The Advisory: Volume 9, Issue 3, December 2011

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Practice Review Committee Assists Members, Ensures High Standards and Protection of Public Interest

One of the most common issues identified by lawyers in their discussions with the Practice Review Committee is that they are overwhelmed with day-to-day issues such as too many files, shortage of qualified staff, and time constraints.

Other issues identified by lawyers include the immediacy of emails, changes in technology, and seeking a balance between their business and personal lives.

These factors emerge when the Law Society’s Practice Review Committee conducts general reviews and assessments of the conduct of lawyers who are referred to them under the Legal Profession Act, the Rules or by the Executive Director.

The Practice Review department of the Law Society supports the Committee by making recommendations and imposing conditions that will improve the delivery of legal services.

The Committee makes recommendations and seek undertakings which ensure that the public interest is protected, and that lawyers adhere to a high standard of practice.

The Committee assists members in assessing their current business practices and developing solutions to address the issues that resulted in their referral to Practice Review. The Committee decides whether an application by a lawyer for reinstatement should be granted, declined or granted with conditions, and determines what those conditions should be, when an application is referred to Practice Review from Membership.

In 2011, the Committee held 22 panel meetings and reviewed 58 files. Since January 2011, the Committee has also assisted three members in a successful transition from Inactive to Active Practice through the reinstatement referral process.

The Practice Review department is involved with and supports the Risk Assessment Program by:

  • Participating on the Risk Assessment Panel to help identify members who pose a risk, and
  • Implementing responses to identified risk by communicating or meeting with members.

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