As of October 1st, 2014, there will be a new set of regulations in effect pertaining to the professional conduct of paralegals and amended lawyers.
The amendments to the conduct rules will serve two purposes – firstly, they will enhance guidance to lawyers and paralegals on professional conduct and secondly, they will facilitate uniform national professional conduct standards in an environment of increased mobility of lawyers across Canada.
The amendments are based on the Model Code of Professional Conduct, adopted by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada – the national coordinating body of Canadian law societies. Law societies across Canada are adopting the Federation’s Model Code, in support of national mobility and to promote public confidence in a self-regulated profession with a national set of common standards for professionalism and ethical behaviour.
While most of the amendments are minor, some are more substantive and introduce new standards, particularly for dealing with conflicts of interest, undertakings and withdrawal from representation.
In addition, these amended rules of professional conduct will include a new numbering scheme that mirrors the Model Code. The former rules are categorized as rules, subrules and commentaries; the amended rules are divided into chapters, sections, rules and commentaries.
For more information and a complete resource guide to the changes, please visit the New Rules of Professional Conduct web page.