On the financial side, there are rules about reporting judgments, insolvency and trust shortages. Law Society Rule 3-50(1) requires a lawyer against whom a monetary judgment is entered and who does not satisfy the judgment within seven days after the date of entry to immediately notify the Executive Director in writing. Rule 3-51 requires an “insolvent lawyer” (defined in Rule 3-47) to immediately notify the Executive Director in writing that he or she has become an insolvent lawyer and deliver the information and material described in that rule. A lawyer must immediately make a written report to the Executive Director, including all relevant facts and circumstances, if the lawyer discovers a trust shortage greater than $2,500, or is or will be unable to deliver up, when due, any trust funds held by the lawyer (Rule 3-74).
Lawyers, articled students, practitioners of foreign law and applicants must report criminal charges in writing to the Executive Director (Rule 3-97).
Code rule 7.1-3 requires a lawyer to report to the Law Society a number of other circumstances, only one of which explicitly refers to money, i.e. a shortage of trust funds. The most frequent question asked of Practice Advisors about this rule is whether a lawyer has to report a breach of undertaking. The rule requires a lawyer to report a breach of undertaking that has not been consented to or waived. Sometimes the lawyer who has been the recipient of the undertaking will waive or consent to the breach when his or her client has not been materially prejudiced; waiver or consent can occur after the time for fulfillment of the undertaking has passed. The Intake and Early Resolution Department of the Law Society is of the view that lawyers must also self-report their own breaches of undertaking, as well as breaches by other lawyers. See Code rule 7.1-3 for all the other types of matters that must be reported to the Law Society.
Another frequent question is whether a lawyer should report another lawyer for incivility or bullying. This is not required, but it may be reported if the lawyer feels it is warranted. Lawyers are encouraged to call a Practice Advisor to discuss reporting a lawyer to the Law Society as it is a serious matter.