Thursday, November 1, 2012

LSUC Paralegal recommendations

Recommendation 1:
That the Law Society continues to pursue elimination of exclusions to its regulation that cannot be justified in terms of facilitating access to justice and/or protection of the public interest.
Recommendation 2:
That the Law Society Act be amended to provide for proportionally equal representation of lawyers and paralegals in its governance structure.

Recommendation 3:
That language in statute that serves to exclude paralegals, when that exclusion cannot be justified in the interest of facilitating access to justice or protecting the public interest, is amended so as to include paralegals.
In the report of its five-year review, the Law Society identifies the following statutes that have been or are being considered for amendment.
Justices of the Peace Act
Commissioners for Taking Affidavits
Notaries Act
Solicitors Act
Barristers Act
Juries Act
Recommendation 4:
That the Law Society undertakes a comprehensive review of the paralegal training and examination regime, beginning with a re-assessment of the competency profile that is appropriate for the legal services that are permissibly offered by newly-licensed sole practitioners.
Recommendation 5:
That the Law Society considers implementation of sub-classes of paralegal licences and/or other forms of accreditation to which, following specialized and substantive training, is attached the right to practice in specific areas of law (e.g. Small Claims Court).
Recommendation 6:
That the Law Society undertakes a public education program that raises awareness of the legal services options available to Ontarians and the protection offered its consumers.

Recommendation 7:
That the Law Society allocates the necessary resources to actively enforce within the paralegal sector adherence to its standard of professional conduct.
Recommendation 8:
That paralegal licensees of the Law Society are required to include a Law Society-authorized description of their licence class (e.g. "Paralegal") and/or subclass in all marketing and communications materials.


Recommendation 9:
That paralegals are required at their first meeting with a client to obtain and file on record the client's acknowledgement of disclosure of the scope of the paralegal's services and legal advice. (To note: Ontario Real Estate Association's "Working with a Realtor: The Agency Relationship" might serve as a useful model.)
Recommendation 10:
That the Law Society continues to actively pursue opportunities to facilitate greater access to justice through broadening of the scope of permissible paralegal practice, but that such broadening is directly linked to the recommendations above with respect to paralegal education, work experience, and professional conduct.
Recommendation 11:
Consistent with Recommendation 5 above, that the Law Society considers implementation of sub-classes of paralegal licences and/or other forms of accreditation to which, following specialized and substantive training, is attached the right to practice in specific areas of law that might currently fall outside of the scope of permissible paralegal practice.


No comments: