The Art of Written Communications with the Court

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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”

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”

Statutory Accident Benefits: After the Accident

What Are Statutory Accident Benefits?

Statutory Accident Benefits (or SABS) provides “no fault” insurance coverage to accident victims after a motor vehicle accident.  You do not have to be a driver of a motor vehicle to receive it.  You can also be a passenger, a pedestrian or using public transit at the time.  The benefits are set out to pay for medical, financial and certain other costs related to your injuries.

SABS is part of a mixed no fault/tort liability system, whereby SABS is the ‘no fault’ benefit.  For those more seriously injured, there is the tort system.  Under tort, an accident victim sues the other driver to augment SABS and to receive other “damages” in tort.  In order to sue, you must meet what the courts call “threshold”, which is beyond the discussion here. Read more… “Statutory Accident Benefits: After the Accident”

Should I Sue in Small Claims Court?

Something happens.

You are fired from your job, purchase a car from somebody that did not actually own it or loan a friend some money they did not repay.

Your first thought is to file a small claims suit against the person you feel owes you money.

Do I Have A Case (for Small Claims Court)?

As paralegals, we litigate a lot in small claims court.  Small claims court can deal with many, but not all claims, under $35,000.00.  Many times, another body, such as the Landlord and Tenant Board or License Appeals Tribunal have the jurisdiction to deal with your claim.  In many cases, these other forums must be the place you file your claim and not small claims court.  Paralegals can litigate in these other forums and we can tell you if the small claims court does not have the jurisdiction to help you. Read more… “Should I Sue in Small Claims Court?”

Your Driving Privilege in Ontario

Rights Versus Privilege

As a practitioner, I often attend overcrowded Provincial Offences Courts, where individuals are often charged with driving offences.  If you can get past the line-ups to the front, you can often speak to Prosecutor to arrange a deal.  At the same time, Justices of the Peace explode into a tirade about how driving a motor vehicle is a privilege and not a right.  Reviewing the dockets these days is an amazing test of stoicism.  Dockets show one person after the other charged with “driving while under suspension”, among other related charges.

If you plead guilty to driving while under suspension, the Ministry of Transportation tacks on a further six months of suspension on your license. Defenses for this charge are limited, as this offence is considered a “strict liability” offence.  That means in essence ‘you should known better’.  In theory, all of this makes sense, but in reality this whole concept needs a rethink. Read more… “Your Driving Privilege in Ontario”