Advocacy in Action | June 2022

Self-Governance of the Legal Profession | A2J Tech Drive | Family Law Submissions | Improving the BCSC Rules of Contempt

June 2022

Advocacy in Action | June 2022

Self-Governance of the Legal Profession

More than 200 lawyers across BC participated in CBABC’s roundtables in March and April to look at the regulation of lawyers and the role of the Law Society. Lawyers attending expressed a need for the Bencher Table to reflect diverse geographical regions because the practice of law is different based on geography, as well as other factors. Lawyers also supported stronger disciplinary measures taken against those members who repeatedly fail to comply with the Code of Conduct and the Legal Profession Act. There were mixed views on the issue of Benchers providing confidential advice to lawyers and the process of interviewing articling students. We thank all lawyers who shared feedback on ThoughtExchange to rank the Harry Cayton’s recommendations.

Following the Law Society’s release of the Cayton governance report, the BC Government announced plans to develop a legislative proposal for a single statute and regulator for lawyers, paralegals, notaries, and others providing legal services with a goal of modernizing the regulatory framework and improving the public’s access to legal services. CBABC will participate in the consultation to ensure that the independence of lawyers is maintained, regulation does not increase barriers to services by lawyers, and your views are known.

A2J Tech Drive

CBABC thanks all lawyers and law firms who donated dozens of computers, laptops, and smartphones during the A2J Tech Drive. With these donations, we can support Indigenous and remote communities where there is a need to connect people to lawyers and court services, as the justice system continues to transition to a hybrid model using videoconferencing.

Family Law Submissions

CBABC members made a submission to the Law Society of BC and the government, emphasizing that the movement toward non-adversarial processes for family law disputes should not negatively impact those who are most vulnerable and require court intervention. The recommendations caution the government against a “one size fits all” approach to family law disputes, as family dynamics and culture often dictate the solutions that are most appropriate.

CBABC members also made a second submission to amend the Family Law Act as s. 203 currently creates a high threshold for appointing a lawyer to represent children. This proposed amendment offers greater opportunity for children to have their interests represented in family law disputes.

Improving the BCSC Rules of Contempt

CBABC members responded to a call for consultation from the BC Supreme Court Civil and Family Rules Committee with a submission to modernize the rules of contempt. Given the considerable time and expense involved in making a contempt application, CBABC recommended greater transparency in the remedies available to litigants while also retaining the inherent jurisdiction of the court. Members also recommended efforts to simplify processes so that meeting the conditions for a finding of contempt did not exceed the efforts in securing the original order.