In September of 2011, Convocation approved the Guidelines for Law Office Searches to assist lawyers in protecting their clients' solicitor-client privileged information.
If you are or suspect that you may be the subject of a law office search, whether you or a client is the target of the investigation, you are encouraged to contact the Law Society as soon as possible.
Call the Law Society at 416-947-3300 and ask to speak to Senior Counsel to the Director of Professional Regulation for assistance when faced with a law office search.
Following is a summary of the Guidelines as approved by Convocation.
Inspect the search warrant
Do not obstruct the Police, even if you believe the search warrant or its manner of execution to be invalid.
Assert Privilege over all documents to be seized under the search warrant.
Is a Referee required?
Where the Lawyer may be a target of the investigation, if the Lawyer is in a conflict of interest and where there is no Lawyer present, this should be raised with the Police and either the Police or the Lawyer should make an application to the Court for the appointment of a Referee.
Is an Independent Forensic Computer Examiner required?
If the documents sought are on a computer or other electronic device/media, the assistance of a Court appointed Independent Forensic Computer Examiner may be required.
Do I need a Lawyer?
You are the only one who can answer that question. However, you can contact a Lawyer and you may find it helpful to speak with a Lawyer.
Lawyers should contact the Law Society at 416-947-3300 and ask to speak to Senior Counsel to the Director of Professional Regulation for assistance when faced with a law office search.
Next steps to be taken by the Referee or the non-conflicted Lawyer
The Search Warrant has been executed - Next Steps
If necessary initiate or respond to applications before the Court that may include applications for,
This summary has been drafted for ease of reference. It should be read in conjunction with the Guidelines for Law Office Searches. Click here to review the Guidelines.
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