Author - NSRLP

A Tale of Two Systems: A Modern-Day Fable

Our medical system is far from perfect – as a patient for the last seven years I am aware of many of its shortcomings. Some of the same tensions and challenges that are faced by the legal profession exist within the medical system. However, the medical system may be light years ahead of the legal profession in appreciating the importance of inter-related and complimentary roles and skills, and meeting the basic needs of its users. The following is based on [...]

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The Change & Advocacy Blog: How We Each Can Do Our Bit

We were honored by the award of another CLAWBIE for this blog at the end of 2016 in a new category called “Change & Advocacy. The new Clawbie category recognizes “blogs that drive positive change in the legal system.” I will face some challenges to my scholarship and activism in the coming months, as I go back into treatment for cancer. So this blog post is about how we can each find the motivation and the means to do our bit [...]

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What Do the Cosby Mistrial, Climate Change Denial, and Perceptions of SRLs Have in Common?

A Pennsylvania jury has failed to reach the necessary unanimous verdict in the prosecution of Bill Cosby for sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, leading the judge to declare a mistrial. My first reaction to this news, which I woke up to on Saturday morning was, predictably, anger. This was the only one of 33 similar fact complaints against Mr. Cosby that could be prosecuted because of the Statute of Limitations (which I am proud to say Ontario repealed in 2016 for [...]

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NSRLP Summer Team

We’re very pleased to announce that our NSRLP team has grown, and this summer we have three wonderful new Research Assistants working alongside two veteran RAs on our burgeoning Case Law Database (CLD). The CLD project will track highly anticipated and sorely needed data about Canadian case law particularly relevant to the experience and treatment of SRLs across the country. The CLD team is tracking issues of: procedural fairness, judicial assistance, claims of vexatiousness, costs, and accommodation. The RAs [...]

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SRL Awareness Day – and the Access to Justice Certificate Program

We are delighted to announce that it appears at least four Ontario law schools – Windsor, Ottawa, Osgoode and Queen’s – will participate October 4th in Self-Represented Litigants Awareness Day. This NSRLP event, formerly known as Bring a SRL to Law School Day, has changed names to better “brand” the SRL phenomenon within social media. We are hoping to bring the remaining Ontario schools on board as hosts within the next few months to make it a clean sweep! The [...]

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Watch out for the Fifth and Latest Version of the NSRLP’s Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography!

The NSRLP has released Version 5 of our Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography. The Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography is designed as a resource for students, researchers, and self-represented litigants themselves. Version 5 of the Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography includes over 100 summaries on access-to-justice material in the Canadian, American, and International context. Our latest updated Version 5 contains a specific section dedicated to unbundling and legal coaching, reflecting the increasing attention being given to these areas (and the [...]

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Law Convocation 2017: Be Smart, Be Idealistic, & Be Bold

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog will know that I feel some despair about the state of legal education – that is, despair about the resilience of the archaic system norms, not my wonderful colleagues – and certainly not our law students. Over the past few weeks many law schools, including my own, have held Convocation for their graduating class. Assuming I shall never be invited to be a Convocation speaker (I think a fairly safe bet), [...]

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Sexual Assault Training for Canadian Judges: Holding Their Feet to the Fire

Gary Clement, National Post Rona Ambrose’s Private Members Bill – Judicial Accountability Through Sexual Assault Law Training Act – brilliantly abbreviated as the JUST Act – got one step closer to becoming law when the House of Commons passed it unanimously on May 15th and sent it back to the Senate. The drive behind the Bill comes from the outrage and disgust following  followed the comments of Robin Camp in a sexual assault trial in 2014 and the long, tortuous and at times [...]

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Paralegal Petition: Making Your Voice Heard

You may be aware that the NSRLP has established an online petition to try to include more public voices, including SRLs and friends of SRLs, in the important debate over the expansion of paralegal practice in Ontario. We are also encouraging lawyers and paralegals who support the principle of trained and licensed paralegals handling some types of family cases to sign and comment. NSRLP referenced the petition, and some of the hundreds of comments that have been posted, in our [...]

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Introducing the NSRLP’s Newest Access to Justice All Star: Denice Barrie

Our newest Access to Justice All-Star is Denice Barrie, the President and Founder of Waymark Law, located in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Access to Justice is the focus of Denice’s legal practice, and she is a strong advocate for self-represented litigants. Waymark Law offers legal coaching, unbundled legal services, and research services for litigants who cannot afford full representation. Denice was nominated by Sarah Khan, Coordinator, Intake and Referral Services, for the Legal Services Society in British Columbia. Sarah nominated Denice [...]

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