Civil Litigations Paralegal Services has been serving Toronto and the GTA since 1996. Civil Litigations are experts in Small Claims Court and Landlord & Tenant Board representation. Our firm also offer process serving, and judgment enforcement services. Civil Litigations is regulated and licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada to provide paralegal services in Ontario. Our owner Marshall Yarmus is a proud member of the Ontario Paralegal Association
Marshall Yarmus is a former Vice-President of both the Paralegal Society of Ontario and the Paralegal Society of Canada. He has written extensively on paralegal related issues, and remains a strong advocate for paralegal and consumer rights. In 2007 the Law Society started to regulate paralegal in Ontario. The Law Society had never undertaken a study of what services paralegals should be able to offer the public. The Law Society decided to ban paralegals from offering any family law related services. This is an area that many paralegals had offered the public – legally – for years. Family law is also an area where there is a high level of unrepresented people in the courts, who through no fault of their own cannot afford a lawyer. In May 2010 Marshall Yarmus led a group of paralegals who put forth a motion before the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Annual General Meeting. The motion sought that the Law Society review paralegal allowable areas of practice, with a look at expansion of what services paralegals could offer the public. The motion also requested that the Law Society review education standards and other barriers to paralegal offering family law services. The motion was withdrawn one day prior to the meeting. Here is a link to the 2010 motion http://rc.lsuc.on.ca/pdf/notices/2010/apr0710_agm_motion.pdf Marshall Yarmus led a group of paralegals who brought a motion to the 2013 Law Society of Upper Canada’s Annual General Meeting. Here is a link to the motion: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2147494459 Here is an April 29, 2013 Law Times Article regarding the 2013 motion: http://www.lawtimesnews.com/201304292181/headline-news/time-to-expand-paralegal-rights Civil Litigations provides a high level of service to our clients. Civil Litigations also believe paralegals should be
regulated in the public interest. When Marshall Yarmus believes that is not done, he speaks out on your behalf. Civil Litigations and Marshall Yarmus have never offered family law services.
Our founder, Marshall Yarmus is a part-time paralegal instructor at Canadian Business College.
Marshall Yarmus has written extensively on justice and access to justice related issues.
His most recent editorials are:
Toronto Sun (subject: Small Claims Court)
Ottawa Citizen (subject: expanding services a paralegal can perform to include some family law)
Toronto Sun (subject: opposing the government’s proposal to remove traffic court and replace it with an online penalty tribunal)
Paralegals able to help during (small claims) court matters published in the Belleville Intelligencer June 14, 2016
Proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act published in Condo Life Magazine June 22, 2016
Questions Commonly Posed to paralegals published in the Belleville Intelligencer June 28, 2016
Let Paralegals Represent People in Family Court – Published in the Toronto Sun March 23, 2017
Paralegal Seek Bigger Role – Published in the London Free Press March 31, 2017
Should Paralegal Be Allowed to Practice in Family Court? – Published in the Windsor Star March 30, 2017
What is the definition of a paralegal in Ontario Canada? A paralegal is a trained and educated professional, who is licensed, insured, regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada, and is authorized to provide legal services to the public. Unlike Law Clerks or Legal Assistants who only assist lawyers and paralegals, a paralegal in Ontario can represent you with your legal matter by offering you legal advice, filling out forms, and representing you in court or tribunals.
What authorized legal services can a paralegal provide? A paralegal can provide legal services in the following areas of practice:
- Small Claims Court (for matters up to $25,000.00);
- Ontario Court of Justice under the Provincial Offences Act (e.g.: traffic tickets and offences under many provincial and municipal laws);
- Criminal Court on summary conviction offences (maximum penalty does not exceed 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine exceeding $5000);
- Accident Benefits under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule of the Insurance Act for minor injuries due to a motor vehicle accident; and
- Administrative tribunals and boards such as the Human Rights Tribunal, The Landlord and Tenant Board, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) and hundreds of other tribunals and boards.
What are the insurance requirements for a paralegal? Paralegals who provide legal services to the public must carry errors and omissions professional liability insurance to protect the public should their paralegal fail to act to the standard of a competent paralegal. Paralegals must carry errors and omissions insurance coverage for each single claim of not less than $1 million dollars and a total policy limit for all claims of not less than $2 million dollars per year.
Why should I retain an Ontario licensed paralegal rather then a lawyer? In many cases a paralegal is a specialist in their area of practice. Many paralegals may have more experience and have more knowledge of the applicable laws and rules governing a particular court or tribunal then a lawyer. Often paralegals will charge less then a lawyer for the same legal services. Many factors go into the price a paralegal or a lawyer will change you for a case. Some of the factors you as the client should look for in choosing a legal professional are their experience, and expertise in that type of legal matter.
Why should I retain Civil Litigations as my paralegal firm? Civil Litigations is a paralegal firm which has been serving Toronto and surrounding areas since 1996. Our firm specializes in Small Claims Court representation and Landlord and Tenant Board representation Marshall Yarmus was awarded the PLL designation in 2003 by the Paralegal Society of Canada. PLL stands for Paralegal Litigator. The designation was awarded by the Paralegal Society of Canada to paralegals who established themselves as expert court litigators. The PLL designation is a Trademark registered with Industry Canada. Marshall Yarmus was nominated in 2012 and 2013 for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Distinguished Paralegal Award. All our paralegals are members of the Ontario Paralegal Association Marshall Yarmus has voluntarily carried errors and omissions insurance to protect his clients from negligent work since 1998. This is a full decade before paralegals were required to carry errors and omissions insurance. Civil Litigations offers legal services dealing with all issues of your case from preparing the initial court forms at the start of your case up to trial or hearing, and judgment enforcement. If you prefer, Civil Litigations also offers limited representation options. If all you need is the preparation of one form, or representation at one hearing, our firm can still help you.
Which Court and Tribunal Locations does Civil Litigations serve? Our firm represents clients at the following Small Claims Court locations:
- Richmond Hill
Our firm represents clients in the Landlord and Tenant Board at the following board locations:
- Toronto North (North York, Toronto)
- Toronto South (Downtown Toronto)
- Toronto East (Scarborough, Toronto)
- Mississauga (Central Region)
What is the purpose of an in office consultation? The purpose of an in-office consultation is for us to be able to review your documents, ask you questions, and advise you of what services we can offer to assist you, and the cost of those services.
Why does our firm ask you to come into our office for a consultation? The paralegal you meet with wants to give you the best possible evaluation of your case, while protecting your rights to confidentially. Our firm must abide by the rules and by-laws of our regulator – The Law Society of Upper Canada, in providing you the consultation. Some of the rules and by-laws we live by may inconvenience you, and for that we are sorry; however, the rules and by-laws were put in place for your protection. You have the right to expect that once you consult with us about your case – even if you never sign a document hiring us to do work and never pay us any money – we will not consult with or represent the opposing side on your case. You have the right to expect that anything you tell us about your case will be kept confidential. A paralegal cannot identify you over the phone or by email so in order to meet this very important guarantee of your rights our firm needs to see you in person. Some people request to send us documents for review before hiring us and signing the required documents. Unfortunately we cannot accept documents without first being retained. This is to ensure confidentiality. Civil Litigations never wants there to be any confusion whether our firm has been retained to represent you on a legal matter. This is yet another reason why our firm does not take physical possession of any documents before a consultation. Our firm will only accept your documentation once you have retained us to represent you. Civil Litigations can only be retained by you upon signing a document hiring us to do work for you, and upon receiving a monetary retainer from you in advance of work being performed. Some lawyers and paralegals have been sued or had a complaint filed against them with the Law Society of Upper Canada as there was confusion whether the lawyer or paralegal has been hired to perform the legal services. Civil Litigations has taken steps to avoid the confusion which can lead to these unfortunate outcomes. Lastly, since it takes us time and effort – whether you hire us to do work for you or not – to comply with the regulations put in place for your benefit a paralegal wants to at least meet with you face to face in our office to prove to you that we are worthy of taking care of your legal matter. Although we do a lot of small claims court work, our firm knows that when you entrust us to solve your legal problem, it is not a small matter to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much does your paralegal company charge for legal services?
A. Our firm charges either based on an hourly rate of $160.00 per hour + expenses, or for certain services a paralegal can quote a flat rate.
Q. Do I need to provide you money up front for you to work on my case?
A. Our firm does require a monetary retainer up front to start work on a file. The amount of the monetary retainer will depend on the case. All retainer monies received are deposited to our trust account. Civil Litigations cannot touch the money unless our firm is paying court fees directly to the court, or once a paralegal has completed the services. Our firm then issues and sends an invoice to our client. For your convenience we accept retainer funds by cheque, credit card, or cash.
Q. Are there small claims court cases that are too complicated for you to handle?
A. Civil Litigations takes on a wide range of cases from what we consider simple and routine, to very complicated. No case is too complicated for us to handle.
Q. Can I claim your legal fees in a small claims court matter?
A. You cannot directly claim our legal fees. However, if a paralegal represents you at trial and you are successful at trial the paralegal will ask the judge for a representation fee. The successful party at trial who is represented by a paralegal or a lawyer can ask the judge for a representation fee of up to 15% of the amount of the claim. A successful party who sued for $25,000.00 can obtain a representation fee of up to $3,750.00. (See Small Claims Court Rule 19.04 and section 29 of the Court of Justice Act)