Invitation to offer services: Counsel for members in relation to professional responsibility matters

The mandate of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society is to uphold and protect the public interest in the practice of law. Lawyers in Canada are extended the privilege of self-regulation and for this privilege, we owe a duty of vigilance in regulating our profession to support high quality client service and ethical behaviour. 

The Professional Responsibility department investigates complaints of conduct unbecoming, incompetence, professional misconduct or incapacity with respect to a lawyer’s practice of law. The majority of these complaints are resolved or dismissed. In some cases, however, these investigations can potentially lead to serious consequences for members, and the Society urges all members who are the subject of a complaint that may be referred to the Complaints Investigation Committee to retain their own counsel to provide guidance and advice at as early a stage as possible. 

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society is seeking members to act on a reduced fee or pro bono basis for members of the Society involved in the disciplinary process. A list of members willing to provide this service is maintained by the Society so members under investigation may retain counsel on a pro bono or reduced fee basis to advise and represent them through one or more stages of the investigations and discipline process. This service has been in place since January 2011 and has been very well utilized, providing critical support to members and to the discipline process overall.

The Society does not screen or recommend counsel on the list nor become involved in any fee arrangements. It is up to the member consulted from the list and the member seeking representation to determine whether to enter into a solicitor-client relationship. It is expected that the members who have agreed to be included on the list will provide an initial consultation and advice on a pro bono or reduced fee basis. Any further representation and the basis on which such representation will be provided is a matter to be agreed upon between the parties and the Society will not be involved.  

If you are a lawyer with relevant experience, particularly in administrative law, criminal law or civil litigation and are willing and able to provide this service to other members of the Society, please submit a letter setting out your willingness to act for members of the Society on a pro bono or reduced fee basis.

The above information should be submitted to:

Elaine Cumming
Professional Responsibility Counsel
Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society
800-2000 Barrington Street        
Halifax, NS   B3J 3K1
(902) 422 1491 (tel)
(902) 429 4869 (fax)
ecumming@nsbs.org