Convocation Update

Convocation met on May 26 and the following items came up that may be of interest to you.

Lawyer and paralegal conduct rules amended

  • Transactions with Clients: The amendments ensure the rules on conflicts of interest in circumstances where licensees engage in transactions with clients are clear, consistent, and logical and able to provide appropriate guidance to the professions.
  • Duty to Report: The amendments clarify when the duty to report a licensee to the Law Society arises. They also revise the rules’ approach to the issue of the duty to report to the Law Society a concern about another licensee’s capacity to provide professional services.
  • Errors and Omissions: The amendments clarify the rules regarding the relationship between a licensee’s ethical duties and a licensee’s obligations under mandatory liability insurance contracts. The amendments also make it clear that a licensee’s ethical duty to notify their insurer of a potential claim may arise regardless of whether the licensee believes the claim has merit.

Update on proposed enhancements to the lawyer licensing process

Proposed enhancements to the Lawyer Licensing Process were reported for information by the Professional Development and Competence Committee to April Convocation with the intent of obtaining input from the profession.

The proposal was part of the Law Society’s strategic priority to enhance licensing standards to ensure new lawyers are competent to meet and surpass the expectations of future law practice.

The Committee, having benefitted from the input received to date, has decided to address and respond to concerns raised, as appropriate, and to continue to receive and assess any additional input over the coming months. Accordingly, the Committee plans to consider these enhancements in conjunction with its assessment of the Pathways Pilot Project, in the fall of 2016.

As a result, the licensing process changes that were discussed in the April report to Convocation will not be implemented for the 2017-18 licensing year.

Nominations for Law Society Treasurer

The following benchers have been nominated for the office of Treasurer:

  • Raj Anand
  • Howard Goldblatt
  • Susan McGrath
  • Paul Schabas

The Treasurer is elected through secret ballot by the benchers of the Law Society. The election will take place at Convocation on June 23, 2016. The newly elected Treasurer will succeed Treasurer Janet E. Minor, who was first elected in June, 2014.

Larry Banack’s Bencher Newsletter

Thank you to everyone for your kind words of encouragement. As noted in my original post, the purpose of the Blog is not to duplicate the work of others.

larry2Larry Banack is a Life Bencher who has, for at least the last 12 years, has emailed to those on his email list, an excellent newsletter regarding the resolutions passed in  Convocation and important developments arising from Convocation decisions. He does a fantastic job of summarizing and highlighting what happens in Convocation that eventually may affect all of us. I know that before I became a Bencher, I always appreciated the time and effort he took to keep me up to date.

Because of Privacy Legislation his email list is shrinking. He wants to continue to be of service to all of us by reaching out and emailing his Newsletter to new subscribers. If you are interested in getting his terrific Newsletter please visit his site and follow the Bencher Newsletter link at the bottom of the page:

Also please encourage your colleagues to log on and sign up.

Have a great Victoria Day Weekend.

Ontario Land Registry Office Closings and Consolidations

As we all know, the government has taken numerous steps to automate the land registry system. Our jobs have become much easier in terms of searching titles and closings. In an effort to cut costs and redundancy, the government has announced the closing of several land registry offices.

Below is a Q&A document which includes a list of offices scheduled to close and their closing dates. This document should also answer many questions you may have. Please feel free to call or email the appropriate government offices if you have further questions.

Land Registry Stakeholder Q and A

I will try to pass on you comments (as long as they are civil) to Service Ontario as well.

Welcome to the Bencher Blog

I am not a political “animal”. For the most part I hate politics. But I decided to run for Bencher because I felt we needed a voice in Convocation. I am grateful for the support and vote of confidence placed in me by my peers and colleagues.

Since being elected as a Bencher I’ve learned a lot. One of the things I learned was I really didn’t know what Convocation did. Communication is critical to keeping lawyers informed about what goes on in Convocation. While there are a lot of issues debated in Convocation that are not on my priority list, a lot of issues come to the fore that may be on yours.

The purpose of this blog is not to be a Complaint Department.

But one of the main purposes of the Blog is to try to give members of the LSUC some additional voice. I tried to set up an email list so that I could email LSUC members with an update or newsletter similar to the one that Larry Bannack publishes. He does a great job so there is no need to duplicate that. Unfortunately I can’t get emails to the members as Privacy laws restrict that information being given to me.

There are many people who don’t get Larry’s email or watch the Convocation webcasts. This blog is for you. Hopefully it will allow me to communicate better with you and inform you of just what is happening.