B-1, r. 3 - Code of ethics of advocates

Full text
chapter B-1, r. 3
Code of ethics of advocates
BAR — CODE OF ETHICS
Act respecting the Barreau du Québec
(chapter B-1, s. 4).
B-1
Professional Code
(chapter C-26, s. 87).
C-26
March 26 2015
Replaced, O.C. 129-2015, 2015 G.O. 2, 294, eff. 2015-03-26, see chapter B-1, r. 3.1.
DIVISION I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, Div. I; O.C. 351-2004, s. 1.
1.00.01. This Code prescribes, pursuant to section 87 of the Professional Code (chapter C-26), the duties of an advocate, regardless of the context or manner in which he engages in his professional activities or the nature of his contractual relationship with the client.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 2.
1.00.02. An advocate shall take reasonable measures to ensure compliance with the Act respecting the Barreau du Québec (chapter B-1), the Professional Code (chapter C-26) and the regulations adopted thereunder by any person, other than an advocate, who cooperates with him when he engages in his professional activities or by any partnership or joint-stock company within which he engages in his professional activities.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 2.
1.01. The Interpretation Act (chapter I-16) applies to this Regulation.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 1.01.
DIVISION II
GENERAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITY TO THE PUBLIC
2.00.01. An advocate shall act with dignity, integrity, honour, respect, moderation and courtesy.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 3.
2.01. An advocate shall uphold respect for the law.
He must not utter words or publish writings contrary to laws, nor incite anyone to violate the law, but he may, for good reason and by legitimate means, criticize any provision of law, contest the application thereof, or seek to have it repealed or amended.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 2.01; O.C. 351-2004, s. 4.
2.01.01. An advocate shall serve justice.
He shall support the authority of the courts. He may not act in a manner which is detrimental to the administration of justice. In particular, he may not make a public statement which may prejudice a case pending before a court.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 5.
2.02. The advocate must not foment dissension or promote disputes by searching for flaws, imperfections or shortcomings in titles or documents of a private nature and bringing them to the attention of others for the purpose of obtaining, for himself or any other person, a contract to institute proceedings or to benefit therefrom.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 2.02; O.C. 351-2004, s. 6.
2.03. (Revoked).
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 2.03; O.C. 351-2004, s. 7.
2.04. The advocate may undertake the defence of the client no matter what his personal opinion may be on the latter’s guilt or liability.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 2.04; O.C. 351-2004, s. 8.
2.05. The advocate must avoid any procedure of a purely dilatory nature and co-operate with other advocates to ensure the proper administration of justice.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 2.05; O.C. 351-2004, s. 9.
2.06. (Revoked).
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 2.06; O.C. 358-97, s. 1; O.C. 351-2004, s. 10.
2.07. The advocate must, when his presence is required, attend or be represented before the court in a cause he has undertaken, unless he cannot attend for a reason beyond his control and has given the earliest possible notice of his projected absence to the client, the court, and the opposite party.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 2.07; O.C. 351-2004, s. 11.
2.08. The advocate must not, directly or indirectly, publish or circulate any report or commentary which he knows to be false or is manifestly false with respect to a court or to one of its members.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 2.08.
2.09. (Revoked).
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 2.09; O.C. 358-97, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 13.
2.10. The advocate must promote educational and information measures pertinent to the field in which he practises.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 2.10.
DIVISION III
DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TOWARDS THE CLIENT
§ 1.  — General provisions
3.00.01. An advocate owes the client a duty of skill as well as obligations of loyalty, integrity, independence, impartiality, diligence and prudence.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 14.
3.01.01. Before agreeing to provide professional services, the advocate must bear in mind the extent of his proficiency, knowledge and the means at his disposal. He must not, in particular, undertake or continue to provide any professional services for which he is not sufficiently prepared without obtaining the necessary assistance.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.01.01; O.C. 351-2004, s. 15.
3.01.02. An advocate shall at all times acknowledge the client’s right to consult another advocate, a member of another professional order or any other competent person.
If the interests of the client require it, he must, with the authorization of the client, consult another advocate, a member of another professional order or another competent person or recommend to the client that he consult such person.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.01.02; O.C. 351-2004, s. 16.
3.01.03. The advocate must seek to establish a relationship of mutual trust between himself and the client.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.01.03; O.C. 351-2004, s. 17.
3.01.04. When an advocate foresees that the services for which the client is retaining him may be carried out in whole or in part in their essential aspects by another person, he shall so inform the client.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.01.04; O.C. 351-2004, s. 18.
3.01.05. When an advocate believes that the client qualifies for legal aid, he must so inform the latter.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.01.05; O.C. 351-2004, s. 19.
§ 2.  — Integrity
3.02.01. The following acts, among others, are a breach of the obligation to act with integrity:
(a)  withholding facts or concealing the identity of witnesses who could establish the innocence of an accused;
(b)  preventing a prisoner or an accused from being represented by an advocate or communicating with the latter;
(c)  leading or attempting to lead the court into error or, by illegal means, creating doubt in favour of the client;
(d)  encouraging the client or a witness to do or say anything which he could not do or say himself in respect of the courts, officers of the courts, jurors, parties, advocates or other witnesses;
(e)  suppressing evidence which he or the client is legally obliged to preserve, reveal or produce;
(f)  directly or indirectly acting in such a manner that a person may illegally conceal himself or avoid an order to appear in court, or advising, helping or inducing him to do so;
(g)  directly or indirectly paying or offering to pay to a witness compensation which is conditional upon the content of his testimony or to the conclusion of the dispute;
(h)  communicating in a matter with a person whom he knows to be represented by an advocate except in the latter’s presence or with his consent or unless he is authorized to do so by law;
(i)  acting in such a manner as to lead into error the opposite party who is not represented by an advocate, or abusing his good faith;
(j)  directly or indirectly unduly retaining, stealing, concealing falsifying, mutilating or destroying an exhibit from a court record;
(k)  appearing or pleading before a judge, magistrate or any person exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions who has an interest in the partnership or joint-stock company in which he engages in his professional activities or is employed by that partnership or joint-stock company or with whom he is related or allied within the meaning of paragraph 9 of article 234 of the Code of Civil Procedure (chapter C-25);
(l)  refusing to reimburse, when the contract for professional services entered into with the client has terminated, any portion of advance fees for work which was not carried out.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.01; O.C. 351-2004, s. 20.
3.02.02. Paragraph g of section 3.02.01 must not be interpreted as preventing the advocate from guaranteeing payment of or agreeing to pay:
(a)  reasonable expenses incurred by a witness to appear or testify;
(b)  reasonable compensation to a witness for loss of time in appearing or testifying;
(c)  reasonable fees for the professional services of an expert witness.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.02.
3.02.03. The advocate must avoid any misrepresentation with respect to his level of competence or the efficiency of his professional services or, if applicable, the competence or the effectiveness of the services provided by persons who carry on their activities within the same partnership or joint-stock company as him.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.03; O.C. 351-2004, s. 21.
3.02.04. The advocate must set out in an objective manner to the client the nature and implications of the problem as he sees it on the basis of the facts brought to his attention and of the risks inherent in the measures recommended.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.04; O.C. 351-2004, s. 22.
3.02.05. (Revoked).
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.05; O.C. 351-2004, s. 23.
3.02.06. When property is entrusted to an advocate by the client, the advocate shall use it with care. He may not lend or use it for purposes other than those for which it was entrusted to him.
An advocate who engages in his professional activities within a partnership or joint-stock company shall take reasonable measures to ensure that the partnership or joint-stock company complies with the requirements prescribed by the first paragraph when property is entrusted to the partnership or joint-stock company in connection with such professional activities.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.06; O.C. 351-2004, s. 24.
3.02.07. The advocate must refrain from endorsing a cheque made to the order of the client unless he has received the latter’s written authorization to that effect and provided that the endorsement is made solely for deposit in a trust account.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.07; O.C. 351-2004, s. 25.
3.02.08. The advocate must not retain monies, titles, documents or property belonging to the client, except where permitted by law.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.08; O.C. 351-2004, s. 26.
3.02.09. An advocate shall cease to represent the client at the latter’s request or upon the termination of the contract for professional services.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.09; O.C. 351-2004, s. 27.
3.02.10. An advocate shall inform the client of any offer of settlement he receives in connection with the professional services rendered by him to the client.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.10; O.C. 351-2004, s. 28.
3.02.11. An advocate shall avoid performing or multiplying professional acts without sufficient reason.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.02.11; O.C. 351-2004, s. 29.
§ 3.  — Availability and diligence
3.03.01. In the practice of his profession, the advocate must display reasonable availability and diligence.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.03.01.
3.03.02. In addition to opinions and advice, the advocate must provide the client with any explanation necessary for the understanding and evaluation of the professional services rendered to him.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.03.02; O.C. 351-2004, s. 30.
3.03.03. The advocate must give an accounting to the client when the latter so requests and be diligent in sending him reports, accounting statements and remittances.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.03.03; O.C. 351-2004, s. 31.
3.03.04. Unless it is at an inopportune time, an advocate may, for serious reasons, cease representing the client, provided he does everything which is immediately necessary to prevent a loss.
The following shall, in particular, constitute serious reasons:
(a)  loss of the client’s confidence;
(b)  the fact that he has been deceived by the client or his failure to co-operate;
(c)  inducement by the client to perform unfair or immoral acts;
(d)  persistence by the client to continue a futile or vexatious proceeding;
(e)  the fact that the advocate is placed in a situation of conflict of interest or in a circumstance whereby his professional independence could be called in question;
(f)  refusal by the client to acknowledge an obligation respecting costs, disbursements and fees or, after reasonable notice, to make to the advocate provision therefor.
When a client induces an advocate to perform an illegal or fraudulent act, the advocate shall, after having advised the client of the illegal or fraudulent nature of the act and of his withdrawal from the file if the client persists, cease representing the client.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.03.04; O.C. 351-2004, s. 32; O.C. 731-2009, s. 1.
3.03.05. (Revoked).
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.03.05; O.C. 351-2004, s. 33.
§ 4.  — Liability
3.04.01. An advocate shall not, in engaging in his professional activities, elude or attempt to elude his personal civil liability towards the client or the liability of the partnership or joint-stock company within which he engages in his professional activities or that of another person who also engages in his activities therein.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.04.01; O.C. 351-2004, s. 34.
§ 5.  — Independence and impartiality
3.05.01. The advocate may accept or refuse to provide his professional services.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.01; O.C. 351-2004, s. 35.
3.05.02. An advocate shall respect the right of the client to choose his advocate.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.02; O.C. 351-2004, s. 36.
3.05.03. (Revoked).
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.03; O.C. 351-2004, s. 37.
3.05.04. (Revoked).
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.04; O.C. 535-93, s. 1.
3.05.05. The advocate must refuse to engage in his professional activities with respect to a case in which:
(a)  he or a person engaging in professional activities within the same partnership or joint-stock company as him or having an interest therein has carried out judicial or quasi-judicial functions;
(b)  he has been engaged as a member or representative of a public organization, such as the Government of Canada or of a province, a municipality or school board, unless he represents such organization.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.05; O.C. 351-2004, s. 38.
3.05.06. An advocate shall not personally act in a dispute if he knows or if it is evident that he will be called upon as witness.
However, he may accept or continue to act if the fact of not doing so is of a nature to cause serious and irreparable harm to the client, or if his testimony only refers to:
(a)  an uncontested matter;
(b)  a question of form and where there is no reason to believe that serious proof shall be offered to contradict such testimony;
(c)  the nature and value of the professional services he or another person engaging in his activities within the same partnership or joint-stock company have rendered to the client.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.06; O.C. 351-2004, s. 39.
3.05.07. When an advocate acts as judge for a municipality, neither he nor another person engaging in professional activities within the same partnership or joint-stock company as him or having an interest therein may provide professional services to such municipality or hold employment therein.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.07; O.C. 351-2004, s. 40.
3.05.08. An advocate who engages in his professional activities in the context of a dispute shall not, in connection therewith, acquire a right of ownership in litigious property.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.08; O.C. 351-2004, s. 41.
3.05.09. The advocate who occupies a public office must not:
(a)  benefit from his office to obtain or attempt to obtain an advantage for himself or for a client when he knows or it is evident that such advantage is not in the public interest;
(b)  use his office to influence or attempt to influence a judge or a court in order that they may act in his favor or that of the partnership or joint-stock company within which he engages in his professional activities, a person within such partnership or joint-stock company or the client;
(c)  accept an advantage from any person when he knows or it is evident that advantage has been granted to him for the purpose of influencing his decision as a public employee.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.09; O.C. 351-2004, s. 42.
3.05.10. An advocate may not hold both the office of clerk and advocate before the same court, unless there exists a legislative provision to the contrary.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.10.
3.05.11. The advocate may not be surety in any matter under the jurisdiction of a court of penal jurisdiction, except in the case where family relationship with the accused so justifies.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.11.
3.05.12. The advocate must not borrow from the client the sums of money that he has collected for him.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.12; O.C. 351-2004, s. 43.
3.05.13. An advocate may not, except for the remuneration to which he is entitled, receive, solicit or acquire any rebate or other benefit relating to the professional services provided to a client.
In addition, he may not pay, offer to pay or agree to pay any rebate, commission or other benefit relating to the professional services provided to a client.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.13; O.C. 351-2004, s. 44.
3.05.14. An advocate shall not share his fees with a person who is not a member of the Barreau or another professional order or, as the case may be, is not a person contemplated in Schedule A of the Regulation respecting the practice of the profession of advocate within a limited liability partnership or joint-stock company and in multidisciplinarity (chapter B-1, r. 9) or with a person that is not a partnership or joint-stock company within which he is authorized to engage in his professional activities pursuant to the said regulation.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.14; O.C. 1380-91, s. 1; O.C. 351-2004, s. 45.
3.05.15. (Revoked).
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.05.15; O.C. 1380-91, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 46.
3.05.16. An advocate who engages in his professional activities within a partnership or joint-stock company shall take reasonable measures to ensure that the partnership or joint-stock company, any person engaging in activities within the partnership or joint-stock company or having an interest therein, a director or an officer refrains from doing one of the following:
(1)  acquiring a right of ownership in litigious property when providing professional services to the client;
(2)  acting as surety in a matter under the jurisdiction of a court of penal jurisdiction, except where it is justified by his family relationship with the accused;
(3)  borrowing from the client the sums of money collected for the client;
(4)  collecting interest contrary to section 3.08.07.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 47.
3.05.17. If an advocate notices, in his dealings with an individual representing the client, that the respective interests of the client and such individual may differ, he shall inform the individual of his duty of loyalty towards the client.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 47.
3.05.18. An advocate shall notify the client of any fact learned by him in the performance of his professional services which, in the advocate’s opinion, may be a breach of the law by the client.
If the client is not a natural person, the advocate shall give such notification to the representative of the client with whom the advocate deals when providing his professional services. If the advocate later becomes aware that the client has not remedied the unlawful situation, he shall notify the appropriate hierarchical authority when the situation involves:
(1)  a material breach of securities law or any law for the protection of security holders or members of a partnership or legal person; or
(2)  a breach of any other law, if it is likely to lead to serious consequences for the client.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 47.
3.05.19. An advocate shall not provide professional services to the client respecting a matter or issue which could have a significant effect on the financial statements of the client for a given fiscal year when, for the same period, he or another person engaging in his professional activities within the same partnership or joint-stock company is responsible for an audit or review engagement within the meaning of the Handbook of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Nonetheless, he may provide his professional services in the circumstances contemplated in the first paragraph when he or another person engaging in his professional activities within the same partnership or joint-stock company is responsible for a review engagement, if the following conditions have been met:
(1)  the client is a partnership or legal person which has not made a distribution of its securities to the public; and
(2)  the shareholders or members unanimously and knowingly waive the benefit of the rule set forth in the first paragraph.
Similarly, where the client is a natural person, the provisions of the first paragraph do not apply if such person knowingly waives the benefit of their application.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 47.
§ 6.  — Professional secrecy and conflict of interest
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, Div. III, Sd. 6; O.C. 535-93, s. 2.
3.06.01. An advocate shall not use, for his benefit, for the benefit of the partnership or joint-stock company within which he engages in his professional activities or for the benefit of a person other than the client, confidential information obtained while he engages in his professional activities.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.06.01; O.C. 535-93, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 48.
3.06.02. An advocate shall not agree to perform professional services if doing so entails or may entail the communication or use of confidential information or documents obtained from another client without the latter’s consent, unless required by law.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.06.02; O.C. 535-93, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 48.
3.06.03. An advocate shall take reasonable measures to ensure that any person who cooperates with him or engages is his activities within the partnership or joint-stock company in which the advocate engages in his professional activities maintains the absolute confidentiality of confidences the advocate receives while he practises his profession.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.06.03; O.C. 535-93, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 48.
3.06.04. An advocate who employs or retains the services of a person who previously worked elsewhere for another professional or within another partnership or joint-stock company shall take reasonable measures so that such person does not reveal the confidences of clients of such other professional, partnership or joint-stock company.
O.C. 535-93, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 48.
3.06.05. An advocate shall safeguard his professional independence regardless of the circumstances in which he engages in his professional activities. In particular, he must not let his professional judgment be subject to pressure exerted on him by anyone whomsoever.
O.C. 535-93, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 48.
3.06.05.01. An advocate shall subordinate to the interests of the client his personal interests, the interests of the partnership or joint-stock company within which he engages in his professional activities or in which he has an interest and the interests of any other person whether or not such person engages in his activities within such partnership or joint-stock company
O.C. 351-2004, s. 48.
3.06.06. An advocate shall avoid any situation of conflict of interest.
O.C. 535-93, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 49.
3.06.07. An advocate is in a conflict of interest where, in particular:
(1)  he represents conflicting interests;
(2)  the interests he represents are such that he might tend to favour certain among them or that his judgment and loyalty may be unfavourably affected;
(3)  he acts as the advocate of a syndic or of a liquidator, except as an advocate of a liquidator appointed under the Winding-up Act (chapter L-4), and represents the debtor, the company or the partnership that is winding up, a secured creditor or a creditor whose claim is contested or has represented one of these persons in the 2 preceding years, unless he discloses in writing to the creditors or the inspectors any previous contract for professional services received from the debtor, the company or the partnership or from their creditors during that period.
In all cases in which an advocate engages in his professional activities within a partnership or joint-stock company, conflict of interest situations shall be assessed with regard to all clients of the partnership or joint-stock company.
O.C. 535-93, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 50.
3.06.08. To decide any question relating to a conflict of interest, consideration must be given to the higher interests of justice, the explicit or implicit consent of the parties, the extent of prejudice for each of the parties, the time elapsed since the origin of the situation that could give rise to the conflict, as well as the good faith of the parties.
O.C. 535-93, s. 2.
3.06.09. Where an advocate who engages in his professional activities within a partnership or joint-stock company is in a conflict of interest, the other advocates shall, to avoid being considered in a conflict of interest themselves, take such reasonable measures as are required to ensure that confidential information or documents pertaining to the file are not revealed.
In the case where professional activities are carried on in a partnership or joint-stock company, an advocate who is in a conflict of interest and the other advocates shall see to it that such measures apply to persons other than the advocates.
In assessing the effectiveness of these measures, the following factors may, in particular, be taken into account:
(1)  the size of the partnership or joint-stock company;
(2)  the precautions taken to prevent access to the file by the advocate who is in fact in a conflict of interest;
(3)  the instructions given as to the protection of confidential information or documents involved in the conflict of interest; and
(4)  the isolation of the advocate in a conflict of interest with respect to the person in charge of the file.
O.C. 535-93, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 51.
3.06.10. An advocate who withdraws from a file because of a conflict of interest shall take the necessary conservatory measures to spare the client serious and foreseeable prejudice.
O.C. 535-93, s. 2; O.C. 351-2004, s. 52.
§ 6.1.  — Release of professional secrecy in order to protect persons
O.C. 351-2004, s. 53.
3.06.01.01. An advocate may communicate information that is protected by professional secrecy, in order to prevent an act of violence, including a suicide, where he has reasonable cause to believe that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury to a person or an identifiable group of persons.
However, he may only communicate the information to a person exposed to the danger or that person’s representative, and to the persons who can come to that person’s aid.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 53.
3.06.01.02. An advocate who decides to communicate information that is protected by professional secrecy may only communicate such information as is necessary to achieve the purposes for which the information is communicated. He shall, in connection with such communication, mention the following:
(1)  his identity and the fact that he is a member of the Barreau du Québec;
(2)  that the information he will communicate is protected by professional secrecy;
(3)  that he is availing himself of the possibility offered to him at law to set aside professional secrecy in order to prevent an act of violence, because he has reasonable cause to believe that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury to a person or group of persons;
(4)  the nature of the threats or act of violence he intends to prevent;
(5)  the identity and, if possible, the contact information for the person or group of persons exposed to the danger; and
(6)  the imminence of the danger in question.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 53.
3.06.01.03. An advocate who decides to communicate information that is protected by professional secrecy may, if necessary to achieve the purposes of the communication contemplated in section 3.06.01.02, communicate the identity and contact information of the person who prompted him to communicate the information.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 53.
3.06.01.04. Where circumstances permit, an advocate may consult the syndic of the Barreau before communicating the information protected by professional secrecy in order to assess the appropriate course of action.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 53.
3.06.01.05. An advocate who communicates information protected by professional secrecy in accordance with section 3.06.01.01 shall, for each communication, prepare a written note as soon as possible containing the following:
(1)  the date and time of the communication;
(2)  the grounds in support of his decision to communicate the information, including the act of violence he intended to prevent, the identity of the person who prompted him to communicate the information as well as the identity of the person or group of persons exposed to the danger; and
(3)  the content of the communication, the method of communication used and the identity of the person to whom the communication was made.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 53.
§ 7.  — Accessibility of records
3.07.01. The advocate must allow the client to consult the documents which concern him in every record made in his respect and to obtain a copy of such documents.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.07.01; O.C. 351-2004, s. 54.
§ 8.  — Determination and payment of fees
3.08.01. The advocate must charge and accept fair and reasonable fees.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.08.01.
3.08.02. The fees are fair and reasonable if they are warranted by the circumstances and correspond to the professional services rendered. In determining his fees, the advocate must in particular take the following factors into account:
(a)  experience;
(b)  the time devoted to the matter;
(c)  the difficulty of the question involved;
(d)  the importance of the matter;
(e)  the responsibility assumed;
(f)  the performance of unusual professional services or professional services requiring exceptional competence or celerity;
(g)  the result obtained;
(h)  the judicial and extrajudicial fees fixed in the tariffs.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.08.02; O.C. 351-2004, s. 55.
3.08.03. The advocate must avoid all methods and attitudes likely to give to his profession a profit-seeking or commercial character.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.08.03.
3.08.04. An advocate shall, before agreeing with the client to provide professional services, ensure that the latter has all useful information regarding the nature and financial terms of the services and obtain his consent thereto, except where he may reasonably assume that the client is already informed thereof.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.08.04; O.C. 351-2004, s. 56.
3.08.04.01. An advocate who practises within a partnership or joint-stock company shall ensure that the fees and costs of professional services rendered by advocates are always indicated separately on every invoice or statement of fees that the partnership or joint-stock company sends the client, except where a lump-sum payment has been agreed upon in writing with the client. However, in the latter case, the statement or invoice shall describe the professional services rendered by the advocate.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 56.
3.08.05. An advocate shall provide the client with all explanations necessary to the understanding of the invoice or statement of fees and the terms and conditions of payment, except where a written agreement has been entered into with the client to receive a lump-sum payment or where he may reasonably assume that the client is already informed thereof.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.08.05; O.C. 351-2004, s. 57.
3.08.06. The advocate may not conclude an agreement with the client to receive or accept a salary from the latter in surrendering to him the fees to which he could be entitled against the opposite party.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.08.06; O.C. 351-2004, s. 58.
3.08.07. Other than legal interest, the only interest an advocate may collect on outstanding accounts is interest upon which he has agreed with the client in writing. The interest thus charged shall be at a reasonable rate.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.08.07; O.C. 351-2004, s. 59.
3.08.07.01. When an advocate engages in his professional activities within a joint-stock company set up for the purpose of such activities, the fees and costs relating to the professional services rendered by him within and on behalf of such joint-stock company shall belong to such joint-stock company, unless it is agreed otherwise.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 59.
3.08.08. The advocate must be assured that the client is informed of the extrajudicial fees, commissions or costs paid to him by a third party.
In any matter in which an advocate collects extrajudicial fees, he shall inform the client that judicial fees may be granted by a court and enter into an agreement specifying the manner in which they are to be considered in fixing the cost of the professional services.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 3.08.08; O.C. 351-2004, s. 60.
DIVISION IV
DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TOWARDS THE PROFESSION
§ 1.  — General provisions
O.C. 351-2004, s. 61.
4.01.00.01. An advocate who, in addition to his professional activities, engages in activities which do not constitute the practice of the profession of advocate, in particular in connection with a job, an office or the carrying on of an enterprise, shall, regardless of the circumstances, avoid allowing any ambiguity to arise or persist as to the capacity in which he is acting.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 61.
4.01.00.02. An advocate shall ensure that none of the activities in which he engages in connection with an office or within an enterprise, and which do not constitute the practice of the profession of advocate, compromise compliance with the rules of professional conduct prescribed by this Code, including honour, dignity and integrity of the profession.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 61.
§ 1.1.  — Incompatible situations
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, S-div. 1; O.C. 351-2004, s. 62.
4.01.01. The following are incompatible with the practice of the profession of advocate:
(a)  judicial office on a permanent or full-time basis;
(b)  the office of legal stenographer;
(c)  the office of collection agent.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 4.01.01; O.C. 1690-93, s. 1; O.C. 351-2004, s. 63; O.C. 59-2007, s. 1.
4.01.01.01. An advocate may not engage in professional activities with respect to a file if, in the same file, he or a person who engages in his professional activities within the same partnership or joint-stock company acts as bailiff.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 64.
4.01.01.02. An advocate who is also a police officer may act as an advocate only for the police force to which he is attached.
He may not act as a prosecutor in penal or criminal matters.
O.C. 59-2007, s. 2.
4.01.02. An advocate who has ceased to hold the office of judge shall not, within 12 months of this cessation, act as attorney or counsel before the court of which he was a member or before any member of such court.
O.C. 1690-93, s. 2.
§ 2.  — Derogatory acts
4.02.01. In addition to the derogatory acts referred to in sections 57, 58, 59.1 and those determined pursuant to the second paragraph of section 152 of the Professional Code (chapter C-26), the following are derogatory to the dignity of the profession of advocate:
(a)  introducing a judicial demand, assuming a defence, delaying a trial or taking any other such measure on the client’s behalf when he knows or when it is evident that such action is only intended to harm another person or to adopt an attitude contrary to the requirements of good faith;
(b)  in contested matters, communicating, in respect of that matter, with the judge or any person holding a judicial or quasi-judicial office before whom such matter is pending, except:
i.  in writing, if he promptly delivers a copy to the opposite party who has appeared or to his attorney;
ii.  orally, after having given reasonable notice to the opposite party who has appeared or to his attorney;
(c)  knowingly benefit from perjury or false evidence;
(d)  making or helping the client make a statement of law or of fact knowing it to be false;
(e)  participating in the fabrication or preserving of evidence he knows to be false or which is manifestly false;
(f)  concealing or knowingly omitting to reveal what the law obliges him to reveal or helping the client conceal or omit to reveal what the law obliges the client to reveal;
(g)  helping the client to perform an act which he knows to be illegal or fraudulent or providing advice or encouragement inducing the client to perform such an act;
(h)  not informing the client when he becomes aware of an impediment to the continuation of his professional services and, in the case of a dispute, also failing to inform the opposite party;
(i)  pressing or repeated inducement of a person to retain his own professional services;
(j)  leaving the client before his case is tried without giving him time to find a new advocate, or threatening to do so by imposing unfair conditions upon him;
(k)  requiring from a client advances out of proportion to the nature, importance, circumstances of the case and situation of the parties;
(l)  seeking out persons who could make legal claims for the purpose of representing them;
(m)  employing or paying agents or runners to induce persons to retain his professional services;
(n)  (paragraph revoked);
(o)  (paragraph revoked);
(p)  (paragraph revoked);
(q)  refusing or failing without cause to appear at the office of a syndic of the Barreau, at his request;
(r)  communicating with the plaintiff without the prior written permission of a syndic when he is informed of an inquiry into his professional conduct or competence or when he has been served with a complaint against him;
(s)  charging the client for interviews, communications or correspondence with a syndic or other representative of the Barreau when the latter asks the advocate for explanations or information respecting the contract for professional services entered into with the client;
(t)  (paragraph revoked);
(u)  practising his profession with other persons in a partnership or joint-stock company when he knows that one of the conditions, terms or restrictions pursuant to which he is authorized to so practise his profession has not been respected;
(v)  (paragraph revoked).
(w)  claiming fees for unperformed or falsely described professional services;
(x)  claiming from a client extrajudicial fees for a professional service or a part of a professional service the cost of which is assumed by a third party, except where he has concluded with the client an agreement not prohibited by law;
(y)  sexually harassing any person in the course of the practice of his profession;
(z)  intimidating, taking reprisals or threatening to take reprisals against any person who:
i.  has reported derogatory behaviour or conduct or intends to do so;
ii.  has taken part or cooperated in an inquiry into derogatory behaviour or conduct or intends to do so.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 4.02.01; O.C. 1380-91, s. 3; O.C. 358-97, s. 3; O.C. 351-2004, s. 65.
4.02.02. It is also derogatory to the dignity of the profession of advocate for an advocate who engages in his professional activities within a partnership or joint-stock company:
(1)  to fail to take reasonable measures to put an end to, or prevent the repeated performance of, an act derogatory to the dignity of the profession of advocate which has been performed by another person who engages in his professional activities within the said partnership or joint-stock company and which has been brought to his attention for more than 30 days;
(2)  to continue to engage in such activities within the said partnership or joint-stock company when the representative of the partnership or joint-stock company before the Barreau, a director, an officer or an employee is still performing his duties therein more than 10 days after he has been struck off a roll for more than 3 months or has had his permit revoked; or
(3)  to continue to engage in such activities within the said partnership or joint-stock company when a shareholder or a partner is still directly or indirectly exercising a voting right within such partnership or joint-stock company more than 10 days after the effective date on which he was struck off a roll for more than 3 months or had his permit revoked and has not divested himself of his shares or partnership units within 180 days following the aforementioned effective date.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 66.
§ 3.  — Relations with the Bar and other advocates
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s-div 3; O.C. 351-2004, s. 67.
4.03.00.01. An advocate shall immediately inform the syndic when he knows of a derogatory act committed by another advocate.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 68.
4.03.00.02. An advocate shall immediately inform the executive director when he knows of any impediment whatsoever to the admission of a candidate to the practice of the profession of advocate.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 68.
4.03.01. An advocate whose participation in a council for the arbitration of accounts, a review committee, a disciplinary council or a professional inspection committee is requested by the Barreau shall accept that duty unless he has exceptional reasons for refusing it.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 4.03.01; O.C. 351-2004, s. 69.
4.03.02. An advocate shall diligently answer all communications from a syndic of the Barreau, an expert, an investigator or a member of the professional inspection committee, the director of the Service de l’inspection professionnelle or his assistant and shall respond using the means of communication they determine.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 4.03.02; O.C. 351-2004, s. 70; O.C. 731-2009, s. 2.
4.03.03. The advocate shall not abuse another advocate’s good faith or be guilty of breach of trust or disloyal practices towards him.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 4.03.03; O.C. 351-2004, s. 71.
4.03.04. (Revoked).
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 4.03.04; O.C. 351-2004, s. 72.
§ 4.  — Contribution to the advancement of the profession
4.04.01. The advocate must, as far as he is able, contribute to the development of his profession through the exchange of his knowledge and experience with other advocates and students and by his participation in courses and permanent training periods.
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1, s. 4.04.01; O.C. 351-2004, s. 73.
DIVISION V
RESTRICTIONS AND OBLIGATIONS RESPECTING ADVERTISING
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4.
5.01. No advocate may make a false or misleading representation or allow such representation to be made, whether by statement, conduct or omission or by any other means.
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4; O.C. 351-2004, s. 74.
5.02. An advocate may not claim specific qualities or skills relating in particular to the level of his competence or to the extent or efficiency of his professional services, unless they can be substantiated.
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4; O.C. 351-2004, s. 75.
5.03. An advocate advertising lump-sum fees shall:
(1)  establish fixed prices;
(2)  specify the nature and extent of the professional services included in the fees and, where applicable, any other services included therein;
(3)  indicate whether or not disbursements are included in the fees;
(4)  indicate whether other professional services might be required which are not included in the fees .
The particulars and indications shall be sufficient to reasonably inform persons who have no particular knowledge of the field of law.
Any lump-sum fee shall remain in force for a minimum period of 90 days after it is last advertised broadcast or published.
However, an advocate may agree with the client on a lower price than that advertised or published.
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4; O.C. 351-2004, s. 76.
5.04. An advocate shall retain a complete copy of any advertisement in its original form, for a period of 12 months after the date on which it is advertised or published for the last time. The copy shall be remitted to the syndic upon request.
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4; O.C. 351-2004, s. 77.
5.05. Any advertisement likely to influence persons who may be vulnerable owing to the occurrence of a specific event may be addressed to the general public only.
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4.
5.05.01. An advocate who engages in his professional activities within a partnership or joint-stock company shall ensure that the advertising of the partnership or joint-stock company or of any other person engaging in activities within the partnership or joint-stock company complies, with regard to advocates, with the rules set out in this Division.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 78.
5.06. No advocate may, in his advertising, use or allow to be used an endorsement or statement of gratitude concerning him.
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4.
5.07. (Revoked).
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4; O.C. 351-2004, s. 79.
DIVISION VI
GRAPHIC SYMBOL OF THE BAR
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4.
6.01. The Bar shall be represented by a graphic symbol that conforms to the original held by the executive director.
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4.
6.02. Where an advocate reproduces the graphic symbol of the Bar for advertising purposes, he must ensure that the symbol conforms to the original held by the executive director.
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4.
6.03. Where an advocate uses the graphic symbol of the Barreau in his advertising, he shall not suggest that such advertising emanates from the Barreau.
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4; O.C. 351-2004, s. 80.
6.04. An advocate who engages in his professional activities within a partnership or joint-stock company shall ensure that any use of the graphic symbol of the Barreau within the partnership or joint-stock company complies with sections 6.02 and 6.03.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 80.
6.05. An advocate shall ensure that a partnership or joint-stock company within which he engages in his professional activities does not use the graphic symbol of the Barreau in connection with its advertising or name unless all the services provided by such partnership or joint-stock company are professional services rendered by advocates.
In the case of a partnership or joint-stock company which provides the professional services of advocates and the services of persons other than advocates with whom the advocate is authorized to engage in his professional activities, the graphic symbol of the Barreau may be used in connection with the name of the partnership or joint-stock company or in its advertising provided the graphic symbol identifying each of the professional orders or organizations to which such persons belong is also used.
Nonetheless, the graphic symbol of the Barreau may always be used in connection with the name of an advocate.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 80.
DIVISION VII
FIRM NAME OF LAW PARTNERSHIPS
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4.
7.01. An advocate must not practise his profession within a partnership or joint-stock company under a name or designation which is misleading, deceptive or contrary to the honour or dignity of the profession or which is a number name.
O.C. 1380-91, s. 4; O.C. 351-2004, s. 81.
7.02. An advocate who engages in his professional activities within a partnership or joint-stock company shall take reasonable measures to ensure that every document which is produced within the practice of the profession of advocate and originates from the partnership or joint-stock company is identified with the name of an advocate.
O.C. 351-2004, s. 81.
REFERENCES
R.R.Q., 1981, c. B-1, r. 1
O.C. 1380-91, 1991 G.O. 2, 4051
O.C. 535-93, 1993 G.O. 2, 2435
O.C. 1690-93, 1993 G.O. 2, 6880
O.C. 358-97, 1997 G.O. 2, 1419
O.C. 351-2004, 2004 G.O. 2, 1272
O.C. 59-2007, 2007 G.O. 2, 972
S.Q. 2008, c. 11, s. 212
O.C. 731-2009, 2009 G.O. 2, 1886