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Paralegal Update: September 2014

September 25, 2014

Paralegal Update


Hot Topics

Rule and conduct guidelines amendments effective Oct. 1
Resources available
Law Society Referral Service
Self-paced e-Courses available November 1
Enhancements to Lawyer/Paralegal Directory

Rule and conduct guidelines amendments effective Oct. 1

Certain amendments to the Paralegal Rules of Conduct and the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines will take effect on October 1, 2014.

The lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct were also amended, effective October 1, 2014, to implement the Model Code of Professional Conduct adopted by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the national co-ordinating body of all law societies across Canada.

The amendments to the paralegal Rules and Guidelines were made to maintain consistency between the paralegal and lawyer rules of conduct.

While most of the amendments are minor, some are more substantive and introduce new standards, particularly for dealing with conflicts of interest, undertakings and withdrawal from representation.

More information is available on the New Rules of Professional Conduct web page.

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Resources available

The Law Society has developed resources to assist paralegals with understanding and complying with the amended Rules of Conduct and the amended Professional Conduct Guidelines as follows:
Quick Reference Tool for key amendments to the Paralegal Rules of Conduct  
Steps for Dealing with the Joint Retainer Rules 
Steps for Dealing with Conflicts of Interest under Rule 3.04 of the new Paralegal Rules of Conduct without Notes
Steps for Dealing with Conflicts of Interest under Rule 3.04 of the new Paralegal Rules of Conduct with Notes
Free on-demand webcast of the Update on the Amended Paralegal Rules of Conduct and the Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines CPD program, held on September 8, 2014  Full Story

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Law Society Referral Service

Looking for a way to reach out and help? The Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) fills an important community need by connecting lawyers and paralegals to people looking for assistance with a legal matter.

Trained Legal Information Officers help callers identify their legal issues and guide them to alternative resources, where appropriate, or refer them to a lawyer or paralegal who matches their needs.

The cost to join the service is $282.50 per year (taxes included). If you join now, your fee will be pro-rated monthly.

Information about the LSRS is available online or from the Law Society at: 416-947-3300, ext. 5000 (Toronto) or 1-800-668-7380, ext. 5000 (outside of Toronto). An online application form is also available.  Full Story

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Self-paced e-Courses available November 1

Starting November 1, 2014, you will be able to set your own timetable with the Law Society’s new self-paced CPD e-Courses.

Accessible 24/7, these courses can be viewed on a computer or tablet, and entitle you to claim up to 1.5 hours of CPD Professionalism Hours.

The cost is $100 per course.  Full Story

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Enhancements to Lawyer/Paralegal Directory

If you’re a paralegal who provides legal services to the public, you’ll soon be able to indicate the legal services about which you can be consulted.

Later in the year, this information will be searchable in the public-facing Lawyer and Paralegal Directory.  Full Story

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CPD Programs

October 1 Representing Clients before the Social Benefits Tribunal - for Paralegals
  Property Tax Primer for Paralegals
$imageEvent3.alttext   Mental Health in the Workplace: Challenges and Solutions
$imageEvent4.alttext   Dealing with the Self-Represented (e-Course)
$imageEvent5.alttext   Opening Your Practice Simulation Game - Lawyers & Paralegals (e-Course)
$imageEvent6.alttext   Ethical Issues in Workers' Compensation Law - Dealing with Clients with Mental Disabilities(e-Course)

News Briefs


E-filing pilot launches at four locations

Small Claims Courts in Brampton, Oshawa, Ottawa and Richmond Hill are now offering e-filing for fixed amount claims.

The move is part of a pilot project to modernize the way court services are delivered in Ontario, making them more convenient and effective.

The new e-filing service allows users to prepare and submit all required forms online, up to and including default judgment, pay court fees securely by credit card or debit — and receive court-issued documents by email.

The goal is to make the service available throughout the province in early 2015.

Paralegal Award renamed

The Distinguished Paralegal Award was recently renamed the “William J. Simpson Distinguished Paralegal Award.”

The name change was made in honour of Simpson’s outstanding contribution to the implementation of paralegal regulation.

See the Gazette for more information as well as information about 2014 award recipient Paula Stamp.

Paralegals fight prostate cancer

The Ontario Paralegal Network is teaming up with Prostate Cancer Canada to support "Paralegals for Prostate Canada" during the month of September.

More information is available here.

CPD Requirement late fee implemented

Paralegals and lawyers who do not complete or who fail to report their 2014 CPD Hours by December 31, 2014 will be charged a $100 late fee, in addition to being subject to administrative suspension. More information.

Sept. 24 Convocation

The draft agenda and reports for September 24 Convocation are available.

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