Access to Justice All-Stars: Family Duty Counsel Team (Windsor, ON)

Access to Justice All-Stars: Family Duty Counsel Team (Windsor, ON)

photo-5Our next nominees for the Access to Justice All-Stars team are the members of the Family Duty Counsel team at the Windsor, Ontario courthouse. Comprising Kaitlyn McCabe, Jim Oxley, Stephanie Johnson and Annette Stoehr, and supported by Legal Aid Workers Lucille McDonald (pictured) and Vicky Vere, this team drew many positive compliments from Windsor family SRLs participating in the National SRL Study (2013). This included recognition of how hard the team worked to assist the sometimes overwhelming number of people looking for their help – one SRL told us that after appearing in court, “I went back to the duty counsel to offer him a coffee. These people are really wonderful.” In an effort to provide assistance to more SRLs, the Windsor team also incorporates student volunteers from Pro Bono Students Canada’s Family Law Project, who are supervised by duty counsel. During the time we spent in the Windsor courthouse collecting study data in 2012, we also saw and heard many examples of the great synergy and effective co-operation between duty counsel and court staff, an important antidote to the “many-headed advice monster” that we heard so many SRLs complain about nationally. Way to go Windsor Family Duty Counsel team!

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