Pro bono
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E&O Insurance

Pro bono

Whether or not you have coverage for pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES depends on your current insurance status as well as on the type of pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES to be provided.

Select one of the following:
Private Practice
EligibilityIf you are purchasing the standard professional liability insurance coverage through LAWPRO®, you generally have coverage for PROFESSIONAL SERVICES that are performed, whether they are paid PROFESSIONAL SERVICES or provided pro bono.
Coverage

Should a claim arise through any PRO BONO SERVICES you provide through a LAWPRO-approved pro bono program associated with Pro Bono Law Ontario (PBLO), you are not required to pay for a DEDUCTIBLE or claims history levy surcharge associated with that claim.

If you are applying for the part-time practice option, you will NOT be required to consider any hours of professional time or past claims relating solely to these PROFESSIONAL SERVICES in your application for this part-time practice option.

However, you are required to pay any DEDUCTIBLE amount or claims history levy surcharge associated with any claims that arise from pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES that are not provided through an approved program associated with PBLO.

 
Exempt LAWYERS providing approved pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES through a LAWPRO-approved pro bono program.
Eligibility If you qualify and apply for exemption, and also provide approved pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES through a LAWPRO-approved pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES program associated with Pro Bono Law Ontario (PBLO), you have Run-Off coverage as follows:
  • You are provided with the standard Run-Off Coverage of $250,000 per claim/in the aggregate. This coverage has been modified to insure not only earlier PROFESSIONAL SERVICES provided while you purchased the ongoing practice coverage under the program, but also such pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES which you provide while on exemption; and
  • You are NOT required to pay any DEDUCTIBLE amount for claims relating solely to such PROFESSIONAL SERVICES.
Coverage

Coverage applies to PROFESSIONAL SERVICES provided through approved programs associated with Pro Bono Law Ontario, and does not include legal work beyond the following:

  1. those rendered to low income persons in civil matters or in criminal matters for which there is no government obligation to provide counsel;
  2. those that simplify the legal process for, or increase the availability and quality of these services to persons of limited means; and/or
  3. those rendered to charitable, non-profit and public interest organizations with respect to matters or projects to address the needs of low-income and disadvantaged individuals.
See LAWPRO-approved pro bono program for a listing of eligible programs.
 
Exempt LAWYERS providing pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES not through a LAWPRO-approved pro bono program
Eligibility

If you provide PROFESSIONAL SERVICES on a pro bono basis, but not through a LAWPRO-approved pro bono program associated with Pro Bono Law Ontario (PBLO) you are considered to be in private practice, and must pay the insurance premium. So, if you provide PROFESSIONAL SERVICES but are simply not billing for them, (e.g. providing PROFESSIONAL SERVICES to family, friends, or organizations on a pro bono basis), you would not qualify for an exemption and must pay the insurance premium and levies.

The only exception to this is if you are providing pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES for not-for profit organizations detailed below.

Exempt LAWYERS providing pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES for not-for-profit organizations

Eligibility

If you provide pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES for not-for-profit organizations (not associated with PBLO), you may continue to qualify for exemption; however, you will not be insured for this pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES.

To apply
  1. You must obtain pre-approval from LAWPRO:
    Complete the Pro Bono Application:
  2. You must complete and return this application prior to engaging in the pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. The organization must meet specific conditions to be approved by LAWPRO, as follows:
    • The organization benefiting from the pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES must be a not-for-profit organization; and
    • The LAWYER must be providing pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES specifically for the organization, and not for any individual(s) in that organization or its clients.

For more information, please contact the LAWPRO Customer Service Department.

Coverage and conditions

If you receive approval from LAWPRO to maintain your exempt status while providing pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES for an organization not associated with Pro Bono Law Ontario, you will NOT have any liability insurance coverage for any PROFESSIONAL SERVICES provided while exempt. You will have only basic Run-Off Insurance Coverage (with limits of only $250,000 per claim and in the aggregate) for PROFESSIONAL SERVICES that you provided before becoming exempt.

In other words, the LAWPRO insurance program would provide no coverage if a claim were to arise relating to your pro bono PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. You would be responsible for all defense and indemnity costs associated with the claim.

Clinics funded by Legal Aid Ontario
  Retired LAWYERS who are interested in working as volunteers in legal aid clinics may apply to exempt themselves under the insurance program, provided they meet the exemption criteria for LAWYERS working or volunteering in legal aid clinics, as described in Exemption eligibility criteria.
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Key DatesMore

April 30, 2014
Exemption forms from lawyers not practising civil litigation or real estate and wanting to exempt themselves from quarterly filings are due.

April 30, 2014
Real estate and civil litigation transaction levies and forms are due for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.


 

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