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Representation - Lawyer and Paralegal (Non-Representation) Categorical Exemptions

There are categories of activity that are categorically exempt from regulation under the Law Society Act, both from lawyer and paralegal regulation. This is statutorily done by simply ruling them out from the definitions of the regulated activities [LSA s.1(8), LSO By-law 4, s.28]. The straightforward categories are:
  • Corporate and Ancillary Document Drafting

  • Personal Document-Drafting

  • Union Representation

  • Aboriginal Courtwork Program

  • Committee of adjustment
That said, there is some inconsistency with an additional major exempt category ('Other Professions and Occupations'), a category that is both addressed in the Law Society Act itself [LSA 1(8)], and (through LSA 1(8)5, which enables By-laws to add exempt categories) by the LSO By-laws [By-law 4, s.28]. I cite them both here:
LSA 1(8)1.
A person who is acting in the normal course of carrying on a profession or occupation governed by another Act of the Legislature, or an Act of Parliament, that regulates specifically the activities of persons engaged in that profession or occupation.


Other profession or occupation
Bylaw 4, s.28(2)
A person whose profession or occupation is not the provision of legal services or the practice of law, who acts in the normal course of carrying on that profession or occupation, excluding representing a person in a proceeding before an adjudicative body.
Given that the first [LSA 1(8)1] provision is statutory, in the event of conflict it will prevail over the By-law provision, but this apparent duplication is nonetheless unfortunate. My suspicion is that the Law Society wanted to make clear that this 'professional' exemption did not authorize representation [ie. "excluding representing a person in a proceeding before an adjudicative body"] by such professionals. In my view this is unnecessary since common law, tribunal and court-specific non-LSA laws [see 'Lay Advocate Scope of Authority'] have achieved this goal, that is - 'just being unregulated by the LSO doesn't mean they'll let you be heard'. In my view, the awkward combination of these provisions effectively renders such professionals to be 'solicitors' (but not barristers) within the law of their field for their own - or their client's - purposes.

[last edited 12 Nov 2022]


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