SRL-Lawyer Dialogue: Are SRLs crazy or just fed up?

This blog is the first in a series in which lawyers (and other justice professionals) ask self-represented litigants a question which SRLs try to answer – and vice versa. Rob Harvie is a family lawyer in Alberta, and a former Chair of the Alberta Law Society Access to Justice Committee. He is currently the Chair of the NSRLP Advisory Board. Randi Druzin is journalist, author and former SRL. In this blog, Rob asks the question and Randi answers it. “Why are SRLs so crazy [...]

Read more...

“Outsiders” and “Insiders” Can Change the Justice System Together

Originally published on Slaw, Canada’s online legal magazine; written by Julie Macfarlane and Jeff Rose-Martland. This is the third in a regular series of columns for Slaw, written by the NSRLP team. In the last five years, the engagement, skill and experience of individuals representing themselves in the justice system has changed in a number of very important ways. NSRLP has a number of data points to reinforce this observation, including the 2015/16 Intake Report and the 2017 Intake Reportwhich noted: “Last year we were [...]

Read more...

Is Law Society Self-Regulation Balanced? A Complainant’s Analysis

The Law Society of Ontario is responsible for regulation of the professional conduct, competence, and capacity of Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals. The LSO believes it handles complaints in a timely, open, and efficient manner and adequately balances the public’s interest and its licensees’ interests. A summary of my LSO experience As a member of the public who has used the LSO Complaints system, I have a different opinion. I found that the processes were opaque and unresponsive, and that both the [...]

Read more...

Lawyers: Who Needs Them? We do!

This week’s guest blog is written by Tania Perlin B.A., L.L.B. from the law firm of Tania Perlin, Barrister & Solicitor.  Ms. Perlin is also a certified Mediator with the Ontario Mandatory Mediation Program, a public speaker, and an instructor of Business Law at Ryerson University. I have practiced law for over 25 years. I come from a long line of lawyers originally from Eastern Europe – my great grandfather and his brothers had a law firm that assisted clients [...]

Read more...

Where’s the Accountability in Canada’s Justice System?

This week’s guest blog is written by author and former newspaper publisher Colin Alexander. His current work-in-progress is a book about horror stories in the justice system, and how to fix it. Accountability is a buzzword of our time—for everyone except for the guardians of accountability, namely, lawyers and judges. But things can change. Making it happen requires concerted pressure on politicians at all levels. Only they have the power to impose the collective will of citizens against collective resistance [...]

Read more...

Announcing “The Access Revolution” Blog

Today’s blog post is written by NSRLP Director Julie Macfarlane. Announcing The Access Revolution Blog Today we are announcing the launch of the rebranded NSRLP Blog, which I started during my initial research into the SRL experience (the first blog was The Two Solitudes, posted in June 2012). Many of you have read the blog faithfully for the past five and a half years, and I think you are going to be very excited about our plans moving forward. It was always [...]

Read more...

When the Badly-Behaved Party is Opposing Counsel

Originally published on Slaw, Canada’s online legal magazine; written by Julie Macfarlane. This is the second in a regular series of columns for Slaw, written by the NSRLP team.  We are hearing more and more often from SRLs about “sharp practice” when they face a lawyer on the other side of their case. There are many common elements to these reports, which I find to be largely credible. SRLs believe that their unfamiliarity with the legal system, combined with the tendency [...]

Read more...

Yes, it Really is That Bad!

This week’s guest blog is written by Laurel Dietz, who is the owner and operator of Alinea Legal Coaching in Victoria, BC. Laurel is a lawyer who provides coaching and legal consultation to clients going through separation and divorce. Yes, it Really is That Bad! A lawyer’s observations on the SRL experience in the justice system I was inspired to write this blog post after reading the November 15th, 2018 post by a Self-Represented Litigant (anonymous) who decided to file for her [...]

Read more...

Walking Wounded

This week’s guest blog is written by Jana Saracevic. Jana is a former SRL who has worked with NSRLP and supported other SRLs for the past five years. This blog post voices her frustrations with the enormous challenges faced by SRLs, and the impact on them. Walking Wounded Indulge me for a moment while I voice my frustrations. In my wildest dreams, I never expected to become an SRL. During my tenure in the quagmire we call “the Canadian legal system” I thought [...]

Read more...

A Place of Powerlessness

It’s been a really rough few weeks on the personal/health front. I have lost both my dogs, been hospitalized twice, and suffered through a lot of pain. And to cap it off, already physically vulnerable, I was put in a place of emotional powerlessness within the health system. The Canadian health system: full of good people, and a few not-so, and wall-to-wall bad processes – just like the legal system. As he drove me home after my second hospitalization, my partner [...]

Read more...
Font Resize
Background Color