The following appeared in a March 2012 Law Society of Upper Canada e-Bulletin and also appears in the Q&As on the Law Society’s website.

Remote Access to Your Teraview Account

I practice real estate. I have a transaction closing at the end of the week, but I am scheduled to be out of the office on that day. Although I have signed the documents for completeness, I am concerned that changes might be made to the documents on the closing date requiring me to re-sign them. I am told that there are programs available that would allow me to log into my office computer from a remote location and access my Teraview account. To access Teraview, I would simply call my office assistant and have him turn on my office computer and insert my key into my office computer’s USB port. From the remote location, I would then type in my pass phrase and review, sign and submit the electronic documents for registration.

Can I access my Teraview account in this way and still comply with my obligations under Rule 5.01(3) of the Rules of Professional Conduct which prohibits lawyers from sharing their PSPs (diskette/key and pass phrase used to access e-reg™)?

Yes, provided that you do not disclose your e-reg™ personalized pass phrase to your office assistant or to anyone else, and provided that once you have accessed Teraview using your personalized e-reg™ pass phrase and key, you do not delegate to your office assistant or to anyone else the responsibility of working on, signing and/or submitting the documents for electronic registration using your key.

Rule 5.01(3) prohibits lawyers who have diskettes or keys used to access the e-reg™ system from permitting others to use the diskette or key and from disclosing his or her personalized e-reg™ pass phrase to others. The mere fact that you permit your office assistant to insert your diskette/key into your office computer would not in and of itself result in a breach of Rule 5.01(3).

Jeffrey Schwartz, in an article entitled “Up, Up & Away (and still able to close)” published in The Abstract Page, Real Property Section of the Ontario Bar Association in December 2011, discusses some of the benefits for sole practitioners of having remote access to their Teraview account.

Categories: Real Estate, Technology