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Wednesday, November 04, 2020 @ 12:56 PM

Paralegals and access to justice | Grazia Condello paralegal_sm

Long before becoming a licensed paralegal, I began my career in 1998 as a law clerk in a law firm. Part of my role involved reviewing disclosure and going to the Law Library at 130 Queen St. in Toronto to research case law (before legal research was revolutionized by the Internet). ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 04, 2020 @ 9:40 AM

Canada has mixed approach on regulating paralegals; greater acceptance needed: industry voices paralegal sm

A handful of Canada’s law societies continue to wrestle with the possibility of regulating paralegals, but lawyers at large must first be willing to accept them, appreciate their abilities and relinquish some “turf” in the name of greater access to justice, voices in the industry say. Judi Simms, of the Paralegal Society of Canada, said this greater acceptance of paralegals would be essential if additional jurisdictions are going to regulate them and expand the services non-lawyer practitioners are able to provide to the public. ... [read more]

Monday, November 02, 2020 @ 1:02 PM

The lawyer-paralegal relationship in B.C. | Jennifer Brun paralegal_sm

Lawyers and paralegals in British Columbia have been working together to provide client services for as long as there have been formal education programs for paralegals. This partnership brings together complementary skill sets, each founded through education, experiential training and ethical standards. Paralegals are defined by the BC Paralegal Association as those who “have legal training and knowledge of the substantive and procedural aspects of law and are capable of independent legal work, performed subject to the general supervision of a lawyer.” ... [read more]

Friday, October 30, 2020 @ 4:13 PM

Ontario family law event details recent innovations in service delivery LSO treasurer Teresa Donnelly

The Law Society of Ontario’s Family Law Action Plan and initiatives by frontline family lawyers are making family law services more accessible than ever to ordinary litigants, says the society’s treasurer. Family lawyers and other attendees were treated to a whirlwind tour of some of those initiatives at an Oct. 28 virtual event during Ontario’s Access to Justice Week titled Family Justice System: Access to Justice and the Changing Landscape. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 29, 2020 @ 9:47 AM

Current model of lawyering unequally distributes legal power in society, scholar says Joshua_Sealy-Harrington

Substantive change is required in the legal system — and legal education — to meaningfully address access to justice and systemic racism. That was the message from scholars who spoke on an Oct. 26 panel set up as part of Access to Justice Week. ... [read more]

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 @ 9:21 AM

Better ways of giving self-reps access to justice | Gary Joseph

Once again Nicholas Bala, with the assistance of Rachel Birnbaum, has brought informed and evidence-based information to the profession. Rather than antidotal or unsubstantiated “gossip,” Bala, professor at the faculty of law, Queen’s University and Birnbaum, professor of social work, King’s University College at Western, have provided us with empirical data on the continual and expanding presence of self-represented litigants. ... [read more]

Friday, October 23, 2020 @ 3:23 PM

New Ontario virtual criminal case management court locations announced

The Ontario Court of Justice announced it will continue rolling out virtual criminal case management courts over the balance of October and through November, with appearances being conducted by videoconference or audioconference. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 22, 2020 @ 9:41 AM

Amid COVID-19 response, B.C. political parties pledge action on insurance, police reform Richard Fowler

B.C. voters head to the polls Oct. 24 with competing visions of how to right an economic ship rocked by the wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. But politicians in the province have carved out positions on other issues which had been at the forefront of many people’s thinking before coronavirus and have become more important over the past few months, including tackling the province’s troubled automobile insurance system, dealing with issues of policing and systemic racism and working to ensure employment legislation better helps those involved in the gig economy. ... [read more]

Wednesday, October 07, 2020 @ 8:45 AM

COVID, opportunity and future of family law | Gary Joseph

I have been fortunate to professionally grow up in an era of family law giants. I have negotiated with and against, litigated with and against and learned from the likes of Malcolm Kronby, Alan Poole, Harold Berry, Phil Epstein and many other of the now gone greats. I have spent years attending courts run by Justices Abraham Lieff, George Walsh and Gertrude Speigel, three jurists who stood family law on its head and turned the approach to it 180 degrees. Finally, I have had the privilege of being mentored by one of the great teachers and gentleman of the bar, the late James C. MacDonald. ... [read more]

Friday, October 02, 2020 @ 8:31 AM

Access to justice amid COVID-19 Businessmantiedup

The justice system is similar to having only one place in your city that serves food, and it happens to be an expensive, exclusive restaurant. If your rights are at stake (read: steak, if you like puns) that is, you need to eat — your only option is this one restaurant with a cost-prohibitive menu of legal options. You can’t eat (or enforce your rights), if you can’t afford to pay. ... [read more]