Federation of Law Societies launches interactive Model Code of Professional Conduct


The following is a message from Gavin Hume:

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to announce that the Federation of Law Societies of Canada has launched the Interactive Model Code of Professional Conduct, an online tool that links the provisions in the Federation’s Model Code to the matching or related rules of professional conduct in every law society in Canada.

This interactive tool will allow mobile lawyers, law society staff and leaders, academic researchers and others to quickly and easily find the enforceable rules in every Canadian jurisdiction using the national Model Code as the central reference point. Users will be able to isolate specific sections of the Federation’s Model Code and view the corresponding code of conduct of another jurisdiction.

The Federation’s Model Code was developed to harmonize as much as possible the ethical rules governing lawyers across Canada. It has now been implemented by ten Canadian law societies, is reflected in the Barreau du Quebec’s new Code of Professional Conduct and is under review in the remaining jurisdictions.

The Interactive Model Code of Professional Conduct is available on the Federation’s web site (www.flsc.ca) and can be accessed through a permanent link at: http://flsc.ca/interactivecode.


The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is the national coordinating body of the 14 law societies mandated by provincial and territorial law to regulate Canada’s 100,000 lawyers, Quebec’s 4,000 notaries and Ontario’s 7,200 licensed paralegals in the public interest. It is a leading voice on issues of national and international importance relating to the administration of justice and the rule of the law.


Gavin Hume, Q.C., Chair, Standing Committee on the Model Code of Professional Conduct,

Federation of Law Societies of Canada




Ce qui suit est un message de Gavin Hume :


Chères/chers collègues,


Je vous écris pour vous annoncer que la Fédération des ordres professionnels de juristes du Canada a lancé le Code type de déontologie professionnelle interactif, un outil en ligne qui fait le pont entre les dispositions du Code type de la Fédération et les règles de déontologie professionnelle reliées ou correspondantes parmi tous les ordres professionnels de juristes au Canada.

Cet outil interactif permettra aux avocats en déplacement, au personnel et aux dirigeants des ordres professionnels de juristes, aux chercheurs universitaires et à d’autres intéressés de trouver les règles de conduite facilement et rapidement dans toutes les juridictions canadiennes en utilisant le code type national en tant que point de référence central. Les utilisateurs pourront isoler des sections spécifiques du Code type de la Fédération et visualiser le code de déontologie dans chaque jurisdiction.

Le Code type de la Fédération fut conçu pour harmoniser les règles de déontologie gouvernant les avocats à travers le Canada du mieux possible. Celui-ci vient d’être mis en œuvre par dix ordres professionnels de juristes au Canada, est reflété dans le nouveau code de déontologie professionnelle du Barreau du Québec et fait l’objet d’examen dans les juridictions restantes.

Le Code type de déontologie professionnelle interactif est disponible sur le site Web de la fédération (http://flsc.ca/fr/) et l’accès est disponible grâce au lien permanent suivant: http://flsc.ca/fr/codeinteractif/.

La Fédération des ordres professionnels de juristes du Canada est l’organisme coordonnateur national des 14 ordres professionnels de juristes qui, en vertu de la loi de leur province ou territoire, ont le mandat de réglementer les 100 000 avocats du Canada, les 4 000 notaires du Québec et les 7 200 parajuristes autorisés de l’Ontario dans l’intérêt du public. Elle joue un rôle de premier plan dans des dossiers d’intérêt national et international qui concernent l’administration de la justice et la primauté du droit.

Très sincèrement à vous,


Gavin Hume, c.r.

Président, Comité permanent sur le Code type de déontologie professionnelle de la Fédération






Daphne Keevil Harrold

Policy Counsel / Conseillère en matière de politiques


Federation of Law Societies of Canada / Fédération des ordres professionnels de juristes du Canada

World Exchange Plaza

1810 – 45 rue O’Connor Street

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 1A4



t.  613.783.7393


Stephen GA Pitel, Michal Malecki: Judicial Fundraising in Canada

Published in the Alberta Law Review, Vol 52, No 3

Abstract: The extent to which judges should be involved in fundraising for civic and charitable causes is an important issue of judicial ethics. The default principle adopted by judicial councils in Canada precludes judges from fundraising subject to only minor exceptions. Yet anecdotal evidence indicates that some Canadian judges do engage in fundraising. This raises the question of whether there should be a change to the principle so as to allow judges greater scope for fundraising activities. The aim of this article is to review the ethical principles for judicial fundraising and evaluate whether they require modifications for the modern Canadian judiciary. The authors consider several hypothetical fundraising scenarios and propose recommendations to the Canadian Judicial Council’s Ethical Principles for Judges.

N Semple: Legal Services Regulation at the Crossroads Justitia’s Legions

Noel Semple, Assistant Professor, University of Windsor Faculty of Law, Canada

Through a comparative study of English-speaking jurisdictions, this book seeks to illuminate the policy choices involved in legal services regulation as well as the important consequences of those choices. Regulation can protect the interests of clients and the public, and reinforce the rule of law. On the other hand, legal services regulation can also undermine access to justice and suppress innovation, while failing to accomplish any of its lofty ambitions. The book seeks a path forward to increasing regulation’s benefits and reducing its burdens for clients and for the public. It proposes a client-centric approach to enhance access to justice and service quality, while revitalizing legal professionalism, self-regulation, and independence.

A Salyzyn: Law Society Complaints: What We Don’t Know and Why This Is a Problem

Posted to SLAW June 10, 2015

In many ways, Canadian law societies are now more transparent institutions than ever before. The Law Society of Upper Canada, for example, has adopted innovations like live webcasts of Convocation meetingsonline Annual Reports and a frequently used Twitter account which allow for easier access and greater insight into what goes on at Osgoode Hall and why. And, of course, for those interested in what happens to lawyers “gone bad”, there is free public access to discipline-related decisions on CanLII.

Disciplinary decisions seem to be, indeed, one of the things that lawyers and the public are most interested in. In recent years, several high profile cases – including the ongoing civility case involving newly elected Bencher Joseph Groia, and the now-dismissed conflict of interest allegations brought against former Hollinger lawyers – have received considerable attention. Just in the past few months, the proceedings against a Toronto lawyer who received a five-month suspension after admitting to professional misconduct in representing refugee claimants has received significant media attention (see, herehere, and here).

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A Salyzyn: Bully Lawyers & Shoplifting Civil Recovery Letters: Who’s Going to Stop Them?

Posted to SLAW on April 1, 2015

For roughly 30 years, some Canadian lawyers have been engaging in a practice that other Canadian lawyers have vociferously criticized as “extortion with letterhead,” “bullying and intimidation”, a “predatory practice” and “an example of legal strong-arming.” Members of the public have also chimed in, characterizing the practice as “morally wrong” and “like being stabbed in the back”.

The practice at issue is the sending of shoplifting demand letters. In short, this involves lawyers acting for retailers sending letters to alleged shoplifters and/or their parents demanding the payment of money.

To take one example reported in the media, in 2004, one mother received a letter from a lawyer for a retailer four months after her daughter was caught trying to steal lip gloss. The letter “demand[ed] [the mother] pay $379 to help defray the cost of shoplifting or face the consequences, threatening a civil lawsuit for as much as $900.” To take another, more recent, example, in 2012, an eighteen year old paid $610 in response to a demand letter after she was caught stealing just over six dollars in cosmetics.

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Lecture at Queen’s Faculty of Law: Legal Ethics and Professionalism

The Faculty of Law at Queen’s University has established an Annual Lecture series in Legal Ethics and Professionalism.  The program enjoys the generous sponsorship of McCarthy Tétrault LLP.  This year’s Annual Lecture is the 1st of a series that will highlight the importance of legal ethics and professionalism in law and amongst all legal professionals.

Our inaugural speaker, for the  2015 Annual Lecture, is former Ontario Court of Appeal Justice, the Honourable Stephen Goudge, Q.C..  On Monday January 26th, at 1 pm, Justice Goudge will speak at Queen’s Law about the intersection between legal ethics and professionalism and the respective roles of the judiciary, lawyers and others, including Law Societies.  The event has been accredited for 1.5 hours of professionalism CPD by the Law Society of Upper Canada.