Author - NSRLP

SRL Awareness Day, October 4th 2017: Working Together for Change

Self-Represented Litigants Awareness Day, an NSRLP initiative first launched 3 years ago, is approaching fast. On October 4th, Windsor Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, the U of Ottawa Law School, Queens Law School, and Western Law will open their doors to local SRLs. SRL guests will sit in on law school classes, tour the law library, and participate in speaker panels dedicated to raising awareness about self-representation, sharing their experiences with both future lawyers and current practitioners. What is special [...]

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Changing Faces in the Justice System

Ranjan Agarwal, lawyer and incoming OBA Secretary This week Julie talks with Ranjan Agarwal, partner at prestigious Toronto law firm Bennett Jones, about his (many!) appearances before the Supreme Court, about his thoughts on Access to Justice for Canada’s diverse population, and about his goals as incoming Secretary of the Ontario Bar Association. Plus, some recent thoughtful pieces on the future of legal education, and a plug for SRL Awareness Day, coming up on October 4th. “In Other News” links: Prof Gillian Hadfield [...]

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Time for a Podcast on A2J & Social Justice in Canada: Can We Bring the Two Solitudes Together?

A big part of our focus at the National Self-Represented Litigants Project since 2013 has been using every possible means to create a real conversation among the stakeholders in the justice system – which means not just legal professionals, but the Canadian public as well. We see the legal community as the stewards of the legal system, and the public as its inheritors. A sensible plan for a way forward out of the current A2J crisis or the “quagmire” as [...]

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It Couldn’t Happen to Me

Jennifer Muller, former SRL, current A2J advocate In our first ever episode, Julie talks with Jennifer Muller about her experience representing herself in the battle for custody of her child, and about her current work as an access to justice advocate. Plus, news about a surprising judicial retirement, friends in court in British Columbia, and a new resource for self-represented litigants. In Other News Links: American Judge Richard Posner retires, citing “difficulties” with the treatment of SRLs by the court system. BC Provincial [...]

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Has A2J Become a Social Movement?

If A2J is a social movement, its identity and solutions will reflect the needs of users, not just the views of professionals The milestone that Labour Day represents seems a good time to take stock – and to look forward. This is a time of familiar rituals: schools back in session, evenings getting darker, people drifting back from vacations, and that chilled-out summer feeling is starting, sadly, to ebb away. Its seems a good time to broach a big question. Has A2J become [...]

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SRL Awareness Day, October 4th 2017: More Partners, Same Goal

For the past two years, the NSRLP initiative Bring a SRL to Law School Day laid the foundation for a meaningful and positive coming together of local  SRLs who attended  law school classes that day, and law schools. This year the NSRLP is again coordinating this event, with some new partners, as well as a new name (watch for the #SRLAwarenessDay hashtag on Twitter and Facebook). We are excited to have Windsor, Ottawa, Osgoode, Queen’s, and Western’s law schools [...]

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Windsor Law To Offer For-Credit SRL Coaching Course

This Fall, Windsor Law will offer the first ever for-credit SRL Conflict Coaching class in a North American law school, pairing Windsor Law students with SRLs via a clinic setting. This is a continuation of our work to develop a “coaching” model for SRLs, here focusing on the types of partnerships that can be provided by trained and supervised law students. Acting Dean Myra Tawfik says: “This is the first and only course of its kind that law students can attend [...]

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NSRLP Launching Social Justice Podcast!

Mark your calendars for the release of a brand-new podcast: Jumping Off the Ivory Tower with Prof Julie Mac! Starting September 18th, we will release weekly episodes that tackle topics from across the social justice universe. Naturally, we’ll often feature issues related to SRLs and Access to Justice, but in the first dozen episodes we’re also taking on topics such as sexual violence, racism and Islamophobia, disability rights, and legal education, to name a few. Hosted by NSRLP Director Julie [...]

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Putting the Brakes on Summary Judgments Against SRLs

At NSRLP we were thrilled to see the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Khan v. Krylov & Company LLP (2017 ONCA 625) last week. The Court firmly put the brakes on the use of summary judgment procedures – here Ontario’s Rule 2.1 – to eliminate actions that are inadequately pleaded by SRLs. The judgment states: “Rule 2.1 is an extremely blunt instrument. It is reserved for the clearest of cases, where the hallmarks of frivolous, vexatious or abusive litigation are plainly [...]

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The Newer Lawyer and the Client Revolution

Last week the significantly revised second edition of my 2008 book The New Lawyer came out (available on Amazon, or take advantage of a 20% discount until August 15 at the UBC website, extended until September 15 if you are an SRL: code SRL20). This seems a good moment to evaluate what may have changed in the culture of legal practice over the almost ten years between editions (the new edition is affectionately nicknamed “The Newer Lawyer” by my colleagues [...]

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