Posted on November 15, 2010 The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is pleased to announce that Ronald J. MacDonald, Q.C., of Halifax has been elected as President of the Federation for a one year term. He had previously been Vice President and President-elect. The decision was made at a meeting of the Federation Council on September 23, 2010, during which Council also named John J.L. Hunter, Q.C., of Vancouver as Vice President and President-elect, and elected Batonnier Gérald R. Tremblay, C.M., O.Q., Q.C., of Montreal as Vice President. John Campion becomes Past-President of the Federation. Their terms of office continue until November 15, 2011. Mr. MacDonald obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University, and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society in 1985. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2002. Mr. MacDonald is a Criminal Law Policy Advisor with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice. He has also worked extensively with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society since 1987, serving as a member of its Council from 1992 to 2001 and as its President in 2005-2006. He joined the Federation Council in 2004 as the representative of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. There are few institutions in today's society subject to more intense public scrutiny than the Canadian legal system, says the new Federation President. “Through the Federation, Canada’s law societies are very active at the national level, moving forward with initiatives for regulating the legal profession in order to uphold and protect the public interest." "We are developing national admission, discipline and ethical standards, and we have established a system of mobility within the legal profession that has created a truly Canadian lawyer”, Mr. MacDonald notes. “In the coming year, completing the work on the Model Code of Professional Conduct will be an ongoing goal for the Federation, and the implementation of recommendations of the Task Force on the Canadian Common Law Degree will require significant attention.” The mobility agreement now in place with law societies is expected to be extended to Quebec notaries as well in the coming year. “While our focus has been on licensing and professional standards, law societies in Canada are also dealing with a variety of other important issues, such as how Canadians can better access legal services and legal resources,” Mr. MacDonald adds. Those legal resources include legal information from CanLII, a non-profit organization created and funded by the Federation… (Posted on June 16, 2010) The Model Code of Professional Conducted adopted by the Council of the Federation in October 2009 was missing two important sections: the rule on conflicts of interest and the future harm exception to the rules on confidentiality. Special advisory committees established to make recommendations to the Council on those provisions have completed their work and reported to the Council on June 7, 2010. The committee report dealing with conflicts of interest is here. The committee report dealing with the future harm exception is here. Members of Council are now in the process of deciding whether to adopt the rules recommended in the reports as part of the Model Code. Council members have been asked to indicate their position by early September 2010, if possible. (Posted on March 25, 2010) Canada’s law societies have taken another major step in the implementation of national mobility for members of the legal profession with the formal signing of the landmark Quebec Mobility Agreement (QMA). “What was begun in 2002 with the signing of the National Mobility Agreement among the common law provinces is now completed, with an agreement by the law societies in common law jurisdictions to open their doors to members of the Barreau du Québec” John Campion, the President of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, said during the signing ceremony. The Quebec Mobility Agreement extends the scope of the National Mobility Agreement (NMA) by facilitating reciprocal permanent mobility between the common law jurisdictions and the civil law jurisdiction in Québec. The Quebec Mobility Agreement establishes the framework for recognition of members of the Barreau du Quebec as “Canadian Legal Advisors” in Canadian common law jurisdictions. Lawyers from the Canadian common law jurisdictions have been eligible for equivalent membership in the Barreau du Québec as Canadian Legal Advisors since June 2008. Each law society in common law Canada will now adopt the appropriate rules to give effect to the Agreement, a process that is already underway in a number of jurisdictions. The Federation President also announced that an initiative was underway to extend similar mobility rights to members of the Chambre des notaires du Quebec, the regulatory body for the 3,500 notaries in the province. With the regulation of the legal profession in Canada a matter of provincial jurisdiction, Mr. Campion noted, implementing initiatives at the national level such as enhanced mobility for the profession is no easy task. “Each initiative must take into consideration the unique requirements of each jurisdiction. The success of the mobility initiatives shows how all law societies in Canada have worked together in the public interest. In this case, it represents more options for the consumer in accessing the legal system.” Posted on January 19, 2010 The Council of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada has approved a Model Code of Professional Conduct setting out expected standards of ethical conduct by members of the legal profession. The Model Code is now being considered by our member law societies. The rules dealing with conflicts of interest and a future harm exception to the rules on confidentiality will follow at a later date. You can review the Model Code here.