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February 2017 Convocation

Convocation was webcast on February 23, 2017.
View the archived webcast.

Law Society to set cap on amount for referral fees
Convocation approved a policy to cap and further regulate the fees a lawyer or paralegal may charge for referring a client to another licensee. Full story. Full report.

Law Society strengthens advertising rules in the public interest
The new advertising rules strengthen existing requirements and provide proactive guidance to lawyers and paralegals on appropriate advertising practices. Full story. Full report.

Call for Input: Proposal for single election date

The Governance Task Force 2016 is considering changing the bencher election process so there is a single election date for the lawyer and paralegal bencher elections. Full story.

Dialogue on Licensing: Engagement plan for lawyer licensing process analysis presented

The Professional Development and Competence Committee presented to Convocation Dialogue on Licensing - its plan for the review of the lawyer licensing process. A major component of the plan is an engagement strategy focused on extensive interaction with lawyers and other stakeholders to discuss the current and future challenges and opportunities for licensing lawyers in the public interest.

Convocation decided to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the lawyer licensing process following the review of the Pathways Pilot Project in November 2016. The objective of the analysis is to formulate long term recommendations for a sustainable licensing process. Full report.

Rules of conduct amended re: threatening criminal proceedings

The lawyer and paralegal Rules of Conduct were amended to clarify the scope of the prohibition against threatening criminal proceedings. The prohibition was expanded in 2014 to include regulatory proceedings. The Rule applies to threats without reasonable and lawful justification to initiate or proceed with a charge for an offence under the Criminal Code or other federal statute, a provincial or territorial statute, or a municipal by-law. The Rule also applies to a threat to make a complaint to a regulatory authority. Paralegal Standing Committee report. Professional Regulation Committee report.

By-Law 7.1 amended re: experiential learning and licensee supervision

Convocation amended By-Law 7.1 to clearly articulate the supervisory responsibilities of licensees in regard to law students who represent clients or provide legal advice or legal services in experiential learning programs. Convocation also amended By-Law 7.1 to permit Ontario educational institutions that offer a legal services program to provide paralegal students with experiential learning opportunities. Related amendments were made to By-Law 4. Full report.

New external appointment process supports diversity and transparency

Convocation approved a new external appointments process, proposed by the Treasurer's Appointments Advisory Group (TAAG). TAAG was established, as a key commitment of the Treasurer, in September 2016 to promote diversity and enhance transparency in the Law Society's procedures for making or recommending external appointments. As part of its mandate, the Law Society recommends potential appointees to a variety of boards, councils and committees. Full report. More information and online application form.

Committee amends Paralegal Guidelines re: Incriminating Physical Evidence

Amendments to the Paralegal Guidelines provide further guidance regarding a paralegal's ethical obligations when confronted with incriminating physical evidence. The Guidelines are intended to be read with Rule 4.01 (5.2) (The Paralegal as Advocate), a new rule approved by Convocation in April 2016. Full report.

Annual General Meeting to take place May 10

The Law Society's 2017 Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 10 at 5:15 p.m., at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St. W., Toronto.

New committee name approved: Equity and Indigenous Affairs

The Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee changed its name to the Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee to reflect evolutions in language. By-Laws 3 and 11 were amended to reflect the name change. Full report.

Finance Committee report approved

Convocation approved the following items in the report from the Finance Committee:

  • Business Conduct Policy
  • Investment Policy
  • Treasurer Expense Reimbursement Policy Full report

Full report.

Human Rights Monitoring Group Interventions approved

Convocation approved interventions in the following cases:

  1. Simon Lilan - Kenya
  2. Vital Nshimirimana, Armel Niyongere, Dieudonné Bashirahishize and Lambert Nigarura - Burundi
  3. Seher Acay, Fevzi Adsiz, Ziya Baği and Mahmut Bingöl - Turkey
  4. Bakhrom Khamroev - Russia
  5. Arlan Castañeda - The Philippines
  6. Eric Iga Iga - Gabon
  7. Malek Adly - Egypt
  8. Noemi Mendez - Dominican Republic
  9. Li Jinxing - China
  10. Mir Ahmed Bin Quasem - Bangladesh
  11. Dr. İştar Gözaydın - Turkey
  12. Jiang Tianyong - China
  13. U Ko Ni - Myanmar Full report.

Full report


Bencher Christopher Bredt was appointed to the Professional Development & Competence Committee.

Murray Chitra, Shayne Kert, Margaret Leighton and Sophie Martel were re-appointed to the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal.



Public Minutes

Public Transcript


Treasurer's Remarks

Consent Agenda - Motion

  • Confirmation of Draft Minutes of Convocation - December 2, 2016
  • Motions
    • 2017 Annual General Meeting
    • Appointments
  • Report of the Director of Professional Development and Competence - Deemed Call Candidates

Address by Gérard Guay, President, Chambre des notaires du Québec

Report of the Chief Executive Officer

Paralegal Standing Committee Report

  • Amendments to the Paralegal Rules of Conduct

For Information:

  • Amendments to the Paralegal Guidelines (Incriminating Physical Evidence)

Professional Regulation Committee Report

  • Amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Advertising and Fee Arrangements Issues

For Information:

  • Judicial Complaints Report
  • Professional Regulation Division Quarterly Report, September 30, 2016

Address by Linda Rothstein, Chair, Law Foundation of Ontario

Audit and Finance Committee Report

  • Business Conduct Policy
  • Investment Policy
  • Treasurer Expense Reimbursement Policy

For Information:

  • LAWPRO Financial Statements for the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2016
  • Other Committee Work

Professional Development and Competence Committee Report

  • Amendments to By-Law 7.1 (Experiential Learning and Licensee Supervision)

For Information

  • Licensing Process Review - Dialogue on Licensing
  • Professional Development & Competence Committee Annual Resource and Program Report

Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee/Comité sur l'équité et les affaires
autochtones Report

  • Proposed Name Change for Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee
  • Human Rights Monitoring Group Request for Interventions   

For Information

  • Change of Status Report
  • Human Rights Monitoring Group Update
  • Equity Legal Education and Rule of Law Series Calendar Winter 2017

Treasurer's Appointments Advisory Group Report

  • Proposed Appointments Process

Governance Task Force 2016 Report

  • Proposal for a Single Date for the Election of Benchers

Treasurer's Report (in camera)

Paralegal Award Selection Committee Report (in camera)

Law Society Awards Committee Report (in camera)

Report of the LL.D. Advisory Committee (in camera)

Tribunal Committee Report

  • In camera matter

For information:

  • Tribunal 2016 Third and Fourth Quarter Statistics  

Compensation Committee Report (in camera)

Reports for Information Only

Report from The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG)

Terms or Concepts Explained