Lawyers, particularly litigators are charged with a duty to vigorously defend clients and advance particular positions. It is a linchpin of the adversarial process – both sides will color the case and use the evidence to convince the trier of fact one way or the other. This adversarial process is conducted with the constant undercurrent of civility – lawyers are officers of the court after all and ought to treat each other with a level of respect commensurate with that which is afforded to the courts.
What happens when that civility breaks down? What happens when the lawyers cannot get along? It is no secret that some counsel simply will not see eye to eye, however, there are instances where counsel can go too far and betray that undercurrent of civility which can cause a file to go off the rails. When this does happen clients should feel at ease as there is a voluntary process that lawyers can use in order to rebuild a relationship with counsel so that the file can move forward to a conclusion.
The Law Society of Alberta has two very capable individuals called Practice Advisors who lawyers can bring into a matter so as to resolve conflict between them. The office of the Practice Advisor is another way in which the Law Society of Alberta fulfills its mandate of protecting the public interest.