Convocation was webcast on November 9, 2016
View part 1 of the archived webcast
View part 2 of the archived webcast
Law Practice Program pilot extended for two years
The Pathways Pilot Project, which includes the Law Practice Program, was extended by Convocation for two additional licensing years. During this time, the Law Society will consider a broader analysis of the lawyer licensing process. The extension of the pilot follows a call for comment on initial recommendations presented in a report to September Convocation. Enhancements to the licensing process recommended in the September report were withdrawn. Full report.
Law Society’s 2017 budget addresses key priorities
Convocation approved the 2017 budget, which provides resources to continue implementation of the Law Society’s Strategic Plan. After three years of unchanged annual fees, lawyers will see their annual fee increase from $1,866 to $1,916. Annual fees for paralegals will increase for the first time in four years — from $996 to $1,046. To avoid the increase, licensees can enroll in the Law Society’s Annual Pre-Authorized Payment Plan. The plan does not include an administration fee and online enrolment is easy via the member’s LSUC Portal. Full report.
Law Society announces Legal Aid Working Group
Treasurer Paul Schabas announced the formation of a Legal Aid Working Group that will focus on the provision of legal aid in order to support and enhance the delivery of robust and sustainable legal aid services for Ontarians. Led by Bencher John Callaghan, the group will also identify opportunities for engagement and enhancing the Law Society’s relationship with Legal Aid Ontario and the Alliance for Sustainable Legal Aid. It will also seek to involve government and other justice system and community services partners. More information.
Regulatory Meeting use expanded
Convocation expanded the circumstances in which a Regulatory Meeting may be used as a disciplinary measure by removing the requirement that professional misconduct leading to a Regulatory Meeting be the subject of public comment. In a Regulatory Meeting, the licensee meets with a panel of benchers to discuss the licensee’s conduct. A public statement about the meeting is published in the Ontario Reports and on the Law Society website. It is distinct from an Invitation to Attend, which remains confidential. Full report.
Tribunal Hearing and Appeal Division rules amended
Convocation amended the Hearing and Appeal Division Rules of Practice and Procedure as part of ongoing efforts to streamline the Rules. The amendments also support the implementation of the Tribunal’s new electronic case management system. Full report.
LibraryCo Inc. 2017 budget approved
Convocation approved the 2017 budget as submitted by LibraryCo Inc.’s board, incorporating Law Society funding of $7,815,300, which sees funding of county libraries increasing by $153,300. Full report.
By-Law 6 amended re: seconded lawyers
By-Law 6 [Professional Liability Insurance] was amended to make clear that practising lawyers employed by a law firm who go on secondment to an organizational client are not eligible for exemption from insurance requirements. The by-law amendments reflect changes to LawPRO’s insurance program for 2017. Full report.
Human Rights Monitoring Group Interventions approved
Interventions in the following cases were approved:
- Ramón Cadena Rámila – Guatemala
- Jamshed Yorov – Tajikistan
- Bencher Janis Criger was appointed to the Governance Task Force 2016.
- Benchers Ross Earnshaw and Janet Leiper were appointed to the Priority Planning Committee.
- Benchers Janis Criger, Isfahan Merali, Sandra Nishikawa and Joanne St. Lewis were appointed to the Appeal Division of the Law Society Tribunal for a term ending May 25, 2017.
- Bencher Teresa Donnelly was removed from the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal at her own request.
- Susan E. Opler and Bencher Judith M. Potter were removed from the Hearing and Appeal Divisions of the Law Society Tribunal at their own request.