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Complaints Process

Complaints Process

Scope of the Law Society of Saskatchewan Complaints Process

The Law Society of Saskatchewan is the governing body of the legal profession in Saskatchewan. Among its responsibilities are the investigation and determination of complaints regarding the conduct and competence of lawyers practicing in the province of Saskatchewan.

Please be advised that the Law Society of Saskatchewan has no jurisdiction to:

  1. Provide you with legal advice;
  2. Provide you with a lawyer;
  3. Commence or act on your behalf in a legal matter; or
  4. Review a lawyer’s fees to determine if they are appropriate.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan Complaints Process does not provide compensation to complainants.

If a complaint proceeds, the most the Law Society may do is sanction its lawyer member.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan has no jurisdiction to investigate complaints against:

  1. Judges;
  2. Police/RCMP;
  3. The justice system, generally;
  4. Government agencies such as the Legal Aid Commission;
  5. Lawyers from other provinces; or
  6. Law Firms – individual lawyers only.

Confidentiality in the Complaints Process

When you file a complaint with the Law Society against a lawyer, the complaint will generally be forwarded to that lawyer for a response. The Law Society is also obliged to share other information received from, and communications between, complainants and other potential witnesses with the lawyer in question where a complaint results in a hearing. Hearings are, by default, open to the public as part of our transparent discipline process. There are, however, measures that may be taken during the course of a hearing at the request of the client to protect client information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege or client information that is highly sensitive. In such cases, hearings may be closed to the public for all or part of the proceeding. Once a hearing is over, a written decision will be rendered and will be published on the Law Society website and on other case reporting sites. The Law Society will typically use initials in published decisions to obscure the identities of the clients or other witnesses. This helps to maintain client privacy. If you have any concerns about privacy or the extent to which your complaint or your legal matters may become public as a result of your complaint, please contact the Law Society. 

Steps for Submitting a Complaint

Step 1 - Complaint Form

The complaint form is a 5-page form that becomes the basis of your complaint. It allows us to have your contact information, the lawyer’s information, and details regarding what your legal matter was about.

We are looking for an outline, with as much detail as possible (where, when, how), about the incidents that occurred which led to the complaints you are making.

Step 2 - Supporting Documentation for your complaint

Supporting documentation is any documentation/evidence that you feel helps prove your allegations. Certainly, any documents referred to in your complaint details should be provided. Please provide copies only.

Step 3 (if required) - Other forms for submission

Authorization Form

If you currently have legal counsel or did during the time period that you are making a complaint about, who is/was someone other than the lawyer you are complaining about, please complete the authorization form, which allows our office to speak with that lawyer with respect to the circumstances of your complaint.

Third-Party Authorization: Making a Complaint on behalf of another person

If you are making a complaint on behalf of another person, please have that person fill out and sign the third-party authorization form. The third-party complaint cannot continue without this form.

There is also a section on the first page of the complaint form that must be completed to indicate that the complaint is a third-party complaint.

Step 4 - Submission

Once your complaint form is completed, and you have attached any supporting documentation that you have, you may forward your complaint to:

Professional Responsibility Counsel
#1100 - 2002 Victoria Avenue
Regina, SK   S4P 0R7
complaints@lawsociety.sk.ca

or fax your signed complaint to: (306) 352-2989.

Process Following Submission of Complaint

After your complaint form has been received in our office it will be reviewed by Complaints Intake to determine that all documents are there and it has been completed correctly. Complaints Intake will advise you, in writing, either by mail or email that your complaint has been received. Complaints Intake may also provide you with preliminary information about your complaint (i.e.: Fee Assessment process, non-jurisdictional issues, etc.).

Your file will then be assigned to a Professional Responsibility Counsel who will review your file to determine if the complaint merits the commencement of an investigation. An investigation means that your complaint will be sent to the lawyer you are complaining about, so that they may provide a response.

We take all complaints seriously and attempt to deal with them as expeditiously as possible.

In the course of the investigation, Professional Responsibility Counsel will likely need to contact you for further information or response. In order to avoid delays in the handling of the complaint, you are asked to respond within a reasonable timeframe to correspondence from Professional Responsibility Counsel and to ensure that we are provided with up-to-date contact information.

At the completion of the investigation, Professional Responsibility Counsel will review the results of the investigation and determine what, if any, further steps are required. In some cases, the complaint may involve some unfulfilled task or other problem that can be readily dealt with by the lawyers. In these circumstances, the Law Society may attempt to resolve the problem through mediation.

After the necessary information has been obtained and considered, the Professional Responsibility Counsel will take one of the following courses of action:

(i)  Forward your complaint to either the Ethics, Professional Standards or Conduct Investigation Committee for further review and direction; or

(ii)  Direct no further action, as your complaint does not raise an issue of conduct or competency with respect to the lawyer.

You will be given the opportunity to apply for a review of Professional Responsibility Counsel's decision not to take further action if the subject of your complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the Law Society to consider. You may also be given the opportunity to apply for a review of a committee’s decision not to take further action in relation to your complaint. If you seek a review, your file will be forwarded to the Complainants' Review Committee for their review of Professional Responsibility Counsel’s decision.

Upon review of the complaint, the Complainants' Review Committee will take one of the following courses of action:

(i)   Confirm the decision of 'no further action'; or

(ii)   Forward your complaint to either the Ethics, Professional Standards or Conduct Investigation Committee for further review and direction.

To request a Complainants’ Review of a decision to direct no further action, you must apply in writing within 30 days of the date of the decision.