How We Are Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis

COVID-19 F A Q

1.  What protective measures is Browne & Associates Legal Services taking during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

We are concerned about our clients, suppliers and those in our office by ensuring that we minimize any dangers during the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic.  By keeping our offices clean, wiping down all meeting areas with disinfectant before and between any project will ensure all staff and associates work in a clean environment.   Only one or two associates will be in the office at any time to emphasize social distancing.

Each one of us is minimizing our own exposure and potential exposure to COVID-19.  If any one of us is feeling sick, we will work from home using telephone, Internet or video technology to communicate.  We will self-isolate if we become exposed to somebody else who is sick.  We are also avoiding any conferences, large gatherings of people or other public events where there is a potential for spread. Read more… “How We Are Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis”

TENANTS – A NEW EVICTION TRICK BY SOME LANDLORDS

Landlord and Tenant Disputes

Our office receives calls from Tenants who are bewildered after getting an eviction notice when they never got a Hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board.  They ask me if it is legal to do this.  My answer to this as always, is “it depends”.

I will often ask the Tenant if anything had taken place between them and the Landlord recently.  Was there a Board appearance, a mediation, or did they sign an agreement to terminate (N11)?  We have been told by Tenants that their Landlords put them to duress to sign a form to say they will move by a particular date.  Many Tenants are not aware of what these Forms are.  When I ask them if they signed any forms, they often say, “Yes, I did.  Did I do something wrong?”.

No.  As a Tenant, you did nothing wrong.   You probably did not know what you were signing.  Many Tenants have not planned to move from their rental units before their Landlords came in to get them to sign.  One concern is if the Tenant does not in fact leave by the date set in the form, they can be evicted.  There will be no Hearing.  There will be no opportunity to present their side of the story to the Board. Read more… “TENANTS – A NEW EVICTION TRICK BY SOME LANDLORDS”

Avoid Costly Errors at Your Next Eviction Hearing

What Often Happens at Hearings

I sit as an observer at the Landlord and Tenant Board.  I often do this when waiting for one of our firm’s cases.

Today’s hearing blocks were for matters of arrears of rent.  On rent arrears days, landlords often try to do ‘self-help’.  That is, I see many of them struggle, getting frustrated with the process and hurriedly filling out forms.  Despite their best efforts, the hearing officer often turns them away.  Many things can go wrong in an application process.  When this happens, a landlord can be denied their eviction and lose even more money.

Most adjudicators are well meaning and attempt to ensure that parties before them get heard.  Today, the adjudicator at the Board spent most of his time explaining to the landlords what they did wrong.  He advised them how to correct it and why it is necessary to do things in a certain way.  I found him to be kind and gentle in his approach, although those appearing before him likely felt on edge.  His main point is that some errors can be fatal. Read more… “Avoid Costly Errors at Your Next Eviction Hearing”

The New Standard Lease for Residential Tenancies- Additional Terms for use

How the Standard Lease came to be….

The New Standard Lease, a solution in search of a problem, came into being April 30, 2018.   For most folk in the industry, Landlords and Tenants alike, this was not an issue. It wasn’t a pressing issue, it just wasn’t an issue at all. Industry players and pundits alike were take aback by the introduction of a new industry wide lease. That is because any lease or tenancy is, and
was, subject to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and the rules therein. In practical terms,  every tenancy within the RTA was subject to the same rules, regardless of the language in the individual lease agreements. The RTA is the one ring that rules them all.

So why a new lease? Are there any benefits to this new lease? Doesn’t it resolve issues that weren’t previously addressed? And, most importantly, how can Landlords and Tenants use it to assist themselves? Read more… “The New Standard Lease for Residential Tenancies- Additional Terms for use”

Workplace Bullying/Harassment: What Is It and What Can You Do?

 Introduction

If you are reading this, you might be wondering if what you are experiencing can be considered “workplace harassment” or “workplace bullying”. Most of us heard about it discussed in the news, reports of people getting charged with harassing somebody they worked with, or heard others complain about getting “harassed” at work. Maybe you are experiencing something at work or in your workplace that is bothering you, worrying you or creating a major sense of tension. First, let’s review what workplace harassment is.

What Workplace Harassment Is and What It Is Not Read more… “Workplace Bullying/Harassment: What Is It and What Can You Do?”

The Art of Written Communications with the Court

or
Why you want to hire Browne and Associates Legal Services Prof Corp to draft your claim/defence/motion!

Pleadings are often mentioned in legal proceedings, mostly giving rise to a perplexed look from the individuals involved in pursuing the legal action. What is a “pleading” and why does it matter? Do you want one, and what type of pleading works best? What do you want to say to the Court and how do you say it? Read more… “The Art of Written Communications with the Court”

Why use Paralegals? Should Paralegals be in Family Law?

At the present time, paralegals are not involved in Family Law matters.  However, an ongoing crisis has been noted in Family Law,  approximately 60% of people in family court have no legal representation. At their most vulnerable, the legal system is failing the average person in Ontario.  In response, the Attorney General and the Law Society of Upper Canada sought assistance from Madame Justice Bonkalo in considering whether persons other than Lawyers, i.e. Paralegals, should be providing legal services in Family Law.  Justice Bonkalo’s report has caused a stir in the legal community, consisting of 21 recommendations including the recommendation that Paralegals, properly trained, be permitted to provide some services in Family Law.  A link to that report is here.

Attached is a brief video clip from Bruce Parson’s recent appearance on Get Legal Milton Cogeco, where I discussed the issue with gracious host Samantha Glass, special nod to technical wizard Anthony Luongo. He did what he could to make me look good, no easy task!

Choosing the Advocate that is Right for You

How Do You Find Information About a Lawyer or Paralegal?

Is Your Advocate a Regulated Professional?

So, you decided to hire a legal professional.  This is a daunting task.

First, check to see that your legal professional is listed in the Law Society of Ontario directory.  If their name is in the directory, they are licensed with the Law Society of Ontario and are able to provide you with legal advice or legal services.  Members in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario are insured for errors and omissions, as well as bound to a Code of Ethics.  If their name is not listed, they are not licensed and likely not authorized to provide the services you are seeking. Read more… “Choosing the Advocate that is Right for You”

Finding the Right Kind of Legal Assistance

There are many times in our lives when we experience problems that are beyond our grasp, where we need to speak to a professional.

If your car breaks down, you want a mechanic.  If furnace dies, you need an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) technician.  If you develop health issues, you turn to your Family Doctor.  In the legal system, you have a broader choice of legal representation for many matters in Ontario.  In Ontario, you can choose to hire a Lawyer or a Paralegal.

As technology advances and we become more and more specialized in what we do, it becomes easier for each of us to understand the value of knowledge.  Like your auto mechanic, your family doctor or your HVAC technician, lawyers and paralegals offer specialized knowledge that can help you resolve your legal problems.  Browne & Associates Legal Services Professional Corporation is owned and operated by experienced paralegals that have practiced in the province of Ontario.  We also connect to lawyers that may be able to assist you in resolving legal issues that as paralegals, we cannot become directly involved in.

Read more… “Finding the Right Kind of Legal Assistance”