If the Law Society determines that your matter raises a significant regulatory risk, it will be referred to the discipline process.
A staff lawyer (Conduct Counsel) will be assigned to perform a thorough analysis of all information relating to the complaint in accordance with section 53 of the Legal Profession Act and the Conduct Protocol. This is a time-intensive process and complaints are generally addressed in the order in which they are received.
You will receive periodic updates on the status of the matter.
When the review of the complaint is complete, Conduct Counsel may:
- Dismiss the complaint if there is no reasonable prospect that the threshold test is met.
- Refer the matter to the Practice Review Committee and/or the Conduct Committee. The Practice Review Committee addresses any practice management concerns, while the Conduct Committee, made up of lawyers appointed to the Law Society’s Board of Directors (Benchers) and lawyers who volunteer their services to the Law Society, decides the next step in the discipline process. The Conduct Committee may direct a hearing, but it also has the authority to dismiss the complaint, direct further investigation or an alternate form of intervention.
If the Conduct Committee directs a hearing, and if the lawyer is found at a hearing to have committed conduct deserving of sanction, disciplinary outcomes can include a reprimand, a fine, suspension, disbarment and/or the responsibility to pay for the costs of the hearing. The Law Society’s disciplinary process does not award compensation.
Appealing Complaint Dismissals
If you believe the dismissal of your complaint was unreasonable, you can appeal the decision. Disagreeing with the decision to dismiss your complaint is not grounds for an appeal.