A Superior Court injunction has shut down a referral business that had been operated by a failed paralegal applicant. The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) obtained a permanent injunction in November, against Giuseppe (Joe) Alessandro, and Law Help Ltd.
The Law Society Act gives the LSUC authority to prosecute those who practise law or provide legal services unlawfully. Only lawyers and paralegals licensed by the Law Society can provide legal services directly to the public. Illegal practitioners put the public at risk.
Pursuant to S. 26.1 of the Act, the Alessandros and Law Help Ltd. are restrained from providing legal services directly or indirectly to the public, and from owning, operating or managing any referral business related to the provision of legal services. They may not enter into agreements that are related to legal services with lawyers or paralegals.
The respondents have been ordered to remove their website from the internet, destroy promotional material, and to stop advertising jobs and legal referral offers on the internet. They are ordered to stop using phone numbers and an email address associated with Law Help Ltd., for legal services. The Law Society is authorized to take possession of client-related material and property at the Law Help Ltd. offices. The respondents may not solicit legal clients in Ontario courthouses.
Law Help Ltd. had operated a business on Eglinton Ave. West in Toronto. The property is leased-out to a licensee, according to the injunction.
Joe Alessandro had applied for a “grandfather” paralegal licence when regulation came in. The application was denied, after a Good Character Hearing. A 2009 Hearing Panel cited convictions for fraud, forging documents, attempting to obstruct the course of justice, and unauthorized practice as a barrister and solicitor. In 2010, his appeal was dismissed by a panel, after a six-day hearing.