Paralegal Classes | Resources for Students
Scope of practise for Paralegals
Interesting Articles or Cases
- Canadian Lawyer cover article: Discipline Dichotomy, discusses how law societies across Canada may use their discretion to discipline small firms and solo lawyers while ignoring the activity of larger firms.
- Law Times Article: Profession’s Reputation a Lost Cause
- Law Times Article: Unauthorized practice on the rise
- Law Times Article: LSUC launches paralegal review — discusses potential changes in Paralegal scope of practise
- Legal Feeds: Where do Paralegals Sit in Court? and the follow-up case: R. v. Lippa, 2013 ONSC 4424 (CanLII), in which the Court found that Paralegals, like everyone else, sit where they’re told to sit by the presiding ajudicator.
Scope of Practice
- For all of these reasons, I find that the paralegal is not a suitable adult, and that permitting a paralegal to provide assistance would be inconsistent with the proper administration of justice in the Youth Justice Court. (R. v. K.P.D., 2015 ONCJ 88 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/ggg5b>.)
- Registered sex offender seeks license
- Lawyer not to lose ability to practice, but wife (who is a Judge) may?
- Good Character hearings: Past history can be overcome.
- Good Character hearings: Past disbarment can be overcome.
- Not sure if this belongs under civility or mental health, but: Don’t write contracts on toilet paper
- Lawyer taken to task for ‘derogatory comments’ about junior counsel appeals master’s order
- Interesting review of the effects of legal practice on mental health and the effects of mental health on professional responsibility written by Megan Szeto.
- New Legal Assistance Program that will support paralegals although whether or not that support ends up being detrimental to legal practitioners in general remains to be seen.
- Towne v. Miller referenced in the text.
Dealing with Self Represented Parties
- Commentary on Meads v. Meads, a case in which AB Associate Chief Justice Rooke speaks clearly about self represented parties who engage in abusive and vexatious tactics.
- Supreme Court’s Chief Justice McLachlin states that the Canadian Judicial Council: “… views the increasing numbers of self-represented persons who appear in the court system as a serious matter.” And further suggests: “These principles will assist key participants in the justice system to ensure that self-represented persons are provided with fair access and equal treatment in the courts.”
Dealing with Difficult Clients
- Carole Curtis (now Justice Curtis) discussing dealing with difficult clients in practice.
- R v. Murray — solicitor-client confidentiality
In discussing Paul Bernardo’s right to solicitor-client confidentiality during a hearing to see whether the main case should be dismissed due to delay, Justice Gravely mentions:
 Justice Quinn in the course of making a ruling on one of the applications in this case expressed eloquently the public importance of the right when he said:
For those who might succumb to a vagrant thought as to how Bernardo, ensconced in penitentiary having been convicted of heinous crimes, has the temerity, and, is permitted, to assert rights both in this court and in the court below, it is to be remembered that the issue here is the quality of those rights rather than the quality of the litigant.
Covering Your Assets
- File retention: How long, How much?
- Managing the Licensee/Client relationship
- Be aware of the potential pitfalls of offering unbundled or untraditional services to clients on a budget
- More information on unbundling legal services without increasing your exposure to liability
- From the battlefield: Comments by counsel who have been sued on what they could have done to avoid it
Useful source of information on what others have done wrong, see LSO Discipline hearings at CanLII for more examples.
- Law Society of Upper Canada v. White, 2014 ONLSTH 131 (CanLII) — Sometimes being a good person is a mitigating factor
- Law Society of Upper Canada v. Selwyn Milan McSween, — Ignorance is no excuse.
- Law Society of Upper Canada v. Rose-Lyne Marie-Andree Gauthier — Smuggling drugs into jail
- Law Society of Upper Canada v. Asfrah Syed — fail to file Member’s Annual Report
- Law Society of Upper Canada v. George Douglas Hunter — sleeping with clients
- Divisional Court appeal in similar case … Divisional Court slams LSUC discipline decision
- Law Society of Upper Canada v. Colin Cameron Leon Lyle, 2010 ONLSHP 0040 — Civility — and the follow up hearing
- THE LAW SOCIETY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA v. LORI ELLEN STEVENS — L.S.B.C. disciplines Lori Ellen Stevens for causing or permitting farm animals for which she was responsible to be in distress contrary to s. 24(1) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
LSO Rules, By-laws and Acts.
- Paralegal Rules of Conduct
- Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines
- Rules of Professional Conduct (for Lawyers) Includes useful interpretation guidelines and examples.
- Law Society Act
- LSO By-Laws
- Lawyer’s Professional Indemnity Co. (LawPro)
LawPro have great practice management information, as well as information on stress management, time management and “Life” management … LawPro also runs the Avoid a Claim Blog, with up to date tips and suggestions on how to keep your practice out of trouble.
- Learning Legal Professionalism and Hidden Curricula in Legal Adult Education — Two papers written about the history of legal education, both for lawyers and paralegals, how the rules of civility have been used to keep the profession exclusive, and some ideas on ways that might be improved.