Know How

The blog of the Great Library


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Law Society Improves Access to Current CPD Materials by Lifting Embargo

Great news for legal practitioners, researchers and law librarians! The Law Society of Ontario has eliminated its embargo on new CPD materials available through AccessCLE. Now even the most recently added papers from 2019 programs are free to print or download in PDF format.

Continuing professional development (CPD) program materials are an invaluable source of current legal information. Papers typically cover the practical implications of recent case law and legislative developments, and often include useful precedents, procedure and checklists.

You’ll find Law Society CPD papers from 2004 to the current month on AccessCLE. This free resource lets you browse for programs and papers by area of law and year, or search the full-text of these materials by keyword. 

Here’s a sample search for information on adjudications under the new Ontario Construction Act:

The search results below include materials from a June 2019 CPD program, Practice Gems: Working with the New Construction Act.

Papers from the last 18 months were previously available in “read-only” format, but now relevant current materials such as these can be downloaded or printed for free.


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Print or Electronic? It’s Your Choice

The Great Library now offers over 300 current Canadian legal titles in electronic form as well as in print. Searchable electronic versions of texts and loose leaf services on a broad range of legal topics can be accessed in the library through Thomson Reuters ProView, Lexis Advance Quicklaw and WestlawNext Canada.

How does this work?

If you’re a Law Society of Ontario licensee, articling student or LPP student, you can use your Great Library eResources barcode and password to log-in to these texts and loose leafs. But you need to be in the library to use these resources. Remote access is not available.

To find a specific text or loose leaf service, use the search bar on the Great Library home page. The catalogue entry for the book will tell you if an electronic version is available.

Here’s an example for a perennial favourite, the loose-leaf service The Law of Costs by Orkin.The library offers this title in both hard copy and electronic formats. If you’re using the catalogue within the library, clicking on the  View Online  link will take you to a log-in page and then directly into the electronic version of the book.

Alternatively, you can log-in to one of the library’s online services, such as Thomson Reuters eLooseleafs on ProView. Then search within the collection for a specific title or browse by subject.

If you need log-in instructions, or help in finding or using any of the Great Library’s eResources, email us at refstaff@lso.ca.


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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: