Part VIII – Professional Practice Rules

Special Definitions

8.01 (1) In this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “consumer” means a person who is or may be in a position to acquire or need legal services;

(b) “information in relation to legal services” includes the provision of resumes of case law and any commentary on the law;

(c) “member” means a member of the Society as defined in the Act and includes a group, association, law firm or any partnership of members, any professional law corporation and any other arrangement between two or more members and includes a student;

(d) “providing information” includes:

(i) an advertisement;

(ii) any publication or communication in any medium with any client, prospective client or the public generally in the nature of an advertisement, promotional activity or material, a listing in a legal directory, a public appearance or any other means by which professional legal services are promoted;

(iii) contract with a prospective client initiated by a member.

(e) “firm” means any partnership, professional law corporation, interjurisdictional firm, group, law firm or association of two or more persons carrying on the practice of law in Newfoundland and Labrador;

(f) “inter-jurisdictional firm” means any partnership, professional law corporation, group, law firm, or association of two or more persons carrying on the practice of law in Newfoundland and Labrador and in one or more other provinces or territories of Canada and of which at least one partner, or in the case of a professional law corporation at least one voting shareholder or director, is a member of the Society and at least one other partner, or in the case of a professional law corporation at least one voting shareholder or director, is a member of the bar of another province or territory of Canada;

(Amended: Rule 8.01(c,e & f), Summer Term Convocation, June 8, 2018)

(Repealed: Rule 8.01(g), Summer Term Convocation, June 8, 2018)

 

Traditions and Ethics

8.02 (1) Every member shall be bound by the traditions and general ethics of the profession.

(2) Every member shall be bound by and shall adhere to such Code of Professional Conduct as may be adopted by the Benchers.

(3) In the event of a conflict between any Code of Professional Conduct adopted by the Benchers and the Law Society Rules, the Law Society Rules prevail.

(Amended: Rule 8.02(2) and 8.02(3) Summer Term Convocation, June 8, 2018)

 

Declaration of Principle

8.03 Rules 8.04 to 8.15 shall be interpreted in a manner which recognizes that a member may, in any medium of communication, undertake or authorize any provision of information respecting his or her professional legal services which is factual, accurate, verifiable, in good taste, not misleading and is compatible with the respected profile of the Society and the legal profession.

(Amended: Rule 8.03, Summer Term Convocation, June 8, 2018)

 

Provision of Information

8.04 A member may provide information in relation to legal services to any person so long as the provision of information is in accordance with these Rules.

 

Restrictions on Provision of Information

8.05 (1) A member shall not provide information in relation to legal services that:

(a) compares either directly or indirectly the member’s services or abilities with the services or abilities of another member;

(b) creates an unreasonable expectation about the results possible;

(c) is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive;

(d) contains any testimonials or endorsements concerning a member;

(e) discloses the names of clients unless the clients have consented in writing to the disclosure and to the manner of disclosure;

(f) is not in good taste;

(g) is not of a dignified nature or otherwise is such as to bring the member or the profession into disrepute;

(h) is incompatible with the respected profile of the society and the legal profession.

(2) A member shall not provide information in relation to legal services directly to a consumer either in person or in writing where the provision of the information is persistent or harassing.

(3) A member shall not initiate or authorize any person to initiate direct contact either in person or in writing with a consumer who is not a client for the purpose of providing to that consumer information in relation to legal services where the member knows or reasonably should know that the emotional or mental state of the consumer is such that the consumer could not make a reasoned decision in relation to the provision of legal services.

 

Misleading Firm Names

8.06 A firm name or letterhead shall not mislead or be capable of misleading the public.

 

Firm Names and Letterhead

8.07 (1) A member who carries on the practice of law shall do so under:

(a) the member’s name;

(b) the name of existing or former partners or associates;

(c) the name of the original or founding partner or partners and associates;

(d) in the case of a professional law corporation, the name of existing or former voting shareholders or directors;

(Adopted: Rule 8.07(1(d))Summer Term Convocation, June 10, 2005)

(e) in the case of an interjurisdictional law firm, one or more given names or surnames of:

(i) practicing members of the Society or of the Bar of any other province or territory of Canada;

(ii) former members of the Society or of the Bar of any other province or territory of Canada and that otherwise complies with Rule 8.08 (1)(b) and (c);

(f) any combination of the foregoing; or

(g) a descriptive or trade name provided:

(i) the name or a similar descriptive or trade name is not in use elsewhere in the province; and

(ii) that by the use of the name, the member or firm could not lead members of the public into believing erroneously that the member or firm is associated or affiliated elsewhere in Canada with other firms or the members thereof.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a firm may not include:

(a) a phrase such as “and associates”, “and associate”, “and partners”, “and company” if there is only one barrister and solicitor in the firm; or

(b) any other language which misrepresents the number of barristers and solicitors in a firm.

(3) In addition to satisfying the requirements of sub-rule 8.07(1) and 8.07(2), the name of a professional law corporation shall comply with the requirements of Part III.1 of the Act.

(Adopted: Rule 8.07(3) Summer Term Convocation, June 10, 2005)

(Amended: Rule 8.07 (1)(e,f,g) and 8.07 (3), Summer Term Convocation, June 8, 2018)

 

Identification of Deceased or Former Members or Students

8.08 (1) A member, a firm or an interjurisdictional firm shall not in any listings of lawyers on a letterhead, business card, directory or in any information used or distributed in the province include the name of a person who is a judge;

(2) Except in the firm name or inter-jurisdictional firm name, a member or an interjurisdictional firm in any listing of lawyers in a firm or appearing on a letterhead, business card, in a directory or in any information used or distributed in the Province shall not include the name of a person who is not a member of the Society except a person who is a former member who is a resigned, retired or deceased member and designated as such or who is a student and designated as such.

(Amended: Rule 8.08(1) and 8.08(2), Summer Term Convocation June 8, 2018)

 

Prohibited Activities

8.09 (1) A member shall not request or induce attention from or an interview by the media in relation to any judicial, quasi-judicial or other proceeding, hearing or meeting where the member is appearing in a legal capacity unless a client of the member has directed the member to make the request or inducement.

(2) A member shall not give or authorize or permit any person to give anything of value to a person for recommending a member’s services.

(3) A member shall not write a letter seeking financial assistance on behalf of a charitable organization using the letterhead of his or her firm.

 

Preferred Areas of Practice

8.10 A member or firm may advertise a preferred area or areas of practice provided the advertisement does not contain any claim (wither directly or indirectly) that the advertising member is a specialist, expert, leader or an established or experienced practitioner in any field of practice or generally.

 

Fee Advertising

8.11 A member or firm may advertise fees charged for their services subject to the following conditions:

(a) advertisements of fees for consultation or for specific services shall contain an accurate statement of the services provided for the fee and the circumstances in which higher fees may be charged;

(b) if fees are advertised the fact that disbursements are an additional cost must be made clear in the advertisement;

(c) advertisements shall not use words or expressions such as “from…”, “minimum” or “…and up” or the like in referring to the fees to be charged nor shall advertisements indicate that the price is a discount, reduction or a special rate;

(d) services covered by advertised fees shall be provided at the advertised rate to all clients who retain the advertising lawyer or firm during the thirty (30) day period following upon the last publication of the fee unless there are special circumstances which could not have been foreseen, with the burden of proving such special circumstances resting upon the lawyer;

(e) the advertisement of a fee by a lawyer shall bind the lawyer and the advertisement of a fee by a firm shall bind that firm.

 

Sharing of Fees

8.12 (1) A member shall not provide to or receive from any real estate broker, agent or intermediary, any financial or other reward, direct or indirect, for directing or receiving clients to or from the real estate broker, agent or intermediary.

(2) A member shall not provide to or receive from any title insurer, agent or intermediary, any financial or other reward, direct or indirect for directing or receiving clients to or from the title insurer, agent or intermediary.

(3) A member shall not agree to share with any person who is not a member of the Society or the member of the bar of another province or territory of Canada with whom the member is associated in practice in an inter-jurisdictional firm licensed by Benchers, the member’s revenues or profits in respect of any business either contentious or non-contentious.

(Amended: Rule 8.12(3), Summer Term Convocation, June 8, 2018)

 

Records

8.13 A member shall retain for one year after the date of publication or broadcast of any advertisement or brochure, and shall provide to the Society upon request:

(a) a copy of any such publication;

(b) a recording of any such broadcast made by the use of any electronic media, including radio, television and cable vision; and

(c) a written record of when and where the publication or broadcast was made.

(Amended: Rule 8.13(b), Summer Term Convocation, June 8, 2018)

 

Verification of Statements

8.14 It is the duty of any member, when called upon by the vice-president, the Complaints Authorization Committee, an Adjudication Panel or Benchers to verify the statements made in his or her provision of information.

(Amended: Rule 8.14, Summer Term Convocation, June 4, 1999; Amended: Rule 8.14, Summer Term Convocation, June 6, 2003))

(Repealed: Rule 8.15, Interjurisdictional Firms, Summer Term Convocation, June 8, 2018)

 

Breach of Rule

8.15 Any breach of Rules 8.02 to 8.14 may be considered professional misconduct.

(Amended: Rule 8.15, Summer Term Convocation, June 8, 2018)

(Adopted: Part VIII at the Adjourned Summer Term Convocation, July 2, 1991 to come into force in October 7, 1991)