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The Legal Profession Act, 1990 authorizes the Law Society of Saskatchewan to govern the members of the legal profession in the Province in the public interest. The Benchers (board of directors) of the Law Society are comprised of lawyers and non lawyers. The Benchers are authorized by the Legal Profession Act, 1990 to implement Rules. The Rules of the Law Society of Saskatchewan, in part, address the process by which the Law Society deals with professional regulation, namely, complaints, professional standards, ethics and discipline.
The Act and Rules explain that a lawyer may be disciplined for ‘conduct unbecoming’, described as ‘an act of conduct inimical to the best interests of the public or the members of the society; or, which tends to harm the standing of the legal profession’.
The Act and Rules do not itemize or specify conduct which would subject a lawyer to discipline. The Code of Professional Conduct does not specifically itemize or define “conduct unbecoming”. The Code of Professional Conduct is intended to provide a framework within which the lawyer may be guided to practice with high standards of professional and ethical conduct.
It is impossible to itemize every possible situation which may arise in a rapidly changing society, but rather, the Code of Professional Conduct sets out general principals and guidance. In each chapter, there is a short statement of a rule or principle followed by commentary and notes. Each rule should be read and interpreted in the light of the related commentary and notes. The Professional Conduct Rulings are the result of the Ethics Committee of the Law Society of Saskatchewan reviewing a specific fact situation and interpreting the Code of Professional Conduct to offer suggestions and guidance to the members and the public as to the most appropriate way to handle the specific fact situation, problem or dilemma.