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About Law Societies
About Lawyers Fees
How to Complain
Questions you should ask of both the Law Society and the lawyer before you retain any Manitoba lawyer.
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There is no checking of skills, suitability or experience. Lawyers using law societies referrals pay a fee and when it is their turn they get the referral.
Law Society referrals are based on a bored telephone clerk asking you where you want a lawyer. She then looks at her list and takes the name of the next lawyer whose turn has come up
HOW TO CONTACT THE
Law Society of Manitoba
219 Kennedy Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 1S8
HISTORY OF COMPLAINTS IN Manitoba
There are about 1550 practicing full and part time lawyer/members of the Law Society of Manitoba. Complaints run about 165 a year.
Most Law Societies will not tell you if they have complaints against a lawyer unless s/he has been "convicted" in an internal discipline hearing. However, of all the complaints received only about ten percent will ever get as far as a discipline hearing in Manitoba. The rest will be dismissed or closed at the preliminary stages
Most complaints to any Law Society are dismissed. Most complaints are simply frivolous and few have any real merit. Complaints should be filed on the slight chance that they will have an impact.
Quoted from the Law Society of Upper Canada web site:
" If you are concerned about your lawyer's conduct or the discharge of his/her duties...
You may submit a complaint, in writing only, to the Manitoba Law Society. All complaints are reviewed by a staff lawyer to determine whether the concerns expressed are within the Manitoba Law Society's jurisdiction or merit investigation.
The majority of complaints received by the Law Society are forwarded to the lawyer named in the complaint, and he or she is required, under the Law Society's Rules, to provide a written response within 14 days. In the normal course, a copy of the response is sent to the complainant, who is given an opportunity to respond. Sometimes it is determined that a satisfactory explanation has been provided, or that the matter can be resolved through a reminder of professional obligations.
More serious complaints are referred to the Complaints Investigation Committee which reviews the lawyer's conduct to determine if charges of incompetence, professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a lawyer should be authorized. The Complaints Investigation Committee also considers matters which deal with a lawyer's competency and standards of practise, and may recommend that a lawyer complete a remedial program.
A number of less serious complaints may be dealt with through the Law Society's telephone mediation program."
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Asking a law society to help is like asking a snake not to bite you.
We are NOT lawyers. We caution all consumers to be very careful in dealing with any Law Society since they represent lawyers only. They do not represent you the client. CanLaw provides legal information and resources. CanLaw never provides legal advice.
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