Legal Decisions Defines Licensed Legal Professional in Ontario – Paralegal’s See Victory in Court Case

Legal Decisions Defines Licensed Legal Professional in Ontario – Paralegal’s See Victory in Court Case
EnzoCFN –  I’ve always been told that the law is a living thing and that by cases heard by learned judges case law develops into accepted practice.
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As our court systems become more and more bogged down, and less people can afford legal services, Paralegals have evolved here in Ontario and other jurisdictions and a case recently heard was a victory for them as the court system accepts them more and more with each passing year and helps defines their boundaries.
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With Small Claims courts now awarding amounts as high as $25,000 Paralegals are working on more complex cases.
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One of the areas of practice for them are landlord and tenant cases.   While there’s a basic tenant in law that you can always represent yourself the definition of who can represent you legally just saw a victory for the Paralegal profession.
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The Law Society of Upper Canada just saw such a victory in their case VS Enzo Vincent Chiarelli who was acting for a landlord, but was not a licensed Paralegal or lawyer.
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The key question in front of the Court was the definition of Landlord in regard to appearing in front of the Landlord and tenant Board. The grey area until now was the definition of Landlord and unlicensed people, usually property managers, were claiming they were exempt as they met the definition of Landlord.
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This decision clearly states that they meet the definition of landlord for the the purposes of collecting rents etc. BUT NOT EXEMPT AND NOT ALLOWED TO PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES SPECIFICALLY ACTING FOR LANDLORDS AT THE BOARD.
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Paragraph 16 refers to Section 26.1 of Law Society Act which states only licensee shall provide legal services.   Legal services is also defined.
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Paragraph 19 finds that RTA clearly distinguishes between a landlord and an agent
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This decision also coins a new phrase- LICENSED LEGAL PROFESSIONAL- this puts Para Legals in the same class as Lawyers.
The above question has been hanging around for five years and finally  a binding decision has been made which will greatly help provide protection for the public from unlicensed people.
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The decision also extends to preparation of documents(notice of rent arrears etc) this meets definition of providing legal services-(LSUC ACT) this is very important for the profession as it will provide work for the many new graduates.
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Secondly it will provide much needed area of practice for paralegals especially the many new ones.   It also  will also stop unlicensed people from preparing the forms as this meets the definition of providing legal services.
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To learn more about Paralegals and some of the services they offer call one today!
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James Moak

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3 Comments on "Legal Decisions Defines Licensed Legal Professional in Ontario – Paralegal’s See Victory in Court Case"

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Simon
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Given the lack of understanding of law by the general population, and the incredible bureaucracy that surrounds legal proceedings, it’s worthwhile to have capable paralegals as an alternative to pricey lawyers when seeking the law’s protection.

steve
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I have seen cases 3rd week September 2013, at the Landlord tenant Board, where the Property managers who work for many Landlords, ran hearings and won the cases for rent arrears,
the Adjudicators ask for the name for record, and nothing more.
I don’t see a point in having Law passed, The main justice will be given when the Boards instruct adjudicators to ask some questions and ask for proof to see if they are qualified or fit into the description to continue the hearing.

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