FAQ – Paralegal

What is the difference between a paralegal & a lawyer?
In 2008 for the first time paralegals in Ontario became regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada and are now required to be licensed and carry errors and omissions insurance.  The regulatory scheme as set out in the Law Society’s By-Law 4 permits paralegals to practise in permitted areas of practice. Subsection 6 (2) authorizes licensed paralegals to represent someone in:

  • Small Claims Court
  • The Ontario Court of Justice under the Provincial Offences Act
  • Summary conviction offences where the maximum penalty does not exceed six months’ imprisonment
  • Before administrative tribunals, including the Financial Services Commission of Ontario 

A person with a paralegal licence can do the following in the course of representing a client in any of the above-mentioned proceedings:

  • Give legal advice concerning legal interests, rights or responsibilities with respect to a proceeding or the subject matter of a proceeding
  • Draft or assist with drafting documents for use in a proceeding
  • Negotiate on behalf of a person who is a party to a proceeding

Regulating paralegal allows the public to competent legal representation at affordable rates.  Prior to regulating paralegals, the cost of retaining a lawyer often outweighed the value of the claim and individuals were faced with having to forgo small claims or were self-represented.

Will I be able to recover my legal fees?
At a trial, a Judge will award costs to the successful party based on a percentage of the amount of the Plaintiff’s Claim.  In some circumstance a Judge can double the allowable amount awarded as costs.  

The Human Rights Tribunal does not award costs to either party, regardless the outcome.

How much is it going to cost me!?
LCB Paralegal Services offers a wide variety of rates designed to best suit you legal needs.  We offer contingency fees, hourly rates and flat rates.

Contact us to learn more.

How long does the Small Claims Court process take?
The time it takes to process a claim through the Small Claims Court can vary from city to city depending the how busy the court may be in that city.  Each case is unique and almost impossible to predict, however LCB Paralegal Service always seeks to resolve matters in the most timely and efficient manner possible.  Regardless of how long it takes you will have our support throughout the entire process, from the beginning to the very end and afterwards if needed.

What can I do if I’m not happy with my paralegal?
As regulated members of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Law Society will receive and responds to written complaints from the public about lawyers and paralegals.  The Law Society will investigate and take appropriate disciplinary action when necessary.

Contact the Law Society at: 
Complaints Services 
The Law Society of Upper Canada 
Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West 
Toronto Ontario  M5H 2N6

General line: 416-947-3310 
Toll-free: 1-800-268-7568 
Fax: 416-947-5263

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