These resources are geared for people who live in Ontario, Canada.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
It is always better to resolve a dispute outside of court. Sometimes, we are so fixated in the adversarial system that we forget that there are alternatives like mediation! This book teaches you how to think outside of the box.
*Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes. How to Negotiate agreement without giving in. Penguin Books, 2011.
*I will be adding more resources related to mediation shortly. Stay tuned!*
Great Websites to learn about the Court Process
1. Ontario Superior Court of Justice Website
1.1. “Lawsuits and Disputes”
This is a good starting point for those who are completely new to the civil justice system. It covers the very basic information about civil lawsuits, and includes information on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, such as mediation and arbitration.
1.2. “Civil Cases: Suing and Being Sued in the Superior Court of Justice”
This website provides descriptions of the steps involved in a civil proceeding.
1.3. “Small Claims Court Guides to Procedures.”
2. National Self-Represented Litigant Project: “Our SRL Resources”
This website has a number of useful primers for self-represented litigants, such as “Working with Opposing Counsel” and “Suggestions from the Bench”.
3.Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
There is plenty of information here covering many common legal issues, such as housing, consumer, immigration, family, etc. You can even watch webinars on a wide range of topics here.
CLEO also has a great flowchart for family law litigants.
Where to get court forms
Ontario Court Services http://www.ontariocourtforms.on.ca/english/
Other Websites for Legal Information
- Legal Line: www.legalline.ca
- Law Society of Ontario Access CLE http://lx07.lsuc.on.ca/R
- Canada Legal Help http://canadalegalhelp.com/
- Legal Aid Ontario: https://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/default.asp
- Pro Bono Ontario: https://www.probonoontario.org/lawsuits-and-disputes/
- Osgoode Hall Law School Clinics: https://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/community-clinics/
- University of Toronto, Downtown Legal Services: http://downtownlegalservices.ca/
Where to Find Limited Scope or Unbundled Services Lawyers
- Law Society Of Ontario Directory: https://www2.lsuc.on.ca/LawyerParalegalDirectory/loadSearchPage.do
- Family Law Limited Scope Services Project: https://www.familylawlss.ca/
- National Self-Represented Litigants Project: https://representingyourselfcanada.com/directory/
- Self-Rep Navigators: www.limitedscoperetainers.ca
Legal Research Website
You can go to CanLII to look up legislation and case law for free. Click on the link here:
The following is a list of a few titles which I found particularly helpful as a self-represented litigant. Most of these are available either in the Toronto Public Library or the university Law Library (UT, York).
*David Stockwood. 5th edition.
This is an excellent book that gives you an overall view to litigation.
*Rosie H. McConnell. A Guide to Collections Procedures in Ontario.
This includes examples of legal documents, such as notice of motions, bill of costs, facta, etc. This book is available at the Toronto Reference Library.
*Laurence M. Olivo, Mary Ann Kelly. <em>Civil Litigation</em>. Emond Montgomery Publications.
Excellent book that discusses the various steps, plus examples of what completed court forms actually look like.
*JoAnn Kurtz. Family Law: Practice and Procedure, Vol.1 and 2. Emond Montgomery Publications.
This is a practical guide that includes a basic introduction to family law, and examples of completed forms.
*James C. Morton et al. Procedural Strategies for Litigators. 2nd Edition. Lexis Nexis.
In case you wonder how you might want to handle opposing party’s tactics, this book offers some tips and litigation strategy.
*Ira Nishisato, Ontario Litigator’s Pocket Reference.
This is a handy reference guide for litigators.
*Donald Ferguson, Ontario Court Room Procedures
This is a very detailed and comprehensive book on court procedure. If you have an upcoming hearing, perhaps a look through this book would help calm your fears. (Better yet, attend a few motions or trials. They’re usually open to the public.)
Slides from my library talks
Still confused about how the law works?
I have really enjoyed offering private legal education tutorials and legal coaching to clients in the past. However, I am no longer taking individual clients. Instead, currently I am devoting my time to developing community legal education with my colleagues. However, if you need referrals, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.