince Rupert;

(i) one Bencher from District No. 9, Kamloops, being that part of the County of Yale not included in District No. 6, Okanagan.

(2) The number of Benchers to be elected from each district must be reduced by one for each Bencher from that district who holds office as First Vice-President, Second Vice-President or Second Vice-President-elect.

Qualifications of candidate

1-22 (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) An incumbent Bencher who qualifies under subrule (1) and is not disqualified under Rule 1-2 [Term limits] is eligible to be nominated as a candidate for re-election as a Bencher. 

Nomination

1-23 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 October 15 before the election is to take place.

Acclamation

1-24 If the number of candidates nominated does not exceed the number to be elected in a district, the Executive Director must declare that those nominated are elected as Benchers for that district.

Eligibility and entitlement to vote

1-25 (1) A member of the Society in good standing is eligible to vote in a Bencher election.

(1.1) A member of the Society must not cast a vote or attempt to cast a vote that he or she is not entitled to cast.

(1.2) A member of the Society must not enable or assist a person

(a) to vote in the place of the member, or

(b) to cast a vote that the person is not entitled to cast.

(2) Only those members of the Society whose names appear on the voter list prepared under Rule 1-26 [Voter list], as corrected, are entitled to vote in a Bencher election.

(3) A non-resident member may vote

(a) in the district in which the member was last eligible to vote as a resident member, or

(b) if paragraph (a) does not apply, in District No. 1.

(4) A resident member of the Society may vote only in the district in which the member maintains his or her

(a) chief place of practice or employment, in the case of a practising member, or

(b) residence, in the case of a retired or non-practising member.

(5) A member of the Society may apply to the Executive Committee to have his or her name placed on the voter list for a District other than the one required by this rule, and the Executive Committee may direct the Executive Director to make the change if it is satisfied that the member has a significantly greater connection to the District the member wishes to vote in.

[(1) and (2) amended, (1.1) and (1.2) added 2015/12]

Voter list

1-26 (1) By October 10 of each year, the Executive Director must prepare a list of voters for each district in which an election is to be held that year.

(2) The list of voters for each district must list in alphabetical order the names of all members of the Society entitled to vote in the district.

(3) A member of the Society may examine the voter list at the Society office during normal office hours of the Society.

(4) A member of the Society who has reason to believe that a voter list improperly includes or omits a name, or contains an error respecting the district in which a member is entitled to vote may, before the election, report the error to the Executive Director.

(5) The Executive Director must promptly investigate a report made under subrule (4) and correct any error that exists.

(6) A member of the Society who is not satisfied with the action taken by the Executive Director under subrule (5) may apply in writing to the Executive Committee for a review.

(7) The Executive Committee must promptly review an application made under subrule (6), and must

(a) confirm the decision of the Executive Director, or

(b) order the Executive Director to correct the voter list as the Committee directs.

Voting procedure

1-27 (1) By November 1 of each year, the Executive Director must make available to each member of the Society whose name is on the voter list prepared under Rule 1-26 [Voter list]

(a) a ballot containing, in the order determined under Rule 1-28 [Order of names on ballot], the names of all candidates in the district in which the member is entitled to vote and stating the number of Benchers to be elected in that district,

(b) instructions on marking of the ballot and returning it to the Society in a way that will preserve the secrecy of the member’s vote,

(c) a ballot envelope,

(d) a declaration,

(e) a mailing envelope, and

(f) biographical information received from the candidates.

(2) The accidental omission to make the material referred to in subrule (1) available to any member of the Society or the non-receipt of the material does not invalidate an election.

(3) For a ballot to be valid, the voter must

(a) vote in accordance with the instructions provided with the ballot,

(b) not vote for more candidates than the number of Benchers to be elected in the district,

(c) place the ballot in the ballot envelope and seal the envelope,

(d) complete the declaration and sign it, 

(e) place the ballot envelope in the mailing envelope and seal the envelope, and

(f) deliver, or mail postage prepaid, the mailing envelope to the Executive Director.

(4) The Executive Director may issue a replacement ballot to a voter who informs the Executive Director in writing that the original ballot has been misplaced or spoiled or was not received.

(5) The Executive Director may issue a new set of ballot materials to a voter who informs the Executive Director in writing that the original ballot material sent to him or her relates to a district other than the one in which he or she is entitled to vote.

[(1) to (4) amended 2015/12]

Electronic voting

1-27.1 (1) The Executive Committee may authorize the Executive Director to conduct a Bencher election partly or entirely by electronic means.

(2) The Executive Director

(a) may retain a contractor to assist in any part of an election conducted electronically,

(b) must ensure that votes cast electronically remain secret, and

(c) must take reasonable security measures to ensure that only members entitled to vote can do so.

(3) A ballot may be produced electronically and, to cast a valid vote, a member must indicate his or her vote in accordance with instructions accompanying the ballot.

(4) Rules 1-20 to 1-44 apply, with the necessary changes and so far as they are applicable, to an election conducted partly or entirely by electronic means.

[added 2015/12]

Order of names on ballot

1-28 (1) The order of names on a ballot under this division must be determined by lot in accordance with this rule.

(2) The Executive Director must notify all candidates as to the date, time and place when the determination is to be made.

(3) The procedure for the determination is as follows:

(a) the name of each candidate is written on a separate piece of paper, as similar as possible to all other pieces prepared for the determination;

(b) the pieces of paper are folded in a uniform manner in such a way that the names of the candidates are not visible;

(c) the pieces of paper are placed in a container that is sufficiently large to allow them to be shaken for the purpose of making their distribution random, and the container is shaken for this purpose;

(d) the Executive Director withdraws the papers one at a time;

(e) the name on the first paper drawn is the first name on the ballot, the name on the second paper is the second, and so on until the placing of all candidates’ names on the ballot has been determined.

Rejection of ballots

1-29 (1) A ballot must be rejected if it

(a) contains, or is enclosed in an envelope that contains, a marking that could identify the voter,

(b) contains votes for more candidates than the number to be elected in the district concerned,

(c) is dissimilar to those issued by the Executive Director, or

(d) is received by the Executive Director on or after the election date. 

(2) A vote is void if it is

(a) not cast for a candidate whose name appears on the ballot provided by the Society, or

(b) ambiguous or unclear as to the candidate voted for.

[heading, (1) and (2) amended 2015/12]

Alternative vote ballot

1-30 (1) In a district in which only one Bencher is to be elected and there are more than 2 candidates, voting must be by an alternative vote ballot on which voters may indicate their preference for candidates.

(2) When an alternative vote ballot is conducted under subrule (1), the ballots in that election must be counted according to the following procedure:

(a) on the first count, each voter’s first preference is recorded in favour of the candidate preferred;

(b) on the second count, the candidate who received the least votes on the first count is eliminated and that candidate’s first count ballots are distributed among the remaining candidates according to the second preferences indicated;

(c) on each subsequent count, the candidate who received the least votes in the preceding count is eliminated, and that candidate’s ballots are distributed among the remaining candidates according to the next preferences indicated;

(d) the first candidate to receive a majority of votes on any count is elected.

Scrutineers

1-31 (1) The Executive Director is a scrutineer for each Bencher election.

(2) The Executive Committee must appoint 2 members of the Society in good standing who are not Benchers or employees of the Society, to be scrutineers of the election.

(3) The failure of one scrutineer to attend at the time and place set for the vote counting does not prevent the votes from being counted at that time and place.

(4) The scrutineers must

(a) ensure that all votes are counted in accordance with the Act and these rules, and

(b) decide whether a vote is void or a ballot is rejected, in which case their decision is final.

[(1) and (4) amended 2015/12]

Counting of votes

1-32 The Executive Director must supervise the counting of votes according to the following procedure:

(a) the name of each voter who votes is crossed off the voter list, and all the ballots of a voter who submits more than one ballot must be rejected;

(b) each voter declaration is read, and the ballot of a voter who has not completed and signed the declaration correctly is rejected;

(c) the ballot envelopes containing ballots are separated by district, and mixed to prevent identification of voters;

(d) for each district, the ballot envelopes are opened and the ballots removed;

(e) ballots that are rejected according to the Act or these rules are kept separate;

(f) all votes are counted and recorded unless void or contained in a rejected ballot.

[amended 2015/12]

Attendance of candidate

1-33 A candidate may attend personally or by agent during proceedings under Rules 1-28 [Order of names on ballot], 1-32 [Counting of votes] and 1-34 [Declaration of candidates elected].

Declaration of candidates elected

1-34 (1) The Executive Director must declare elected the candidates who receive the greatest number of votes, up to the number of Benchers to be elected in each district.

(2) If, as a result of a tie vote, the Executive Director cannot determine all of the candidates elected in a district, the Executive Director must report to the Executive Committee that the positions affected have not been filled by the election, and Rule 1-38 [Bencher by-election] or 1-39 [Appointment of Bencher to represent a district] applies.

Election record and disclosure of votes received

1-35 (1) The Executive Director must ensure that a permanent record is kept of the number of votes received by each candidate, and the candidates who are declared elected.

(2) The information referred to in subrule (1) is public information.

Review by Executive Committee

1-36 (1) A candidate who is not elected in a Bencher election may apply to the Executive Committee for a review of the election.

(2) An application under subrule (1) can only be made

(a) in writing, and

(b) not more than 10 days after the election date. 

(3) On an application under subrule (1), the Executive Committee must promptly review the election in that district, and must

(a) confirm the declaration made by the Executive Director under Rule 1-34 [Declaration of candidates elected],

(b) rescind the declaration made by the Executive Director under Rule 1-34 and declare that the candidate who applied under subrule (1) or another candidate is elected, or

(c) order a new election in the district concerned, and give directions for it.

(4) The decision of the Executive Committee under subrule (3) is final.

[(1) amended 2015/12]

Retention of documents

1-37 The Executive Director must retain the ballots and other documents of a Bencher election for at least 14 days after the election or, if a review is taken under Rule 1-36 [Review by Executive Committee], until that review has been completed.

[amended 2015/12]

Bencher by-election

1-38 (1) If an elected Bencher ceases to hold office in an even numbered year or before July 1 of an odd numbered year, a by-election must be held to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term of office.

(2) When a Bencher by-election is required under subrule (1), the Executive Committee must set a date for the prompt holding of the by-election.

(3) Rules 1-21 to 1-37 apply to a by-election under subrule (1), except that the Executive Director may change the dates referred to in Rules 1-23 (c) [Nomination], 1-26 (1) [Voter list] and 1-27 (1) [Voting procedure].

Appointment of Bencher to represent a district

1-39 (1) The Benchers may fill a vacancy by appointment in the following circumstances:

(a) an elected Bencher ceases to hold office on or after July 1 of an odd-numbered year;

(b) an electoral district fails to nominate enough candidates at an election to elect the required number of Benchers;

(c) an amendment to Rule 1-21 [Regional election of Benchers] increases the number of Benchers to be elected from a district.

(2) A Bencher appointed under subrule (1) takes office on appointment and continues in office until the end of the current term.

(3) The Benchers may appoint any member of the Society in good standing eligible to be a candidate for Bencher in the district concerned.

(4) When the Benchers appoint a Bencher under this rule, they may conduct a non-binding plebiscite of the members of the Society in the district concerned.

Referendum ballots

1-40 (1) The Benchers may direct the Executive Director to conduct a referendum ballot of all members of the Society or of all members in one or more districts.

(2) The rules respecting a Bencher election apply, with the necessary changes and so far as they are applicable, to a referendum under this rule, except that the votes need not be reported by districts.

[(2) amended 2015/12]

Election of Executive Committee

1-41 (1) The Benchers must elect 3 Benchers to serve as members of the Executive Committee for each calendar year.

(2) All persons elected as a Bencher for a term that includes the calendar year for which members of the Executive Committee are to be elected are eligible for election under subrule (1).

(3) Nominations for election to the Executive Committee must be made by November 22.

(4) If more than 3 Benchers are nominated under subrule (3), the Executive Director must conduct a ballot.

(5) The Executive Director must specify a date no later than December 6 for the return of the ballots, and a ballot returned after that date is not valid.

(6) All Benchers in office on the date specified under subrule (5) are eligible to vote for the Executive Committee.

(7) At the last regular meeting of the Benchers in each calendar year, the appointed Benchers must elect one appointed Bencher to serve as a member of the Executive Committee for the following calendar year.

(8) All Benchers appointed, or eligible to be appointed, for a term that includes all or part of the calendar year for which members of the Executive Committee are to be elected are eligible for election to the Executive Committee under subrule (7).

(9) All appointed Benchers present are entitled to vote for the member of the Executive Committee under subrule (7).

(10) If a vote is required for an election under this rule,

(a) it must be conducted by secret ballot,

(b) a ballot must be rejected if it contains votes for more candidates than there are positions to be filled, and

(c) when more than one Bencher is to be elected, the candidates with the most votes, up to the number of positions to be filled, are elected.

(11) If, because of a tie vote or for any other reason, the Benchers fail to elect 3 members of the Executive Committee under subrule (1), or if a vacancy occurs in any position elected under this rule, the Benchers or the appointed Benchers, as the case may be, must hold an election to fill the vacancy at the next regular meeting of the Benchers

Date falling on Saturday, Sunday or holiday

1-42 If the time for doing an act in this division falls or expires on a day when the Society office is not open during regular business hours, the time is extended to the next day that the office is open.

1-43  [rescinded 2015/12]

Extension of dates

1-44 The Executive Committee may, on application by the Executive Director, extend any date stated in Rule 1-20 to 1-44.

General

Seal

1-45 (1) Subject to subrule (2), the seal of the Society may be affixed to a document in the presence of

(a) 2 persons, one of whom must be the President or a Vice-President, and the other of whom must be an officer of the Society, or

(b) one or more persons appointed by resolution of the Executive Committee.

(2) The seal may be affixed in the presence of any one of the persons referred to in subrule (1) in the case of

(a) a certificate, or

(b) a document that certifies true copies of any document or resolution.

(3) The person or persons in whose presence the seal is affixed must sign the certificate or document of certification.

Laying of information

1-46 Any information alleging an offence against the Act may be laid in the name of the Society on oath of an officer of the Society or a member of the Executive Committee. 

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

1-47 The Executive Director is designated as the head of the Society for the purposes of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Appointment of Law Society counsel

1-48 (1) Subject to Rule 1-51 (a) [Powers and duties], the Executive Director may appoint an employee of the Society or retain another lawyer to advise or represent the Society in any legal matter.

(2) When Rule 1-51 (a) [Powers and duties] applies and it is not practicable to call a meeting of the Executive Committee before the advice of counsel is required, the Executive Director may appoint counsel on an interim basis.

Division 2 – Committees

Committees of the Benchers

1-49 Subject to these rules, the President may

(a) appoint any person as a member of a committee of the Benchers, and

(b) terminate the appointment.

Executive Committee

1-50 (1) The Executive Committee consists of the following Benchers:

(a) the President;

(b) the First and Second Vice-Presidents;

(c) the Second Vice-President-elect, if not elected under paragraph (d);

(d) 3 other Benchers elected under Rule 1-41 (1) [Election of Executive Committee];

(e) one appointed Bencher elected under Rule 1-41 (7).

(2) The President is the chair of the Executive Committee, and the First Vice-President is the vice chair.

(3) The Executive Committee is accountable and reports directly to the Benchers as a whole. 

Powers and duties

1-51 The powers and duties of the Executive Committee include the following:

(a) authorizing appointment of counsel to advise or represent the Society when the Society is a plaintiff, petitioner or intervenor in an action or proceeding;

(b) authorizing the execution of documents relating to the business of the Society;

(c) appointing persons to affix the seal of the Society to documents;

(d) approving forms under these rules;

(e) approving agreements relating to the employment, termination or resignation of the Executive Director and the remuneration and benefits paid to him or her;

(f) assisting the President and Executive Director in establishing the agenda for Bencher meetings and the annual general meeting;

(g) planning of Bencher meetings or retreats held to consider a policy development schedule for the Benchers;

(h) assisting the Benchers and the Executive Director on establishing relative priorities for the assignment of Society financial, staff and volunteer resources;

(i) providing constructive performance feedback to the President;

(j) recommending to the appointing bodies on Law Society appointments to outside bodies;

(k) determining the date, time and locations for the annual general meeting;

(l) overseeing Bencher elections in accordance with Division 1 of this Part;

(m) appointing members of the Board of Governors of the Foundation under section 59 [Board of Governors];

(n) deciding matters referred by the Executive Director under Rule 2-113 [Referral to Executive Committee];

(o) declaring that a financial institution is not or ceases to be a savings institution under Rule 3-57 [Removal of designation];

(p) adjudicating claims for unclaimed trust funds under Rule 3-91 [Adjudication of claims];

(q) other functions authorized or assigned by these rules or the Benchers.

Division 3 – Law Society Rules

Act, Rules and Handbook

1-52 The Executive Director must provide each lawyer and each articled student with a copy of the Legal Profession Act, all rules made by the Benchers, and the Code of Professional Conduct.