(a) establish standards for the education, professional responsibility and competence of persons practising or seeking the right to practise law in Manitoba; and
(b) regulate the practice of law in Manitoba.
Governing body continued
4(1) The governing body of the society is continued and may be referred to as the “benchers”.
Benchers’ mandate and powers
4(2) The benchers shall govern the society and manage its affairs, and may take any action consistent with this Act that they consider necessary for the promotion, protection, interest or welfare of the society.
Benchers may act by resolution
4(3) The benchers may take any action consistent with this Act by resolution.
Benchers may act despite vacancies
4(4) If there is a quorum at a benchers’ meeting, the benchers may exercise their powers under this Act despite any vacancies among the benchers.
General power to make rules
4(5) In addition to any specific power or requirement to make rules under this Act, the benchers may make rules to manage the society’s affairs, pursue its purpose and carry out its duties.
Rules are binding
4(6) The rules are binding on the society, the benchers, the members and everyone who practises or seeks the right to practise law under the authority of this Act, other than Part 5 (representation in highway traffic matters).
(a) eight practising lawyers elected for the City of Winnipeg Electoral District;
(b) one practising lawyer elected for the Western Electoral District;
(c) one practising lawyer elected for each of the following districts:
(i) the Northern Electoral District,
(ii) the Central and Dauphin Electoral District,
(iii) [repealed] S.M. 2015, c. 29, s. 3,
(iv) the Eastern Electoral District;
(c.1) four practising lawyers appointed under subsection 7(1.1);
(d) one articling student;
(e) the immediate past president of the society;
(f) six persons appointed under subsection 7(1);
(g) [repealed] S.M. 2015, c. 29, s. 3;
(h) the Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Manitoba, or, if the Dean ceases under the rules to be a bencher, another member of that faculty who is appointed by the faculty to fill the vacancy; and
(i) a person appointed under the rules to fill a vacancy in the office of an elected bencher.
(a) establish the boundaries for the electoral districts mentioned in section 5;
(b) require voting by secret ballot;
(c) provide for the election of the student bencher each year by the articling students from among their number; and
(d) ensure that, with respect to the election of the elected benchers,
(i) persons who are entitled to vote in the election of a bencher for an electoral district other than the City of Winnipeg Electoral District are also entitled to vote in the election of benchers for the City of Winnipeg Electoral District,
(ii) each member’s right to vote within an electoral district carries the same weight as every other member’s right to vote within that district,
(iii) an election is held at least every second year and applies to all elected bencher positions other than the position of a bencher who, at the time of the election, is the vice-president and is eligible for re-election, and
(iv) only those who are practising lawyers on the first Monday in March of the election year are entitled to be elected or to vote.
What the rules may provide
6(3) Without limiting subsection (1) but subject to subsection (2), the rules may
(a) revise the boundaries for the electoral districts;
(b) establish criteria for eligibility to be elected;
(c) establish procedures for dealing with contested elections;
(d) prescribe circumstances in which an elected bencher or student bencher ceases to be a bencher;
(e) allow for reinstatement of persons as benchers;
(f) provide for the filling of vacancies in the office of elected bencher or student bencher.
7(1) Six persons who are resident in Manitoba but are not members or former members of the society shall be appointed as benchers by a committee consisting of
(a) the Chief Justice of Manitoba or a judge of The Court of Appeal designated by him or her, who shall chair the committee;
(b) the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Manitoba; and
(c) the president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities.
Appointed practising benchers
7(1.1) Four persons who are practising lawyers shall be appointed by the benchers using the criteria established in the rules made under this section.
Rules re appointed practising benchers
7(1.2) The benchers must make rules governing the appointment of practising lawyers as benchers, including rules that
(a) establish criteria for appointing practising lawyers as benchers, such as the need for representation by region, demographics, type of law practice, or professional, leadership or management skills;
(b) require that only those who are practising lawyers on the first Monday in March of the election year are entitled to be appointed.
Rules re appointed lay benchers and appointed practising benchers
7(2) The benchers may make rules respecting appointed lay benchers and appointed practising benchers, including rules that
(a) fix their term of office;
(b) prescribe circumstances in which they cease to be appointed benchers;
(c) provide for the reinstatement of an appointed bencher;
(d) provide for the filling of vacancies in the office of appointed bencher;
(e) establish criteria for the eligibility of a practising lawyer to be appointed under subsection (1.1).
8 Persons elected or appointed as benchers take office at the first meeting of the benchers following their appointment or election and, subject to the rules, hold office until their successors take office.
(a) members who have completed a term as president;
(b) members who have served as bencher for at least eight years.
Part year counts as a year
9(2) The benchers may make rules to allow part of a year of service to count as a year of service for the purpose of clause (1)(b).
10 The benchers may appoint persons as honorary benchers.
President and vice-president
11(1) Each year, the benchers must elect a bencher as president and another bencher as vice-president.
11(2) When the president is absent or unable to act, the vice-president may act for the president. When neither of them is present or able to act, the benchers must appoint another bencher to act for the president.
Chief executive officer
12(1) The benchers must employ a person as chief executive officer of the society and fix his or her remuneration.
Powers and duties
12(2) The chief executive officer has the powers and duties given to him or her by or under this Act and the rules, and those assigned or delegated to him or her by the benchers, the president or the vice-president.
12(3) The chief executive officer may delegate to one or more employees of the society any of his or her powers, duties or functions.
13 The benchers may appoint other officers as they see fit.
Meetings of benchers
14 The benchers may make rules governing meetings of the benchers, including rules governing practice and procedure for proceedings before the benchers.
Meetings of members
15(1) The benchers must call a general meeting of members each year and may call special meetings of members from time to time in accordance with the rules.
(a) the chief executive officer must present the society’s annual report for the immediately preceding fiscal year, which must include the financial statements for the year and the auditor’s report on those statements; and
(b) the members must appoint an auditor for the current year.
Rules about membership meetings
15(3) The benchers may make rules governing meetings of members.
Benchers may establish committees
16(1) The benchers may establish committees and may authorize a committee to do any act or exercise any power or jurisdiction that, by this Act, the benchers are authorized to do or to exercise, except the power to make rules.
Rules re committees
16(2) The benchers may make rules respecting committees, including rules to do any of the following:
(a) define a committee’s mandate and authority;
(b) govern the membership of a committee;
(c) govern meetings of a committee;
(d) govern practice and procedure for proceedings before a committee.
MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY
Who is a member
17(1) The following persons are members of the society:
(a) lawyers registered in the rolls of the society;
(b) persons registered in the student register;
(c) other persons who qualify as members under the rules.
Qualification for membership
17(2) No person may become a member or be reinstated as a member unless the benchers are satisfied that the person meets the applicable membership requirements.
(a) establish categories of membership and prescribe the rights, privileges, restrictions and obligations that apply to them;
(b) establish requirements, including educational and moral requirements, and procedures for admitting persons as members, which may be different for different categories of membership;
(c) govern the admission program for articling students;
(d) establish requirements and procedures for the reinstatement of former members;
(e) govern practising certificates;
(f) govern the resumption of practice by non-practising members.
18(1) The chief executive officer must keep membership records, including
(a) the rolls of persons registered as barristers or solicitors in Manitoba;
(b) the register of persons admitted as students; and
(c) records of changes in membership.
Rules re membership records and other books
18(2) The benchers may make rules respecting the manner and form in which the membership records and any other books of the society are to be kept.
MEMBERSHIP FEES AND ASSESSMENTS
19(1) Applicants for membership must pay the following fees as set by the benchers:
(a) if applying for admission as a student, a student admission fee;
(b) if applying for membership as a lawyer, a fee for the call to the bar and admission as a solicitor;
(c) if applying for reinstatement, a reinstatement fee.
Annual fees for practising lawyers
19(2) To obtain a practising certificate, a member must pay to the society an annual fee consisting of
(a) a practising fee;
(b) an amount to be contributed to the professional liability claims fund referred to in section 45, unless the member is exempt under subsection (3) or (3.1);
(c) an amount to be contributed to the reimbursement fund referred to in section 46; and
(d) any other fee or levy imposed on practising lawyers under the rules.
Exemption re contribution to claims fund
19(3) A member is not required to contribute to the professional liability claims fund if he or she
(a) is employed exclusively by
(i) the government,
(ii) an agency of the government, as defined in The Civil Service Act, except Legal Aid Manitoba, or
(iii) a municipality; and
(b) does not practise law outside the scope of that employment.
The benchers may exempt other members or classes of members from the requirement to contribute to the professional liability claims fund.
Exemption — district registrars
19(3.1) A district registrar or deputy district registrar under The Real Property Act is not required to contribute to the professional liability claims fund unless he or she practises law outside the scope of the duties of a district registrar.