Know How

The blog of the Great Library


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Has It Been Appealed?

When you’ve found the perfect case that’s exactly on point, what’s your next step? Besides running out and buying a lottery ticket, you should note up the decision to see if it has been appealed. You can do this using Lexis Advance Quicklaw, WestlawNext Canada and CanLII. There may be a later decision that upholds or reverses your decision, awards costs or in some instances orders a new trial.

What if your perfect Ontario case is very recent and you’re wondering if it has been appealed to the Court of Appeal? The court’s website has a section that lists motions for leave to appeal, organized by year and then month. Once you have selected a year you can then do a ctrl-f search for one of the party’s names. The motions for leave to appeal begin with 2002.

What if leave to appeal has been granted and you’re desperate to know when the decision might be released? After checking the three case law databases listed above (but only after they have been checked), you can call the Court of Appeal. For inquiries about appeals, contact the Intake Office at 416-327-5020 and select Option #2.


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New Website: Ontario’s Family Law Limited Scope Services Project

This week saw the launch of a new website for Ontario’s Family Law Limited Scope Services Project. The Project is funded by The Law Foundation of Ontario. Its aim is to improve access to family justice for lower and middle income Ontarians by increasing the use of unbundled or limited scope legal services.

Currently in over half of family law cases, one or more parties is self-represented. The single biggest factor in a litigant’s decision to appear without counsel is the cost of legal services. The Ontario’s Family Law Limited Scope Services Project conducts research and provides information on alternatives to high cost, full-service representation, such as:

  • Limited scope retainers under which clients engage a lawyer to complete only specified tasks while taking responsibility for handling the rest of the matter themselves.
  • Legal coaching where the client navigates their legal issue with guidance from a lawyer.
  • Summary legal counsel where lawyers provide day-of-court assistance for a fee to unrepresented family litigants not eligible for Legal Aid.

The Project’s website provides resources on these options for both family law clients and lawyers. For clients, there’s a directory of Ontario lawyers who offer unbundled family law services. There’s an FAQ section that provides practical information on limited scope services, what they cover, how they differ from traditional legal services and how to work with a lawyer to allocate tasks under a limited scope retainer.

The website also helps lawyers better understand the concept of limited scope representation and how to provide unbundled services. Lawyer resources include a best practices guide, precedent retainer agreement and FAQs.

For more information on limited scope legal services, see

ABA Unbundling Resource Center

Alberta Limited Legal Services Project

Limited Scope Representation Resources (LawPRO)

Unbundling Legal Services (Law Society of British Columbia)

“Unbundling” of legal services (Law Society of Ontario)

 


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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

December is known as Universal Human Rights Month. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted in Paris on December 10, 1948. The milestone document consists of 30 articles setting out the basic human rights and freedoms – civil, political, economic, social and cultural for “all peoples and all nations”.

The universality of the Declaration is reflected in the fact that it is the most translated document in the world. There are currently 515 translations from Abkhaz to Zulu, as well as sign language versions, child-friendly versions, and illustrated versions.

To mark Universal Human Rights Month, here is a short selection of resources for researching the UDHR:

 


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The British Are Leaving!

A form of Brexit is currently taking place in the Great Library’s American Room. British law reports and statutes are leaving. But not to worry – these materials are being cleaned and moved to their new location on the library’s 1st floor. Continue reading


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When Worlds Collide

Real life legal research problems are rarely neat and tidy, or confined within the boundaries of one area of law. Client situations often require research into inter-related aspects of family and estates law, criminal and civil law, or employment and immigration law, for example. So, where can you find practical resources to meet this research challenge?  Continue reading