Publication Policy

Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador

Professional Responsibility Policy

NAME OF POLICY Publication – Discipline Proceedings
APPLICABLE SECTION OF THE LAW SOCIETY ACT, 1999 AND LAW SOCIETY RULES

Law Society Act, 1999,

Sections 47, 51 and 81

Law Society Rules 9.06(5), 9.06(6), 9.07 and 9.28

Approved by Benchers

Effective

February 7, 2014

(Replaces DP08-01)

Reviewed

April 7, 2014

Revised

April 7, 2014

1.1       The Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador (LSNL), pursuant to the Law Society Act, 1999 (the Act), regulates its members in the public interest.  Part II of the Act – Discipline Proceedings – outlines the investigative and hearing processes.  These processes must demonstrate the highest level of professionalism in the interests of public protection, privacy legislation, fairness and maintenance of trust and confidence in the legal profession as a self-governing body.

1.2       In recognition of the requirement for openness, transparency and accountability of the Discipline Proceedings, the following policies will apply to the LSNL’s distribution of information.

2.1       Subject to the Law Society Act, 1999, and the Law Society Rules (LSR), the LSNL will not provide public notices and information concerning the following discipline proceedings:

(a)    Files at the pre-authorization stage;

(b)   Files resulting in a letter of counsel;

(c)    Files resulting in a letter of caution;

(d)   Files which have been resolved and/or dismissed; and

(e)    Files in which the Complaints Authorization Committee (CAC) determination and/or dismissal is the subject of an appeal or a judicial review application.

2.1.1    For purposes of this policy, pre-authorization stage is defined as matters on which the CAC has not made a final determination.

2.1.2    This policy is subject to the CAC’s discretion to provide notice of the circumstances giving rise to letters of counsel and letters of caution pursuant to LSR 9.06(5) and also the requirement to notify the complainant pursuant to LSR 9.06(6).

3.1       In accordance with the Law Society Act, 1999 and the LSR, the LSNL will provide the following information concerning all files which have been authorized as complaints.

3.1.1        Notice of Referral to Hearing Before an Adjudication Tribunal

(a)    The LSNL will publish the notice of referral to a hearing no earlier than 15 days after service of the complaint on the respondent.

(b)   The notice will be published on the Society’s website and will include

(i)                 the respondent’s name; and

(ii)               the general nature of the charges.

3.1.2    Notice of Hearing Date

(a)    The LSNL will publish notice of the hearing following service of the notice on the respondent and as soon as practical after the hearing date is scheduled.

(b)   The notice will be published on the Society’s website and will include

(i)      the respondent’s name;

(ii)               the date(s), time and location for the hearing; and

(iii)             the general nature of the charges.

 3.1.3    The Complaint

(a)    The LSNL will file the complaint as an exhibit with the Adjudication Tribunal.  Distribution of the complaint is within the discretion of the Adjudication Tribunal.

(b)   The names of the clients and all other third party non-lawyers, including any identifying information, will be referenced by initials for privacy reasons.

3.1.4    Decisions and Orders

(a)    Subject to a non-publication order, all decisions and orders will be made available on the Law Society website and provided to Canlii for publication following the expiry of the 30 day statutory appeal period.

(b)   Subject to a non-publication order, notice of all decisions and orders will be provided electronically to the Courts, the appointed benchers and members of the Society following the expiry of the 30 day statutory appeal period.

4.1       Disciplinary Records

4.1.1    For purposes of this policy, Disciplinary Record includes all decisions wherein a finding of guilt was entered following a hearing before an Adjudication Tribunal absent a non-publication order.

4.1.2    Disciplinary Records will be published on the Society’s website and will include:

(i)         the respondent’s name;

(ii)        the electronic notice referenced in paragraph 3.1.4(b) above; and

(iii)       links to the full decision and order.