Canadian Family Courts may include Paralegals


It was just reported in the Toronto Star that both lawyers and paralegals may be allowed to represent clients embroiled in the family courts system.

While some argue it’s too complex for a paralegal’s scope, others however disagree, including this one.

Paralegals are already allowed to represent in certain criminal cases and so it’s certainly not a stretch to think paralegals could represent in family court by any means.

At any rate, former Ontario court Chief Justice, Annemarie Bonkalo, thinks we can. The former Chief Justice recommends that specialized, trained paralegals be allowed to provide family court representation through special licensing.

And she certainly knows it will be controversial, as currently paralegals are prohibited from doing so.

“There are few subjects that cause more controversy within the family justice community than the provision of legal services by paralegals,” Bonkalo states.

The public has until May 15 2017 to offer input as to their thoughts on this and for changes needing made to streamline our backed up family court system.

A decision by government on her recommendations is expected by fall. Stay tuned!

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Lisa Barder, Landlord Paralegal

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