The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society is currently seeking input from lawyers on two proposed new practice standards. The draft standards, proposed by the Law Office Management Committee, relate to lawyers’ responsibilities in the areas of timekeeping and data maintenance:
1. A lawyer’s accounts must be fair, reasonable and lawful.
a) The assessment and reasonableness of a lawyer’s account will depend on many factors, of one which is the time and effort “required and spent”.
Lawyers must ensure there is a system in place for the maintenance, backup, and access of all electronic data. This includes electronic records and information relating to clients and their files as well as the financial records of the lawyer and/or law firm.
While the text of each of the standards is brief and (in my view) non-contentious, there is a great deal of additional substance in the included notes and additional commentary that merits a closer look. Feedback is being accepted until December 20.