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News

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Printable Version

In this issue:
Rule Changes for Trust Safety Program
Form Changes for Trust Safety Program
Pecuniary Damages Interest

Rule Changes for Trust Safety Program

In response to comments from the profession and to further refine our processes the Benchers on November 29, 2012 approved six amendments to the Trust Safety Program Rules.  This bulletin is intended to assist Law Firms and Responsible Lawyers navigate these amendments.

The rule amendments are summarized as follows (a link to the revised rules follows this summary):

Rule 119.20 is amended for consistency of wording.

Rule 119.22 is amended to enable a law firm to issue a cheque to cash when required to return cash as per Rule 119.38(5)(d).

Rule 119.23 is amended so that it is consistent with the requirements under Rule 119.42 for electronic banking withdrawals regardless of the amounts received. Previously, payments exceeding $25 million could not be processed by cheque and a specific rule had been enacted. The two rules regarding electronic trust withdrawals have now been harmonized as the process is the same.

Rule 119.30 is amended to clarify what is “automated data” in relation to a law firm's trust account reporting requirements.

Rule 119.42 is amended to simplify electronic banking withdrawals.

Rule 120 has been deleted as the transitional effects of the January 2011 rule have since expired.

The Trust Safety Program Rules with the incorporated amendments can be found on the Law Society's website.

The Law Society of Alberta has received and continues to receive feedback from lawyers regarding the Trust Safety Program. The Trust Safety Committee will consider future changes to the Program based upon such feedback. Lawyers are encouraged to email comments and suggestions to Trust.Safety@lawsociety.ab.ca.

>> Click here to view the revisions to the Trust Safety Program Rules.

 

Form Changes for Trust Safety Program

In conjunction with the Trust Safety Program Rule changes, the forms for Trust Safety Program have been modified. Many of the changes are amendments or simplifications. However, the forms listed below have changed significantly.

Please note that the preferred method of submission is for the forms to be completed electronically, printed, signed, scanned and emailed to Trust.Safety@lawsociety.ab.ca.

Law Firm Self Report

No longer labeled “Transitional Form (2012)”, this version of the form is required for all filers starting in December 2012. Delinquent filers must use the new version of the form. Many of the questions have been removed or clarified. There is also an updated “Filing Instructions” document available for usage when completing the form.

$25 Million Non-Cheque Transfer Requisition

This form is now obsolete.

Electronic Banking Withdrawal

While this form still needs to be completed for all electronic payments under Rule 119.42, the form and the related documents no longer needs to be remitted to the Law Society of Alberta. However, the form is to be retained in accordance with Rule 119.35 and available for review upon request of the Law Society of Alberta.

Application to Designate a Responsible Lawyer and/or Operate a Trust Account

In response to member feedback regarding classification of application circumstances, the form was amended to include the designation of Alternate Responsible Lawyers and further clarify the procedures. Please use this redesigned form when (1) designating or changing a Responsible Lawyer or Alternate Responsible Lawyer and/or (2) seeking approval to operate a trust account.

 

Pecuniary Damages Interest

Rate Set January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013

The Minister of Justice and Solicitor General advises that the interest rate for pecuniary damages under the Judgment Interest Act has been set at 1.40% for the period January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. View the Judgement Interest Regulation interest rates for previous years here.

 

Law Society of Alberta

CPD Plan Declaration Cycle: January 1 to March 15, 2013

Between January 1, 2013 and March 15, 2013 all active lawyers in Alberta will be required to make their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Plan Declaration to the Law Society of Alberta. The CPD Plan Declaration confirms to the Law Society that the lawyer has complied with the following key requirements of the CPD Program:

  • Preparation of a 2013 CPD Plan in written or electronic form;
  • Implementation of the CPD activities identified in the 2012 CPD Plan;
  • Evaluation of how the 2012 CPD activities have enhanced competence in the delivery of legal services.

A commitment to lifelong learning is an important element of lawyer competence and a goal of the Law Society’s CPD program. A key component of the CPD Program is for lawyers to evaluate the implementation of the previous year’s CPD Plan. In particular, assess past accomplishments and how CPD activities have enhanced the quality of legal services delivered. Creating and implementing a CPD Plan is a “best practice” which demonstrates to the public that Alberta lawyers strive for excellence in the practice of law.

Pursuant to Rule 67.1, lawyers must retain their CPD Plan in written or electronic form for five years; and produce their CPD Plan to the Law Society upon request.

Click here for additional information on the CPD Program or contact the CPD Department at 403-229-4766 or cpd@lawsociety.ab.ca.

 

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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