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LAWYERS in Private Practice FAQs
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With the implementation of the National Mobility Agreement 2013, it is now easier for lawyers called in common law jurisdictions and lawyers called in Quebec to enjoy full mobility. However, due to the differences in the legal systems between Quebec and the common law mobility jurisdictions, Quebec is not a RECIPROCATING JURISDICTION for the purposes of mobility exemption - Exemption Eligibility Rule (g).
If, however, a LAWYER is called as a lawyer in Quebec or acting as a Special Canadian Legal Advisor member of the Chambre des Notaires du Québec, and is called in more than one RECIPROCATING JURISDICTION (i.e. a Canadian jurisdiction other than Quebec), then the LAWYER may be eligible for exemption under Exemption Eligibility Rule (g) provided the LAWYER is resident (or "deemed resident" as defined in the Exemption Eligibility Rules) in a RECIPROCATING JURISDICTION and demonstrates proof of coverage for the LAWYER'S practice of law in Ontario under the mandatory professional liability insurance program for the RECIPROCATING JURISDICTION.
The Mobility Agreement enables lawyers to practise in another signatory jurisdiction on a temporary basis (i.e. up to 100 days in a calendar year without permit), provided that they meet all requirements of the Agreement pertaining to their status with the Law Society of their home jurisdiction (i.e. they are entitled to practise law without restriction in a signatory common law jurisdiction, have liability insurance and defalcation coverage, are not subject to criminal or disciplinary proceedings and have no discipline record).
Provided that the B.C. proceeding requires no more than 100 days of your participation, you will be able to continue to act as legal counsel to your client on this matter in B.C.. You do not have to notify anyone of your intention to do so, and you will have insurance coverage for the services you provide in B.C. Because your home jurisdiction is Ontario, you will have coverage under your LAWPRO insurance policy, which has been amended to reflect this expanded ability of lawyers to practise in other jurisdictions.
If a CLAIM arises out of these services you provided in B.C., you would report the CLAIM to LAWPRO. To ensure a client is not prejudiced as a result of the differing coverages offered by various jurisdictions, the signatories to the Mobility Agreement have determined that the law society of the home jurisdiction will provide coverage of at least the same scope as the liability insurance provided by the host jurisdiction for a given CLAIM, where the CLAIM most concerns the host jurisdiction. The CLAIM would remain subject to the Ontario policy's limits of $1 million per CLAIM/$2 million in the aggregate.
You must maintain professional liability insurance where you are resident.
One of the goals of the Mobility Agreement is to make it easier for lawyers to become a member of a law society in another jurisdiction without having to pass transfer exams. If you have been called to the bar in one signatory jurisdiction but wish to become a member of the bar in another signatory jurisdiction, you must meet some basic criteria before being admitted to the bar in another jurisdiction.
For example, you must be a lawyer in good standing in a host jurisdiction (in this case, Ontario). You may also be required to: disclose criminal and disciplinary records in any jurisdiction; consent to give the law society to which you are applying for membership access to your regulatory files in any jurisdiction in which you are a member; and complete some supplementary readings, before being allowed to join the bar in that jurisdiction.
Recognizing that it is not reasonable for lawyers to maintain duplicate insurance coverage in several jurisdictions, the insurance requirements have been similarly simplified to support this mobility of lawyers. For example, the Law Society has expanded its exemption criteria to allow you - a LAWYER of the Ontario bar who plans to take up residency in Nova Scotia and practise there - to exempt yourself from the Ontario insurance coverage. The principal criterion here is where you are resident, the assumption being that you will practise and maintain insurance coverage in the jurisdiction where you are resident.
In other words, provided you meet the following conditions, you will be able to exempt yourself from paying the Ontario insurance premium but will be able to maintain your Law Society of Ontario membership:
You are resident in Nova Scotia;
You are a member of the bar in Nova Scotia;
You maintain the mandatory professional liability insurance coverage in Nova Scotia.
If a CLAIM arises out of your Nova Scotia practice in this coming year, it is your Nova Scotia policy that would respond.
The Ontario program, however, will continue to provide you with protection for CLAIMS that subsequently arise out of your earlier practice in Ontario, appreciating that you had practised in Ontario on a permanent basis at the time and maintained the program coverage there. You would have coverage of $1 million per CLAIM/$2 million in the aggregate if practising, and $250,000 per CLAIM and in the aggregate if not in practice.
Provided that the Calgary lawyer meets all of the requirements of the National Mobility Agreement, the lawyer can, on a temporary basis, practise in Ontario and provide services to their client and others. One condition is that the total number of days in which they practise in Ontario on a temporary basis cannot be more than 100 days in a calendar year (without any individual extension on the part of the host law society).
If there is a CLAIM, the responding jurisdiction would be the home jurisdiction, in this case the Law Society of Alberta. The lawyer would have coverage that is at least the same scope of coverage as that offered in Ontario, with respect to the CLAIM. If the Alberta program under which the lawyer is insured offers greater scope of coverage, that coverage would apply, subject to the CLAIM limits of $1 million per CLAIM/$2 million in the aggregate.