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November 27, 2009

Law Society to hold Open Disciplinary Hearings

The Law Society of New Brunswick will hold its first open public disciplinary committee hearings in December.

The Society has also announced that all future disciplinary hearings will be open and posted on the Society’s website www.lawsociety-barreau.nb.ca. Notices to be posted at the beginning of each month will include the date and location of the hearings, the name of the lawyer charged and what the charges are.

As well, the committee’s written decision will be posted on the site once it is delivered.

Law Society Executive Director Marc Richard said: “The Society’s mandate is to protect the public interest when there is complaint against a member of the Bar. Opening the disciplinary hearing process to the public is part of more extensive revisions to the Law Society Act, 1996 and a revision process that started several years ago. In 1996, the Law Society changed the Act to require public representation on the Disciplinary Committee so opening it up to the public is the next right step. At the same time, we need to protect the public interest without violating the rights of witnesses or clients. The committee will have the authority to protect the names of some witnesses in these hearings.”

The first details of open hearings will be posted on the Society’s website www.lawsociety-barreau.nb.ca on December 1st.

For Further Information Contact:
Marc L. Richard
Executive Director Law Society of New Brunswick
Tel: (506) 458-8540
mrichard@lawsociety-barreau.nb.ca