Practice of Law

Upcoming Law Firm Practice Management Pilot Project

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By Barbra Bailey, Policy Counsel
Law Society of Saskatchewan

The Law Society of Saskatchewan, in collaboration with the Law Societies of Alberta and Manitoba, has been exploring a new model of regulating legal services in a manner that is risk-focused, proactive and with a greater focus on law firms as a whole, rather than a sole focus on individual lawyers. The new approach is designed 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 service delivery. The feedback from the membership regarding this regulatory model has been positive and we are now seeking to test and enhance this new approach through a pilot project.  This will involve a randomly selected, geographically proportionate sample of 25 law firms of varying sizes and sole practitioners across the province.

Next month, Benchers of the Law Society will begin contacting firms to ask them to participate in the Prairie Law Societies’ Law Firm Practice Management pilot project.  Participation is voluntary but we hope you will agree to participate as your input will be invaluable to the Law Society’s goal of developing a more modern and proactive approach to regulation.  We believe that participation in the pilot project will also help your firm to mitigate risk and to enhance practice management, firm culture and overall delivery of legal services and client satisfaction.

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Signing the Law Society Roll Book

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John Diefenbaker’s signature in the Law Society Roll Book, signed June 30, 1919
Roll Book Spine with Embossed Title

It is that time of the year again! The students who have completed the Bar Admissions Program will be eligible for admission as lawyers. Those admitted will be required to sign the roll at the Law Society. The Law Society of the North-West Territories started in 1898 with 186 members on the roll. The Law Society of Saskatchewan continued to use this roll until 1911 when a new parchment roll book was procured. The first name entered in the parchment roll is Amédée Emmanuel Forget, the last Lieutenant Governor of the North-West Territories and the first Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Saskatchewan. The benchers hoped that every barrister and solicitor in the province would come to sign the roll. It remained open for one year after which the secretary was instructed to “cause the names of any members who have not signed to be engrossed on the roll in distinctive characters not liable to be mistaken for autograph signatures.” As a result, some early names appear in pencil in the roll. In December 1912, the benchers passed a resolution to create a rule making it a requirement of admission to actually sign the roll.

Signing Roll – Rule amended

Moved by Mr. Acheson seconded by Mr. Black that no one be admitted as barrister and solicitor until he actually signs the roll; and that the declaration of nonpractise required by the Rules be taken at the time of signing the roll and that the rules be amended accordingly. Carried Unanimously.

Law Society Benchers Meeting Minutes, December 1912
Law Society Benchers Meeting Minutes, December 1912

The same 1911 roll is still in use today. It has space for 13,000 signatures. Students can sign the roll in ballpoint pen or a dip pen and ink.

Legal Services Task Team

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By Barbra Bailey, Policy Counsel
Law Society of Saskatchewan

A Task Team has been appointed to examine the possibility of allowing non-lawyers to provide some legal services to Saskatchewan residents. The Team will consider a wide range of possible approaches and varying degrees of service delivery and make recommendations about the appropriate role, if any, of non-lawyers in the provision of legal services.

The Task Team is a joint project by the Ministry of Justice and the Law Society of Saskatchewan. For more information, please see this News Release, dated May 5, 2017.

New Criminal Practice Directive

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From the Court of Queen’s Bench:

The Court of Queen’s Bench has issued a new Criminal Practice Directive #6  effective May 1, 2017 concerning how summary conviction and absolute jurisdiction offences will be dealt with in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The new practice directive can be found on the Court’s website.

New Criminal Practice Directives Effective April 1

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From the Court of Queen’s Bench

The Court of Queen’s Bench has updated Practice Directive CRIM–PD#1 concerning the scheduling of pre-trial conferences to reflect that criminal pre-trials will also be conducted in the judicial centres of Estevan, Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Yorkton.  The updated practice directive can be found on the Court’s webpage here.

The Court of Queen’s Bench has issued three new criminal practice directives effective April 1, 2017:

CRIM-PD#3 concerns the safe handling of large or sensitive exhibits;

CRIM-PD#4 sets out a new process and application forms for obtaining a subpoena in a criminal matter; and

CRIM-PD#5 describes which exhibits filed in a criminal matter may be returned after the expiry of the appeal period, and which exhibits will be retained by the Court.

They can be found on the Court’s webpage here.

New Civil Practice Directive

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From the Court of Queen’s Bench

The Court of Queen’s Bench has issued a new Civil Practice Directive effective April 1, 2017 that sets out template order forms  to be used by Counsel and Bankruptcy Trustees in bankruptcy discharge applications. The new Civil Practice Directive CV-PD #4 can be found on the Court’s website here.

Appropriate Dispute Resolution Survey – Last day!

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By Kim Newsham
Innovation and Strategic Initiatives, Ministry of Justice

If you haven’t done this survey yet, today is the last day!

The Ministry of Justice is considering making some form of Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mandatory before parties can proceed with a family law application.  ADR could include mediation, collaborative law, and separation/divorce coaching.  Exceptions to the requirement may be needed.  The Ministry has been consulting with stakeholders since August 2016 and continues to do so.  The Ministry is hoping to obtain as much feedback as possible before determining whether to proceed with legislative amendments.  Your participation is critical to the success of this project.  Please consider completing a short survey which is available at:

The survey will be open until February 13th.  Individual survey results will be kept confidential; data will be used in aggregated form only.  If you have any questions about the survey, or if you wish to review the consultation document and provide written comments, please contact Kim Newsham at or at 306-787-5709.