Access to Justice All-Star: Heather Hui-Litwin

Access to Justice All-Star: Heather Hui-Litwin

IMG_3839_2Heather Hui-Litwin volunteers as a duty counsel with Law Help Ontario, offering assistance to civil litigants in the Toronto courts. Heather’s personal experience as a self-represented litigant in a civil lawsuit means that she has a unique understanding of and empathy for the needs of SRLs. In the last six months as well as volunteering with PBLO  assisting SRLs, Heather has acted a legal coach  (on a pro bono limited scope retainer) in a unique legal coaching experiment piloted by NSRLP. The family SRL with whom Heather worked said of her: “I felt I had someone watching my back who really cared about how I was doing.” Heather’s insight and empathy into the challenges facing SRLs, and the enormous number of hours she has contributed to assisting and learning more about the needs of SRLs, make her an easy choice for our first Access to Justice All –Star. Heather was called to the Bar in 2012 and when she is not giving her time pro bono is working on building a practice that focuses on providing litigation coaching (what Heather describes as “affordable legal support”) for self-represented litigants (www.litigation-help.com).

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Comments (3)

  • Sylvia McHugh Reply

    Reading the comments about Heather is encouraging. I’m 72 and my spouse of 52 years is 82 and we it feels like we’ve been through a nightmare. We will both have surgery in the summer. Mine directly related to my accident. I know there are many wonderful lawyers but we have encountered no less than four whose honesty and integrity is very questionable. I know I will never get over what I’ve been through physically, but also mentally because of these lawyers. I’ve met some fine people in the records dept. at the court house at 330 University. My concern is that others who are vulnerable will unwittingly engage these lawyers. My husband is a two time cancer survivor and I also have the added responsibility as P.O.A. for a developmentally delayed senior who does not read or write. This was an unexpected added responsibility but she calls me Mom and I can’t give up. Energy level and limited computer skills are a problem for me. Many many for your information and the encouragement it provides. Gratefully, Sylvia McHugh

    May 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm
  • Access to Justice – Heather Hui-Litwin | tdhssp's Blog Reply

    […] Access to Justice – Heather Hui-Litwin […]

    May 23, 2014 at 9:27 pm
  • sudokutea Reply

    There are two issues of fundamental civil rights.
    1. Is the order of the Judge lawful?
    2. Lawful or not, change is required to the system so that no citizen can be deprived of his/her “day in court” – without a hearing, and without reason.

    The deputy judge’s order is a violation of the Canadian Charter of rights, The Canadian Human Rights Code, and of course the Ontario Human rights Code.

    The Question and Issue

    DO I OWN MY WIFE?

    YOU DECIDE – should you have a legal right to sue, or must you sue with your spouse?
    Ontario Deputy Judge asks “Why don’t just assume your wife’s claim?” …”No need for you to both sue…”

    If a woman and her husband wanted to file claims for damages, and the judge said this to the woman’s husband, what would the woman tell this judge?

    Is it not fair to say that the judge’s view – that the husband assume her rights, is that he somehow owns his wife?

    Brief Background
    The Defendants submitted that the 9 claims, of the plaintiff spouses, involved a joint asset, and were indivisible.

    FACT
    The 9 claims for damages flowed from separate distinct contracts with 3 Defendants, years apart.

    Order of the Deputy Judge: November 17, 2014 endorsement The Ontario Small Claims court
    1. The Plaintiffs(2) are limited to claiming a total of $25,000.00, plus interest and costs, from these three Defendants.

    2. The Plaintiffs(2), shall have all (9) of their Claims combined into one document by the Trial Coordinator and these combined pleadings shall constitute the allegations against the three Defendants. In addition, the Plaintiffs are allowed to plead the Consumers Protection Act of Ontario. There is no need for the Plaintiffs to make further amendment to their Claim with regard to the pleading of the Consumer Protection Act.

    Need help deciding?

    HIGH COURT STATEMENT:
    At a minimum, the reasons for a decision must be sufficient for the parties to understand the basis for it and allow for meaningful appellate review. … Bald assertions and generalizations are not sufficient for this purpose.

    The judge’s order does not help, since despite the Rules of the Court, he did not “Explain himself”
    Do you agree with the judge, that I assume my wife’s claim for her damages?
    Do I own her damages? Do I own my wife?

    Thank you, in advance, for your thoughts, and any help in finding a path to meaningful changes.

    Andy Szabo

    December 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm

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