Focus On

Access to Justice


Wednesday, November 18, 2020 @ 8:41 AM

No to unlimited settlement conferences | Gary Joseph

Access to justice and the continuing need to lower the cost of family law proceedings has found an ally, Superior Court of Ontario Justice David Jarvis. In what I consider a “home run” delivered in a compact three-page decision in Ni v. Yan 2020 ONSC 5941, Justice Jarvis has determined that the practice of repeated settlement conferences in “circumstances where there are continuing complaints about inadequate or refused disclosure impacting a party’s ability to make an informed settlement decision” must end. Citing Justice Frances Kiteley’s well known warning in Greco-Wang v. Wang 2014 ONSC 5366 (made in the context of a trial scheduling conference) that “[m]embers of the public who are users of civil courts are not entitled to unlimited access to trial judges,” Justice Jarvis found such comments to be “… equally, if not more, pertinent to settlement conference events.” ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 @ 11:46 AM

Law applies to everyone, even self-represented litigants Just A Judge

Joanna Blomer suffered a work-related injury in 2009 and later a reoccurrence of that injury. The Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board found Blomer fit to return to work as of Jan. 6, 2011, and she was therefore no longer entitled to temporary disability benefits. Blomer was unhappy with this decision and disputed it up to the Appeals Commission. This case centres around two Appeals Commissions decisions (Blomer v. Workers Compensation Board [2020] A.J. No. 977): ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 @ 7:34 AM

Bill would pave way for Quebec law students to provide legal advice and consultations Gilles de Saint-Exupéry

The heads of Quebec’s law schools welcomed a new bill that would allow law students working at university legal clinics to give legal advice and consultations under the supervision of lawyers and notaries, a development that would finally put them within reach of what law students in the rest of the country can provide. ... [read more]

Monday, November 16, 2020 @ 10:33 AM

Young Bar of Montreal holding legal helpline on Nov. 28-29

The 35th edition of the Young Bar of Montreal’s (YBM) Legal Helpline will be held Nov. 28-29. During this weekend, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., volunteer lawyers will be taking phone calls in order to provide free legal advice to Quebecers as well as provide information on the various dispute prevention and resolution processes available to them. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 4:10 PM

Judges lack awareness of increased risks of domestic violence amid pandemic: study Jennifer Koshan

Canadian judges have demonstrated very little awareness over the heightened risks of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation that should prompt judges to attend comprehensive legal training over what the United Nations has described as the “shadow pandemic,” according to human rights and legal aid experts. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 1:22 PM

More on paralegals: Trading one problem for another | Gary Joseph

After years of struggling against the tide of reputational putdowns of the practice of family law, the profession and a large segment of the consuming public has come to realize that the practice of family law is one of the most complex practice areas of the law. In this context then, I consider some recent suggestions that family lawyers may become or have become unnecessary and unwanted participants in family law disputes. This draws me into, once again, one of my rants about independent paralegal practices of family law. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 @ 2:08 PM - Last Updated: Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 9:03 AM

New jury selection and jury trials suspended as Ontario COVID-19 cases soar Chief Justice Morawetz sm

The chief justice of the Ontario Superior Court has cancelled an earlier plan to resume new jury selection and new in-person jury trials in Toronto and Brampton effective Nov. 16 as the number of new COVID-19 cases in those regions rises precipitously. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 @ 1:28 PM

What law school taught me | Serena Eshaghurshan

In my previous articles, I discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to survive online law school. In this article, I will conclude the series with what law school taught me. As my law school journey is coming to an end, I can’t help but reflect on both the tangible and intangible lessons I have been afforded throughout the years of my legal education. As will be demonstrated in this article, the ability to pursue a legal education affords one so much more than just knowledge of the black letter law. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 @ 9:18 AM

Law Society of B.C. launches ‘innovation sandbox’ on expanding access to justice LSBC president Craig Ferris

The Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) has launched an “innovation sandbox” which will look at proposals from those who are seeking to address unmet legal need in the province. Those admitted to the innovation sandbox will pilot legal services and advice under the supervision of the law society. ... [read more]

Monday, November 09, 2020 @ 11:26 AM

Consider intersectional approach to your recruitment experience | Naomi Sayers

Often the legal industry talks about how progressive their own law practice is without critical examination into how their own recruitment experience closes the doors onto so many. ... [read more]