August 10, 2023

Reminder to Complete your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Plan by Oct. 1, 2023

The Law Society’s new CPD program gives lawyers the freedom to choose the CPD areas and activities that interest them.

All lawyers who had an active status when the CPD planning period opened (July 4) are required to submit an annual plan by Oct. 1. The only exception is lawyers who have the status of active – non-practising.  

Thank you to those who have already completed their plans. We have received positive feedback so far about the new Tool and the planning process. If you have not yet completed your plan, we have provided helpful tips for getting started on our website.

If you have additional questions about the CPD Tool or the Profile, the Law Society’s Customer Service team is happy to provide support. 

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Clarification: Remote Client Identification Verification

The Law Society has received feedback from lawyers following the recent eBulletin on remote client identification obligations.

When a lawyer is retained to provide legal services, engages in or gives instructions involving the receiving, paying or transferring of funds, they must verify their client’s identity using one of three methods:

  • reviewing government-issued photo ID;
  • reviewing the client’s credit file; or
  • the dual-process method (reviewing two original, valid and current documents or information from independent and reliable sources).

One of the ways the Law Society assisted lawyers during the COVID-19 pandemic was to temporarily exempt them from the requirement under Rule 119.50(6)(a)(i) to be in their client’s physical presence when using the government-issued photo ID method. Alternative means, such as verification by videoconference, were permitted.

In response to the feedback it has received and to better align with the timing of new guidance from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada regarding document authentication, the Law Society has decided to extend the temporary exemption. This will allow lawyers more time to investigate new methods of client identification and verification.

With this relaxation now remaining in place, lawyers who do not use the credit file or dual-process methods will, into the first quarter of 2024, have three different ways to verify a client using the government-issued photo ID method:

  1. In-person (when the individual is physically present): You or your agent may view the original document in the presence of the individual to ensure that their name and photograph match. 
  2. Virtual (via videoconference): Using a video conference application on your computer (Zoom, Teams or other similar platform), you or your agent may participate in a live video call with the individual and compare the name and features in the video feed with those on the authenticated document. 
  3. Virtual (via technology platform): You or your or agent may virtually verify a client’s identity using one of the products for client identification and verification approved by the Law Society’s Innovation Sandbox.

In the coming months, the Law Society will work to amend the rules and guidance regarding client verification and authentication to better align with the new technologies and process available.

See the FAQ for more information on obligations applicable to remote legal services. Please contact Customer Service for any other questions.

Upcoming Events

Danger Assessment Training | Sept.14, 2023

The Legal Education Society of Alberta – Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts | Sept. 18 – 22, 2023

Visit our website for a full list of upcoming events.

Events Calendar


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