Updated July 27

News From Practice Areas

 

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    Rush to Judgment? JP’s Comments Lead to Acquittal

    A Toronto man convicted of speeding has been acquitted, after an appeal court found “reasonable apprehension of bias” in the trial justice’s comments.

    In Toronto (City) v. Mangov, 2014 ONCJ 351 (CanLII), a justice of the peace had cut short a paralegal’s cross-examination of a police witness, suggested the defendant seek resolution with the prosecutor and “seemed to assume he was guilty from the beginning.”


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    Alberta Small Claims Going Up – $50k Limit

    The Provincial Court of Alberta’s civil claims limit will increase from $25,000 to $50,000 on August 1.

     

    According to the provincial government, the increase means Albertans will have greater access to the Provincial Court. Other changes will ensure more timely and cost-effective resolution of civil claims using a “more simplified and user-friendly process.”

Featured Article

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    Blind Justice: Service Animals & Ontario Law

    Paralegal and SCOPE contributor Baruch Lipinsky summarizes recent Human Rights Tribunal decisions that affect service providers and people who use service animals.

     

    In Ontario, blind people who are accompanied by their service dogs have been asked to leave stores, marketplaces and restaurants by merchants who are not aware of the difference between these animals and pets.

    Visually impaired customers who are told their service animal must leave a premise may file complaints under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC). Three such cases are: Hill v. Bani–Ahmad, 2014 937 (CanLII); Bourdeau v. Kingston Bazar, 2012, HRTO 393 (CanLII); and Schussler v. 1709043 Ontario Ltd, 2009, HRTO 2194 (CanLII).

Read the full article
Torts, in Many Flavours: Recent Tort-Related Articles
 

Legal Word of the Day

 

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    “Jurisdiction” – Specific right, power or authority given to an adjudicator, to decide a legal matter.

     

    Jurisdiction is an integral part of the justice system. If an adjudicator makes a decision outside the jurisdiction for the matter, that “jurisdictional deficit” means the decision is subject to appeal or review.

 

Law Society of Upper Canada News
 

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    Professional Misconduct – Paralegal Licence Revoked

    Mississauga paralegal John Blackburn has had his licence revoked, for professional misconduct.
     

    The Tribunal found that Blackburn failed to:
     

    • Serve two clients in a conscientious and diligent manner when he failed to attend court for the trials in their matters
    • Deposit retainer funds received from two clients into a trust account
    • Deliver an account to two clients

     

    The Law Society Tribunal – Hearing Division ordered that Blackburn’s licence is revoked and that he pay costs of $16,927.


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    The Rules, They Are A’Changing

    Get up to date, with a FREE Law Society webinar, The Amended Paralegal Rules of Conduct and the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines.

    Credited for two Professionalism Hours, the live CPD is set for Mon., Sept. 8, 4:30-6:30 pm. Panelists include Cathy Corsetti, Chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee; Bencher Malcolm Mercer, Chair, Professional Regulation Committee; and Jim Varro, Director, Policy, with the Law Society of Upper Canada.

    Amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct come into effect Oct. 1. Learn about the new standards, as well as the changes to the rules dealing with conflicts of interest, undertakings, and withdrawal from representation, among others. Presenters will offer practical examples, so paralegals have a firm grasp of what’s expected.


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Solo & Small Firm Conference Materials Available
    Held June 12 and 13 in Toronto, this annual conference provides resources and practice tips just for licensees who work alone or with one or two others. For paralegals, that means the majority of active practitioners.

    Participants had a chance to review the latest updates on essential practice areas, updates on innovative technologies and practice management tools to improve productivity and client service.

    Publications, presentations and webcasts from the event are available for purchase at the Law Society site.

Paralegal Resources & Information Sources
 

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Where Can I Find…

Paralegal SCOPE is the only source of paralegal news, features and information.

Among the most popular content areas are those devoted to sources of legal information. These include:

 

Hints, Clues & How-Tos
    Frequently updated, this article lists websites, articles, training opportunities, FAQs, printable brochures and slide presentations. Find helpful advice to assist clients with special needs, and guideposts to niche areas of practice.

The latest resource is filed under Consumer Protection: “The Little Black Book of Scams.”

Free Events and Webinars
    Always room for more — this article includes upcoming events that paralegals can access for free. Seminars and webinars focus only on subjects directly related to the scope of practice, practice management and client service.
Is There an Act for That? Legislation for Paralegals
    Hundreds of pieces of legislation and regulations affect the paralegal scope. This article lists the acts paralegals are most-likely to reference in providing effective representation for clients.

    Got a resource to share, or upcoming free event?

    Let SCOPE know: editor@paralegalscope.com


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Cheap or Free Legal Information

    Review articles and materials from past Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions, at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s (LSUC) CPD site.

    AccessCLE is a website that contains the full text to all LSUC seminars since 2004. The texts are all free to read and those older than 18 months are free to download.

    Another research tool available to paralegals is the Law Society’s InfoLocate. This is the search and discovery tool for the print and electronic holdings of the Great Library and Ontario County and District Law Association Libraries.

    Related Information:

    CPD Discount for Solo Paralegals – SOLO plan being tested by LSUC

    Paralegal CPD Hours Decoded – SCOPE explains the Requirement, simply

 

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