Law Society of Saskatchewan

(Re-) Discover the New Law Society Website – For the Public

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The Law Society launched our new updated website on January 11. Over the next several weeks, we are rerunning our Discover the New Law Society Website blog series to remind users of the new content and features. We are continually revising the site based on user feedback and will outline any changes in future blog posts.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan was established in 1907 to carry out the purpose of regulating the legal profession in Saskatchewan, with an over-arching mandate to protect the public interest. The Law Society sets standards for ethics and competency of its members, disciplines its members when they breach those standards, and regulates the competency qualifications required to practice law in Saskatchewan.

Although working in the public interest, the Law Society does not provide legal advice to the public or advocate on behalf of individual members of the public. Rather, it conducts investigations to determine whether its members have abided by the stringent ethical and competency standards that all lawyers must adhere to. If lawyers do not observe these stringent standards, the Law Society conducts discipline hearings with a view to protecting the public interest.

The For the Public section of the website provides information to assist the public to find a lawyer, understand issues that may arise when dealing with a lawyer, and discover public legal resources:

  • Finding a Lawyer – The Find a Lawyer feature allows lawyers to be searched by firm/organization, city or first or last name. A lawyer’s contact information is available via this service which allows you to contact lawyers directly. The Find a Lawyer directory also includes the ability to search for a lawyer by practice area. This section also provides information for the public if they are unable to afford a lawyer.
  • What to Expect From Your Lawyer – The legal process can be complicated and confusing for someone unfamiliar with it, but legal professionals have specialized skills to help you navigate during some of your most stressful situations. This page provides some general information to help you feel comfortable.
  • Common Client Concerns – There are some common concerns that may warrant a complaint. Our Common Client Concerns section contains a detailed description of these areas.
  • Making a Complaint – Among the Law Society’s responsibilities are the investigation and determination of complaints regarding the conduct of lawyers practicing in the province. This page provides information regarding the Law Society’s jurisdiction and the complaints process.
  • Legal Resources for The Public – Staff at the Law Society libraries in Regina and Saskatoon will provide research assistance to the public in person, on the telephone or by e-mail.  This could include help with locating cases, statutes or other legal information in print or on the Internet.  This page also provides information and access to online legal research materials.
  • Looking for a Lost Will – Are you looking for a lost will? Have you lost track of your lawyer and need to locate files? If so, you can ask the Law Society for assistance by contacting the main office.

Provincial Court Judge Appointed in Prince Albert

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First reported on the Government of Saskatchewan News and Media page.

The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to announce the appointment of Thomas Healey as a judge to the Provincial Court in Prince Albert.

“Judge Healey will make a fine addition to our Provincial Court bench,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said.  “His experience as a Crown Prosecutor will be a great asset to him in this position, and to the community of Prince Albert.”

Judge Healey received a law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1994.  He commenced his articles with the Crown Life Insurance Company.  After concluding his articles, he began his career as a lawyer with Mills, Wilcox and Zuk before moving to the Annand Law Office in Melfort in 1997.  Since 2005, Judge Healey has served as a Crown Prosecutor in Melfort, where he has been primarily focused on criminal law.

Judge Healey has been committed to his community throughout his career.  He has coached community soccer teams and is an active member of the Park Avenue Bible Church in Melfort, where he has served as an Elder, Deacon and Moderator.  Judge Healey also served two terms as a Bencher on the Law Society of Saskatchewan.

(Re-) Discover the New Law Society Website – Regulation

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The Law Society launched our new updated website on January 11, 2019. Over the next several weeks, we are rerunning our Discover the New Law Society Website blog series to remind users of the new content and features. We are continually revising the site based on user feedback and will outline any changes in future blog posts.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan regulates the legal profession in Saskatchewan with a view to maintaining high standards of competence and integrity and ensuring that the public trust and confidence in the legal profession are maintained.  This section of the website provides information on the framework within which the Law Society operates to fulfill its mandate to protect the public interest through effective regulation of the legal profession, and information on the outcomes of our regulatory processes. Specifically:

  • Act, Code and Rules – Law Society functions are governed by The Legal Profession Act, 1990, the Rules of the Law Society of Saskatchewan and the Code of Professional Conduct. In combination, the Act, Rules and the Code of Professional Conduct, provide the framework within which the Law Society operates to fulfill its mandate to protect the public interest through effective regulation of the legal profession.
  • Complaints Outcomes – Complaints against lawyers are received by Law Society Professional Responsibility Counsel, who investigate the matter to determine under which category the concern falls: ethics, professional standards, or conduct that might require discipline. This page provides further information on these courses of action.
  • Hearings, Decisions and Outcomes – Information on Pending Discipline Matters, Discipline Decisions, Conduct Reviews, Ethics Rulings, Admissions and Education Proceedings, and Admissions and Education Decisions.
  • Lawyers with Practice Conditions/Restrictions – A listing of lawyers with practice conditions/restrictions.
  • Lawyer Trusteeships and Successors – A listing of lawyer trusteeships and successors.

(Re-) Discover the New Law Society Website – Initiatives

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The Law Society launched our new updated website on January 11, 2019. Over the next several weeks, we are rerunning our Discover the New Law Society Website blog series to remind users of the new content and features. We are continually revising the site based on user feedback and will outline any changes in future blog posts.

The Initiatives section is a new feature of the Law Society website. The Law Society dedicates itself to an in-depth exploration of some of the major issues affecting the legal system in Saskatchewan, and professional regulation nationally and internationally. The Law Society collaborates with and consults several stakeholders to support this work in accordance with our strategic plan. We are currently delivering major initiatives in several areas:

• Access to Justice:

Alternative Legal Service Providers – The Ministry of Justice and the Law Society of Saskatchewan jointly undertook a project to explore the possibility of allowing non-lawyers to provide some legal services.

Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (SALI) – To address the growing public need for legal information, the Law Society’s Legal Resources Department and several other legal information providers launched a project to improve access to legal information for Saskatchewan residents through the public library system.

• Truth and Reconciliation – Recognizing the importance of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and the advancement of reconciliation, the Law Society of Saskatchewan has committed to responding to Call to Action #27 from the Calls to Action Report. We have developed several Continuing Professional Development programs to offer cultural competency training and will continue to develop further resources.

• Equity – The Equity Office at the Law Society of Saskatchewan is committed to both eliminating discrimination and harassment and promoting equity in the legal profession. Through our confidential email and toll-free phone line, we assist individual lawyers, articling students and support staff who ask for help in resolving complaints of discrimination or harassment by listening to complaints, assessing the nature of the complaint, and informing the individual about potential measures for dealing with the complaint. When resolution is required, complaints will be referred to an independent mediator. The Equity Office has also developed policies to implement equity in the workplace.

• Saskatchewan Justicia Project – The Justicia Project was developed in Ontario by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2008 as a partnership between the law society and law firms to work collaboratively to share best practices, develop resources and adopt proactive programs to support the retention and advancement of female lawyers in private practice. The ultimate goal of the Justicia Project is to create better work arrangements for both lawyers and firms. The Saskatchewan Justicia Project was introduced in November of 2014.

• Innovating Regulation – The practice of law and the public’s demands for legal services are changing. Driven in part by new technologies, new business models and access to justice concerns, delivery and regulation of legal services has begun evolving around the world. In response, the Law Societies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have been examining a spectrum of regulatory tools that includes entity regulation, compliance-based regulation and alternative business structures to determine which, if any, might be effective in our jurisdictions. The Prairie Law Societies determined that proactive regulation of law firms in addition to regulation of individual lawyers was appropriate and has been working towards a regulatory framework that incorporates that approach.

In Saskatchewan, The Legal Profession Act, 1990 was amended in 2014 to include firms as members of the Law Society. Under the Act, one of the duties of the Law Society is to protect the public by assuring the integrity, knowledge, skill, proficiency and competence of members. A proactive approach would allow both law firms and the Law Society to be more responsive to a diverse and profoundly changing environment, to enhance the quality of legal services, to encourage ethical legal practice and to foster innovation in legal services.

To determine the most meaningful way to engage with law firms though proactive regulation, the Prairie Law Societies conducted a pilot project in 2017 to test a new resource which helps firms assess the robustness of their practice management systems and firm culture. The Law Firm Practice Management Assessment Tool (the “Assessment Tool”) helps a firm recognize its strengths and provides “things to consider” in areas where opportunities for improvement have been identified. These include examples of how a law firm might put practices, policies or procedures into place, along with links to further resources that law firms can use in addressing practice management concerns.

(Re-) Discover the New Law Society Website – Quicklinks Overview

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The Law Society launched our new updated website on January 11, 2019. Over the next several weeks, we are rerunning our Discover the New Law Society Website blog series to remind users of the new content and features. We are continually revising the site based on user feedback and will outline any changes in future blog posts.

quicklinks

Three categories of Quicklinks have been added to the main page of the new Law Society website: Public, Lawyers & Students, and Resources and Support. We believe that these Quicklinks should eliminate approximately 80% of the site searches that occurred on the old site. In today’s post, we’d like to highlight specifically what can be found in this new section.

The Public Quicklinks include the following commonly visited pages and common concerns:

  • What does the Law Society do? – An overview of the Law Society with information concerning our Mission, Vision, Values, and Direction, Executive and Benchers (Board), and Annual Reports. See also the new video overview we recently created.
  • Find a Lawyer – The Find a Lawyer directory allows lawyers to be searched by firm/organization, city or first or last name. A lawyer’s contact information is available via this service which allows you to contact lawyers directly. The Find a Lawyer directory includes the ability to search for a lawyer by practice area. This page also includes information for the public if they are unable to afford a lawyer.
  • Understanding Lawyers’ Fees –Information on billing practices and fees, and tips for keeping legal costs down.
  • Making a Complaint Against a Lawyer – General information for the public if they believe they have a complaint and information on the Law Society Complaints Process.
  • Complaints Outcomes – The possible courses of action that may be followed if a matter against a lawyer raises valid concerns.
  • Find Court Forms – The Queen’s Bench Forms in both PDF and Word format.

The Quicklinks for Lawyers & Students include:

  • Update Profile/Report CPD Hours – This links to the Member Profile login page which allows Law Society members to update their member profile or report continuing professional development hours (CPD).
  • Saskatchewan Lawyers’ Insurance Association (SLIA) – SLIA has a new webpage. Please visit the SLIA website for information on liability insurance for members of the Law Society.
  • CPD on Demand – Numerous CPD activities available on demand to allow members to access relevant CPD in a convenient manner. Activities include Recorded Versions and Study Group Resources.
  • Law Society Forms & Fees – Law Society Forms, Trust Account Forms, and Law Society Fees and Assessments.
  • Becoming a Lawyer in Saskatchewan – Information for students, national mobility transfers and international students on becoming a lawyer.
  • Careers & Classifieds – Listing of available law-related careers.

The Quicklinks for Resources & Support include:

  • Member Resource Section – Formerly named the ‘Members’ Section’, this section was renamed to provide clarity for members. This section still includes Westlaw and other legal resources. If you previously had Westlaw or another resource bookmarked, you may need to log in again on the new site.
  • Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) – Providing a free, confidential assistance program for Saskatchewan lawyers, judges, law students and their immediate families.
  • Act, Code and Rules – A direct link to the Legal Professions Act, 1990, the Code of Professional Conduct and Law Society Rules.
  • QB Rules and Forms – The Queen’s Bench Forms in both PDF and Word formats.
  • Resources Search – Simple, one-stop searching for books, e-books and videos from the Law Society Library.
  • News, Media and Publications – Links to popular news sources and resources such as Legal Sourcery, Case Mail, the Limitations Manual, and Annual Reports.
  • External Resources – Links to popular external resources and organizations such as CanLII, Courts of Saskatchewan and the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA).