Author - NSRLP

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Our Latest News

We’ve had a very busy month here at the NSRLP! We hope you’ve seen our beautiful updated website, but if you haven’t, go check it out now! We had a lot of fun making a video featuring top Canadian justices, to support the unbundling of legal services and our new National Database! Speaking of which, we’ve had lots of attention for our big new resource, the National Database of Professionals Assisting SRLs! We’ve also released a companion resource to the National Database, The [...]

Self-Represented Litigants Stumble Finding Answers to Procedural Questions: But a Solution is within Reach

This week’s blog is written by Heather Hui-Litwin, a long-time friend of NSRLP, former SRL and co-founder of the Self-Rep Navigators group in Toronto (www.limitedscoperetainers.ca). Heather recounts her experience trying to track down procedural information for a SRL she is assisting. The 2013 Study, and our continued daily contact with SRLs at the NSRLP, demonstrates how much SRLs worry and stress about navigating court procedures, and the significance of access to accurate procedural information. Heather’s personal experiment described below shows [...]

The Continuing Growth of SRL Jurisprudence: Two Encouraging Rays of Light

There have been some worrisome developments recently in the jurisprudence concerning self-represented litigants – but also, in the last few weeks, two important rays of light. Punishing self-rep mistakes with costs Three weeks ago I wrote my blog on Dorey v Dorey, an Ontario Superior Court decision that imposed $15,000 worth of legal costs on a SRL who was judged to have intentionally and mischievously protracted litigation via multiple filings and exhibits, by not making an Offer to Settle, and her [...]