Interpretation and application

4-1 (1) In this part,

“conduct meeting” means a meeting that a lawyer or a law firm is required to attend under Rule 4-4 (1) (c) [Action on complaints];

“conduct review” means a meeting with a conduct review subcommittee that a lawyer or a law firm is required to attend under Rule 4-4 (1) (d).

(2) This part applies to a former lawyer, an articled student, a law firm, a visiting lawyer permitted to practise law under Rules 2-16 to 2-20 and a practitioner of foreign law as it does to a lawyer, with the necessary changes and so far as it is applicable.

(3) This part must be interpreted in a manner consistent with standards of simplicity, fairness and expediency, and so as to provide maximum protection to the public and to lawyers.

(4) In this part, a law firm may act through its designated representative or another lawyer engaged in the practice of law as a member of the law firm.

[(1) and (2) amended, (4) added 04/2018]

Division 1 – Discipline Committee

Discipline Committee

4-2 (1) For each calendar year, the President must appoint a Discipline Committee, including a chair and vice chair, both of whom must be Benchers.

(2) The President may remove any person appointed under subrule (1).

(3) At any time, the President may appoint a person to the Discipline Committee to replace a Committee member who resigns or otherwise ceases membership in the Committee, or to increase the number of members of the Committee.

(4) Any function of the chair of the Discipline Committee under these rules may be performed by the vice chair or by another Bencher member of the Committee designated by the chair.

[(4) amended 03/2022]

Consideration of complaints by Committee

4-3 (1) The Discipline Committee must consider any complaint referred to it under these rules and may instruct the Executive Director to make or authorize further investigation that the Discipline Committee considers desirable.

(2) If, in the view of the Executive Director and the chair of the Discipline Committee, there is a need to act before a meeting of the Committee can be arranged, the Executive Director may refer a complaint to the chair for consideration under Rule 4-5 [Consideration of complaints by chair]. 

Action on complaints

4-4 (1) After its consideration under Rule 4-3 [Consideration of complaints by Committee], the Discipline Committee must

(a) decide that no further action be taken on the complaint,

(b) authorize the chair or other Bencher member of the Discipline Committee to send a letter to the lawyer concerning the lawyer’s conduct,

(c) require the lawyer or law firm to attend a meeting with one or more Benchers or lawyers to discuss the conduct of the lawyer,

(d) require the lawyer or law firm to appear before a Conduct Review Subcommittee, or

(e) direct that the Executive Director issue a citation against the lawyer under Rule 4-17 (1) [Direction to issue, expand or rescind citation].

(2) In addition to the determination made under subrule (1), the Discipline Committee may refer any matter or any lawyer to the Practice Standards Committee.

(3) In addition to any action taken under subrules (1) and (2), if a complaint discloses that there may be grounds for revoking a law corporation’s permit under Rule 9-11 [Revocation of permits], the Discipline Committee may order a hearing on the revocation of the law corporation’s permit.

(4) At any time before the Discipline Committee makes a decision under Rule 4-13 (6) (a) to (c) [Conduct Review Subcommittee report], the Committee may resolve to rescind a decision made under subrule (1) (d) to require a lawyer to appear before a Conduct Review Subcommittee and substitute another decision under subrule (1).

[(1) amended 04/2018]

Consideration of complaints by chair

4-5 (1) The chair of the Discipline Committee must consider any complaint referred to the chair under these rules and may instruct the Executive Director to make or authorize further investigation that the chair considers desirable.

(2) After considering a complaint under subrule (1), the chair of the Discipline Committee must

(a) direct that the Executive Director issue a citation against the lawyer under Rule 4-17(1) [Direction to issue, expand or rescind citation], or

(b) refer the complaint to the Discipline Committee.

[(1) amended 05/2021]

Continuation of membership during investigation or disciplinary proceedings

4-6 (1) In this rule, “lawyer under investigation” means a lawyer who is the subject of

(a) an investigation under Part 3, Division 1 [Complaints], or

(b) a decision of the Discipline Committee under Rule 4-4 (1) (c) or (d) [Action on complaints].

(2) A lawyer under investigation may not resign from membership in the Society except

(a) with the consent of the Executive Director, or

(b) under the terms of a consent agreement under Rule 3-7.1 [Resolution by consent agreement].

(3) A respondent may not resign from membership in the Society except with the consent of the Discipline Committee.

(4) The Executive Director may direct that a lawyer under investigation who would otherwise have ceased to be a member of the Society for failure to pay the annual fee or a special assessment continue as a member not in good standing and not permitted to engage in the practice of law.

(5) The Discipline Committee may, by resolution, direct that a respondent who would otherwise have ceased to be a member of the Society for failure to pay the annual fee or a special assessment continue as a member not in good standing and not permitted to engage in the practice of law.

(6) A direction under subrule (4) or (5) may be made to continue in effect until stated conditions are fulfilled.

(7) When a direction under subrule (4) or (5) expires on the fulfillment of all stated conditions or is rescinded by the Executive Director or Discipline Committee,

(a) the lawyer concerned ceases to be a member of the Society,

(b) if the rescission is in response to a request of the lawyer concerned, the Committee may impose conditions on the rescission.

[(2) and (3) amended 12/2020]

Notification

4-7 The Executive Director must notify the complainant and the lawyer or law firm in writing of the determination of the Discipline Committee under Rule 4-4 [Action on complaints] or the chair under Rule 4-5 [Consideration of complaints by the chair].

[amended 04/2018]

Confidentiality of Discipline Committee deliberations

4-8 (1) No one is permitted to disclose any of the following information except for the purpose of complying with the objects of the Act or with these rules:

(a) information and documents that form part of the consideration of a complaint under Rule 4-4 [Action on complaints] or 4-5 [Consideration of complaints by chair];

(b) the result of a consideration under Rule 4-4.

(2) As an exception to subrule (1), the Executive Director may disclose information referred to in that subrule

(a) with the consent of the lawyer, in responding to an enquiry made for the purpose of a potential judicial appointment, or

(b) to a governing body under Rule 2-27.1 [Sharing information with a governing body].

(3) No one is permitted to disclose a direction to issue a citation until the respondent is notified. 

(4) Despite subrule (3), the Executive Director may disclose to the public a direction to issue a citation, its subject matter and its status before the respondent is notified if

(a) the identity of the respondent has already been disclosed to the public,

(b) the citation is in respect of an offence to which the respondent has pleaded guilty or of which the respondent has been found guilty, or

(c) the citation is based on a complaint that has become known to the public.

(4.1) Despite subrule (1), the Executive Director may disclose information about Discipline Committee deliberations to a designated representative of a law firm in which the lawyer who is the subject of the deliberations engages in the practice of law.  

(5) Despite subrule (1), with the consent of the Discipline Committee, the Executive Director may deliver to a law enforcement agency any information or documents obtained under this division that may be evidence of an offence.

(6) This rule must not be interpreted to permit the disclosure of any information subject to solicitor and client privilege or confidentiality.

[(4.1) added 04/2018; (2) amended 09/2018; (5) amended 12/2019]

Conduct letter from the chair

4-9 (1) When a letter authorized under Rule 4-4 (1) (b) [Action on complaints] is sent to the lawyer, the Executive Director must provide the complainant with

(a) a copy of the letter, or

(b) if directed by the Discipline Committee, a summary of the letter.

(2) A letter authorized under Rule 4-4 (1) (b) [Action on complaints]

(a) does not form part of the lawyer’s professional conduct record, and

(b) is not admissible in the hearing of a citation under this part.

Conduct meeting

4-10 (1) A conduct meeting must be held in private.

(2) The Discipline Committee or the chair of the Discipline Committee may appoint one or more individuals who are Benchers, Life Benchers or lawyers to meet with a lawyer or a law firm required to attend a conduct meeting under Rule 4-4 (1) (c) [Action on complaints].

(3) No record of an order under Rule 4-4 (1) (c) [Action on complaints] or of the conduct meeting forms part of the lawyer’s professional conduct record.

(4) A Bencher or other lawyer who has participated in a conduct meeting is not permitted to testify in the hearing of a citation as to any statement made by the respondent during the conduct meeting, unless the respondent puts the matter in issue. 

[(2) amended 04/2018]

Conduct Review Subcommittee

4-11 (1) The Discipline Committee or the chair of the Discipline Committee must appoint a Conduct Review Subcommittee to consider the conduct of a lawyer referred to the Subcommittee under Rule 4-4 (1) (d) [Action on complaints].

(2) A Conduct Review Subcommittee

(a) must include at least one lawyer,

(b) may include one or more appointed Benchers, and

(c) must be chaired by a Bencher or a Life Bencher.

Conduct review

4-12 (1) A conduct review is an informal proceeding at which the lawyer or law firm

(a) must appear personally, and

(b) may be represented by counsel.

(2) Subject to subrule (3), a conduct review must be conducted in private.

(3) The Conduct Review Subcommittee may, in its discretion, permit the complainant to be present at all or part of the meeting, with or without the right to speak at the meeting.

[(1) amended 04/2018]

Conduct Review Subcommittee report

4-13 (1) The Conduct Review Subcommittee must

(a) prepare a written report of the factual background, the Subcommittee’s conclusions and any recommendations, and

(b) deliver a copy of that report to the lawyer, together with written notice that the lawyer has 30 days from the date of the notice to notify the chair of the Subcommittee in writing of any dispute as to the contents of the report and the reasons the lawyer disputes the contents of the report.

(2) If the Subcommittee considers it necessary for the effective consideration of the lawyer’s dispute, it may order a further meeting.

(3) If a further meeting is ordered under subrule (2), Rule 4-12 [Conduct review] applies.

(4) The Subcommittee must consider the lawyer’s dispute and

(a) amend its report as it considers appropriate, or

(b) forward its report to the Discipline Committee without amendment.

(5) The Subcommittee must notify the lawyer in writing of its decision under subrule (4) and, if the report is amended, provide a copy of the amended report to

(a) the lawyer, and

(b) the Discipline Committee. 

(6) After considering the Conduct Review Subcommittee’s report, the Discipline Committee must do one or more of the following:

(a) decide to take no further action on the complaint;

(b) refer the lawyer to the Practice Standards Committee;

(c) direct that a citation be issued against the lawyer under Rule 4-17 (1) [Direction to issue, expand or rescind citation]; 

(d) rescind the decision under Rule 4-4 (1) (d) [Action on complaints] to require the lawyer or law firm to appear before the Conduct Review Subcommittee, and substitute another decision under Rule 4-4 (1).

(7) A member of the Discipline Committee who has participated in the Conduct Review Subcommittee is not, for that reason, precluded from participating in and voting on a decision under subrule (6).

(8) After making its decision under subrule (6), the Discipline Committee must

(a) notify the lawyer and the complainant of its decision, and

(b) subject to Rule 4-14 [Privilege and confidentiality], deliver a copy or summary of the report to the complainant.

[(6) amended 04/2018; (1) amended 05/2021]

Privilege and confidentiality

4-14 In complying with Rule 4-13 [Conduct Review Subcommittee report], the Discipline Committee and the Conduct Review Subcommittee must not disclose to the complainant information subject to the solicitor and client privilege of a client, other than the complainant, or other confidential information that the complainant is not entitled to receive.

Publication and disclosure

4-15 (1) The Executive Director may publish and circulate to the profession a summary of the circumstances of a matter that has been the subject of a conduct review.

(2) A summary published under subrule (1) must not identify the lawyer or complainant unless that person consents in writing to being identified.

(3) If a complaint giving rise to a conduct review is known to the public or if a conduct review is ordered in a matter that was the subject of a citation that has been rescinded, the Executive Director may disclose

(a) the fact that the lawyer or law firm is or has been required to appear before a Conduct Review Subcommittee, and

(b) the decision of the Discipline Committee under Rule 4-13 (6) [Conduct Review Subcommittee report]

(4) Subject to subrule (5), the Executive Director may disclose the report of a Conduct Review Subcommittee that has been considered by a hearing panel as part of a lawyer’s professional conduct record under Rule 4-44 (5) [Disciplinary action].

(5) This rule must not be interpreted to permit the disclosure of any information that is subject to solicitor and client privilege or confidentiality.

[(3) amended 04/2018]

Evidence of conduct review at the hearing of a citation

4-16 If a hearing is held on a citation issued following a conduct review concerning the same conduct referred to in the citation,

(a) the Conduct Review Subcommittee’s written report is not admissible at the hearing, and

(b) no member of the Conduct Review Subcommittee is permitted to testify as to any statement made by the respondent during the conduct review, unless the respondent puts the matter in issue.

[amended 04/2018]

Direction to issue, expand or rescind citation

4-17 (1) The Discipline Committee or the chair of the Committee may order a hearing into the conduct or competence of a lawyer by directing that the Executive Director issue a citation against the lawyer.

(2) After a hearing has been ordered under subrule (1), the Discipline Committee may direct the Executive Director to add an allegation to a citation. 

(3) At any time before a panel makes a determination under Rule 4-44 [Disciplinary action], the Discipline Committee may rescind a citation or an allegation in a citation and substitute another decision under Rule 4-4 (1) [Action on complaints].

Contents of citation

4-18 (1) A citation may contain one or more allegations.

(2) Each allegation in a citation must

(a) be clear and specific enough to give the respondent notice of the misconduct alleged, and

(b) contain enough detail of the circumstances of the alleged misconduct to give the respondent reasonable information about the act or omission to be proven against the respondent and to identify the transaction referred to.

Notice of citation

4-19 The Executive Director must serve a citation on the respondent

(a) in accordance with Rule 10-1 [Service and notice], and

(b) not more than 45 days after the direction that it be issued, unless the Discipline Committee or the chair of the Committee otherwise directs.

Publication of citation

4-20 (1) When there has been a direction to issue a citation, the Executive Director must publish on the Society’s website the fact of the direction to issue the citation, the content of the citation and the status of the citation.

(1.1) Publication under subrule (1) must not occur earlier than 7 clear days after the respondent has been notified of the direction to issue the citation.

(2) The Executive Director may publish the outcome of a citation, including dismissal by a panel, rescission by the Discipline Committee or the acceptance of a conditional admission.

(3) Publication under this rule may be made by means of the Society’s website and any other means.

(4) This rule must not be interpreted to permit the disclosure of any information that is subject to solicitor and client privilege or confidentiality.

(5) Except as allowed under Rule 4-20.1 [Anonymous publication of citation], a publication under this rule must identify the respondent.

[heading, (1) to (3) amended, (1.1) and (5) added 05/2020]

Anonymous publication of citation

4-20.1 (1) A party or an individual affected may apply to the Tribunal for an order that publication under Rule 4-20 [Publication of citation] not identify the respondent.

(2) When an application is made under this rule before publication under Rule 4-20, the publication must not identify the respondent until a decision on the application is issued.

(3) On an application under this rule, where, in the judgment of a motions adjudicator, there are extraordinary circumstances that outweigh the public interest in the publication of the citation, the motions adjudicator may

(a) grant the order, or

(b) order limitations on the content, means or timing of the publication.

(4) [rescinded]

(5) The motions adjudicator making a determination on an application under this rule must state in writing the specific reasons for that decision.

[added 05/2020; (1), (3) and (5) amended, (4) rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-21  [see Rule 5-4.2, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-22  [see Rule 5-4.4 , rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-23  [see Rule 3-12, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-24  [see Rule 3-12.1, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-25  [see Rule 3-12.2, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-26  [see Rule 3-12.3, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

Appointment of Law Society counsel

4-27 The Executive Director must appoint a lawyer employed by the Society or retain another lawyer to represent the Society when

(a) a direction to issue a citation is made under Rule 4-17 [Direction to issue, expand or rescind citation],

(b) a person initiates a review under section 47 [Review on the record],

(c) a person appeals a decision to the Court of Appeal under section 48 [Appeal], or

(d) the Society is a respondent in any other action involving the investigation of a complaint or the discipline of a lawyer.

[heading amended 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-28  [see Rule 5-4.8, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]  

Conditional admission

4-29 (1) A respondent may, at least 14 days before the date set for a hearing under this part, tender to the Discipline Committee a conditional admission of a discipline violation.

(2) The chair of the Discipline Committee may waive the 14-day time limit in subrule (1).

(3) The Discipline Committee may, in its discretion,

(a) accept the conditional admission,

(b) accept the conditional admission subject to any undertaking that the Committee requires the respondent to give in order to protect the public interest, or

(c) reject the conditional admission. 

(4) If the Discipline Committee accepts a conditional admission tendered under this rule,

(a) those parts of the citation to which the conditional admission applies are resolved,

(b) the Executive Director must

(i) record the respondent’s admission on the respondent’s professional conduct record, and

(ii) notify the respondent and the complainant of the disposition, and

(c) subject to solicitor and client privilege and confidentiality, the Executive Director may disclose the reasons for the Committee’s decision.

(5) A respondent who undertakes under this rule not to practise law is a person who has ceased to be a member of the Society as a result of disciplinary proceedings under section 15 (3) [Authority to practise law].

[heading amended 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-30  [see Rule 5-6.5, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-31  [see Rule 5-6.6, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022] 

4-32  [see Rule 5-4.1, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-33  [see Rule 5-4.5, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-34  [see Rule 5-4.6, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-35  [see Rule 5-4.7, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-36  [see Rule 5-4.3, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-37  [see Rule 5-5(5) to (7), rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-38  [see Rule 5-5.1, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-39  [see Rule 5-2, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-40  [see Rule 5-5.2, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-41  [see Rule 5-6.1, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-42  [see Rule 5-5(2.1), rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-43  [see Rule 5-6.3, rescinded 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

4-44  [see Rule 5-6.4  12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

Discipline proceedings involving members of other governing bodies

4-45 (1) The Executive Director must send written notice of the action to every governing body of which the person concerned is known to be a member when

(a) a citation is authorized under Rule 4-17 [Direction to issue, expand or rescind citation],

(b) a disciplinary action is imposed under Rule 5-6.4 [Disciplinary action], or

(c) a conditional admission tendered under Rule 4-29 [Conditional admission] is accepted by the Discipline Committee.

(2) When a citation is authorized against a lawyer who is a member of a governing body or when a governing body initiates disciplinary proceedings against a member of the Society, the Discipline Committee must consult with the governing body about the manner in which disciplinary proceedings are to be taken and the Society is bound by any agreement the Discipline Committee makes with the other governing body.

(3) The Discipline Committee may agree that the venue of disciplinary proceedings be changed to or from that of the Society, if it is in the public interest or if there is a substantial savings in cost or improvement in the convenience of any person without compromising the public interest.

(4) The Discipline Committee may take action under Rule 4-4 [Action on complaints] against a lawyer who

(a) has violated a prohibition against practice imposed by a governing body,

(b) is the subject of a declaration by a governing body under a provision similar to Rule 5-6.4 (3) (d) [Disciplinary action], or

(c) has made an admission that is accepted under a provision similar to Rule 4-29 [Conditional admission].

(5) The fact that a lawyer is or has been the subject of disciplinary proceedings by a governing body does not preclude any disciplinary action for the same or related conduct under this part.

(6) In a proceeding under this part, the filing of a duly certified copy of the disciplinary decision of a governing body against a lawyer found guilty of misconduct is proof of the lawyer’s guilt.

[(1), (4) and (5) amended 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

Discipline involving lawyers practising in other jurisdictions

4-46 (1) If it is alleged that a member of the Society has committed misconduct while practising temporarily in another Canadian jurisdiction under provisions equivalent to Rules 2-15 to 2-27 [Inter-jurisdictional practice], the Discipline Committee will

(a) consult with the governing body concerned respecting the manner in which disciplinary proceedings will be conducted, and

(b) subject to subrule (2), assume responsibility for the conduct of the disciplinary proceedings under this part.

(2) The Discipline Committee may agree to allow the governing body concerned to assume responsibility for the conduct of disciplinary proceedings under subrule (1), including the expenses of the proceeding.

(3) In deciding whether to agree under subrule (2), the primary considerations will be the public interest, convenience and cost.

(4) To the extent that is reasonable in the circumstances, the Executive Director must do the following at the request of a governing body that is investigating the conduct of a member or former member of the Society or a visiting lawyer who has provided legal services:

(a) provide information to the governing body under Rule 2-27.1 [Sharing information with a governing body];

(b) co-operate fully in the investigation and any citation and hearing.

(5) Subrule (4) applies when the Discipline Committee agrees with a governing body under subrule (2).

(6) When the Executive Director provides information or documentation to a governing body under subrule (4) or (5), the Executive Director may inform any person whose personal, confidential or privileged information may be included of that fact and the reasons for it.

[(4) and (5) amended 09/2018]

Division 2 – Disclosure and publication

Public notice of suspension or disbarment

4-47 (1) When a person is suspended under this part or Part 5 [Tribunal, Hearings and Appeals], is disbarred or, as a result of disciplinary proceedings, resigns from membership in the Society or otherwise ceases to be a member of the Society as a result of disciplinary proceedings, the Executive Director must immediately give effective public notice of the suspension, disbarment or resignation by means including but not limited to the following:

(a) publication of a notice in

(i) the British Columbia Gazette,

(ii) a newspaper of general circulation in each municipality and each district referred to in Rule 1-21 [Regional election of Benchers], in which the person maintained a law office, and

(iii) the Society website, and

(b) notifying the following:

(i) the Registrar of the Supreme Court;

(ii) the Public Guardian and Trustee.

(2) When a person is suspended under Part 2 [Membership and Authority to Practise Law] or 3 [Protection of the Public], the Executive Director may take any of the steps referred to in subrule (1). 

(3) A lawyer who is suspended under this part or Part 5 [Tribunal, Hearings and Appeals] must inform all clients who reasonably expect the lawyer to attend to their affairs during the period of the suspension and clients or prospective clients who inquire about the availability of the lawyer’s services during the suspension period of the following:

(a) the period during which the lawyer will not be practising;

(b) the arrangements the lawyer has put in place to protect the clients’ interests while the lawyer will not be practising;

(c) the fact that the lawyer is not practising during the relevant period because of the suspension.

(4) A panel that suspends a lawyer may relieve the lawyer of any of the obligations set out in subrule (3) if the panel is satisfied that it is consistent with the public interest and that imposing the obligation would be unreasonable in the circumstances.

Publication of discipline decisions

4-48 (1) The Executive Director must publish and circulate to the profession a summary of the circumstances and of any decision, reasons and action taken by a hearing panel, a motions adjudicator or a review board.

(1.1) The Executive Director must publish and circulate to the profession a summary of the circumstances and of an admission of a discipline violation accepted by the Discipline Committee under Rule 4-29 [Conditional admission].

(1.2) The Executive Director must publish and circulate to the profession a summary of the circumstances of the rule breach deemed admitted under Rule 4-59 [Administrative penalty] and the administrative penalty imposed.

(2) Despite subrules (1) and (3), but subject to Rule 4-47 [Public notice of suspension or disbarment], the Executive Director must not make public any decision, reasons or action taken as follows:

(a) a decision not to accept an admission under Rule 5-6.5 [Admission and consent to disciplinary action];

(b) any decision under Rule 3-10 [Interim suspension or practice conditions] or 3-11 [Medical examination] 

before the matter is concluded and any prescribed period to initiate an appeal or review has expired.  

(3) When a publication is required or permitted under this rule, the Executive Director may also publish generally all or part of

(a) [rescinded]

(b) the written reasons for the decision, 

(c) an agreed statement of facts, or

(d) admissions made in response to a Notice to Admit.

(4) This rule must not be interpreted to permit the disclosure of any information subject to solicitor and client privilege or confidentiality.

[(1) and (2) amended 03/2021; heading and (1) to (3) amended, (1.1) added 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022; (1.2) added 04/2022]

Anonymous publication

4-49 (1) Except as allowed under this rule, a publication under Rule 4-48 [Publication of discipline decisions] must identify the respondent.

(2) The publication of a decision dismissing all allegations in the citation and any subsequent decision in the matter must not identify the respondent unless

(a) the respondent consents in writing, or

(b) an allegation is held to be proven on a review or appeal.

(3) An individual affected, other than the respondent, may apply to the panel for an order under subrule (4) before the written report on findings of fact and determination is issued or oral reasons are delivered.

(4) On an application under subrule (3) or on its own motion, the panel may order that publication not identify the respondent if

(a) the panel has imposed a disciplinary action that does not include a suspension or disbarment, and

(b) publication of the identity of the respondent could reasonably be expected to identify an individual, other than the respondent, and that individual would suffer serious prejudice as a result.

(5) If a panel orders that a respondent’s identity not be disclosed under subrule (4), the panel must state in writing the specific reasons for that decision.

[(2) amended 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022

Disclosure of practice restrictions

4-50 (1) When, under this part or Part 4 [Discipline] of the Act, a condition or limitation is imposed on the practice of a lawyer or a lawyer is suspended, the Executive Director may disclose the fact that the condition, limitation or suspension applies and the nature of the condition, limitation or suspension.

(2) If a lawyer gives an undertaking that restricts, limits or prohibits the lawyer’s practice in one or more areas of law, the Executive Director may disclose the fact that the undertaking was given and its effect on the lawyer’s practice.

(3) If the Executive Director discloses the existence of a condition, limitation or suspension under subrule (1) or an undertaking under subrule (2) by means of the Society’s website, the Executive Director must remove the information from the website within a reasonable time after the condition, limitation or suspension ceases to be in force.

(4) Subrule (3) does not apply to a decision of Benchers, a hearing panel or a review board.

[(4) added 04/2019]

Disbarment

4-51 When a lawyer is disbarred, the Executive Director must strike the lawyer’s name from the barristers and solicitors’ roll.

Division 3 – Criminal conviction

Conviction

4-52 (1) In this rule, “offence” means

(a) an offence that was proceeded with by way of indictment, or

(b) an offence in another jurisdiction that, in the opinion of the Benchers, is equivalent to an offence that may be proceeded with by way of indictment.

(2) If the Discipline Committee is satisfied that a lawyer or former lawyer has been convicted of an offence, the Committee may refer the matter to the Benchers to consider taking action under subrule (3).

(3) Without following the procedure provided for in the Act or these rules, the Benchers may summarily suspend or disbar a lawyer or former lawyer on proof that the lawyer or former lawyer has been convicted of an offence.

Notice

4-53 (1) Before the Benchers proceed under Rule 4-52 [Conviction], the Executive Director must notify the lawyer or former lawyer in writing that

(a) proceedings will be taken under that rule, and

(b) the lawyer or former lawyer may, by a specified date, make written submissions to the Benchers.

(2) The notice referred to in subrule (1) must be served in accordance with Rule 10-1 [Service and notice].

(3) In extraordinary circumstances, the Benchers may proceed without notice to the lawyer or former lawyer under subrule (1).

Summary procedure

4-54 (1) This rule applies to summary proceedings before the Benchers under Rule 4-52 [Conviction].

(2) The Benchers may, in their discretion, hear oral submissions from the lawyer or former lawyer.

(3) Subject to the Act and these rules, the Benchers may determine practice and procedure. 

Division 4 – Investigation

Investigation of books and accounts

4-55 (1) If the chair of the Discipline Committee reasonably believes that a lawyer or former lawyer may have committed a discipline violation, the chair may order that the Executive Director conduct an investigation of the books, records and accounts of the lawyer or former lawyer, including, if considered desirable in the opinion of the chair, all electronic records of the lawyer or former lawyer.

(2) When electronic records have been produced or copied pursuant to an order under this rule, the lawyer concerned may request that a specific record be excluded from the investigation on the basis that it contains personal information that is not relevant to the investigation.

(3) A request under subrule (2) must be made to the Executive Director in writing within 21 days after the lawyer concerned receives a copy of the order under this rule.

(3.1) In exceptional circumstances, the Executive Director may extend the time for making a request under subrule (2).

(4) An order under this rule that permits the production or copying of electronic records must provide for a method of evaluating and adjudicating exclusion requests made under subrule (2).

(5) A request under subrule (2) must be refused unless the records in question are retained in a system of storage of electronic records that permits the segregation of personal information in a practical manner in order to comply with the request.

(6) When an order is made under subrule (1), the lawyer or former lawyer concerned must do the following as directed by the Executive Director:

(a) and (b) [rescinded]

(c) immediately produce and permit the copying of all files, vouchers, records, accounts, books and any other evidence regardless of the form in which they are kept;

(d) provide any explanations required for the purpose of the investigation;

(e) assist the Executive Director to access, in a comprehensible form, records in the lawyer’s possession or control that may contain information related to the lawyer’s practice by providing all information necessary for that purpose, including but not limited to

(i) passwords, and

(ii) encryption keys.

(7) When an order has been made under this rule, the lawyer concerned must not alter, delete, destroy, remove or otherwise interfere with any book, record or account within the scope of the investigation without the written consent of the Executive Director.

[(1), (3) and (6) amended, (3.1) and (7) added 10/2019]

Division 5 – Enforcement

Failure to pay fine, costs or administrative penalty or fulfill practice condition

4-56 (1) An applicant or respondent must do the following by the date set by a hearing panel, review board or Committee or extended under Rule 5-12 [Application to vary order]:

(a) pay in full a fine or the amount owing under Rule 5‑11 [Costs of hearings];

(b) fulfill a practice condition as imposed under section 21 [Admission, reinstatement and requalification], 22 [Credentials hearings], 27 [Practice standards], 32 [Financial responsibility], 38 [Discipline hearings] or 47 [Review on the record], as accepted under section 19 [Applications for enrolment, call and admission, or reinstatement], or as varied under these Rules.

(1.1) A lawyer must pay in full an administrative penalty by the date set under Division 6 [Administrative penalty].

(2) If, on December 31, an applicant or respondent is in breach of subrule (1) or (1.1), the Executive Director must not issue to the applicant or respondent a practising certificate or a non-practising or retired membership certificate, and the applicant or respondent is not permitted to engage in the practice of law.

[added 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022; heading and (2) amended, (1.1) added 04/2022]

Recovery of money owed to the Society

4-57 (1) A lawyer or former lawyer who is liable to pay the costs of an audit or investigation must pay to the Society the full amount owing by the date set by the Discipline Committee.

(2) A lawyer who is liable to pay an assessment under Rule 3-80 [Late filing of trust report] must pay to the Society the full amount owing by the date specified in that Rule or as set or extended by the Executive Director.

(3) A lawyer who has not paid the full amount owing under subrule (1) or (2) by the date set or extended is in breach of these Rules and, if any part of the amount owing remains unpaid by December 31 following the making of the order, the Executive Director must not issue a practising certificate to the lawyer unless the Benchers order otherwise.

[added 12/2021, effective January 1, 2022]

Division 6 – Administrative penalty

Application

4-58 (1) This division applies to allegations of breaches of the following provisions:

(a) Rule 3‑59 [Cash transactions];

(b) Rule 3-96.1 [Electronic submission of documents];

(c) Part 3, Division 11 [Client Identification and Verification].

(2) This division applies to a law firm or an articled student as it does to a lawyer.

[added 04/2022]

Administrative penalty

4-59 (1) If the Executive Director is satisfied on a balance of probabilities that a lawyer has breached a rule, the Executive Director may assess an administrative penalty.

(2) The maximum administrative penalty that the Executive Director may assess is as follows:

(a) if no previous administrative penalty has been assessed against the lawyer, $5,000;

(b) if one or more administrative penalties have previously been assessed against the lawyer, $10,000.

(3) At least 30 days before the effective date of an administrative penalty under this rule, the Executive Director must deliver to the lawyer notice in writing of the following:

(a) the effective date of the penalty, by which the penalty must be paid if not disputed;

(b) the amount of the penalty;

(c) the reasons for the penalty, including the specific rule breach alleged;

(d) the means by which the lawyer may apply to the chair of the Discipline Committee for an order under Rule 4-60 [Review and order] and the deadline for making such an application before the effective date of the penalty.

(4) A lawyer who has received a notice under this rule must do one of the following on or before the date specified in the notice:

(a) pay the administrative penalty in the amount specified in the notice;

(b) apply to the chair of the Discipline Committee for an order under Rule 4-60 [Review and order].

(5) A lawyer is deemed to admit the breach of the rule as alleged in the notice from the Executive Director under subrule (3) if

(a) the lawyer pays the administrative penalty,

(b) the lawyer fails to comply with subrule (4), or

(c) the chair of the Discipline Committee orders under Rule 4-60 [Review and order] that a penalty be paid.

(6) When an administrative penalty has been imposed under this division and the lawyer has paid the amount assessed, the Discipline Committee must not take any action against the lawyer under Rule 4-4 [Action on complaints] with respect to the rule breach giving rise to the administrative penalty.

[added 04/2022]

Review and order

4-60 (1) A lawyer who has received a notice of administrative penalty under Rule 4-59 [Administrative penalty] may apply before the effective date of the penalty to the chair of the Discipline Committee for a review of the penalty and an order under this rule.

(2) The chair of the Discipline Committee must consider submissions regarding the administrative penalty received within the time allowed under subrule (1) from the lawyer and, if satisfied that the lawyer has breached a rule as alleged, make an order

(a) confirming that the penalty must be paid in accordance with the notice delivered under Rule 4-59 [Administrative penalty],

(b) reducing the amount of the penalty, or

(c) extending the date by which the penalty is to be paid.

(3) If not satisfied that the lawyer has breached a rule as alleged, the chair of the Discipline Committee must make an order cancelling the administrative penalty.

(4) The chair of the Discipline Committee must promptly notify the lawyer and the Executive Director of a decision under this rule.

(5) The lawyer must pay an administrative penalty as ordered under this rule.

[added 04/2022]