News and Events

< 2017 >


FLA Response to the Family Law Review (Full Report)

Please find attached our board’s response to the Family Law Review, with schedules (Schedule A Part 1, Schedule A Part 2, Schedule B).

Please also see the flyer for the upcoming Town Hall Meeting.

FLA Statement on Family Law Review

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.

MAG UPDATE: Report on Representation in Family Court by Non-Lawyers

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

Katharina Janczaruk, Chair
Family Lawyers Association

FLA NEWS: 15 February 2017

Katharina Janczaruk

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)

Legal Aid
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.

Please also see the attached 311 Jarvis and North York bench and bar reports.


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 or Chair LAO Sub-Committee

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.

FLAO 2016 Final Submissions

Follow the links below to download the FLA’s final submission for 2016 thus far:

Input on Compliance-Based Entity Regulation Taskforce’s paper on “Promoting better legal practices”

Legal Aid Budget Submissions 2016

Final Submissions on Paralegal Practice Expansion into Family Law

Feedback Regarding OCL Portal and File Assignment

Response to Proposed Fee Implementation (16-MAG004)

Representation of Children Under the Family Law Rules

FLA Submissions on the Motherisk Independent Review

Click here to download a copy of the FLA’s Submissions on the Motherisk Hair Analysis Independent Review.

Click here to download a copy of the FLA’s Supplementary Submissions on the Motherisk Hair Analysis Independent Review.

FLA Discussion Paper Re: Domestic Tariff Reform, July 29, 2015

Click here to read the Family Lawyers Association’s Discussion Paper re Domestic Tariff Reform.

Click here to review the Proposed Family Law Tariff 2015 – Domestic.

Legal Aid Domestic Tariff

As part of our on-going efforts to improve and reform legal aid, we are asking our membership to participate in a survey on the current domestic tariff. The results of the survey will be used in our lobbying efforts with LAO and with the AG to increase the hours allowed under the domestic tariff. We would be grateful if you answered the survey by August 7, 2015!

We know how busy everyone is these days – we are very grateful for your support and your participation.

The link is:

FLA Motherisk Submissions

Click here to review the Motherisk Submissions made by the FLA.


28 June 2017: First Nations Issues in Child Protection Cases

The AFCC-O New Child Protection Lawyers Group invites you to an important and informative lunch and learn session on the topic of best practices in addressing First Nations issues in child protection cases. We are excited to have Sarah Clarke and Crystal George share their knowledge and expertise with lawyers who are new to child protection and developing their practices, or experienced lawyers who would be interested in hearing fresh perspectives on this topic.
When?                 June 28, 2017 at 1:00 ID)”>Read the Rest…

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29 May 2017: When Lives Change – Motions to Change in CLRA/FLA and CFSA Proceedings

Child Protection Topics:
Motions to change for access and placement; timing of motions, when to bring and when not to; the different steps of the motion: taking instructions, drafting the materials, in courtroom advocacy, and follow up with client whether lose, win or what to do next; contents in the affidavits; how kids under 2 should be treated differently; the issue of with prejudice or w/o prejudice; duty counsel and motions to change; and important case law.
Domestic Topics:
Best practices/ practical tips; ID)”>Read the Rest…

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05 June 2017: Assessments in Child Protection Cases

Chair: Justice Roselyn Zisman
Panel: Dr. Rex Collins, PhD., C. Psych.
Lorne Glass, Senior Society Counsel
Julie Ralhan, Child Protection Lawyer
Where: 311 Jarvis Street
When: Monday, June 5, 2017
From: 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Join in this discussion with a senior parenting capacity assessor, society counsel, parent’s counsel and Justice Roselyn Zisman. This session will address, among other issues, the different kinds of assessments, when counsel should recommend or oppose a request for an assessment, how to select an assessor and ID)”>Read the Rest…

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FLA Town Hall Meeting: 09 May 2017

The Law Society and the Ministry of the Attorney General are inviting comments from lawyers, paralegals and the public on the recommendations in Justice Bonkalo’s Family Legal Services Review Report. The FLA is hosting this meeting in order to inform and answer the family law bars’ questions regarding the report’s recommendations on paralegal practice expansion into family law. The FLA invites you to attend and have your questions and concerns addressed.
Where: ARTS AND LETTERS CLUB, 14 ID)”>Read the Rest…

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APCO’s 25th Anniversary Event

To: All Judges, MPPs, Lawyers, Program Managers and Social Workers
Re: APCO’s 25th Anniversary
Access for Parents and Children in Ontario (“APCO”) will be celebrating their 25th anniversary on June 15th, 2017. Your attendance would be greatly appreciated and will support families and children who depend on APCO’s services!
Please support the services of APCO’s supervised access program by purchasing one or more tickets for APCO’s 25th Anniversary event. With the purchase of each ticket, you will receive a charitable receipt. Please note ID)”>Read the Rest…

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01 May 2017: Professor Rollie Thompson on the Law of Expert Evidence

311 Jarvis Open Bar Series presents:
Chair: Justice Brian Weagant
Panel: Professor Rollie Thompson, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
Where: 311 Jarvis Street
When: Monday, May 1, 2017
From: 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Back by popular demand, Professor Thompson will present on expert evidence in family law, including knowing the difference between lay evidence and expert evidence, the Mohan factors, threshold reliability, White Burgess, the standard of admissibility in family ID)”>Read the Rest…

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03 April 2017: Motions – What You Need To Know

311 Open Bar Series
Chair: Justice Melanie Sager
Panel: Gary Gottlieb, Gottlieb Law Firm
Dani Z. Frodis, Frodis Law
David Tobin, Barrister and Solicitor
Where: 311 Jarvis Street
When: Monday, April 3, 2017
From: 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
A skillfully crafted and argued motion may play a decisive role in resolving or winning your case, or at least, moving the case forward. Experienced family law and child protection counsel will discuss when to bring a motion, how to craft your affidavit material and ID)”>Read the Rest…

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28 March 2017: Litigants With Mental Health Issues

Our panel will provide you with practical tips about dealing with clients in both child protection and domestic matters who suffer from mental health issues. Our panel includes an experienced psychologist, as well as three respected and knowledgeable Toronto family lawyers.
Mental Health Assessments: What are the different kinds of assessments? How are these different assessments used by the Court and parties? Learn tips for Cross-examination of an assessor.
Resources: What resources are available to your client, children and ID)”>Read the Rest…

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47 Sheppard Education Committee: Programs for 2016

The 2016 47 Sheppard Education Programs have been announced! All programs take place from 4:30 to 6:30 PM at North York Memorial Community Hall (5100 Yonge St.) on the date specified. CPD hours are yet to be determined, but will be posted on the CPD page once the FLAO obtains this information. This year’s programs are as follows:
26 January, 2016: G.P.S TO CUSTODY (Both CFSA and CLRA)
29 March, 2016: GREAT EXPECTATIONS: How to Manage Your ID)”>Read the Rest…

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