The Family Lawyers Association is deeply concerned with the Ontario Government’s plan to cut funding to Legal Aid Ontario by over 30 per cent.
The FLA was founded 25 years ago in response to the legal aid funding crisis of the mid-1990s. Accordingly, the focus of the FLA has always been to work towards improving Legal Aid Ontario and protecting the rights of the most vulnerable low-income Ontarians. The FLA believes that all individuals involved in our family justice system should have easy access together with competent legal representation when dealing with the important issues affecting themselves and their families. Without adequate funding for LAO, the most vulnerable unrepresented litigants will be left to navigate the legal system on their own. The FLA is also gravely concerned with the Ontario Government’s position to no longer fund refugee and immigration law services.
We urge the Attorney General to reconsider and redress the substantial cuts to LAO’s funding.
Please see full statement and contact here.
The 13th Annual Family Law Summit is taking place on March 18th-19th, 2019.
This year, the FLA is offering a group registration discount for Members only!
Please click here for information regarding group registration and details about the Summit.
Annual General Meeting is taking place on January 17, 2019, at 6:00 p.m., at the Center for Social Innovation in the Atrium room, for more information on the location please click here.
Centre for Social Innovation
192 Spadina Avenue
Election to the Board of Directors for the Family Lawyers Association:
Election to the board takes place at our Annual General Meeting. Please consider becoming a member of our Board of Directors. If you are interested in running for election, please fill out a Nomination Form and provide a short bio and return them to me by January 7, 2019. If you’d like more information, please get in touch with me or any one of our existing Board Members.
Please find the Nomination Form here.
You are invited to the Family Lawyers Association Annual Social, the October Sizzle!
Enjoy Bill Rodgers and his excellent band “Soul Custody”, food, drink, dancing, and good company!
When: October 11, 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Where: JOEY Eaton Centre
Ticket Price: $50.00 early online purchase through the link below ($60.00 at door)
Tickets include two drinks courtesy of the Advocates’ Society, as well as amazing appetizers, decadent desserts, and yes, live music!
Lawyers, judges, friends, support staff, spouses, partners, and others, significant or not, are welcome to join the fun!
Tickets sold out last year so make sure you get yours early!
Click HERE to purchase tickets!
For more information please contact:
Haley Gaber-Katz: email@example.com
Elizabeth Pacheco: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTICE TO THE PROFESSION
AMENDMENTS TO FAMILY LAW RULES (O. Reg. 114/99) EFFECTIVE April 23rd, 30th and July 1st, 2018.
Winter weather got you down? Just finished a difficult trial? Why not invite opposing counsel to a (mostly) friendly game of ping pong, courtesy of the Family Lawyers Association?
Join us for a fun evening of networking, drinks, and ping-pong!
When: May 3rd, 2018 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Where: SPiN Toronto, 461 King Street West
FLA Members FREE
Non-Members – $15.00
One drink ticket included!
Please RSVP and purchase tickets by following the Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fla-ping-pong-challenge-tickets-45357697093
Please join us at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the FLA.
Where: Arts and Letters Club (14 Elm Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1G7)
When: 28 November 2017 at 6:00 PM
This event is featuring a talk by Dr. Victoria Talwar, Associate Professor at McGill University, on “Assessing the Credibility and Competency of Child Witnesses”.
Understand the capacities of children (including intellectual and language) and being sensitive to these when working with children. Explore issues related to interviewing children, and the impact of different questions, from both developmental psychology theoretical perspectives and practical applications in terms of best practice methods of interviewing children.
Please note that this event is open to FLA members only. To join or renew, visit: https://flao.org/join-renew/
Click here to download the flyer!Purchase Tickets!
Please download and submit all nominations, including a short bio, to Katharina Janczaruk at email@example.com by Friday, 24 November:
Come join the Family Lawyers Association for our annual social, the October Sizzle!
Tickets are $50.00 early bird, $60.00 at the door, and include one drink, appetizers and desserts – music and dancing also included.
Judges, friends, support stuff, spouses, partners and others, significant or not, are welcome to join the fun!
Email FLA Board members Anne Calpin at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Gary Gottlieb at email@example.com, for more information. Tickets can also be purchased online. Click here to download the flyer!
Please also see the flyer for the upcoming Town Hall Meeting.
Click here to access the FLA’s statement on the recent Family Law Review.
The Family Lawyers Association will be commenting more fully on the recommendations in this report at a later date.
I attach for your review the press release along with the link to the full report from the Family Law Services Review.
The recommendations of the report go well beyond what anyone from the bar (including our “sister” organizations such as the Federation of Law Associations, the Advocates Society and the OBA) supported or even imagined. The recommendations are for non-lawyers (paralegals) to represent family law clients in a wide range of matters, inside and outside the court, without supervision and with very little training.
The LSUC has invited comments from the bar on the report. The FLA will be making submissions on the report as we feel very strongly that the recommendations of the report do not advance access to justice.
This has significant implications for all of us – we really want to hear your reactions and comments.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katharina Janczaruk, Chair
Family Lawyers Association
NEWS FROM THE CHAIR
The FLA AGM was held on November 17, 2017. The following were elected to the board: Anne Calpin, Haley Gaber-Katz, Rosemary Gallo, Gary Gottlieb, Jean Hyndman, Katharina Janczaruk, Mary Reilly, Victoria Boger Mull, Rosemary Masemann, Deborah Stewart, Julia Vera and Zeenath Zeath. The new board met formally for the first time on December 19, 2016. At the meeting, the executive was formed. Your 2016/2017 executive are: Katharina Janczaruk (Chair), Julia Vera (Co-chair), Mary Reilly (Treasurer) and Rosemary Masemann (Secretary)
December was a very busy month for the FLA and especially for the legal aid committee. Katharina Janczaruk, Julia Vera and Jean Hyndman met with the board of LAO on December 9, 2016 and presented our concerns about the family law legal aid tariff. On December 12, 2016, Katharina Janczaruk and Julia Vera met with the Law Society’s legal aid working group to voice our concerns about legal aid. Attached is the executive summary, prepared by Jean Hyndman, of our work done over the last while on legal aid. The FLA has been active, meeting with representatives of other organizations and various representatives of legal aid Ontario following the announcement late December of cuts to LAO.
LAO invited submissions on proposed changes to LAO’s transparency rules (public disclosure of the money spent, including what lawyers get). Jean Hyndman drafted the attached submissions.
Family Law Rules Committee consultations on proposed changes to the cost grid – The FLA did not support the proposed changes, feeling that a cost grid would be of limited benefit to the majority of litigants, primarily in the OCJ. Please see the attached submissions on costs grid, drafted by Jean Hyndman.
UFC – Last fall on the Opening of the Courts, the FLA reported that the province seeks to expand UFC province wide. This is an objective that many in the family law bar, including the FLA, have supported for years. Last fall, we invited our membership to comment and early this year we were asked by the SCJ to put our support in writing. Mary Reilly drafted the attached letter of support.
Budget Consultations – The Family Lawyers Association provided submissions to the Ontario government on the 2017 Pre-Budget Consultations. The same as in other years: improvements to legal aid, court resources and social benefits. Please see the attached budget submissions drafted by Zeenath Zeath.
AND HERE’S WHAT WE ARE LOOKING OUT FOR:
LAO Cuts – The FLA board will be meeting with David Field (CEO LAO) and David McKillop (VP, Policy LAO) later this month. If you have any comments or concerns you would like us to pass along, please email the Chair email@example.com or Chair LAO Sub-Committee Jean@hyndmanfamilylaw.com.
Later this month, the FLA will also be meeting again with the LSUC working group on legal aid. The Advocates’ Society is facilitating a meeting with lawyers who do legal aid work in order to gather feedback on experiences with the legal aid system in Ontario.
Last year the FLA sent submissions on the Justice Bonkalo Review of representation in family court by non-lawyers and participated in various meetings, including a consultation with Justice Bonkalo on the issue. The report was due late December but has been delayed. The report is due any day now – we will be looking to it and will no doubt have something to say about it.
The Motherisk story continues. The Motherisk Commission will be meeting with key legal child protection, government and community partners, including the FLA, to objet their input. The objective, as set out in the Commission’s letter to the FLA, is to “share perspective, develop mutual understanding and inform how we move forward.”
The Ontario government is considering amending the Family Law Act to harmonize the definition of “child” for support purposes with the definition in the federal Divorce Act. The amendment would expand eligibility for child support for adult children who are unable to support themselves “due to illness, disability or other cause” similar to the Divorce Act. The FLA has been asked to provide its comments.
We have also been asked by MPP Monique Taylor, the Ontario NDP critic for Children and Youth Services for our comments on Bill 89 Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act
The FLA is working on some educational or social events. More about this later.