35 Professional Responsibility LSO Exam Questions05:09

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Published on April 9, 2023

The Professional Responsibility Paralegal Licence Exam is a crucial step for aspiring paralegals in Ontario, Canada, to demonstrate their understanding of the ethical and professional responsibilities associated with the legal profession.

One area of focus in the exam is the questions related to professional responsibility, which test the knowledge of candidates on various ethical and legal principles, rules of conduct, and obligations that govern the practice of law. These questions assess a paralegal’s understanding of their duties towards clients, the court, colleagues, and the public, as well as their ability to identify and resolve ethical dilemmas in a legal context.

From questions related to conflicts of interest and confidentiality to rules on advertising and fee arrangements, the exam aims to ensure that paralegals are well-versed in the ethical standards that govern their practice and can apply them in real-world scenarios. Successful completion of these questions demonstrates a paralegal’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of professional responsibility in their practice, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity and trust of the legal profession.

 

Here are 35 professional responsibility LSO exam questions.

 

1.

Stephen a paralegal, meets with his partner Rob’s existing client Shana for the first time to discuss a traffic violation. Stephen agrees to retain Shana and represent her in the proceedings. What must Stephen do, if anything, in order to comply with the identification and verification requirements of By-Law 7.1?

 
 
 
 

Answer:

Stephen needs to obtain Shana’s full name, home address, and phone number, occupation and phone number (if applicable) in order to comply with the identification and verification requirements of By-Law 7.1. As a paralegal, Stephen is required to collect and verify certain identification information from his clients as part of complying with the Law Society of Ontario’s By-Law 7.1, which pertains to client identification and verification. This includes obtaining Shana’s full name, home address, and phone number, as well as her occupation and phone number if applicable. Collecting this information allows Stephen to fulfill his obligations in verifying Shana’s identity and complying with the requirements of By-Law 7.1.

2.

Throughout the years, Josie and Christian have dealt with Jeremey Singh, a paralegal, for all of their small claims matters. Christian has been recently charged with identify theft and wants Jeremey to represent him in the criminal proceedings. Jeremy has never practiced criminal law and does not want to undertake Christian’s case because of his lack of competence. Jeremey must do everything but the following:

 

Answer:

As a paralegal, Jeremey must decline to act for Christian in the criminal proceedings due to his lack of competence in criminal law. He cannot undertake Christian’s case as it would be unethical and potentially harmful to Christian’s legal interests. Jeremey must not proceed with representing Christian in the criminal proceedings.

3.

How many hours of professional development are required each year to be completed by a paralegal providing legal services?

 
 
 
 
Answer:
The correct answer is: A minimum of 12 CPD (Continuing Professional Development) hours, at least 3 hours of which are of professionalism and up to 9 hours of which are substantive, must be completed by a paralegal providing legal services.
4
Danny has been recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He has been Marco’s client for the past year with a small claims matter against his brother which is still yet to be resolved. One night, as Marco was about to go to bed, he received a call from an unknown number. When he answered, he quickly realized that it was Danny on the phone. Danny sounded frantic and was breathing very heavy. He stated that he was on the Cherry Street Lift Bridge and was going to jump because he could not deal with the family tension that his case has caused, and it would he would be better off dead. Danny also begged Marco not to tell anyone! The phone then went silent. Marco, immediately called 911 and told the operator to rush police and an ambulance to the Cherry Street Lift Bridge as a client of his, Danny called him, stating that he would commit suicide. Did Marco breach his duty of confidentiality towards Danny?
 
 
 
 

Answer:

Marco did not breach his duty of confidentiality towards Danny as this was a case where disclosure was justified as Marco had reasonable grounds to believe that Danny would hurt or possibly kill himself, and calling the police would be necessary to prevent death or harm.

In this situation, Danny expressed intent to commit suicide and specifically begged Marco not to tell anyone. However, Marco had a duty to protect Danny’s well-being and safety as his client, and calling 911 to report the situation was necessary to prevent potential harm or death. The duty of confidentiality may be overridden in cases where there is a reasonable belief that the client may cause harm to themselves or others, and disclosure is necessary to prevent harm. Marco’s actions were in line with this exception and were justified in order to protect Danny’s life

5.

Mona Lisa and Vinnie are neighbors and have lived in a legal duplex on Torrey Pines Blvd in Kleinberg, Ontario, for the past 10 years. Every summer, they look forward sitting in the backyard, eating bbq while enjoying the nature that surrounds them. Their backyard is fenced with cedar trees and this gives them the privacy they need to take advantage of their backyard oasis. Kim and Casey are neighbors who have just moved in next door. During renovations, they manage to cut down 10 cedar trees, which were on Mona Lisa’s and Vinnie’s property in order to make room for their pool. The damage that Kim and Casey have cause is worth $10,000.

Both Mona Lisa and Vinnie set up an appointment with Alex a paralegal and want justice to be served! In order to represent both Mona Lisa and Vinnie in the small claims matter, what must Alex advise both parties prior to accepting the retainer?

 
 
 
 
Answer

Alex owes a separate duty of confidentiality to both Mona Lisa and Vinnie.

As a paralegal, Alex has a duty of confidentiality to their clients, which means that they must keep any information shared by Mona Lisa and Vinnie confidential, unless authorized by the clients or required by law. This duty of confidentiality applies to both clients separately, and Alex cannot disclose any confidential information shared by one client to the other without proper authorization.

6.

Mona Lisa and Vinnie are neighbors and have lived in a legal duplex on Torrey Pines Blvd in Kleinberg, Ontario, for the past 10 years. Every summer, they look forward sitting in the backyard, eating bbq while enjoying the nature that surrounds them. Their backyard is fenced with cedar trees and this gives them the privacy they need to take advantage of their backyard oasis. Kim and Casey are neighbors who have just moved in next door. During renovations, they manage to cut down 10 cedar trees, which were on Mona Lisa’s and Vinnie’s property in order to make room for their pool. The damage that Kim and Casey have cause is worth $10,000. Both Mona Lisa and Vinnie have retained Alex, a paralegal, and want justice to be served!

During the proceedings, there develops a contentious issue between Mona Lisa and Vinnie. Vinnie believes that should they be granted $10,000 in settlement funds for the damage caused to the cedar trees, that he would in fact be entitled to more than seventy percent of the settlement since he is the one that found the paralegal, Alex and if it wasn’t for Vinnie, there would not be any legal proceedings initiated against Kim and Casey. Further, he states that “Mona Lisa should just be happy that I don’t want to take all of the settlement money granted, even though I deserve it.” This puts tension on the parties and despite Alex’s advice, Vinnie will not agree to split the funds equally with Mona Lisa. The unequal division of settlement funds puts tension on both parties, and Alex realizes that they are unable to work together or settle the issue at hand. As a paralegal, what is Alex’s best course of action available?

 
 
 
 
Answer

Alex must withdraw from representing Vinnie and Mona Lisa since the contentious issue that arose between both parties cannot be resolved.

As a paralegal, Alex has a duty to provide competent and ethical representation to their clients. However, when a contentious issue arises between clients that cannot be resolved, it may create a conflict of interest that could compromise Alex’s ability to effectively represent both parties. In this case, Vinnie and Mona Lisa have a dispute over the division of settlement funds, and Vinnie is unwilling to agree to a fair and equal split despite Alex’s advice. This conflict may affect Alex’s ability to represent both clients impartially and in their best interests.

To avoid any potential ethical or legal issues, Alex must withdraw from representing both Vinnie and Mona Lisa in the proceedings against Kim and Casey. This will allow each party to seek independent legal representation to resolve their dispute over the division of settlement funds and ensure that their individual interests are protected without any conflict of interest on Alex’s part.

7

What is not a duty that a paralegal owes to their client? To be competent To avoid conflicts of interest To maintain client confidentiality Not to withdraw from representing their clients once a retainer has been accepted.

Answer

The correct answer is: Not to withdraw from representing their clients once a retainer has been accepted.

As a paralegal, there are several duties that they owe to their clients, including:

To be competent: A paralegal must possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and expertise to handle the legal matters they are hired for. This includes staying up-to-date with changes in the law and maintaining professional competence.

To avoid conflicts of interest: A paralegal must avoid any situation where their personal interests or other obligations may compromise their ability to act in the best interests of their clients. This includes not representing clients with conflicting interests or taking actions that may compromise their objectivity or impartiality.

To maintain client confidentiality: A paralegal has a duty to keep all information shared by their clients confidential, unless authorized by the clients or required by law. This duty of confidentiality helps protect the privacy and legal interests of the clients.

However, it is not a duty of a paralegal to never withdraw from representing their clients once a retainer has been accepted. There may be situations where a paralegal may need to withdraw from representing their clients, such as conflicts of interest, ethical concerns, or inability to effectively represent the clients due to unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, a paralegal must follow the applicable rules and regulations, and take appropriate steps to withdraw from representation while protecting the interests of the clients to the best of their ability.

8

The Proceedings Authorization Committee’s hearing panel may discipline paralegals by suspending or revoking their license or may order them to do everything but the following:

 
 
 
 

Answer:

The correct answer is: To maintain their trust account.

The Proceedings Authorization Committee’s hearing panel, which is responsible for disciplining paralegals in Ontario, has the authority to impose various sanctions on paralegals for misconduct or non-compliance with the rules and regulations governing their professional conduct. These sanctions may include suspending or revoking their license, ordering them to participate in continuing professional development or professional training, requiring them to start treatment or counseling, or compelling them to cooperate in a practice review.

However, the Proceedings Authorization Committee does not have the authority to order paralegals to maintain their trust account. The management of trust accounts by paralegals is governed by specific rules and regulations, and failure to comply with these requirements may result in disciplinary action. However, the authority to order paralegals to maintain their trust account rests with the Law Society of Ontario, which regulates lawyers and paralegals in the province.

10

Molly has hired Juan to represent her in Small Claims Court. Molly had been rear ended by Chris, while driving on the 401 which had caused damage to her entire back bumper. After going to a body shop to evaluate the damage, the auto mechanic estimated that was a minimum of $7000 worth of damage done to Molly’s car. Chris does not believe he should pay for the damage because Molly should have been driving faster on the highway and keeping up with traffic. This is not Chris’s first time in Small Claims court and he is representing himself within the proceedings. What shouldn’t Juan do when dealing with a self-rep?

 
 

Answer:

The correct answer is: Make it clear to Chris that he is only acting in the interests of Molly.

As Juan is representing Molly in Small Claims Court, he has a duty to advocate for Molly’s interests and protect her legal rights. It is important for Juan to make it clear to Chris, who is representing himself, that Juan’s role is solely to represent Molly and not to provide legal advice or representation to Chris. Juan should avoid giving the impression that he is representing Chris or protecting his interests in any way.

11

If a client suggests or requests their paralegal threaten to make a charge or complaint against the other party in an attempt to gain a benefit or secure the satisfaction of a private grievance, without reasonable or lawful justification, what must the paralegal do?

 
 
 
 
Answer

Advise their client that they cannot comply with their client’s wishes as it is an abuse of the court process or regulatory authority.

As a paralegal, it is important to adhere to legal and ethical standards. Making idle threats or abusing the court process or regulatory authority for personal gain or to satisfy private grievances is considered unethical and can result in serious consequences, including disciplinary action and damage to the paralegal’s professional reputation.

12

Earlier this year, you had completed a matter for a client and are in the midst of closing their file. What documents should not be returned to your client?

 
 
 

Answer:

The documents that should not be returned to the client when closing their file are:

  1. Working notes: Working notes are the paralegal’s personal records and are typically not intended to be provided to the client. They may include internal memos, drafts, research notes, and other materials that were created for the paralegal’s own use in working on the client’s matter. Working notes are considered to be the paralegal’s work product and are not typically provided to the client. Briefs: Briefs are legal documents that are prep

13

If Dave did not provide Max advice nor his opinion when asked, could Max still be considered Dave’s client? Please select the best answer from the following:

 
Answer

The best answer from the options provided is:

Dave did not agree to render legal services to Max, therefore the paralegal-client relationship is non-existent.

In order for a paralegal-client relationship to be established, there must be an explicit agreement or engagement between the paralegal and the client for the provision of legal services. This agreement can be formal or informal, but it must involve the mutual understanding and consent of both parties. Without such an agreement, there is no formal paralegal-client relationship.

14

Stephanie receives a call from a potential client Anna who wants to book a consultation to discuss a traffic violation. Anna asks Stephanie where her firm is located and requests information about traffic violations in general and the required documentation needed to start a proceeding. Does Stephanie have to open up a client file for Anna?

 
 
 
 
Answer

The best answer from the options provided is:

No, Stephanie does not have to open a client file for Anna as she did not disclose any confidential information during the phone call.

15

What payments are not permissible to withdraw from your general account?

 
 
 

Answer

The payment that is not permissible to withdraw from your general account is:

Disbursements paid on a client’s behalf when there are no or insufficient funds in the trust account.

Disbursements are expenses incurred on behalf of a client in the course of providing legal services, such as court filing fees, process server fees, or photocopying charges. These expenses are typically reimbursed by the client and held in a separate trust account maintained by the paralegal to safeguard the client’s funds. Withdrawing disbursements from the general account when there are no or insufficient funds in the trust account is not permissible, as it would

16

Leo and Ron are sole practitioners who belong to the Paralegal Chambers and share office space. Can Leo and Ron share the same trust account?

 
 
 
 

Answer

The best answer from the options provided is:

No, Leo and Ron are not permitted to share the same trust account because they are not partners.

In most jurisdictions, including Ontario where the term “Paralegal Chambers” is commonly used, paralegals are not allowed to share a trust account with other paralegals or lawyers unless they are in a formal partnership or association. Sharing a trust account typically requires a legal partnership or association agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the arrangement and complies with applicable laws and regulations.

17

Paralegals can charge a contingency fee in any matter within their permitted scope of practice except?

 
 
 
 
Answer
Paralegals are not permitted to charge a contingency fee in criminal or quasi-criminal matters. In most jurisdictions, including Ontario where the term “Paralegal Chambers” is commonly used, paralegals are allowed to charge contingency fees in certain civil matters, such as Small Claims Court matters, Workers Compensation cases, and Landlord and Tenant matters, as long as they comply with relevant rules and regulations.
18

You have had a consultation with a prospective client, however at the end of your meeting, they have chosen not to retain you. What is the best course of action to confirm that you are not their representative?

 
 
 
 
Answer
The best course of action to confirm that you are not the representative of a prospective client who has chosen not to retain you is to send them a non-engagement letter in writing. This letter should clearly state that you have not been retained and that you will not be providing any legal services to them. This serves as a formal communication to confirm the status of your representation and helps to avoid any misunderstandings or potential disputes in the future.
19

When would a paralegal not likely be permitted to withdraw from representation of a client?

 
 
 
 
Answer

A paralegal would likely not be permitted to withdraw from representation of a client only in the following situation:

The relationship between the paralegal and client is challenging

20

Jimmy has been retained to represent Mark who was charged with theft under $5,000. As the trial is next week, Jimmy has asked Mark repeatedly to make interim payments to cover some of the costs prior to trial. Mark fails to do so. Jimmy is quite frustrated considering how much time he has put into this case, and Mark is ‘free riding’. Can Jimmy withdraw from representing Mark as Mark has failed to pay for his services, despite Jimmy’s numerous requests?

 
 
 
 

Answer

Correct Answer: No, Jimmy cannot withdraw from representation as serious prejudice to Mark would result from this act

21

Zac is a paralegal for Jodi. He is assisting her with her on-going legal proceedings. During Jodi’s examination she is asked to provide a document to the other side. Zac undertakes to provide this document as it is in his files but not currently present during the examination. Zac must:

 
 
 
 

Answer

Ensure that he provides the document as promised: As a paralegal, Zac has a duty to act in the best interests of his client, Jodi. If Zac promised to provide a document during Jodi’s examination, he should ensure that he follows through on that promise and provides the document as requested. It is his responsibility to ensure that the document is provided to the other side in a timely and appropriate manner, in accordance with the rules of procedure and any applicable laws or regulations.

Option 1 may not be appropriate, as it would be Jodi’s responsibility, not Zac’s, to provide the document to the other side. Option 3 may not be advisable, as leaving the examination without proper authorization or coordination could disrupt the proceedings and potentially harm Jodi’s interests. Option 4 may not be appropriate, as Zac should take personal responsibility for providing the document as he promised.

22

You have firm which deals with strictly criminal and quasi-criminal matters. One day a potential client named Ron calls the firm, and as always you conduct a conflict check prior to proceeding with the call. Once confirming that there are no conflicts, you proceed with the call and discuss Ron’s case with him for half an hour. You obtain confidential information from Ron and provide him with information about your firm and the services you offer. At the end of the discussion, Ron decides not to retain you but is very gracious for the information you provided. What do the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines require Ron to do?

 
 
 
 
Answer

You must protect Ron’s confidential information and avoid potential conflicts of interest that involve Ron: Even though Ron did not retain your firm as his legal representative, as a paralegal, you still have an obligation to protect his confidential information that was disclosed during the consultation. This includes avoiding potential conflicts of interest that may arise in the future with Ron or his case. It is important to maintain confidentiality and adhere to professional conduct guidelines even if Ron did not become a client of your firm.

23

You act for a client and realize that a letter you sent notifying a defendant’s paralegal about potential proceedings did not have the firm’s correct mailing address. You know your client is neurotic and if she found out that you inputted the incorrect mailing address on the letter, it would diminish the trust within your paralegal-client relationship. Which of the following is true?

 
 
 
Answer

The correct answer is:

You should notify the opposing paralegal of the error and send another letter with the correct and updated mailing address: As a legal professional, it is your ethical duty to rectify any errors or mistakes made in legal correspondence promptly and diligently. In this scenario, the correct course of action would be to notify the opposing paralegal of the error and provide them with the correct and updated mailing address as soon as possible to ensure that the legal process is not impeded by the mistake. It is important to maintain professional integrity and uphold the duty of candor and honesty in all communications with opposing parties, even if it may potentially impact the client’s trust.

24

Section 21, ss. 3-6 of the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines state that unless it would be unlawful to do so or it would involve a breach of confidentiality between a paralegal and his client, a paralegal must not report to the Law Society the following:

 
 

Answer

A situation where a licensee’s clients will not be severely prejudiced: Section 21, ss. 3-6 of the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines state that unless it would be unlawful to do so or it would involve a breach of confidentiality between a paralegal and their client, a paralegal must not report to the Law Society a situation where a licensee’s clients will not be severely prejudiced. This means that if the situation does not pose a risk of significant harm or prejudice to the clients of the licensee, the paralegal is not required to report it to the Law Society.

Options 1, 2, and 3 are not correct because the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines require paralegals to report the abandonment of a legal services practice, inappropriate removal or use of money from a trust account by a licensee, and involvement in serious criminal activity related to a licensee’s practice to the Law Society, unless it would be unlawful to do so or it would involve a breach of confidentiality between a paralegal and their client. These situations involve serious breaches of professional conduct and require reporting to the Law Society to ensure compliance with ethical and legal obligations.

25

Manny has just received notice from the Law Society that his paralegal license is suspended. He is in the middle of a criminal proceeding and is representing John on charges of impaired driving. What obligation does Manny have towards John?

 
 
 
 
Answer

The correct statement is:

Manny must disclose to John his suspended status and ask another licensee to take over the case: As per the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines, if a paralegal’s license is suspended by the Law Society, the paralegal must promptly disclose their suspended status to their clients and take steps to ensure that another licensee takes over any ongoing matters or proceedings. This means that Manny has an obligation to inform John about his suspended license and arrange for another paralegal to represent John in the criminal proceeding involving charges of impaired driving. It is important for paralegals to comply with their ethical and professional obligations, including promptly disclosing any changes in their licensing status to their clients to ensure that their clients’ interests are protected.

Options 1, 3, and 4 are not correct. Manny cannot continue to represent John until the proceeding is over as his license is suspended. Manny cannot simply ignore his obligations towards John and has a duty to disclose his suspended status and arrange for another licensee to take over the case. Calling the Law Society to negotiate the status of his license is not the appropriate action in this situation.

26

When acting as an advocate, you must represent the client resolutely and honorably within the limits of the law while treating the tribunal and other licensees with fairness and respect. The Paralegal Rules require you to do all but the following:

 
 
 
Answer

To counsel the client to conceal and alter incriminating physical evidence: The Paralegal Rules require paralegals to represent their clients resolutely and honorably within the limits of the law, while treating the tribunal and other licensees with fairness and respect. However, paralegals are not allowed to counsel their clients to conceal and alter incriminating physical evidence. This would be unethical and potentially illegal behavior, as it would involve tampering with evidence, which is prohibited by law.

27

Larry a paralegal, had arrived early to the courthouse and was waiting in the lobby. There he notices Sheila, the represented applicant who had also arrived a few minutes early standing alone. Larry approaches Sheila and begins to ask whether she would be interested in settling the matter outside court, as “it could get pricey’’ and it is her best interest to do so. Were Larry’s actions contrary to rr. 4.02 and 7.02 of the Paralegal Rules?

 
 
 
 
Answer

The correct statement is:

Yes, Larry is not permitted to approach or communicate with Sheila directly: According to rr. 4.02 and 7.02 of the Paralegal Rules, a paralegal is not allowed to communicate directly with a represented party without the knowledge and consent of that party’s lawyer or paralegal. In this scenario, Larry approached Sheila, who is a represented applicant, without her lawyer or paralegal present, and attempted to discuss settlement outside of court. This would be a violation of the Paralegal Rules, as Larry should have approached Sheila with her lawyer or paralegal present to achieve early resolution, and should not have communicated directly with a represented party without proper authorization.

28

PIPEDA regulates the collection, use and disclosure of all of the following information except:

 
 
 
 
Answer
Direct Business number: PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) is a Canadian federal privacy law that regulates the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by private sector organizations in Canada. Under PIPEDA, personal information includes any information about an identifiable individual, except for business contact information used solely for business purposes, which includes the individual’s name, title, business address, telephone number, or email address. However, PIPEDA does not regulate or govern the collection, use, or disclosure of Direct Business numbers, as it is not considered personal information under the scope of PIPEDA.
29

Christina is representing Domenic on impaired driving charges. Domenic failed to stop at a red light and in consequence, totaled Mary’s car. Suzette a pedestrian witnessed the entire accident and has a recording of it on her phone. Suzette is also the individual who called 911 for help and stayed at the scene providing an interview to police. In addition, Suzette is a prime witness in the case, and Christina is aware that the evidence Suzette has is not supportive to Dominic’s case. When Christina is interviewing Suzette, she must inform Suzette of her interest and must not do the following except:

 
 
 
Answer

The correct statement is:

Prepare Suzette on the appropriate ways to address the tribunal or judge and other licensees

30

Randy has been a paralegal for over 35 years and specializes in criminal and quasi-criminal matters. Covid has really affected his business revenue and he is thinking about marketing his legal services in print, on the web, and on television. Given his years of experience and to entice potential clients to give him a call, he wants to promote that he is a specialist in dealing with criminal matters on all of his marketing material. He is certain that with this designation, his business revenue will be back to what it was prior to Covid. Is it appropriate for Randy to use the term ‘specialist’ on his marketing materials?

 
 
 
Answer

The correct statement is:

It is inappropriate for Randy to use the term ‘specialist’ on his marketing material as it might suggest that he has been officially recognized as such by the Law Society: In most jurisdictions, including Canada, the term “specialist” is regulated and can only be used by lawyers who have been certified as specialists by the Law Society or another recognized legal authority. Paralegals, even with years of experience, do not have the same certification and should not use the term “specialist” on their marketing materials.

31

You are in the midst of closing a client file. What documents should not be retained when closing the client file?

 
 
 
 
Answer

The document that should not be retained when closing the client file is:

Original client identification: The original client identification documents, such as passports, driver’s licenses, social insurance numbers, or other similar identification documents, should not be retained by the paralegal when closing the client file. These original identification documents belong to the client and should be returned to the client upon the closure of the file. Retaining original client identification documents could potentially raise privacy and security concerns, as well as breach the duty of confidentiality and trust between the paralegal and the client.

32

Carry works at Mark’s firm as a law clerk. With express direction and authorization from Mark, Carry can take on the following tasks except:

 
 
 
 

Answer

Carry, as a law clerk, can take on the following tasks with express direction and authorization from Mark:

Accept an undertaking on Mark’s behalf: Carry can accept an undertaking on behalf of Mark’s firm, subject to Mark’s express direction and authorization. An undertaking is a promise or commitment made by a lawyer or law firm to another party and is binding on the lawyer or law firm.

Take instructions from Mark’s client: Carry can take instructions from Mark’s client, subject to Mark’s express direction and authorization. This may involve communicating with the client, gathering information, and assisting with administrative tasks related to the client’s matter.

Act before an adjudicative body on Mark’s behalf in respect of a scheduling matter: Carry can act on behalf of Mark’s firm before an adjudicative body, such as a court or tribunal, in respect of a scheduling matter, subject to Mark’s express direction and authorization. This may involve requesting adjournments, scheduling hearings, or managing other procedural matters.

Carry, however, cannot accept a client on Mark’s behalf without Mark’s express direction and authorization.

33

Ranja receives settlement funds that belong to her client Shontelle. What time limit does Ranja have to deposit the settlement funds into the trust account?

 
 
 
Answer

The correct answer is: Ranja has to deposit the settlement funds into the trust account by the next banking day.

As per the Law Society of Ontario’s Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers and paralegals, specifically Rule 3.4-5, when a lawyer or paralegal receives funds on behalf of a client, they must deposit the funds into the appropriate trust account as soon as possible, and in any event, no later than the next banking day after the funds are received. This applies to settlement funds or any other funds that belong to a client. It is the responsibility of the lawyer or paralegal to ensure that client funds are promptly deposited into the trust account to protect the client’s interests and comply with professional rules and regulations.

34

Elaine is an elderly woman in her mid-80’s who has been coming to Joel for many years now to seek legal assistance. During the last few months Joel has been helping Elaine with some of her personal estate matters. One day Elaine shows up at Joel’s office to his surprise as they did not have any pre-scheduled meeting. Elaine proceeds to tell Joel about her breakfast that morning and how she and her husband had a wonderful day so far. She also proceeds to tell Joel that her husband was unable to attend their meeting today as he was dropping off their daughter to school. Joel, who has worked with for many years knows that her husband passed away several years ago and that her daughter does not attend school anymore. Joel is concerned about Elaine’s legal capacity. As a result, Joel must:

 
 
 
 
Answer

Joel must take steps to have a lawfully authorized representative appointed to Elaine.

Given the concerns about Elaine’s legal capacity based on her statements about her deceased husband and daughter, Joel has a professional obligation to ensure that he is dealing with a client who has the legal capacity to provide instructions and make decisions. As per the Law Society of Ontario’s Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers and paralegals, specifically Rule 3.1-2, when a lawyer or paralegal has reason to believe that a client may have a diminished capacity to make decisions, they must take reasonable steps to determine the client’s capacity to give instructions, and if necessary, take steps to have a lawfully authorized representative appointed to act on the client’s behalf.

35

You meet with a potential client Rohan for a free consultation to discuss his charges of shoplifting charge under $5000 and resisting arrest. Rohan takes a liking to your approach, and knowledge on the matter and decides to retain you. When discussing the payment of retainer fees to take his matter on, Rohan pulls from his pocket a wad of cash, amounting to $10,000 US dollars. Are you able to accept the entire amount in cash, as payment for his retainer?

 
 
 
Answer

No, you must convert the US dollars into Canadian dollars prior to accepting the payment and ensure the value of the funds in cash is less than $7,500 Canadian dollars. The outstanding balance of $2,500 must be paid by way of cheque, credit card, or debit.

As per the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and its associated regulations in Canada, legal professionals, including lawyers and paralegals, are subject to anti-money laundering (AML) obligations. These obligations require legal professionals to verify the identity of their clients, keep records of financial transactions, and report suspicious transactions to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

Accepting a large sum of cash in foreign currency, such as US dollars, may raise AML concerns, and it is generally not advisable to accept cash in excess of $7,500 Canadian dollars. Legal professionals should convert any foreign currency into Canadian dollars prior to accepting the payment, and the value of the funds in cash should not exceed $7,500 Canadian dollars

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