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LSO COVID-19 Response

FAQs: LSO Operations

LSO Operations

  • Is the Law Society open?

    The Law Society continues to serve our members and Ontarians while working remotely, in-office with strict physical distancing guidelines and measures in place, or a combination of both. In periods that Toronto is in Lockdown by the Provincial Government employees will be discouraged from attending any office locations.
    This protocol will remain in effect until at least March 31, 2021.

    While we encourage people to stay at home and only take essential trips, the reception area at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, is still accessible to candidates, licensees and the public for document drop-off or pick-up. Only the east entrance to the building off Nathan Phillips Square is open.

    Prior to attending our office to drop off or pick up documents, please review the screening questions provided by the City of Toronto. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the screening questions or are feeling unwell, please stay home and follow the advice of public health officials. You are required to wear a mask or face covering while in the building.

    We will keep licensees and Ontarians up to date regarding our return to office plan, as we move ahead in a thoughtful and measured way.

    Whether our team is working on-site or remotely, we remain available to assist you. Contact us by phone at 416-947-3315, or by email at lawsociety@lso.ca.

    Last updated: December 2

  • Is the Law Society Tribunal Open?

    Since March 16, 2020, all proceeding management and pre-hearing conferences have been held electronically. This will continue indefinitely.

    Additionally, the Tribunal has formally converted all in-person hearings scheduled until March 31, 2021 to videoconference.

    Until further notice, the Tribunal will accept materials filed electronically or in hard copy.

    Hard copy materials can be filed by having them delivered to Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street W., Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N6. 

    Please note that anyone entering Osgoode Hall is required to wear a mask or face covering. 

    For detailed updates regarding the filing of materials, format of appearances, public attendance at electronic appearances, adjourned hearings, legislative provisions and requests to admit, please refer to the November 30, 2020 Updated Notice to the Professions and the Public

    More information and ongoing updates can be found on the Tribunal’s website.

    Last updated: November 30

  • Are the Courts Open?
    The Ministry of the Attorney General, which is responsible for the administration of courts and courthouse facilities, states on its homepage. that: “Most courts are open for in-person proceedings. Strict health and safety protocols are being implemented.”
     
    Licensees should continue to check the Ministry’s website or their Court Services website for further information and updates.

    Licensees should also check the applicable court website for information about attendance at specific courthouses.
     
    Ontario Court of Justice - https://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/
    Superior Court of Justice - https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/
    Court of Appeal for Ontario - https://www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/en/
    Supreme Court of Canada - https://www.scc-csc.ca/

    Last updated: January 15, 2021
  • Are Land Registry Offices Open?
    Land Registry Offices are administered by the provincial government.

    To ensure that you are up-to-date with the most current information, please regularly check the Service Ontario website and contact your local land registry office.

    Last updated: March 19

Annual Fees and Annual Report Filings

  • I have been financially impacted by the pandemic and can’t afford my 2021 Annual Fee. Is there any assistance available for me?

    To help those most impacted by the pandemic, the 2021 Annual Fee COVID-19 Deferral Option has been established to allow eligible licensees to defer the payment of their 2021 Annual Fees until 2022.

    Eligibility requirements, application and information about the process are available here

    Licensees who take part in the 2021 Annual Fee COVID-19 Deferral Option may sign up for the Pre-authorized Payment plan in early 2022 to spread the combined payment of both the 2021 and 2022 Annual Fees over the year. 

    Last updated: January 8, 2021

  • What happens if I don’t pay my 2021 Annual Fee?

    New for 2021, a single date of March 31 applies for both Annual Fee payments and Annual Report Filings. (In 2022, CPD requirements for 2021 will also be required by that date.) Licensees who do not meet the March 31 date for any of these requirements will be in default as of that date and may face immediate suspension.

    The change to a single date was made to make it easier for licensees to meet their requirements and keep track. Late fees will no longer be applied. 

    Licensees may wish to enrol in our monthly Pre-Authorized Payment plan.

    Last updated: January 8, 2021

  • What is the due date for the 2020 Annual Report Filing?

    New for 2021, a single date of March 31 applies for both Annual Fee payments and Annual Report Filings. (In 2022, CPD requirements for 2021 will also be required by that date.)

    The change to a single date was made to make it easier for licensees to meet their requirements and keep track.

    There will no longer be a 60-day period during which Annual Reports can be filed without penalty.

    Licensees who do not meet the March 31 date for any of these requirements will be in default as of that date and may face immediate suspension. Late fees will no longer be applied. 

    Last updated: January 8, 2021

  • What about LAWPRO levies and premiums? Are these still due?
    Refer to the LAWPRO website for more information.

    Last updated: January 8, 2021

CPD

  • Are Law Society CPD programs still going on as scheduled?
    We continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and the advice of Canadian public health authorities. To assist licensees during this time, we have been releasing complimentary existing and responsive program content that can be accessed at https://store.lso.ca/cpdassists.

    Registration is now open for the LSO CPD Spring 2021 programs! Visit https://store.lso.ca/ for details.
     
    Do you have any questions regarding CPD programming? Please contact the CPD Customer Service Team at (416) 947-3315 or via email: cpdreg@lso.ca.
     

    Last updated: November 25 

  • Do CPD Requirements and Limits on Eligible Educational Activities Continue to Apply?
    The annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Requirement continues to apply, however, in the context of COVID-19 and to support public health best practices of physical and social distancing, the LSO has removed the six hour maximum limit applied to watching an archived program without a colleague, teaching, and professional writing for 2020.
     
    Licensees can engage in a variety of activities that do not require in-person contact with colleagues such as participating in:
    • an interactive online course
    • a live or live replay program by telephone or video
    • viewing an archived program alone or remotely with a colleague
    • mentoring, coaching, or advising by phone or video
    • a study group by phone or video
    • a college, university or designated institutional program, as a registrant, through distance education
    • teaching a CPD program virtually
    • the educational component of a bar or law association meeting by phone or video, or
    • professional writing.
     
    Please see our website for more information on approved Eligible Educational Activities
     
    The Law Society continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on licensee obligations.

    Last updated: April 2

Emergency Legal Assistance

  • I’m a self-represented litigant (SRL). Can I get advice to help me determine whether or not my family court matter meets the criteria to be heard by the Court on an urgent basis, and if so how to proceed?
    In response to COVID-19, as an interim measure, with support from the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice, the Law Society is pleased to launch an emergency family law referral telephone line to provide assistance to people who are self-represented (SRLs) and who are trying to determine whether or not their family court matter meets the criteria to be heard by the Court on an “urgent” basis and, if so, how to proceed in making their request.

    This emergency service will connect SRLs with family lawyers, working on a pro bono basis, who will provide 30 minutes of legal advice specific to determining whether or not their family court matter is urgent and referrals to other available legal services. 

    Additional services may be available from the lawyer on a private retainer basis, from Legal Aid Ontario, from the Law Society Referral Service or the private unbundled family law roster*.

    This interim measure is offered by the Law Society in association with the Ontario Bar Association and Toronto’s Family Law Advice and Settlement Counsel project, with support from the Family Lawyers Association and the Federation of Ontario Law Associations. To access this service, which will be staffed during business hours, SRLs may contact the Law Society by phone at the following numbers:

    Toll-free: 1-800-268-7568
    General: 416-947-3310

    Last updated: March 24
  • How do I access the emergency family law referral telephone line?
    Self-represented litigants who are trying to determine whether or not their family court matter meets the criteria to be heard by the Court on an “urgent” basis and, if so, how to proceed in making their request, may access the emergency family law referral telephone line through the Law Society at the following numbers:
     
    Toll-free: 1-800-268-7568
    General: 416-947-3310
     
    The line is staffed during business hours.
     
    More information regarding this service can be found here.

    Last updated: April 2
  • Am I still able to access summary legal advice services at Legal Aid Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic?
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