Month: August 2018

Gallop Portal

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By Alan Kilpatrick

Did you know that the Gallop Portal (Government and Legislative Libraries Online Publications Portal) provides free and convenient access to almost 500,000 electronic government publications from all levels of Canadian government?

Launched five year ago by the Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada (APLIC), the portal is intended to provide Canadians with an easy way to access, connect, and interact with Canadian government resources.  Canadian Legislative and Parliamentary libraries are mandated to provide access to government documents by the Federal government’s Depository Services Program.

APLIC describes the portal as a “one-stop access point” to government publications.  Users can search for documents across jurisdiction and language using a variety of filtering options and a straightforward search interface.  The portal provides particularly high ease of use compared to other Canadian government websites.

We encourage you to check the Gallop Portal out at gallopportal.ca.

 

BENCHER ELECTION 2018

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2018 is an election year for Benchers of the Law Society of Saskatchewan.

Please visit our Bencher Election 2018 page for two separate Nomination forms:  one for nomination of a Bencher (based on geographical district) and one for nomination of a New Lawyer Bencher (for lawyers within 10 years of being called to the Bar).  On the site, you will also find important dates, information about the election process and an overview of what prospective candidates can expect from their time serving as a Bencher.  Law Society Rules 15 through 32 also specifically outline election procedures and protocol.

Along with the nomination papers, each candidate should also submit biographical information, a recent photograph and a brief outline of the reasons for seeking office.  The nomination form (in pdf format) and photograph (in jpg format) can be emailed to Liz at liz.lynchuk@lawsociety.sk.ca.

Nomination papers must have the consent of the nominee endorsed thereon and must be filed with Timothy J. Brown, Q.C., no later than October 4, 2018.

All Benchers (newly elected and returning) will be expected to attend the following Bencher training sessions:

  • December 6 and 7, 2018 in Regina (in conjunction with December Convocation).
  • Tentatively February 6 – 8, 2019 (in conjunction with February Convocation).

 

This Week in Legal Ethics – New Ethics Ruling

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The Law Society’s Ethics Committee recently released the following Ethics Ruling as guidance for the profession. For your convenience, I’ve listed the ruling below but it can also be found in our Ethics Rulings Database.

If you have any questions or concerns  regarding this post, please contact the Law Society at (306) 569-8242 or 1-833-733-0133.

Date:                           June 26, 2018
Cite as:                        2018 SKLSPC 7
Code Chapter:           3.4
Code Heading:          Conflicts
Classification:            Duty to Avoid Conflicts of Interest
Practice Area:            Immigration

Facts:

Law Firm XYZ does immigration work on behalf of Immigration Company A, which is owned by relatives of Law Firm XYZ’s partners. In addition, Law Firm XYZ’s partners and their spouses own Immigration Company B, for which Law Firm XYZ has not yet done immigration work.  Client service and administration at Immigration Company B is done by an employee of Law Firm XYZ. Immigration Company B not a licensed immigration consultancy.

Decision:

The Ethics Committee considered whether there is the potential for conflicts of interest. While lawyer X lists the Immigration Companies as the client, the individuals themselves are the true clients. The individuals seeking legal advice, and not the Immigration Companies or another referral entity, must be treated as the client. Every legal client is due the same standard of care and all the protection entailed in the Rules of the Law Society of Saskatchewan and the Code of Professional Conduct, regardless of who referred that client and how that client became a client.

The Committee also considered whether the public was fully protected from potential negligence, competence or conduct claims. The clients of the Immigration Companies may not be entirely aware that Lawyer X is doing work for them. It is likely not sufficiently clear to the clients that they could file a claim of negligence or a complaint to the Law Society against Lawyer X, if the circumstances warranted it. The Committee is concerned that the reason the client relationship is structured in this way is to attempt to protect the members from liability or claim. The Committee determined that the current structures of Immigration Company A and Immigration Company B are not proper; it is not appropriate for a lawyer to try to absolve their professional responsibilities through a corporate structure.

CPLED 2018-2019 Begins!

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By Christine Johnston
CPLED Program Director

The Law Society welcomed 85 keen, new student members into the CPLED Bar Admissions Course this year. The students kicked off the course with a week in Regina where they received instruction in interviewing and advising skills, legal research skills and proper citation usage for Saskatchewan courts. SLIA, the CBA, the STLA and PBLS also presented to the students. A highlight of the week was an invitation to students from Chief Justice Richards to attend at the Court of Appeal for a reception. Students were able to meet many of the justices and get a behind the scenes look at the Court of Appeal. (A better blogger would have thought to take some photos at this event). By some accounts, watersliding at the hotel and escape rooms were other highlights.

CPLED is the gateway from legal studies to legal practice. Successful completion of CPLED requires a considerable time commitment from students. CPLED staff appreciate the support that firms, the courts, government and other organizations provide by allowing students time during their articles to dedicate to CPLED.

A few students continue to seek articling positions. If you’ve never taken on an articling student, please consider doing so and feel free to contact us. There may be opportunities for joint articles or secondments for those who are concerned that they may not be able to take a student full-time or to provide a broad enough experience.

New Hacking Scam Targeted at Law Firms

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A recent article posted on the Security Boulevard blog highlights a new scam in which cybercriminals use abandoned domain names to hack law firm email accounts. Abandoned law firm domain names would arise, for example, when 2 firms merged or a firm changed their name and “abandoned” their old firm website.  Please review the article “Hacking law firms with abandoned domain names” for more information.

If you have a new scam to report, please contact SLIA at brad@SLIA.ca.

Long-Standing Law Society Membership

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Andrea Johnston, Director of Admissions & Education
Law Society of Saskatchewan

We are pleased to acknowledge the following members for their 50-year anniversary of membership with the Law Society of Saskatchewan:

  • Charles J.W. Biss
  • Joseph R. Blais
  • Grant Carson
  • William G. Gibson
  • Kenneth W. MacKay, Q.C.
  • Evatt F.A. Merchant, Q.C.
  • Richard B. Morris, Q.C.
  • Leo J. F. Pinel
  • Henry L. Siwak
  • Dennis M. Starzynski
  • Robert W. Thompson, Q.C.
  • Ronald D. Thorstad

The Law Society wishes to congratulate each of these members on reaching this significant milestone.

This Week in Legal Ethics – New Ethics Ruling

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LegalEthicsBannerBy Melanie Hodges Neufeld

The Law Society’s Ethics Committee recently released the following Ethics Ruling as guidance for the profession. For your convenience, I’ve listed the ruling below but it can also be found in our Ethics Rulings Database.

If you have any questions or concerns  regarding this post, please contact the Law Society at (306) 569-8242 or 1-833-733-0133.

Date:                           June 26, 2018
Cite as:                        2018 SKLSPC 6
Code Chapter:           3.4
Code Heading:          Conflicts
Classification:            Acting Against Former Clients
Practice Area:            Family Law; Criminal

Facts:

Lawyer X defended Client A previously on an assault charge. Client A allegedly assaulted an ex-partner/employee/roommate and alcohol was a factor.

Lawyer X began representing Client B, Client A’s spouse, in separation proceedings against Client A. The Petition contains allegations relating to alcohol.

Client A, through counsel, raised the issue of conflict of interest with Lawyer X.

Lawyer X believes that Lawyer X represented Client A on an entirely unrelated matter and therefore, there is no conflict.

Client A believes that Lawyer X has personal information about Client A which can be used against Client A in the family law matter.

Decision:

The Ethics Committee determined that Lawyer X previously represented Client A, a now-opposing party, on a matter in which some circumstances are related to those presented in the current separation proceedings.  Accordingly, the Committee agreed that there is sufficient overlap between the two matters that Lawyer X may have confidential information from the prior representation of Client A that may prejudice Client A in the current proceedings. The two actions are not wholly unrelated.  The Committee determined that Lawyer X is in a conflict of interest pursuant to Rule 3.4-10(c) by representing Client B in the matter against Client A.