Court Services of the Future: Online Mediation

  In British Columbia, the Legal Services Society has launched a free, online service called “The Family Resolution Centre”. It is part of My Law BC(delivered by legal aid provider Legal Services Society). The Family Resolution Centre program of My Law BC helps separated couples create parenting plans online. The parenting plans deal with parentingContinue reading “Court Services of the Future: Online Mediation”

Solving the Issue of Access to Justice by Redefining “Access to Justice”

“Justice is open to all; like the Ritz Hotel.” In the article “Clients Need Legal Services But Not Necessarily Lawyers“, Mark Cohen writes about the issue of access to justice. He points out that improving access to justice does not always mean improving access to lawyers. He refers to new products that provide legal services.Continue reading “Solving the Issue of Access to Justice by Redefining “Access to Justice””

Commentary on the “Unintended Consequences: The Regressive Effects of Increased Access to Courts”

In “Unintended Consequences: The Regressive Effects of Increased Access to Courts“, law professors Anthony Niblett and Albert Yoon analyzed users of the small claims court system. In 2010, the small claims court’s jurisdiction increased from $10,000 to $25,000. When Niblett and Yoon examined if that change increased access to the courts, they found a paradoxicalContinue reading “Commentary on the “Unintended Consequences: The Regressive Effects of Increased Access to Courts””

How to Stop Our Civil Courts from Atrophying

“To stand by as civil courts continue to atrophy risks jeopardizing the health of our democracy, our economy, and our private law… [W]e must change our ways and work to re-invigorate our public civil courts.” Justice David M. Brown of the Ontario Court of Appeal in “Commercial Litigation in the Next 10 Years: A CallContinue reading “How to Stop Our Civil Courts from Atrophying”

Should the Ghomeshi trial be televised?

Often times academics, judges, and lawyers complain about the public’s disengagement with the legal system, proclaiming that if only the public voiced their concerns then the justice system would be properly funded. But now we have meaningful public discourse about our justice system, including debate over defence tactics through the conversation surrounding the Ghomeshi trial. Lawyers, laypeople, and reporters alikeContinue reading “Should the Ghomeshi trial be televised?”

Making a Murderer

(This post contains spoilers.) Netflix’s new documentary Making a Murderer highlights systemic issues in the justice system. It shows that class, education, and intelligence play a pivotal and prejudicial role in the determination of a dispute through the story of Steven Avery. Steven Avery was convicted of raping Penny Bernstein around 1985. For 18 years he proclaimedContinue reading “Making a Murderer”

The Rise of the Vexatious Self-Represented Litigant

Not all self-represented litigants are created equally. Some are victims of circumstance. Forced to defend or prosecute their own claims because of poverty. Others are vexatious litigants, unable to find a lawyer to bring their meritless claims to court. Vexatious self-represented litigants tend to behave in similar ways. They bring multiple proceedings when one wouldContinue reading “The Rise of the Vexatious Self-Represented Litigant”

Finding a Lawyer: What the Future Could Look Like

“We live in a law thick world. To secure a benefit or avoid a loss in this world, we often find that we must somehow use the law. This is as true for global corporations as it is for ordinary individuals…” Noel Semple in Legal Services Regulations at the Crossroads People often hire lawyers toContinue reading “Finding a Lawyer: What the Future Could Look Like”

The Case of The Missing Court Documents

Over the past year, I have called for innovation within the court system ( In Romspen Investment Corp. v. 6176666 Canada Ltée., 2012 ONSC 1727, Justice Brown calls on judges, as the ultimate stewards of our justice system, to pressure the government into adopting a new document management system. His appeal for change unfolds in a story about missingContinue reading “The Case of The Missing Court Documents”

Divorce: Then and Now

“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” – Friedrich Nietzsche In an excellent article by John-Paul Boyd, he writes about the history of divorce: When we of the commonwealth let our hair down in the mid-nineteeth century and agreed that people could get divorced without having to engineerContinue reading “Divorce: Then and Now”