As you are well aware, on July 7, 2019, Legal Aid Ontario implemented service changes across the province in order to align their operations to their provincial funding allocation for 2019. Earlier this afternoon, FOLA was advised that following a period of monitoring LAO services, they have adapted services as required and, as a result, they determined that there is now capacity to provide some additional family duty counsel services.
As such, effective November 18, 2019, duty counsel will provide these additional services:
- Procedural advice to anyone appearing without their own lawyer in first appearance court or case conference.
- Assistance with child protection matters for financially eligible clients in jurisdictions where clients are unable to retain lawyer in a timely manner.
- Assistance with consents, as long as negotiations have been completed and the issues are eligible for duty counsel services.
- Assistance with second case conferences, for those who financially qualify for legal aid and the issues are eligible for duty counsel services.
The attached documents outline additional services which will now be available. The provision of these additional services will be subject to local practise and duty counsel capacity. Some services may not be available at every location.
Substantive legal advice and assistance remains limited to those who financially qualify for legal aid. Please do forward this to all members who work with Legal Aid.