"A Cold-Blooded Effort to Bolster Up the Legal Profession": The Battle Between Lawyers and Notaries in British Columbia, 1871-1930

Joan Brockman


Notaries in British Columbia have managed to retain authority to offer to the public
legal services that, in other Canadian jurisdictions (except for Quebec), have been
arrogated to the exclusive domain of lawyers. A conceptual framework of professionalization
and inter-professional rivalry developed by Anne Witz can be applied
to the battles that took place between lawyers and notaries in British Columbia
from 1871 to 1930. By the late 1920s, it appeared as though lawyers were winning
the battle, when they moved the dispute from the Legislative Assembly to the courts.

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