“Laying down the law”

Toronto wrestles with paralegal regulation:

"A startling event this week shocked the justice committee hearing presentations on proposed legislation that would regulate paralegals.

"Tory MPP Ted Chudleigh wondered out loud if it wasn’t a conflict of interest for the committee, which is comprised of several lawyers, to be considering a bill which would hand regulation of paralegals to the Law Society of Upper Canada.


"Critics say the bill will restrict not just the work paralegals can do, but who can be a paralegal — and it will push up the cost of legal services for low-income Ontarians. In fact, says Chudleigh, ‘If a mom gave one of her children advice and it has legal consequences, mom could be in contravention of the law, since anyone who gives legal advice has to work for a lawyer.’


"…. Even the paralegals agree there should be some regulation. What some question is why the Law Society is being given total control of their profession when, in many ways, they are competing professions.

"’They are talking about eliminating paralegals from areas with the least number of complaints and the most necessity,’ says Susan Koprich of the Paralegal Society of Ontario."