Monday, April 23, 2007

In Canada, Paralegal Licensing Is Good News

In Canada, paralegal licensing is good news, says Bob Aaron, a Toronto real estate lawyer. Among the benefits of the paralegal regulation slated to go into effect on May 1:

The new legislation will lead to the creation of standards of conduct and other regulatory requirements, providing better protection and recourse for consumers of all legal services. ... Once the licensing regime is fully operational, the public will have access to paralegals who are regulated, educated, licensed and insured.

Mr. Aaron points to the example of a woman whose reliance on a paralegal to stop an eviction resulted in her living in her car. The woman was able to recoup the fees she paid to the paralegal after two court hearings; however, a competent legal professional would have told her to save the money and use it for first and last months' rent instead. In the future, Mr. Aaron hopes, consumers will not have to resort to two court hearings to enforce minimum standards of paralegal conduct.

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