Updated Aug. 6

Featured Articles

How influential is the CanLII CEO?

Colin Lachance is among the 25 most-influential lawyers in Canada, according to Canadian Lawyer Magazine.

In the “Changemakers” category, Lachance is recognized for his leadership with CanLII, Canada’s largest open law web site. The non-profit organization “has changed the way the legal community and the broader public access law as well as disrupting the traditional legal information world,” the magazine notes.

“Lachance also launched CanLII Connects in April this year, which provides thousands of free, plain English legal commentaries on Canadian court decisions.”

    Raising the Paralegal Profile

Lachance asked Paralegal SCOPE Magazine to be among the first contributors to CanLII Connects. SCOPE case summaries and commentaries are available at the new online project, along with other publishers, law firms and legal information providers.

“As legal services providers regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada, paralegals represent an important and growing community, and the Ontario approach may prove to be a model in other Canadian jurisdictions in the years to come,” Lachance wrote at the CanLII Professional Users LinkedIn group recently.

“If you haven’t discovered it yet, I’d encourage all paralegals (and anyone interested in better understanding how these professionals function in Ontario) to check out Paralegal Scope Magazine – edited by Elizabeth LeReverend – for news and information.”

Canadian Lawyer Magazine makes its selections by asking for nominations from legal groups and associations and the previous year’s honourees, readers, and an internal panel of writers and editors. According to the magazine, 6,112 people voted and commented on the 100 finalists selected.

Paralegal SCOPE Publisher page at CanLII Connects

Justice David Paciocco Photo: Ottawa Citizen

Justice David Paciocco Photo: Ottawa Citizen

    ‘Roving Punishment,’ Victim Surcharge Unconstitutional, Ottawa Judge Finds

    Mandatory fine surcharges are unconstitutional, an Ottawa judge has ruled.

    Ontario Court Justice David Paciocco found that the surcharge amounted to “cruel and unusual punishment” in the case of an addicted homeless Inuit man whom he had convicted of nine summary offences related to three separate “nuisance” incidents.

    Judge Paciocco wrote that under a “reasonable hypothetical,” the mandatory victim surcharge would represent a sentence “so grossly disproportionate that it would outrage the standards of decency.” He found that Section 737 prima facie violates Section 12 of the Charter, the violation is not saved by Section 1, and the legislation is of no force or effect.

    To force Shaun Michael to pay $900 in mandatory victim surcharges would be to treat Mr. Michael “more harshly because of his poverty than someone who is wealthy,” Justice Paciocco found. “It is more than merely excessive” and would be counter to principles of fundamental justice, including proportionality.


Paralegal Candidate Karen Fair summarizes a recent appeal, in which a matter was sent back to Ontario Court of Justice, over a jurisdictional issue.

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision considers the jurisdictional differences between the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice when it comes to criminal summary conviction proceedings.

In R. v. D.M.E., 2014 ONCA 496, the appeal court considered whether the Superior Court of Justice has jurisdiction to hear, adjudicate and sentence summary conviction proceedings. In this case, the appeal court found that once the Crown elected to try the accused summarily, the Superior Court lost jurisdiction and the case should have been heard at an Ontario Court of Justice.

Read the full article


Weekly SCOPE Poll – Your Opinion Matters!
Tell Us What You REALLY Think – in the weekly SCOPE Poll

This week’s poll is about a fee increase, in exchange for access to the law library in your jurisdiction. Would you pay higher licensing fees?

News From Practice Areas
Image: 'Confusion' by Adi Ron

Image: ‘Confusion’ by Adi Ron

    The Queen in Right? Wrong!

    Her Majesty the Queen’s application before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has been dismissed.

    In a July 25 decision, Tribunal Vice-chair David Muir agreed with counsel for Pro Bono Law Ontario, that the application — from a man who had legally changed his name recently, to “Her Majesty the Queen” — had no reasonable prospect of success.

    “The applicant can point to no evidence which would tend to support his claim of discrimination on the basis of disability or association with a member of a protected group,” Muir found.

    Pro Bono had refused to assist with a civil claim for outstanding wages as the Monarch. Queen said the refusal was a denial of service based on a disability, that of mental disability.

    Muir found:

      It is agreed that the applicant was advised by the Executive Director of the respondent that they could not assist him because his claim had no reasonable prospect of success and being a charitable institution with limited resources it could not assist every applicant for its services.

    The case is indexed as the Queen v. Pro Bono Law Ontario, 2014 HRTO 1092 (CanLII)


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.”

Read the full article


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.”

Read the full article
Law Society of Upper Canada News


LSUC Webinars – Rules, Tools & Tips

A free live webinar and a recorded session are among the resources from the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) of particular interest to paralegals.

Register soon for “The Amended Paralegal Rules of Conduct and the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines.” Learn what you need to know about Rules changes coming into effect this October.

The Solo & Small Firm Conference and associated materials are available online now. The June conference provided 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.

Learn more about these webinars
Related Information
CPD Discount for Solo Paralegals – SOLO plan being tested by LSUC

Paralegal CPD Hours Decoded – SCOPE explains the Requirement, simply

Paralegal Resources & Information Sources


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
Free Events and Webinars
Is There an Act for That? Legislation for Paralegals
Cheap or Free LSUC Research & Papers
Got a resource to share, or upcoming free event?
Send your suggestions to: editor@paralegalscope.com

Got something to say, add, clarify or retract? Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: