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Statutes of Newfoundland 1996


CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 9

AN ACT TO AMEND THE LEGAL AID ACT

(Assented to June 18, 1996)

Analysis

1. S.12.1 Added
Indemnification of staff
solicitors

2. S.31 Amdt.
Solicitor may be appointed

Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:


RSN1990 cL-11

1. The Legal Aid Act is amended by adding the following immediately after section 12:

Indemnification of staff solicitors

12.1 (1) In this section

(a) "claim" includes a suit;

(b) "indemnification" means a payment made as a result of a claim;

(c) "insurance policy" means a policy for professional liability insurance for the benefit of members;

(d) "insurance premium" means the portion of annual practice fees prescribed by section 82 of the Law Society Act which is for the purpose of purchasing an insurance policy, but does not include the portion collected by the society for a special fund under section 21 of the Law Society Act;

(e) "insured" means a member who is an insured under an insurance policy;

(f) "insurer" means an insurer under an insurance policy;

(g) "member" means member as defined in the Law Society Act and for the purpose of subsection (4) includes a former member;

(h) "rules" means rules as defined in the Law Society Act; and

(i) "society" means society as defined in the Law Society Act.

(2) Notwithstanding the Law Society Act or the rules, a member who

(a) is a staff solicitor; and

(b) does not practise law outside the scope of his or her employment with the commission,

is exempt from paying an insurance premium.

(3) The Crown shall provide an indemnification to a member referred to in subsection (2), to the same extent, in the same manner, and with the same limitations that an insured would have been provided an indemnification under an insurance policy.

(4) The Crown shall continue to provide an indemnification under subsection (3), in respect of a claim, where the events giving rise to that claim occurred while the member

(a) was a staff solicitor; and

(b) did not practise law outside the scope of his or her employment with the commission.

(5) With respect to an indemnification given under subsection (3) or (4),

(a) a member referred to in subsection (2) or (4) shall have the same rights, duties, limitations, responsibilities and liabilities to the Crown as an insured would have to an insurer under an insurance policy; and

(b) the Crown shall have the same rights, duties, limitations, responsibilities and liabilities to a member referred to in subsection (2) or (4) as an insurer would have to an insured under an insurance policy.

(6) Where a claim is made against a member referred to in subsection (2) or (4), an indemnification under subsection (3) or (4) does not apply where the events giving rise to the claim occurred before July 1, 1996.

(7) A reference to an insurance policy in this section shall be considered to refer to the insurance policy which exists at the time the events giving rise to a claim occur.

(8) This section comes into force on July 1, 1996.

2. (1) Subsection 31(4) of the Act is repealed.

(2) Subsection 31(7) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

(7) Where a person applying for legal aid is a party to a dispute or case which involves a client for whom a solicitor employed by the commission acts as counsel, the applicant, if found eligible, may be assigned either to another solicitor who is employed by the commission or to a solicitor who is a member of the appropriate panel in an area.

(8) Notwithstanding the Law Society Act, a solicitor employed by the commission does not commit a breach of a rule or code of legal ethics of the Law Society of Newfoundland relating to conflict of interest, by reason only of advising or representing a person in a dispute or case where another party involved in that dispute or case is being advised or represented by another solicitor employed by the commission.

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