Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

June 20, 2008 12:45 ET

TLABC Applauds Law Society of BC's Lack of Support...

for Proposed Civil Court Rule Changes - TLABC Warns Lawsuits will Take Longer and Cost More under the Current BCJRTF Recommendations

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 20, 2008) - As the Trial Lawyers Association of BC (TLABC) prepares for an emergency membership meeting next week, brought on by serious concerns about proposed rule changes, the association is highly encouraged by the position taken publicly by the governing body of the profession, the Law Society of British Columbia.

The Law Society posted a letter on its website this week which outlines several serious concerns regarding changes to the rules of court, as proposed at present by the BC Justice Review Task Force, which was appointed years ago by the province. The letter is dated June 11, 2008. It is from Law Society president John Hunter QC and was directed to the chair of the task force, William Everett QC.

The Law Society expresses concern that "the public has too little assurance that the new measures will actually reduce system costs, or will advance cases through the courts more expeditiously." Moreover, the Law Society's letter urges the rule-change proponents to examine other options instead of presenting its current recommendations to the provincial cabinet.

"Our association's message is that civil justice will take longer and cost more under the proposed rules," said TLABC president Stephen Frame. "We are very pleased that the governing body of the profession has voiced similar concern. To be clear, not one body of legal professions throughout the province has voiced independent support for the proposed rules. That is astonishing given the fact the task force is looking for approval of its plans rather than backing away from their justice-restricting proposals."

"We believe Attorney General Wally Oppal should now move to put the proposed changes aside and start a new process that includes full public consultation and a cooperative approach to civil law reform," Frame said.

The TLABC emergency meeting will take place in downtown Vancouver next Thursday, June 26, at 5:00 pm, inside the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel (1128 West Hastings Street). The meeting is open to TLABC members and media only.

"Citizens will have a hard time accessing the courts and getting justice if the task force gets its way," Frame added. "And it will cost more and take longer to have their lawsuits dealt with due to the unreasonable roadblocks built into the proposed rules."

/For further information: www.tlabc.org/ IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, JUSTICE, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Bentley Doyle, Director of Communications, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
    Primary Phone: 604-682-5343 ext. 302
    Toll-Free: 888-558-5222
    E-mail: bentley@tlabc.org