Rule 2: Professionalism

Rule 2 Professionalism

2.01 INTEGRITY AND CIVILITY

Integrity

2.01 (1) A paralegal has a duty to provide legal services and discharge all responsibilities to clients, tribunals, the public and other members of the legal professions honourably and with integrity.

(2) A paralegal has a duty to uphold the standards and reputation of the paralegal profession and to assist in the advancement of its goals, organizations and institutions.

Civility

(3) A paralegal shall be courteous and civil, and shall act in good faith with all persons with whom he or she has dealings in the course of his or her practice.

Outside Interests and Public Office

(4) A paralegal who engages in another profession, business, occupation or other outside interest or who holds public office concurrently with the provision of legal services, shall not allow the outside interest or public office to jeopardize the paralegal's integrity, independence, or competence.

(5) A paralegal shall not allow involvement in an outside interest or public office to impair the exercise of his or her independent judgment on behalf of a client.

Acting as Mediator

(6) A paralegal who acts as a mediator shall, at the outset of the mediation, ensure that the parties to it understand fully that the paralegal is not acting as a representative for either party but, as mediator, is acting to assist the parties to resolve the issues in dispute.

[Amended - October 2014]

2.02 UNDERTAKINGS AND TRUST CONDITIONS

2.02 (1) A paralegal shall fulfil every undertaking given and shall not give an undertaking that cannot be fulfilled.

(2) Except in exceptional circumstances, a paralegal shall give his or her undertaking in writing or confirm it in writing as soon as practicable after giving it.

(3) Unless clearly stated in the undertaking, a paralegal's undertaking is a personal promise and it is his or her personal responsibility.

(4) A paralegal shall honour every trust condition once accepted.

[Amended - October 2014]

2.03 HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION

Application of Human Rights Code

2.03 (1) The principles of the Ontario Human Rights Code and related case law apply to the interpretation of this rule.

(2) A term used in this rule that is defined in the Human Rights Code has the same meaning as in the Human Rights Code.

Harassment

(3) A paralegal shall not engage in sexual or other forms of harassment of a colleague, a staff member, a client or any other person on the ground of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.

Discrimination

(4) A paralegal shall respect the requirements of human rights laws in force in Ontario and without restricting the generality of the foregoing, a paralegal shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability with respect to the employment of others or in dealings with other licensees or any other person.

(5) The right to equal treatment without discrimination because of sex includes the right to equal treatment without discrimination because a woman is or may become pregnant.

Services

(6) A paralegal shall ensure that no one is denied services or receives inferior service on the basis of the grounds set out in this rule.

Employment Practices

(7) A paralegal shall ensure that his or her employment practices do not offend this rule.

[Amended - October 2014]