Author - NSRLP

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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Ontario Court of Appeal applies Pintea v. Johns

We are delighted to bring to your attention a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Moore v.  Apollo Health & Beauty Care (2017 ONCA 383) by Justice Brown of the Ontario Court of Appeal that that applies the landmark decision in Pintea v. Johns (2017 SCC 23). The Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision in Pintea endorsed the Canadian Judicial Council’s Statement (henceforth “Statement”) for dealing with self-represented litigants (SRLs), and implicitly acknowledged the procedural challenges [...]

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A Coach in Your Corner: Promoting Legal Coaching in Family Law

This week’s guest blogger is our 2017 Law Foundation Research Fellow, Nikki Gershbain. Nikki is the National Director of Pro Bono Students Canada, an organization that runs law student pro bono programs across Canada. A former family lawyer at Epstein Cole LLP, Nikki has a long history of working on Access to Justice, including serving on the Law Society’s Equity Advisory Group and co-directing the University of Toronto’s Middle-Income Access to Justice initiative. In January, I took a leave [...]

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Yes, We Can (With Reservations) – But No, They Can’t

As the clock ticks down on the deadline for comments on the Bonkalo recommendations (May 15), we are getting some clear signals of the legal establishment’s response. Yes, We Can Justice Bonkalo’s endorsement of unbundled legal services and legal coaching has been met with some questions and continued reservations, but a good degree of openness by the Family Bar. The Family Bar appears to have set aside their entrenched resistance to anything other than full representation. In the weeks since the publication [...]

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We Need to Help Family Litigants – Now

When the Bonkalo Report was released in February, I felt optimistic that its central recommendation – to allow licensed, trained paralegals to work on some types of family files – would be met with perhaps resignation but also broad acceptance by the Family Bar, given the enormous numbers of family litigants who are without any type of legal assistance whatsoever. No one – not even perennially optimistic me! – imagined that the Family Bar would immediately embrace every detail of [...]

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“This Case is About A2J – and About Insiders and Outsiders”

The Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision in Pintea v Johns (heard April 18, 2017) was delivered from the bench by Justice Karakatsanis. But even before a decision was rendered, it was very apparent that the Court took seriously the challenges that SRL’s face, and the need to adjust and adapt to ensure that they have Access to Justice. Here I offer a brief summary that I hope conveys the tone and flavor of the hearing (which I attended along [...]

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New A2J All-Star: Anne Fletcher!

Our newest Access to Justice All-Star is Anne Fletcher of the Bella Coola Legal Advocacy Program in British Columbia. Anne is an Advocate, funded by the Law Foundation of BC, and a Community Partner of the Legal Services Society (LSS). She helps hundreds of people a year access justice in the BC communities of Bella Coola, Bella Bella, and Klemtu, which have a high proportion of Indigenous clients. These are remote and isolated parts of the province where resources to help [...]

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The National Action Committee’s A2J Innovation Roundtable—This Time with Self-Represented Litigants

For the first time, National Action Committee members – leaders in the legal profession, members of the Bench, justice system policymakers and those providing A2J services – had the opportunity to work directly with SRLs at a Vancouver meeting of the Committee on March 22. Julie, along with David Merner, Executive Director of the BC Dispute Resolution Office, worked to arrange for the participation of ten SRLs as guests of the NAC. They were warmly welcomed. Working groups (each of which [...]

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NSRLP Heads to Supreme Court of Canada!

This coming Tuesday, April 18th, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case of Pintea v Johns (2016 ABCA 99). This case centres on a finding of civil contempt against an elderly disabled man, who was representing himself because he could not afford counsel. Because of a change of address, Mr Pintea did not receive two notices from the court requiring him to appear at a case conference. When he did appear he was found in contempt and penalized [...]

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