banner banner

Counsels

The Complaints Authorization Committee counselled a member that the member’s conduct does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter 3, rule 3.2-6 of the Code of Professional Conduct, namely, the member offered to give valuable consideration in the bill for legal fees, in exchange for the withdrawal of an allegation filed with the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. The member had not obtained the consent of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador to enter into such discussions. The member was counselled to be mindful of section 3.2-6 in the future.

The Complaints Authorization Committee counselled a member that the member’s conduct does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter 2, rule 2.1-1, Chapter 5, rules 5.1-1 and 5.1-5, and Chapter 7, rules 7.2-1 and 7.2-5, of the Code of Professional Conduct. The member was counselled that in the future, to be mindful of responding to communications in a timely manner and taking the necessary actions to move matters forward. Further, lawyers are responsible for recognizing their own limitations in their ability to handle a matter or some aspect of it. In doing so, they should take steps to ensure that the client is appropriately served.

The Complaints Authorization Committee counselled a member that the member’s conduct does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter 3, rule 3.6-1, of the Code of Professional Conduct, namely, the member’s failure to provide an invoice when requested by the client. The member was counselled that in the future, should a client ask for an invoice, it should be provided. A client is entitled to know the activity on the file and the amount of their invoice. Being reasonably informed about both allows a client an opportunity to make informed decisions about the progress of the file and how they would instruct their lawyer to proceed.

The Complaints Authorization Committee counselled a member that the member’s conduct does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter 3, rule 3.2-1, of the Code of Professional Conduct. The member was counselled that, in the future, the member should be mindful of the importance of responding to communications from clients in a timely manner. Further, if a lawyer can reasonably foresee undue delay in providing advice or services, the lawyer has a duty to so inform the client, so that the client can make an informed choice about his or her options, such as whether to retain new counsel.

 

Cautions

The Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned a member that the member’s conduct does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter 3, rule 3.1-1 commentaries (c) & (e) and rule 3.2-1, of the Code of Professional Conduct, namely, the member’s failure to obtain clear instructions from the client with respect to a consent order. The member was cautioned that in the future, the member should be satisfied that the client has provided instruction with respect to any consent order and satisfied that the client has a clear understanding of what they are consenting to. Lawyers must have clear instruction from the client before agreeing to a consent order. Lawyers should ensure that the client is reasonably informed of the terms of such an order. It would be a best practice to document these instructions and efforts to ensure that they are reasonably informed.

The Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned a member that the member’s conduct does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter 5, rules 5.1-5 and 5.1-6, and Chapter 7, rule 7.2-11, of the Code of Professional Conduct, namely, the member’s failure to fulfill undertakings. The member was provided with the Law Society’s practice resources on undertakings, noting that a lawyer must not give an undertaking that cannot be fulfilled and must fulfill every undertaking given and honour every trust condition once accepted. The member was cautioned to ensure that they take this practice resource into consideration when providing undertakings in the future. The complete practice resource can be found at https://lsnl.ca/lawyers-students/practice-resources/practice-resources-3/#Undertakings.

The Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned a member that the member’s conduct does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter 2, rule 2.1-1 and Chapter 7, rule 7.1-1, of the Code of Professional Conduct, namely, the member’s failure to cooperate with an investigation and respond to Law Society communications. The member was counselled that lawyers have a duty to respond to all Law Society communications and to cooperate with all Law Society investigations.

The Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned a member that the member’s conduct does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter 2, rule 2.1-1 and Chapter 7, rule 7.1-1, of the Code of Professional Conduct, namely, the member’s failure to cooperate with an investigation and respond to Law Society communications. The member was counselled that lawyers have a duty to respond to all Law Society communications and to cooperate with all Law Society investigations.

The Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned a member that the member’s conduct does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter 2, rule 2.1-1 and Chapter 7, rule 7.1-1, of the Code of Professional Conduct, namely, the member’s failure to cooperate with an investigation and respond to Law Society communications. The member was counselled that lawyers have a duty to respond to all Law Society communications and to cooperate with all Law Society investigations.

The Complaints Authorization Committee cautioned a member that the member’s conduct does not comply with the standard of conduct contemplated by Chapter 3, rule 3.2-1 and Chapter 6, rule 6.1-1, of the Code of Professional Conduct. The member was cautioned that in the future, the member should be mindful of the content of their retainer agreement and its ability to place the member in a solicitor-client relationship. Further, the Committee cautioned that it is a lawyer’s duty to provide courteous, thorough and prompt service to clients. Where a lawyer is attempting to reach a client, the lawyer should consider using more than one form of communication. Particularly, the lawyer should attempt to use forms of communication that have been utilized by the client in the past.