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LSO launches emergency family referral line during COVID-19

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 @ 1:53 PM | By Amanda Jerome

As of March 24, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) launched an emergency family law referral telephone line to “provide assistance to people who are self-represented (SRLs) and who are trying to determine whether or not their family court matter meets the criteria to be heard by the court on an ‘urgent’ basis and, if so, how to proceed in making their request.”

According to the LSO’s website, the referral line was set up as an interim measure in response to COVID-19. It was done with from the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice.

The website states that this “emergency service will connect SRLs with family lawyers, working on a pro bono basis, who will provide 30 minutes of legal advice specific to determining whether or not their family court matter is urgent and referrals to other available legal services.”

“Additional services may be available from the lawyer on a private retainer basis, from Legal Aid Ontario, from the Law Society Referral Service or the private unbundled family law roster,” the website explained.

This service is offered by the LSO in “association with the Ontario Bar Association and Toronto’s Family Law Advice and Settlement Counsel project, with support from the Family Lawyers Association and the Federation of Ontario Law Associations.”

SRLs may contact the law society by phone at the following numbers to access the service: Toll-free: 1-800-268-7568; General: 416-947-3310.