JANUARY 27, 2021 – SD&G area Paralegal James Moak of Cornwallparalegal.com has been nominated for the inaugural Paralegal award by the Carleton County Law Association. (CCLA)

Mr. Moak has been very busy, even through this pandemic, as his Kingston and Ottawa offices have been expanding.

He also spearheaded what is referred to as “Moak Law” which has helped insure only licensed legal practioners can appear on behalf of clients at Landlord & Tenant hearings in Ontario.

I am honored to be nominated for the inaugural paralegal award at the CCLA. This is proof of how far our profession has developed and it is recognition of the significant contribution paralegals are providing to the public and to the legal profession.

James Moak LLP

From the CCLA website:

Paralegal Award

The Paralegal Award is given to a paralegal (including a retired paralegal) who is most deserving of recognition for great diligence, devotion to professional duties and for advancing the ideals and bringing credit to the paralegal profession. Those who will receive the award will have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the paralegal profession, whether in effectively performing services as a paralegal, for mentoring others and/or making it easier for those who followed, or for attaining an excellent reputation in the courts. The award will be awarded only to a member or former member of the County of Carleton Law Association.

This award will be presented for the first time in 2021.

He was nominated by attorney Michael Thiele of Ottawa. He sent in the following:

I nominated Jim Moak for the paralegal award for a few reasons. 

The first is that he is a tenacious and strategic advocate who applies the law and takes into account the broader interests of his clients.  This is an impressive trait in an advocate and it reflects a skill that many lawyers and paralegals aspire to, but sadly do not acquire notwithstanding their best efforts. 

The second reason is what I think truly deserves recognition.  Jim has worked tirelessly to professionalize the paralegal profession and he works to gain recognition for the whole profession and what it offers to the community. 

This benefits all paralegals and the public who can increasingly trust the judgment and work of the paralegals that they retain.   One of the key ways that Jim works to professionalize paralegals is his work to prevent the unauthorized practice of law by people who “pretend” to be entitled to represent parties in hearings. 

Unauthorized practice has been a serious problem in proceedings before the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board.  Property managers, real estate agents, and people who just “pretend” will seek to represent landlords  (mostly) for a fee and they improperly co-opt the the professional designation of “paralegal”.   

In doing so they are breaking the law. 

However, for years they were getting away with it, and that is an issue that Jim tackled at the Law Society of Ontario, through political lobbying, through the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board, and in court hearings and board proceedings.   

He has been quite effective in doing so and a number decisions, rules, and policies now aim to prevent the unauthorized practice of law.  This benefits represented landlords and tenants who now can rely on the professional obligations that regulated professionals are obliged to follow in their appearances before Administrative Tribunals and the Courts.   

Its significance in preventing the unauthorized practice of law can’t be overstated.  Landlords, tenants, and all parties in litigation benefit when the representatives have been properly trained and are bound to the rules of professional conduct.  Jim’s work in this regard has a broad benefit to our community.

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