For any professional, the right to practise a profession represents the culmination of several years of study and many sacrifices. Whenever the member of a professional order is accused of ethical breaches, it becomes that much more important to defend and protect that right and the permit that comes with it. Choosing a conscientious and combative lawyer therefore becomes a very important decision that the professional must make.
Professional law is a field of law that is regulated by the Professional Code, the framework law that came into force in 1974. This area of law governs the conduct of different professionals and imposes many obligations on them in respect of their professional practice and their compliance with certain standards of conduct. Québec legislation governs more than 43 professional orders and more than 385,000 professionals such as lawyers, notaries, architects, accountants, dentists, doctors, pharmacists and engineers. All of these professionals are subject to the Professional Code as well as statutes specific to their professional order.
Each professional order has its own incorporating act that may set out specific obligations. Section 23 of the Professional Code states the objective and mission that the each professional order must pursue: “The principal function of each order shall be to ensure the protection of the public. For this purpose it must in particular supervise the practice of the profession by its members.”
To achieve this, professional orders are vested with wide-ranging powers designed to ensure the protection of the public, including professional inspection and the disciplinary complaint process based on ethical violations. The potential consequences of these procedures may be serious for the professional at cause seeing as the professional order has the power to impose fines, limit a professional’s right of practice or strike a professional off its roll. It is therefore wise for professionals who find themselves in such situations to call upon a legal team able to support them during such difficult times.
As such, the team at Bernier Fournier will be able to provide appropriate advice to members of professional orders in the optic of determining the most advantageous solution in the circumstances while taking into consideration the situation’s specific aspects as well as the laws in effect, when it comes to the following matters among others:
- Disciplinary, civil and penal liability
- Complaints and investigative reports issued by the syndics of professional orders
- Professional inspections
- Intra-hospital complaints
- Unlawful professional practice
- Professional and medical liability
- Liability of construction professionals