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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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Old 04-28-2014, 07:30 PM
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Default LEGAL AID gone wild

The good thing LEGAL AID ONTARIO helps low income people defend themselves in Court.

The bad is when Legal Aid Ontario goes overboard:

In 2011 ONSC 7476 (CanLII)<SUP id=cite_ref-6 class=reference>[6]</SUP> the Honourable Mr. Justice Pazaratz issued a 74 paragraph cost award of $11,500 against a mother whom was funded by Legal Aid Ontario. In the case the Honourable Mr. Justice Pazaratz identified a common pattern of behaviour unaddressed by the Ontario Ombudsman and Legal Aid Ontario:
58. The dynamics on this file are all too common, and cry out for judicial awareness. In a troubled economy we are seeing more self-represented parties in Family Court, and certainly more people with limited finances. Inevitably, these ingredients create greater strains on the administration of justice. Combined with limited judicial resources, the need to encourage settlement and discourage inappropriate behaviour by litigants has never been more pressing.
59. But combining a “free lawyer” with a perceived immunity from costs is a dangerous mix. Dangerous for opposing litigants. Dangerous for children, whose lives are needlessly disrupted by bitter and unnecessary litigation. And dangerous for a Family Court system whose resources are already strained.
60. In the case at bar, the Applicant conducted herself as if her Legal Aid certificate amounted to a blank cheque – unlimited resources which most unrepresented Respondents would be hard-pressed to match. A scheduled 3-4 day trial turned into 17 days, largely because the Applicant fought every issue and pursued every dubious allegation, to the bitter end. She appeared to make up evidence and allegations as she went along. She defied court orders directly impacting on the child, even while the trial was underway. There have to be consequences. Either we sanction this irresponsible and destructive behaviour, or we invite more of the same.


NOW

Legal Aid is taking any person that claims "domestic abuse " and represents them before there is even a Court Action.

In effect a taxpayer funded agency with unlimited litigation funding will win against some poor sod who just wants to see the kid(s).

The poor sod will have to pay the Legal Aid Ontario Court Costs when the sod eventually loses

There is nothing in the "LEGAL AID ACT" about getting separating couples to deal with matters themselves to avoid Court as in Family Law. Legal Aid Ontario has a scorched earth policy in Family Matters

Although LEGAL AID ONTARIO has free mediators for there clients to use and patting themselves on the back for their latest initiative below

Tell us what you think about our conflict management program for family law

Monday, April 28, 2014

In reality Legal Aid Ontario doesn't practise what is preachers

I want opinions and strategy's for how to deal with this steamroller of an Public Funded Organization and any experience stories would be nice






<SUP id=cite_ref-7 class=reference></SUP>





Last edited by MrToronto; 04-28-2014 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:32 PM
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I believe the case you are quoting from is from that of one of our own members, WD. His ex is a classic case of cray cray.

I'm content to leave Legal Aid to represent those who currently qualify, with my tax dollars.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:47 PM
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There will always be ''wierdo cases'' abusing the system. All in all legal aid is an essential service to those who can't afford representation. Though I do agree that there must be consequences to wasting the court's time.
Mediation should be Legal Aid's primary objective.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:46 AM
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It often belies the organization's "intake" policies IMO. Probably need some better screening as long as it doesn't make it harder for those who truly are in need of legal assistance.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:54 AM
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Better screening and more monitoring. Negotiations and settlement options should in the very least be "explored" in the beginning, middle and end. Not a cold hard settlement per se but "explore" options. Mediation is preached in all angles of family law. It's time LA lawyers stop trying to run up bills, prolonging unnecessary cases which promote high conflict and at least "explore" these programs put in place with their clients. I've offered mediation/negotiation in every single correspondence for 3 months, all ignored. It's not what's in the best interest of the LA lawyer's personal agenda. Its what's in the best interest of the child.

Last edited by LovingFather32; 04-30-2014 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:03 PM
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I think LA should to be determined on a case by case basis wherein the complexity of the case should be taken in to account, not just one's general income or lack thereof; after which, any accepted persons should then have their litigation monitored on a 30-60 day interval just as it is with many other forms of social assistance.

May people need this service to protect themselves from the legal methods of exploitation and abuse however LA should never be used to abuse others.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:11 PM
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Well I think one of the criteria to taking on a client to represent is...does the other side have a lawyer.

IF the other party is SELF REPRESENTED then where's the fairness. At this point a LEGAL AID lawyer should only offer to mediate for both parties to resolve matters

I prefer that to being fair and paying my tax dollars into
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Old 05-03-2014, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrToronto View Post
Well I think one of the criteria to taking on a client to represent is...does the other side have a lawyer.

IF the other party is SELF REPRESENTED then where's the fairness. At this point a LEGAL AID lawyer should only offer to mediate for both parties to resolve matters

I prefer that to being fair and paying my tax dollars into
That is a silly criteria... if one party decides not to hire a lawyer, that is their prerogative but that shouldn't force the other party to not have a lawyer. If you are going to say that, it should be the same for non legal aid lawyers, no self rep should have to go up against a lawyer if that is your criteria.
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:04 PM
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Sure and if the SELF REPRESENTED is just over being broke and doesn't qualify for LEGAL AID and can't afford a lawyer. Then what?

Your last sentence on a private lawyer shouldn't having to face a self rep in Court I was talking about publicly funded lawyers that help low income clients. The private lawyer has the choice of squashing the self rep or not

Last edited by MrToronto; 05-03-2014 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 05-03-2014, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrToronto View Post
Sure and if the SELF REPRESENTED is just over being broke and doesn't qualify for LEGAL AID and can't afford a lawyer. Then what?

Your last sentence on a private lawyer shouldn't having to face a self rep in Court I was talking about publicly funded lawyers that help low income clients. The private lawyer has the choice of squashing the self rep or not
So you are saying that if someone who makes $300,000 a year decides not to hire a lawyer, their ex spouse, who makes say $15000 shouldn't be allowed to hire a legal aide lawyer because their rich ex decides not too?
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