Do you need a Lawyer for a Professional Discipline Hearing in Alberta?
Strictly speaking you do not need a lawyer if you are in a professional discipline hearing. It is highly advisable to retain one, and to do so in a timely manner.
In our experience the sooner you have a lawyer involved in your disciplinary matter, the more they will be able to assist you. Lawyers can use witnesses and evidence to tell your story, they can cross examine (where allowed), and they can present argument on your behalf.
Retaining a lawyer after your hearing or appeal period has expired can mean that you may not get the benefits they can offer your case.
Professional Discipline falls within administrative law. (For a background on administrative law please see our article: https://www.flodenward.com/post/administrative-law-in-alberta).
Each professional disciplinary tribunal will have its own rules regarding evidence and procedure, as well as internal appeals. The following are a few of the regulated professions In Alberta and their regulatory bodies:
Lawyers: the Law Society of Alberta;
Doctors: the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta;
Dentists: The Alberta Dental Association and college;
Real Estate Agents: The Real Estate Council of Alberta;
Accountants: Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta;
Pharmacists: The Alberta College of Pharmacy;
Engineers and Geo Scientists: The Association of Professional Engineers and GeoScientists of Alberta;
Agrologists: Alberta Institute of Agrologists;
Architects: The Alberta Association of Architects;
Consulting Engineers: The Consulting Engineers of Alberta;
Land Surveyors: The Alberta Land Surveyors' Association;
Foresters and Forest Technologists: Association of Alberta Forest Management Professionals;
Veterinarians: The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association;
Physiotherapists: The Physiotherapy Alberta College and Association;
There are a large number of other health related associations as well, which we may look at in a further article.
If your professional regulator is bringing a disciplinary hearing against you, please feel free to contact us.
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.