Not happy with the clinic’s apparent lack of interest and being provided incorrect information, the tenant then sought paralegal help from a supposed specialist in eviction issues. The paralegal asked for $500 upfront with $500 to follow, wanted to meet in a coffee shop, then said he wouldn’t be available for meetings. He also wouldn’t discuss anything until paid, refused to provide an address or any ID beyond a Law Society card. He referred in a phone conversation to “client prejudice”, which is a principle whereby a legal representative can withdraw from the case as result of a dispute with the client, and in this case quite possibly $1000 better off after having made minimal or no efforts on behalf of the client. The paralegal also eventually condescended to mention that he wouldn’t be in town on the date of the hearing. Enchanting, isn’t it? ~ Excerpt from “Op-Ed: If you’re a tenant in Toronto, look out!” (Digital Journal)

I think the author of this piece really wanted to title it “If you’re a tenant in Toronto, look out for paralegals!” The quotes “sleazy paralegal behavior” and “fed up with the paralegals” also show up in this article about an unidentified tenant’s eviction proceedings and his unsuccessful efforts to get legal assistance in Toronto.

As most of you may know, the Law Society regulates paralegals in Ontario, and licensed paralegals can represent clients in some legal matters.

But a couple of rules for every day client courtesy that all legal professionals can take away from this article are:  1) not to appear condescending in any way, shape, or form to already stressed-out clients; 2) show up for scheduled meetings; 3) provide a business card with multiple means of current contact; and 4) definitely mention if we are not going to be in town on the day of the trial or hearing.

Source:  Digital Journal

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