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).
In Hill v. Bani-Ahmed, Hill and his wife went to Ali Baba’s Restaurant in Toronto, accompanied by Hill’s guide dog. They were told the service dog had to wait outside, because health regulations do not permit pets in the restaurant. Hill filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal, under S. 34 of the OHRC.
Law Society of Upper Canada News
- 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
Professional Misconduct – Paralegal Licence Revoked
Mississauga paralegal John Blackburn has had his licence revoked, for professional misconduct.
The Tribunal found that Blackburn failed to:
The Law Society Tribunal – Hearing Division ordered that Blackburn’s licence is revoked and that he pay costs of $16,927.
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.
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.
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:
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.”
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.
- 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: email@example.com
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.
There are two search pages. The Simple Search page features one box for terms, and a drop-down menu that allows a narrowed search to pinpoint specific areas of law, or other LSUC online materials. The Advanced Search page uses a drop-down subject menu, plus search functions to look for words within a variety of fields, including title, author, date, summary or whole text — or any combination.
Seminar papers can be read, saved, and sent to yourself or someone else. Articles 18 months are free of charge and more recent articles cost $25.00 to $35.00.
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.
Search for books, journals and other print materials, e-books, e-journals, online CLE articles and websites.
CPD Discount for Solo Paralegals – SOLO plan being tested by LSUC
Paralegal CPD Hours Decoded – SCOPE explains the Requirement, simply
Get Published, Get Noticed
Are you a good writer, with a clear “voice” and legal training?
SCOPE publishes original pieces that relate directly to the Paralegal Scope of Practice. Case summaries and commentaries may also be published at CanLII Connects. Submissions are fact-checked and edited to maintain a high standard of writing.
Paralegals, lawyers, judges, instructors and legal students from across Canada and around the world rely on Paralegal SCOPE Magazine for information about licensed paralegals. SCOPE was asked to contribute content to CanLII Connects. It is listed with the Law Society’s Great Library. Content is published at other legal information sites, such as Your Legal Rights.
SCOPE contributors may qualify for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Hours, and your business contact information will run with your article.
Got an article idea or want an assignment? Write to the editor:
News From Practice Areas
Not an Owner? No LTB Self-Rep for You!
Landlords must also be owners of properties they represent at the Landlord and Tenant Board, according to a recent interim order.
In CEL-32403-13-BIR-IN (Re), 2014 CanLII 31000 (ON LTB), member Jeanie Theoharis found that “IC” is a “landlord” under the Residential Tenancies Act, but is not an “owner.” Citing Law Society of Upper Canada v. Chiarelli 2014 ONCA 391 (CanLII), the member found that IC may not appear as a “self-represented” party.
Theoharis noted that the Court of Appeal in Chiarelli found that a person who meets the expanded definition of “landlord” under the Act — that is, a person who is not the owner of the property and is acting as a property manager — is not entitled to self-represent at hearings and must be represented in proceedings before the Landlord and Tenant Board. Further, the appeal court found that any right of self-representation is to be subject to the provisions of the Law Society Act.