Rule 9: Responsibility to the Law Society

Rule 9 Responsibility to the Law Society

9.01 RESPONSIBILITY TO THE LAW SOCIETY

Communications from the Law Society

9.01 (1) A paralegal shall reply promptly and completely to any communication from the Law Society and shall provide a complete response to any request from the Law Society.

Duty to Report 

(2) A paralegal shall report to the Law Society, unless to do so would be unlawful or would involve a breach of confidentiality between the paralegal and his or her client,

(a) the misappropriation or misapplication of trust monies by a licensee;

(b) the abandonment of a law practice by a lawyer or a legal services practice by a paralegal;

(c) participation in serious criminal activity related to a licensee's practice;

(d) conduct that raises a substantial question as to another licensee's honesty, trustworthiness or competency as a paralegal;

(e) conduct that raises a substantial question about a licensee's capacity to provide professional services; and

(f) any other situation where a licensee's clients are likely to be severely prejudiced.

[Amended - May 2016]

(3) Nothing in subrule (2) is meant to interfere with the paralegal's duty to the client.

(4) A report under subrule (2) must be made in good faith and without malice or ulterior motive.

(5) A paralegal shall encourage a client who has a claim or complaint against an apparently dishonest licensee to report the facts to the Law Society as soon as reasonably practicable.

(6) If the client refuses to report a claim against an apparently dishonest licensee to the Law Society, the paralegal shall obtain instructions in writing to proceed with the client's private remedies without notice to the Law Society.

(7) A paralegal shall inform the client of the provision of the Criminal Code dealing with the concealment of an indictable offence in return for an agreement to obtain valuable consideration (section 141).

(8) If the client wishes to pursue a private agreement with the apparently dishonest licensee, the paralegal shall not continue to act if the agreement constitutes a breach of section 141 of the Criminal Code.

Duty to Report Certain Offences

(9) If a paralegal is charged with an offence described in By-Law 8 of the Law Society, he or she shall inform the Law Society of the charge and of its disposition in accordance with the By-law.

Disciplinary Authority

(10) A paralegal is subject to the disciplinary authority of the Law Society regardless of where the paralegal's conduct occurs.

Professional Misconduct

(11) The Law Society may discipline a paralegal for professional misconduct.

Conduct Unbecoming a Paralegal

(12) The Law Society may discipline a paralegal for conduct unbecoming a paralegal.

Definitions

(13) In subrules (11) and (12),

"conduct unbecoming a paralegal" means conduct in a paralegal's personal or private capacity that tends to bring discredit upon the paralegal profession including,

(a) committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the paralegal's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a paralegal,

(b) taking improper advantage of the youth, inexperience, lack of education, unsophistication, ill health, vulnerability or unbusinesslike habits of another, or

(c) engaging in conduct involving dishonesty;

"professional misconduct" means conduct in a paralegal's professional capacity that tends to bring discredit upon the paralegal profession, including,

(a) violating or attempting to violate one of the Paralegal Rules of Conduct, or a requirement of the Law Society Act or its regulations or by-laws,

(b) knowingly assisting or inducing another licensee to violate or attempt to violate the Paralegal Rules of Conduct, a requirement of the Law Society Act or its regulations or by-laws,

(c) knowingly assisting or inducing a non-licensee partner or associate of a multi-discipline practice to violate or attempt to violate the rules in the Paralegal Rules of Conduct or a requirement of the Law Society Act or its regulations or by-laws,

[Amended - October 2014]

(d) misappropriating or otherwise dealing dishonestly with a client's or a third party's money or property,

(e) engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice,

(f) stating or implying an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official, or

(g) knowingly assisting a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law.