News and Events

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  • 311 Jarvis December Open Bar Series
    4:45 PM-6:30 PM
    2017-12-04

    311 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON M5B 2C2, Canada

    311 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON M5B 2C2, Canada

    Come participate in an engaging and practical discussion about how to manage
    stress and burnout in your law practice with Dr. Mark Fenske. Dr. Fenske
    researches and writes in the area of brain and human behaviour, with a specific
    focus on how understanding the brain can help achieve well-being. Dr. Fenske is
    a popular speaker and his lectures are very well-received by his audiences.

    At this program, you will learn more about:

    • How to identify signs of burnout and stress in your practice
    • How to deal with compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma
    • Common hazards to emotional resilience
    • Some science behind how the brain works when confronted with a stressful
      situation
    • Practical suggestions to manage stress and incorporate wellness into your
      law practice
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  • The AFCC presents: Understanding the Public Guardian and Trustee
    1:00 PM-2:00 PM
    2017-12-13

    47 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M2N 0H2, Canada

    47 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M2N 0H2, Canada

    Explaining the Role of the PGT in Child Welfare Cases
    The Honourable Justice Sager will be joined by PGT lawyers Anthea Cheung and Olivia Holzapfel to discuss what to expect when the PGT is involved in your Child Welfare Case.

    Topics will include:
    – The role of counsel with respect to mentally incapable litigants;
    – Information about the PGT office and their role in child welfare
    proceedings; and,
    – General tips on communicating with and representing mentally
    incapable litigants.

    This promises to be an informative presentation and will be an excellent opportunity to meet other lawyers practicing child protection law.

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News

28 November: FLA Annual General Meeting!

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 kjanczaruk@sympatico.ca by Friday, 24 November:

Officer of the Board Nomination Form

Board Nomination Form

12 October 2017: The FLAO’s October Sizzle!

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 annie_calpin@rogers.com, or Gary Gottlieb at ggottlieb@gottlieblawfirm.com, for more information. Tickets can also be purchased online. Click here to download the flyer!

 

Purchase Tickets!

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 kjanczaruk@sympatico.ca.

Katharina Janczaruk, Chair
Family Lawyers Association

FLA NEWS: 15 February 2017

NEWS FROM THE CHAIR
Katharina Janczaruk

FLA AGM
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.

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 kjanczaruk@sympatico.ca 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.

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:

www.surveymonkey.com/s/L7QT7TK.

FLA Motherisk Submissions

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

Events

13 December: The AFCC presents Understanding the Public Guardian and Trustee

The AFCC Ontario New Child Protection Lawyers’ Group Presents…
UNDERSTANDING THE PUBLIC GUARDIAN AND TRUSTEE
Explaining the Role of the PGT in Child Welfare Cases
The Honourable Justice Sager will be joined by PGT lawyers Anthea Cheung and Olivia Holzapfel to discuss what to expect when the PGT is involved in your Child Welfare Case.
Topics will include:
– The role of counsel with respect to mentally incapable litigants;
– Information about the PGT office and their role in child welfare
proceedings; and,
– General tips on communicating ID)”>Read the Rest…

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28 November: FLA Annual General Meeting!

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 ID)”>Read the Rest…

Read Post

04 December: 311 Jarvis December Open Bar Series

311 Jarvis Open Bar Series presents, “TRAIN YOUR BRAIN: RESILIENCE STRATEGIES FOR STRESS AND BURNOUT IN FAMILY LAW”.
Featuring chair, Justice Manjusha Pawagi, and speaker, Dr. Mark Fenske, Associate Professor Dept. of Psychology at the University of Guelph.
Come participate in an engaging and practical discussion about how to manage
stress and burnout in your law practice with Dr. Mark Fenske. Dr. Fenske
researches and writes in the area of brain and human behaviour, with a specific
focus on how understanding the brain can help achieve well-being. Dr. Fenske is
a ID)”>Read the Rest…

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16 November: Family Law Workshop on Understanding Family Law

An overview of family law issues and processes to resolve them. Ideal for individuals dealing with personal family law issues as well as their support network.Reliable and affordable information can help make sense of it all for your clients, their parents (who may be paying the bills), support staff, family support workers, therapists and other professionals.
When: 16 November from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Where: Richmond Hill Public Library (1 Atkinson Street)
Registration is $75 in advance.
Click here to download the ID)”>Read the Rest…

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02 and 30 November: Family Law Workshop on Family Court Without a Lawyer

This workshop is designed to give self-represented litigants much needed guidance on going to family court without a lawyer. The Top 10 Tips cover how to fill out court forms, negotiate with lawyers, follow court rules and much more. Ideal for clients working with a lawyer on an “unbundled” basis, or those clients who call you but who you cannot assist!
· 02 November from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM @ Swansea Town Hall – click here to download the ID)”>Read the Rest…

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15 November: AFCC-O Session – A Mediative Approach to Adult Children of Divorce

In this engaging session, videotaped interviews of adult children of divorce will be presented
along with commentary from the Honourable Justice Richard Bennett (Superior Court of Justice
– Newmarket), Andrea Himel (LL.B, M.S.W., AccFM) and Dr. Dan Ashbourne (Executive
Director, LFCC). The session will include discussions around the impact of conflict, and the
long-lasting effects of divorce on children. Dispute resolution options will also be presented
and discussed. Participants will leave with practical tips and strategies that are designed to
assist families during challenging times. The ID)”>Read the Rest…

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07 November: NTFCEC Program on Trials and Appeals

Skills on how best to conduct a family law and child protection trial are necessary. This program will offer key insights, demonstrations, invaluable materials and checklists which will improve your skills and confidence in conducting a trial. The program will also introduce you to the procedures involved in Appeals. This program will provide guidance on:

Opening statements
Direct examinations
How to properly introduce documents
How to qualify notes
Effective cross-examination
How to make objections
Closing Statements
Steps to take in appealing a case

OPPOSING COUNSEL WILL BE AT THIS ID)”>Read the Rest…

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06 November, 2017: 311 Jarvis Session on Bill 89 – Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017

Bill 89 (Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act, 2017) was passed and received Royal Assent on June 1, 2017. The first phase of the new legislation comes into force in the fall, 2017, raising the age of a child in need of protection to include 16 and 17 year old youth. Do not miss out on this essential overview and discussion of the new amendments to Ontario’s child protection legislation!
This event has been accredited for 15 minutes of Professional Hours ID)”>Read the Rest…

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12 October 2017: The FLAO’s October Sizzle!

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 annie_calpin@rogers.com, or Gary Gottlieb at ggottlieb@gottlieblawfirm.com, for more information. Tickets can also be purchased online. Click here to download the flyer!
 
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19 October 2017: “Advice from the Bench” – AFCC-O Event for New Professionals

The New Professional’s Group of the AFCC-O has developed a new professional development initiative to bring together young family law professionals (lawyers and mental health professionals in their first few years of practice) to examine and discuss interdisciplinary and collaborate approaches to family justice.
Have you ever wondered what advice judges would provide to the family law professionals involved in their cases? This year we invite our new professionals (and seasoned veterans) to join us for a special panel discussion by ID)”>Read the Rest…

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19-20 October 2017: Ninth Annual AFCC-Ontario AGM & Conference

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Ontario chapter (AFCC-O) is holding it’s ninth annual conference on the 19th (afternoon and evening) and 20th of October (all day).

The Pre-Conference Institute, entitled Addiction in Family Breakdown: The Challenge and Complexities” will be held on October 19, 2017 from 2:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The panel will explore the multi-dimensional issues that arise in cases involving addictions, and the impact of addictions on the family law and child protection justice systems.
The Annual Conference, ID)”>Read the Rest…

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02 October 2017: Update on Openness – 311 Jarvis Session on Openness in Child Protection Cases

This session will provide an important update and discussion on openness in adoption in child protection cases, including the different statutory pathways to openness in adoption, important best practices in openness applications, and drafting openness agreements. There will also be a discussion of the benefits of openness and some flies in the ointment.
Where: 311 Jarvis Street
When: Monday, October 2, 2017
From: 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
This program contains 1.5 hours of substantive CPD. Application for professionalism accreditation pending.
Click here to ID)”>Read the Rest…

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28 September 2017: Family Law Workshop on Understanding Family Law

There is a new access to justice initiative called The Family Law Workshop, which answers Justice Bonkalo’s challenge to lawyers to do a better job of providing alternative (and more affordable) service options for the many family law clients who are unrepresented in family court.  The Family Law Workshop provides family law information in an affordable small group format designed for self-reps, clients already working with a lawyer or non-lawyer professionals who work with family law clients.  The goal is ID)”>Read the Rest…

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