Author - NSRLP

Guide for Self-Represented Litigants with Disabilities

Click here to access the PWD Primer We hear all too often from self-represented litigants who are also persons with disabilities (PWDs) – these litigants are forced to deal with the “double-whammy” of navigating the justice system alone, while simultaneously facing the physical and systemic barriers that PWDs deal with on a daily basis. This primer, “Navigating the Justice System: A Guide for Self-Represented Litigants with Disabilities” is designed for people seeking justice system accommodations for a recognized disability, either physical [...]

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Reading and Understanding Case Reports

Reading A Case Primer A Guide for Self-Represented Litigants By Margarita Dvorkina & Julie Macfarlane Why We Publish SRL Primers One of the NSRLP’s primary missions is the development of accessible, practical and empowering resources for the primarily self-represented. NSRLP has been researching and writing its distinctive SRL “Primers” – Reading and Understanding Case Reports is our 9th Primer – since 2013 (you can find the full list here). We do this not because we believe that people are generally “better off” without lawyers, burning [...]

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NSRLP Responds to Bonkalo Review of Family Legal Services

The NSRLP has written two separate submissions to the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Law Society of Upper Canada in response to Justice Annemarie Bonkalo’s Review of Family Legal Services in Ontario. While we fully support all of Justice Bonkalo’s recommendations, our submissions address two specific recommendations, both of which have received a great deal of attention from the legal community: 1. The licensing of paralegals – This submission, drafted by NSRLP Director Julie Macfarlane and other members [...]

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SRL Intake Report 2015-16

This Report collates and analyzes data from Intake Forms completed by SRLs from April 2015 to December 2016, a total of 73 respondents. The data tracks the core demographics – gender, income, education, age etc – of the SRL population. The results are highly consistent with our previous study results, as well as studies conducted in other countries. Also consistent is the finding that many SRLs begin their case represented by a lawyer, but become self-represented partway through when mounting legal [...]

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Without a Litigation Representative, Brain-Damaged Plaintiff Forced to Represent Herself by Court that Alters Her Competency Designation

One of the stories that haunted me from the 2013 National Study was told me by a woman (“Fiona”) who, following a traumatic brain injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident that ended her career, was trying to recover spousal support arrears. She had had a lawyer, but like many of the SRLs in the study, had run out of funds to continue. Fiona explained to the settlement conference judge that as a person with a brain injury, she [...]

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A New SRL Resource in Ontario

Swift Action provides sample documents to help SRLs with Ontario small claims cases. David Turner says that precedent is the first thing that every lawyer looks for in preparing a case, and precedent is what he seeks to provide to SRLs with his website, Swift Action. Swift Action provides downloadable “Case-Packs,” which are comprehensive sets of sample court documents, forms and filings for the Ontario Small Claims Court. Case-Packs cost $30-$50, and provide a complete context surrounding fictitious cases, as [...]

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Newest A2J All-Stars!

Sarah Dover Pictured above left to right:  Brant County Crown Attorney Robert Kindon, Justice Kevin Sherwood, Six Nations community elder Jan Longboat and Justice Gethin Edward, holding a wampum belt, symbolizing the desire to care for all who enter the Brantford Indigenous Persons Court.  NSRLP’s December A2J All-Stars are Sarah Dover, Justice Gethin Edward, and Justice Kevin Sherwood. The trio is nominated by Rosemary Rich, a legal writer and researcher, for their innovative and important work in creating the Indigenous Persons Court [...]

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NSRLP Board Reviews 2016, Sets Ambitious Goals for 2017

NSRLP’s Advisory Board assembled in Windsor two weeks ago to review our work during 2016 (see the NSRLP Year in Review: 2016), and set priorities for 2017. As always, our annual face-to-face meeting produced a stimulating and productive discussion. There was a strong sense among Board members that many of NSRLP’s 2016 projects – for example, the National Database of Professionals Assisting SRLs, as well as ongoing law school projects educating the lawyers of tomorrow about the realities of the [...]

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