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Tuesday, April 04, 2017 @ 2:35 PM

Former Supreme Court justice Cromwell speaks on access to justice

The Honourable Thomas Cromwell is pictured below surrounded by students on March 9, 2017, at Robson Hall, University of Manitoba Faculty of Law. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 04, 2017 @ 8:48 AM

Child estrangement in divorce: Enmeshment vs. alienation

In situations involving separated families and children exhibiting difficulties transitioning between the homes or developing healthy post separation relationships with both parents, the cause of the family dynamic can often.be confusing. Frequently the parent who does not have a sufficient amount of time with the children or in respect of whom the children are exhibiting relational or bonding difficulties will allege that the other parent is consciously and willfully attempting to alienate the children from them. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 04, 2017 @ 8:35 AM

PARENTS AND CHILDREN - Children's rights - Practice and procedure

Appeal by the father from a declaration the parties' minor child had withdrawn from parental control. The child was born in 1999. Her parents separated when the child was 18 months of age. The separation agreement provided for joint custody and required the parties to live within a certain radius within Ontario until the child turned 18. The mother remarried and moved to Florida. The child visited frequently. In 2014, the father advised the child that he was canceling a planned weekend Florida visit, and that six other planned visits would be cancelled. During the child's summer visit with the mother, the child decided she wished to remain in Florida. Unable to convince the child to return, the father obtained an order for custody with police enforcement. The relationship between the child and the father deteriorated. In 2015, mediation between the parties resulted in a consent order granting the father custody until the child turned 18. In 2016, the child completed high school early and obtained a scholarship to a Florida university. The father insisted she return to high school and refused to consent to her attendance at the university as a minor. The child applied for and obtained a declaration she had withdrawn from parental control. In a separate hearing, the court declined to find the mother in breach of the 2015 consent order and declared the consent order no longer enforceable. The father appealed. ... [read more]

Monday, April 03, 2017 @ 9:20 AM

Nova Scotia man challenges ruling that cut off family from income assistance Kim Stanton

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal on May 31 will hear a challenge to a ruling that saw a family cut off from income assistance when the father missed an appointed job search counselling meeting. ... [read more]

Monday, April 03, 2017 @ 8:44 AM

Access to Justice: Let’s give the Bonkalo report a chance | Thomas Cromwell

I wish that we didn’t have a large and growing legal services gap. But we do. Just look at the never-ending waves of self-represented litigants in our courts. Most of them wish they had a lawyer; some started out with one, but ran out of money along the way. And, sadly, the unmet need for legal services for these people is only the tip of the unmet legal needs iceberg. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ 8:00 PM

Government Law - Access to information and privacy - Access to information - Legislation - Provincial and territorial - Right to information - Appeals and judicial review - Standard of review - Reasonableness - Privacy and information commissioners

Application by the Children’s Lawyer for Ontario for judicial review of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario’s (IPC) decision ordering the Attorney General for Ontario (MAG) to issue a decision respecting an access request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). A parent whose children the Children’s Lawyer represented in a custody dispute sought production of records relating to the dispute. Some of the records were privileged. The access to information request was denied based on the Children’s Lawyer’s view that the FIPPA did not apply to private litigation files relating to her representation of a child under s. 89 of the Courts of Justice Act. In this capacity, the Children’s Lawyer stated that she represented the private legal interests of the child and did not act on behalf of MAG. The IPC concluded that the records were in “the custody or under the control” of MAG and ordered MAG to issue an access decision to the requesting parent. The Children’s Lawyer sought judicial review of the IPC order and MAG supported the Children’s Lawyer’s position. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 3:37 PM

New responsibilities may mean more coursework for Ontario paralegals

Paralegal education programs in Ontario may have to change if the recommendations made in the Family Legal Services Review are approved. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 9:04 AM

ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND PRIVACY - Access to information - Legislation - Provincial and territorial - Right to information - Appeals and judicial review - Standard of review - Reasonableness - Privacy and information commissioners

Application by the Children’s Lawyer for Ontario for judicial review of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario’s (IPC) decision ordering the Attorney General for Ontario (MAG) to issue a decision respecting an access request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). A parent whose children the Children’s Lawyer represented in a custody dispute sought production of records relating to the dispute. Some of the records were privileged. The access to information request was denied based on the Children’s Lawyer’s view that the FIPPA did not apply to private litigation files relating to her representation of a child under s. 89 of the Courts of Justice Act. In this capacity, the Children's Lawyer stated that she represented the private legal interests of the child and did not act on behalf of MAG. The IPC concluded that the records were in “the custody or under the control” of MAG and ordered MAG to issue an access decision to the requesting parent. The Children’s Lawyer sought judicial review of the IPC order and MAG supported the Children’s Lawyer’s position. ... [read more]

Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 9:01 AM

Grandparent access: Even with the new amendments, mediate, don’t litigate

On December 8, 2016, Bill 34, “An Act to amend the Children's Law Reform Act with Respect to the Relationship between a Child and the Child's Grandparents” was given Royal Assent.  It is now law.  As is evident from its title, the Act amends two sections of the Children’s Law Reform Act to specifically include grandparents. ... [read more]

Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 9:02 AM

Media relations isn't marketing, and that's just the first mistake lawyers make | Julius Melnitzer

When it comes to maximizing the benefits of good media relations, many Canadian law firms haven’t quite got it yet. For those of you who are thinking, “What are you talking about? The profession’s marketing savvy has come a very long way” — you’re making my point. What a lot of law firms still don’t seem to understand is that marketing and media relations are two distinct arts. Lumping them together is akin to shoving an admiralty lawyer and an entertainment lawyer into the same pigeonhole. ... [read more]