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News

Thursday, March 01, 2012

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In this issue:
Membership Fees and Form Due March 15, 2012
Please Note March 15th Deadline for Declaring Your 2012 CPD Plan
Client Information Confidentiality Addressed in Joint and Trust Account Disclosure Bylaw

Membership Fees and Form Due March 15, 2012

The deadline for payment of fees and submitting the Member Information Update Form is March 15, 2012.

Each active lawyer must pay the annual active fee as well as the Assurance Fund levy in the amount of $2,383.50 (includes GST).  These fees are unchanged from 2011.  Your new member card will be issued shortly after receipt of your fees and Member Information Update Form have been confirmed.

Each inactive lawyer must pay the inactive membership fee in the amount of $189 (includes GST). Your new member card will be issued shortly after receipt of your fees have been confirmed.

A $100 penalty will be charged if the Member Information Update Form is not received by March 15, 2012. We are unable to issue your membership card until we receive the late penalty and the Form in our Calgary office.

For more information, contact Membership Services at 403-229-4781, toll-free at 800-661-9003 or by email to Membership@lawsociety.ab.ca.

 

Please Note March 15th Deadline for Declaring Your 2012 CPD Plan

Before or on March 15, 2012, you must declare to the Law Society that you have made your 2012 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) plan.

Your 2012 CPD Plan declaration can be made in one of two ways:

 

Client Information Confidentiality Addressed in Joint and Trust Account Disclosure Bylaw

The Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation has addressed lawyers’ concerns around maintaining confidentiality of client information in disclosure of trust accounts.

As a lawyer or notary, under Section 7(1) ( c ) of the Joint and Trust Account Disclosure bylaw, lawyers are entitled to substitute for the name and address of each beneficiary of a trust account an alpha numeric or other code that would refer back to records maintained at the lawyer or notary’s office.

Lawyers who have a trust account at a bank or trust company in Canada which is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation will receive a reminder in April 2012. This will be about certain disclosure requirements lawyers or law firms need to meet under the Corporation’s Joint and Trust Account Disclosure bylaw.

Please note that this does not apply for an ATB account or Credit Union accounts as they are not members of the CDIC.
 
These disclosure obligations have been in place since 1996. Member institutions of the CDIC are now required to annually remind trustee depositors of their disclosure requirements. Since 1996, for a trust deposit to have additional insurance coverage, trustees must disclose certain information on the records of the member institution. Trust deposits are entitled to deposit insurance coverage separate from that being provided to the trustee in its personal capacity.

In the event of a failure of the institution, trustee depositors will be provided with 20 business days to update the information to the date of failure.

The amount that is insured at the time of a failure is dependent on several factors. The CDIC insures eligible deposits at each CDIC member institution up to a maximum of $100,000 (principal and interest combined) per depositor. In addition, with respect to the savings held in trust for another person, a trustee depositor is entitled to additional separate coverage up to $100,000 per beneficiary if certain information is provided to their bank.

Without this information, if the bank failed, there would be no way for CDIC to distinguish this account from other accounts of the trustee depositor in its personal capacity, or to distinguish one trust arrangement from another, or to determine the extent of coverage. CDIC therefore requires that trustees disclose to the bank that the deposit is an “in trust” account.

The last element to be disclosed to the bank is to enable the calculation of how much of the deposit is insured. In the case of a failure, the trustee would be paid up to $100,000 per beneficiary. Since the beneficiaries could change and the percentage allocation among the beneficiaries could also change, this information is to be updated annually.

Law firms should send a client trust listing as at April 30 with only the client file numbers and amounts, no names. This listing should be sent even if the amounts are less than $100,000 in total as the amounts in the trust bank account vary throughout the year.

For more information on CDIC and deposit insurance, please visit www.cdic.ca or call CDIC’s toll-free information line at 1-800-461-2342.

 

Law Society of Alberta

Safeguard Against Fraud: Checking Trust Reconciliations

One of the key ways to safeguard against fraud is to closely monitor the monthly trust reconciliations of your trust account.

The monthly trust reconciliations are one of the key control components of any law firm.  The objective of the reconciliation is to ensure trust assets, which is the amount held in the trust bank accounts equal trust liabilities, which is the total amount owing to all of the clients of the law firm.  The trust liabilities are the sum of the all of the individual client trust ledger cards.

Trust assets must equal trust liabilities and if they don’t, you must find out why and take immediate correction action.  If the trust assets are less than trust liabilities the law firm must issue a cheque from the law firm general bank account to correct the shortfall.  Once that is done, the law firm can further investigate the reason for the shortage, such as bank error, client overpayment, etc.

Contact the Law Society’s Trust Safety department with your questions at Trust.Safety@lawsociety.ab.ca.

 

Alberta Law Libraries' Navigating Legal Information Series presents:

"Learn About Free Online Legal Resources - UK and US"

When:  Wednesday, March 7, 12:00 - 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 - 3:30 p.m. (repeated session)

Where:  Alberta Law Libraries, Edmonton Law Courts, 2nd Floor (South)

Do you find yourself looking for case law and statutory resources from the United States and United Kingdom to supplement your Canadian research? Subscribing to UK and US resources can be very expensive. Thankfully there are a number of free online resources for this kind of legal research, and Alberta Law Libraries can help you locate them.

This half-hour session runs at 12:00 noon, and is repeated at 3:00 p.m.  There is no cost to attend these sessions.

To register, contact us at the library, or call 780-422-2342.

 

Printable Version

www.lawsociety.ab.ca
Law Society of Alberta
Calgary Office
Suite 500, 919 11th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2R 1P3
Phone: 403-229-4700

Edmonton Office
Suite 800, Bell Tower
10104-103 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 0H8
Phone: 780-429-3343

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