Canadian Underwriter

Law Society to oversee paralegal regulation

January 30, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) has signed an agreement in principle to regulate Ontario’s paralegals, a move that is drawing praise from the Ontario Bar Association (OBA).
Paralegals, speaking through the Professional Paralegals Association of Ontario (PPAO) and the Paralegal Society of Ontario (PSO), have been publicly against the LSUC acting as the regulatory body, preferring to be self-regulating. Members of the PPAO already are subject to a code of ethics.
However, the Attorney General of Ontario, Hon. Michael Bryant, had written to the LSUC asking that it take on the regulatory role. "We are encouraged that the Attorney General shares our concerns about the lack of consumer protection," says LSUC treasurer Frank Marrocco. "We look forward to working cooperatively with the Ministry of the Attorney General to find solutions to resolve this long-outstanding public protection issue."
He notes, "currently anyone can hang up a shingle and offer paralegal services without any training or qualifications". Marrocco says the LSUC has the "infrastructure, expertise and experience" to regulate paralegals.
The OBA agrees, saying, "this is very good news for everyone concerned about consumer protection".

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