Part 5 – Membership Categories, Changes of Category, Obligations, Suspensions

5.1 Interpretation

5.1.1 In this Part, “Committee” means the Credentials Committee.

5.2 Exceptional Circumstances

5.2.1  The Committee may, when it is in the public interest to do so, vary the requirements for change of category of membership.

5.3 Categories of Membership

5.3.1 The following are the categories of members of the Society:

  • articled clerk;
  • practising lawyer;
  • non-practising lawyer;
  • retired member;
  • life member;
  • honorary member; and
  • Canadian Legal Advisor.

Obtaining Membership Category

5.3.2  A person becomes an articled clerk when an application to be enrolled as an articled clerk under Part 3 of these Regulations is approved and becomes effective.

Becoming a Practising Lawyer

5.3.3  A member becomes a practising lawyer when:

  • after completion of the period of enrollment as an articled clerk, he or she is called to the Bar in accordance with Part 3 of these Regulations and is issued a practising certificate by the Executive Director;
  • he or she is called to the Bar following transfer as a lawyer from a foreign jurisdiction in accordance with Part 6 of these Regulations, and is issued a practising certificate by the Executive Director;
  • pursuant to this part of the Regulations, he or she is issued a practising certificate by the Executive Director when a person
  • changes category of membership,
  • is reinstated after appointment to a judicial office,
  • is readmitted after resignation, or
  • is readmitted after disbarment.

Effective Date

5.3.4.1  A member becomes a non-practising member, a retired member or a life member when, pursuant to this part of the Regulations, an application to change category of membership is approved and becomes effective.

5.3.4.2  A member becomes a Canadian Legal Advisor when he or she is called to the Bar and is issued a Canadian Legal Advisor certificate by the Executive Director.

5.4 Reinstatement of Former Judges

5.4.1  A person who has been appointed to a judicial office, but is no longer in that office, may apply to be reinstated to membership in the Society in any category of membership except an articled clerk.

Approval by Executive Director

5.4.2  An application under this Regulation may be approved by the Executive Director.

Additional Information

5.4.3  The Executive Director may require the applicant to file such additional information as the Executive Director considers appropriate.

Approval of Reinstatement to Membership

5.4.4  The Executive Director may approve the reinstatement to membership, with or without terms, and stipulate the effective date of reinstatement.

5.4.5  In the event that the approval is with terms, the Executive Director shall provide written reasons for those terms and shall inform the applicant of the internal review process.

Effective Date

5.4.6  A change in category of membership pursuant to this subregulation is effective on the date set by the Executive Director or the Committee.

5.5 Change of Member Category to Non-practising, Retired or Life Member

5.5.1  A practising lawyer may apply to become a non-practising member, a retired member or a life member.

Content of Application

5.5.2  An application under subregulation 5.5.1, accompanied by the prescribed fee, must be in the prescribed form and must provide the following:

  1. contact information;
  2. professional history;
  3. final Trust Account Report;
  4. confirmation that
    1. all clients’ matters have been completed, or
    2. arrangements have been made to the clients’ satisfaction to have their files, documents and papers returned to them or turned over to another practising lawyer,
    3. and, if applicable, that
    4. all foundation documents required to be kept pursuant to Part 8 of the Regulations have been transferred in accordance with that Part,
    5. all money or other property held in trust has been accounted for and either paid over to the person entitled to receive it or has been transferred to another practising lawyer for the benefit of the person or persons entitled to receive it,
    6. the lawyer does not hold money or other property in trust for any person,
    7. the trust account is closed, and
    8. the lawyer is not aware of any claim or complaint against the lawyer in the lawyer’s professional capacity or in respect of the lawyer’s practice,
  5. the location of the files from the lawyer’s practice; and
  6. an undertaking not to engage in the practice of law unless reinstated as a practising lawyer.

5.5.3  Subject to subregulations 5.5.4 and 5.5.5, the application will not be approved if any requirements of subregulation 5.5.2 have not been met.

Trust Account Report Form

5.5.4  When the practising lawyer has held money or other valuable property in trust at any time in the twelve (12) months immediately preceding this application:

  • the lawyer must confirm that any trust activity will be reported by the lawyer’s firm in the firm’s trust account report; or
  • the application must be accompanied by a final Trust Account Report and an accountant’s report on the Trust Account Report confirming that all money or other property held in trust has been accounted for and is either
  • paid over to the person entitled thereto, or
  • held in trust by another practising lawyer for the benefit of the person or persons entitled.

5.5.5  The Executive Director may waive the requirement to file a final Trust Account Report pursuant to subregulation 5.5.4(b) if:

  • a written request for a waiver is received with the application; and
  • the lawyer provides confirmation from the financial institution that the account has a zero (0) balance.

Approval by Executive Director

5.5.6  An application under this Regulation may be approved by the Executive Director unless it must be referred to the Committee under subregulation 5.5.7.

Referral to Committee

5.5.7  If the facts disclosed in the application or otherwise known to the Society raise public interest issues which require, in the opinion of the Executive Director, consideration by the Committee, the Executive Director must forward the application to the Committee.

Additional Information

5.5.8  The Committee may require the applicant to file such additional information as it considers appropriate.

Review of Information by Committee

5.5.9  The Committee must consider the application and review all information provided to it related to the application.

Approval by Committee

5.5.10  When the Committee is satisfied that it is consistent with the public interest, it may approve the change in category of membership upon such terms and conditions as it deems fit and necessary.

Notification

5.5.11  When an application under this Regulation has been approved, the Executive Director will:

  • notify the lawyer of the change in the category of membership and the effective date for the change; and
  • amend the records of the Society to reflect the change in category of membership and the effective date.

5.5.12  The Executive Director may, in exceptional circumstances, waive the fee required by subregulation 5.5.2.

5.6 Change of Member Category Non-Practising to Practising

5.6.1  A non-practising member, a retired member of a life member may apply to resume practice.

Content of Application

5.6.2  An application under subregulation 5.6.1, accompanied by the prescribed fee must be in the prescribed form and must provide:

  • professional history;
  • information confirming good character;
  • information confirming fitness;
  • information confirming competence to practice law;
  • if the member is a member of a law society in a foreign jurisdiction, certificates of standing from each jurisdiction; and
  • such other information that may be required by the Executive Director or the Committee.

Decision of the Executive Director

5.6.3  The Executive Director may, where it is in the public interest to do so:

  • approve the application, with or without terms, and stipulate the effective date;
  • deny the application for reasons other than good character or fitness;
  • obtain any additional information from the applicant or any other person regarding the good character and fitness of the applicant;
  • where there is any issue regarding the good character or fitness of an applicant, refer the application to the Committee.

5.6.4  In the event that the approval is with terms or the application is denied pursuant to subregulation 5.6.3(b), the Executive Director shall provide the applicant with a written decision with reasons and shall inform the applicant of the internal review process.

Terms of Approval

5.6.5  The Executive Director may approve an application subject to the applicant:

  • satisfactorily completing a period of service with a practising lawyer, in accordance with an Education Plan approved by the Executive Director;
  • successfully completing all or a portion of the Bar Admission Course;
  • satisfying the Executive Director of the applicant’s fitness or competence for resumption of practice; or
  • completing such other requirements as may be required by the Executive Director.

Decision of the Committee

5.6.6  If an application is referred to the Committee pursuant to subregulation 5.6.3(d), the Committee shall consider the application and all the information provided by the Executive Director and may:

  • request that the Executive Director obtain new information;
  • approve the application, with or without terms, and stipulate the effective date of reinstatement; or
  • deny the application.

5.6.7  In the event that they approval is with terms or the application is denied, the Committee shall provide the applicant with a written decision with reasons and shall inform the applicant of their right to appeal to the Credentials Appeal Panel.

Status While in Practising Lawyer’s Office

5.6.8  During the period of service with a practising lawyer, required pursuant to subregulations 5.6.5(a) or 5.6.6(b), the applicant shall be considered to be a practising lawyer and shall be required to pay the fees of a practising lawyer, pursuant to Regulation 4.7, for the period of service required by the Executive Director or the Committee.

Notification

5.6.9  When an application under this Regulation has been approved, the Executive Director shall:

  • notify the member of the right to resume practice and the effective date for the resumption; and
  • amend the records of the Society to reflect the change in category of membership and the effective date.

5.6.10 The Executive Director may, in exceptional circumstances, waive the fee required by subregulation 5.6.2.

5.7 Change of Category: Non-Practising to Retired or Life Member

5.7.1  A non-practising member may apply to become a retired member or a life member and a retired member may apply to become a life member.

Application in Prescribed Form

5.7.2  An application under this Regulation shall be in writing and shall provide the following:

  • the contact information; and
  • the reasons for applying to change category.

Approval by Executive Director

5.7.3  The Executive Director may approve an application under this Regulation unless the Executive Director is required to refer the application to the Committee under subregulation 5.7.4.

Referral to the Committee

5.7.4  If the facts disclosed in the application or otherwise known to the Society raise public interest issues which require, in the opinion of the Executive Director, consideration by the Committee, the Executive Director shall forward the application to the Committee.

Approval by Committee

5.7.5  When the Committee is satisfied that it is consistent with the public interest, it may approve the change in category of membership upon such terms and conditions as it deems fit and necessary.

Effective Date

5.7.6  A change of category of membership pursuant to this Regulation is effective on the date set by the Executive Director or the Committee.

Notification

5.7.7  When an application under this Regulation has been approved, the Executive Director shall:

  • notify the member of the change in the category of membership and the effective date for the change; and
  • amend the records of the Society to reflect the change in category of membership and the effective date.

5.8 Application to Resign

5.8.1  A practising lawyer or a Canadian Legal Advisor may apply to Council to resign.

Content of Application

5.8.2  An application under this Regulation must be in the prescribed form and must provide the following:

  1. contact information;
  2. professional history;
  3. final Trust Account Report;
  4. confirmation that
    1. all clients’ matters have been completed, or
    2. arrangements have been made to the clients’ satisfaction to have their files, documents and papers returned to them or turned over to another practising lawyer or, where applicable, a Canadian Legal Advisor,
    3. and, if applicable, that
    4. all foundation documents required to be kept pursuant to Part 8 of the Regulations have been transferred in accordance with that Part,
    5. all money or other property held in trust has been accounted for and either paid over to the person entitled to receive it or has been transferred to another practising lawyer or, where applicable, a Canadian Legal Advisor for the benefit of the person or persons entitled to receive it,
    6. the trust account is closed,
  5. the reason for applying to resign;
  6. that the lawyer is not aware of any claim or complaint against the lawyer in the lawyer’s professional capacity or in respect of the lawyer’s practice; and
  7. the lawyer’s undertaking that, following approval of the resignation by Council, the lawyer will not engage in the practice of law.

5.8.3  Subject to subregulations 5.8.4 and 5.8.5, the application will not be approved if any requirements of subregulation 5.5.2 have not been met.

Trust Account Report Form

5.8.4  When the lawyer has held money or other valuable property in trust at any time in the twelve (12) months immediately preceding this application:

  1. the lawyer must confirm that any trust activity will be reported by the lawyer’s firm in the firm’s Trust Account Report;
  2. the application must be accompanied by a final Trust Account Report and an accountant’s report on the Trust Account Report confirming that all money or other property held in trust has been accounted for and
    1. either paid over to the person entitled to it, or
    2. transferred to another practising lawyer or, where applicable, a Canadian Legal Advisor for the benefit of the person or persons entitled to it.

    5.8.5  The Executive Director may waive the requirement to file a final Trust Account Report pursuant to subregulation 5.8.4(b) if:

    • a written request for a waiver is received with the application; and
    • the lawyer provides confirmation from the financial institution that the account has a zero (0) balance.

    Referral by Executive Director

    5.8.6  When the Executive Director receives an application to resign pursuant to subregulation 5.8.1, the Executive Director may:

    •  refer the application to Council with a recommendation that it be approved; or
    • prior to the application being considered by Council, when the facts disclosed by the application or otherwise known to the Society raise public interest issues which, in the opinion of the Executive Director, require consideration by the Committee, refer the application to the Committee for consideration and recommendation to Council.

    Additional Information

    5.8.7  The Executive Director or the Committee may require the member to file additional information to allow for a determination if the application is consistent with the public interest.

    Report Respecting Complaints

    5.8.8  If the application is referred to the Committee, the Executive Director must advise the Committee:

    • if there are outstanding proceedings against the member under Part III of the Act; or
    • if there are outstanding claims against the member being handled by the Association; and
    • such other information as may be relevant to allow for a recommendation by the Committee on whether or not the application is consistent with the public interest.

    Consideration by Council

    5.8.9  Upon receipt by Council of a written recommendation from the Executive Director or the Committee, when it is satisfied that it is consistent with the public interest to allow the member to resign, Council may, by resolution, accept the resignation of the member upon such terms and conditions, if any, as it deems appropriate.

    Authority of Discipline Committee Unaffected

    5.8.10  Council must not consider an application under this Regulation if there are any ongoing proceedings under Part III of the Act, unless the Complaints Investigation Committee consents to the resignation.

    Notification

    5.8.11  When an application under this Regulation has been approved, the Executive Director will:

    • notify the lawyer of the approval of the application to resign and the effective date for the resignation; and
    • amend the records of the Society to reflect resignation and the effective date.

    5.9 Other Resignations

    5.9.1  An non-practising member, a retired member or a life member may apply to Council to resign.

    Content of Application

    5.9.2  An application under this Regulation shall be in writing and shall provide the following:

    • the contact information; and
    • the reasons for applying to resign.

    Report to Council

    5.9.3  When the Executive Director receives an application to resign pursuant to subregulation 5.9.1, the Executive Director may:

    • refer the application to Council with a recommendation that it be approved; or
    • prior to the application being considered by Council, when the facts disclosed by the application or otherwise known to the Society raise public interest issues which, in the opinion of the Executive Director, require consideration by the Committee, refer the application to the Committee for consideration and recommendation to Council.

    Additional Information

    5.9.4  The Executive Director or the Committee may require the member to file additional information to allow for a determination if the application is consistent with the public interest.

    Recommendation to Council

    5.9.5  Following consideration of additional information, the Committee shall make a recommendation to Council on whether it is consistent with the public interest to allow the member to resign.

    Consideration by Council

    5.9.6  Upon receipt by Council of a recommendation from the Executive Director or the Committee, when it is satisfied that it is consistent with the public interest to allow the member to resign, Council may, by resolution, accept the resignation of the member upon such terms and conditions, if any, as it deems appropriate.

    Notification

    5.9.7  When an application under this Regulation has been approved, the Executive Director shall:

    • notify the member of the approval of the application to resign and the effective date for the resignation; and
    • amend the records of the Society to reflect resignation and the effective date.

    5.10 Application for Readmission

    5.10.1  A person who has resigned from the Society and who is not a member of another law society in Canada, or who has been disbarred, may apply to be readmitted to membership in the Society.

    Content of Application

    5.1.2  A an application under this Regulation shall be in the prescribed form, accompanied by the prescribed fee, and shall provide:

    • contact information;
    • professional history;
    • information confirming good character;
    • information confirming fitness;
    • information concerning competence to practice law;
    • if the member is or has been a member of a law society in a foreign jurisdiction, certificates of standing from each jurisdiction;
    • provide the Executive Director with a criminal record check in a manner prescribed by the Executive Director;
    • such other information that may be required by the Executive Director.

    5.10.3  If an applicant under this Regulation was disbarred or permitted to resign by a Hearing Panel, the Executive Director shall:

    • cause notice of the application to be published in a newspaper; or
    • advise the members of the Society of the application; or
    • invite submissions to the Society on the application;
    • obtain any additional information from the applicant or any other person regarding the good character and fitness of the applicant.

    Decision of the Executive Director

    5.10.4  The Executive Director may, where it is in the public interest to do so:

    • approve the application, with or without terms, and stipulate the effective date;
    • deny the application for reasons other than good character or fitness;
    • obtain any additional information from the applicant or any other person regarding the good character and fitness of the applicant;
    • where the Executive Director is required pursuant to subregulation 5.10.6, or if there is any issue regarding the good character or fitness of an applicant, the Executive Director shall refer the application to the Committee.

    5.10.5  In the event that the approval is with terms pursuant to subregulation 5.10.4(a) or the application is denied pursuant to subregulation 5.10.4(b), the Executive Director shall provide the applicant with a written decision with reasons and shall inform the applicant of the internal review process.

    Terms of Approval

    5.10.6  The Executive Director may approve an application subject to the applicant:

    • satisfactorily completing a period of service with a practising lawyer, in accordance with an Education Plan approved by the Executive Director;
    • successfully completing all or a portion of the Bar Admission Course;
    • satisfying the Executive Director of the applicant’s fitness or competence for resumption of practice; or
    • completing such other requirements as may be required by the Executive Director.

    Referral to Committee

    5.10.7  If:

    • the applicant was disbarred or permitted to resign by a Hearing Panel; or
    • the facts disclosed in the application or otherwise known to the Society raise public interest issues which require, in the opinion of the Executive Director, consideration by the Committee,

    the Executive Director shall forward the application to the Committee.

    Review of Application by Committee

    5.10.8  If an application is referred to the Committee pursuant to subregulation 5.10.4(d) or subregulation 5.10.7, the Committee shall consider the application and the information provided by the Executive Director and may request that the Executive Director obtain new information.

    Requirements for Resumption of Practice

    5.10.9  Following consideration of the application, the Committee may:

    1. approve the application without conditions;
    2. approve the application, subject to the applicant
      1. successfully completing a period of service with a practising lawyer, approved by the Committee,
      2. successfully completing all or a portion of the Bar Admission Course,
      3. satisfying the Committee of the applicant’s fitness for admission to membership and resumption of practice,
      4. completing such other requirements as may be required by the Committee,
    3. deny the application.

    5.10.10  In the event that the approval is with terms or the application is denied, the Committee shall provide the applicant with a written decision with reasons and shall inform the applicant of their right to appeal to the Credentials Appeal Panel.

    Status while with Practising Lawyer

    5.10.11  During the period of service with a practising lawyer, required pursuant to subregulations 5.10.6(a) and 5.10.9(b)(i), the applicant will be considered to be a practising lawyer and will be required to pay the fees of a practising lawyer, pursuant to subregulation 4.2.1, for the period of service required by the Executive Director or the Committee.

    Call to the Bar Required

    5.10.12  Upon approval of an application under this Regulation, the applicant must be called to the Bar.