Complaints about Lawyers
- Lawyers must meet certain standards when representing you.
- They must keep things you tell them private and look out for your interests.
- If your lawyer does not meet these standards you can make a complaint.
The Law Society of Saskatchewan oversees lawyers in Saskatchewan to protect the public interest. The Law Society is made up of lawyers and non-lawyers. They are required by law to make sure that lawyers meet professional standards.
Lawyers must understand the law and have the skills to practice law. They must meet the standards of conduct set out by the Law Society. These standards deal with things like the quality of service, confidentiality and conflict of interest.
Quality of service standards address things like keeping a client informed about their case. Confidentiality standards require lawyers to not tell others about what their client has told them. Conflict of interest standards prevent a lawyer from doing things like:
- acting for both parties in a dispute if their interests are not the same
- acting against a former client in the same or related matter
- acting for a client when the lawyer’s personal interests might interfere
The Law Society can deal with complaints against lawyers. The Complaint Form is available online. Describe what happened. Include copies of any documents related to what the lawyer has done. The Law Society sends a copy of your complaint to your lawyer. Your lawyer can respond to the complaint. Sometimes the Law Society can help the lawyer and the client deal with the problem.
If the issue is not resolved, your complaint can be sent to the Discipline Committee. Complaints can also be sent to the Ethics Committee or the Professional Standards Committee. Not all complaints will be sent. There must be an issue about the lawyer not meeting professional standards. If the Discipline Committee finds that the lawyer has failed to meet the standards of conduct, they can discipline the lawyer. Disciplining a lawyer may include a reprimand, a fine or penalty, suspension, or disbarment. If a lawyer is disbarred, they can no longer practice law.
Published on October 21, 2016.