Julie Macfarlane's Blog (12)

About the NSRLP

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) builds on the National Self-Represented Litigants (SRL’s) Research Study conducted by Dr. Julie Macfarlane from 2011-2013.

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Added by Julie Macfarlane on May 24, 2014 at 7:16pm — No Comments

Coping With the Courtroom: Essential Information and Tips for SRLs

Announcing “Coping with the Courtroom: Essential Information and Tips for SRLs” , written by Hannah Bahmanpour and Julie Macfarlane for the NSRLP.

Added by Julie Macfarlane on May 24, 2014 at 7:14pm — No Comments

Culture Change in the Family Justice System: a talk to the BC Family Justice Summit

As the pressure for change ramps up, we are talking a lot about “culture change” in the justice system. If we are going to throw this term around, we have to be ready to confront what it really means.

“Culture change” does not mean tinkering with the works (as in, let’s shorten the time period for discoveries or the number of expert witnesses who can be called in a trial). It does not mean “filling the gaps” (as is, let’s add a legal aid worker or an advice…

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Added by Julie Macfarlane on May 5, 2014 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Access to Justice All-Stars: Family Duty Counsel Team (Windsor, ON)

Our next nominees for the Access to Justice All-Stars team are the members of the Family Duty Counsel team at the Windsor, Ontario courthouse. Comprising Kaitlyn McCabe, Jim Oxley, Stephanie Johnson and Annette Stoehr, and supported by Legal Aid Workers Lucille McDonald (pictured) and Vicky Vere, this team drew many positive compliments from Windsor family SRLs participating in the National SRL Study (2013).…

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Added by Julie Macfarlane on May 2, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Access to Justice All-Star: Heather Hui-Litwin

Heather Hui-Litwin volunteers as a duty counsel with Law Help Ontario, offering assistance to civil litigants in the Toronto courts. Heather’s personal experience as a self-represented litigant in a civil lawsuit means that she has a unique understanding of and empathy for the needs of SRLs. Read More

Added by Julie Macfarlane on April 29, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Our Collective Responsibility for Judicial Rudeness: Time to Press Reset

As a finale to our month of focus on “Listening to SRLs and including them as stakeholders”, I want to explore a legal culture that enables and tolerates judges treating SRLs rudely and discourteously.

I do not mean to suggest that all judges behave this way. There are honorable exceptions and I hope they will take some support from this blog post.

For example, I did not notice any Supreme Court justices sniggering behind their hands at…

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Added by Julie Macfarlane on April 1, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments

We Need to Get Family Justice Services and A2J on to the Political Agenda: The View from British Columbia

I have just returned from three days in British Columbia (Victoria and Vancouver) spent talking about the SRL Phenomenon – the numbers, its impact, and what kinds of change are needed to even begin to address the crisis in justice services.

I spoke with government officers and staff, lawyers, law students, judges and mediators. I was ably assisted in communicating the urgency of the problem by three local SRLs from the NSRLP Speakers Bank (thank you to Jennifer…

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Added by Julie Macfarlane on March 24, 2014 at 6:30pm — No Comments

The Great Equalizer: Why Both Represented & Self-Represented Litigants are Asking the Same Questions about the A2J Crisis

We know that the experience of self-representation in our justice system is remarkably consistent.

It takes enormous work and effort.

It is a frustrating, stressful and often an interminably long experience.

There are some good days – and many bad days.

And even those few whose good days outnumber their bad days acknowledge the very same work, effort, frustration and stress.…

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Added by Julie Macfarlane on March 17, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments

What Court Staff Told Us

A short summary document from our original research data and interviews with court staff: Read More

Added by Julie Macfarlane on March 16, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Launching “Coping with the Courtroom”: NSRLP Responds to What SRLs Tell Us They Need to be Functional – and perhaps even Effective – in Court

Whatever the stress and anxiety created by completing forms, filing and serving documents, and communicating with a lawyer on the other side, it is appearing in court – whether at a preliminary hearing, a case conference or a full trial – that is the most intensely anticipated and intimidating aspect of the SRL experience.

Even the most self-confident SRLs experience anxiety about speaking for themselves in front of a judge.  Even those who feel that they are…

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Added by Julie Macfarlane on March 9, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments

My Story: Janice Etter

When Janice Etter filed a claim in small claims court in November 2009, she never imagined what awaited her. When she found herself and her partner the victim of a scam. Janice brought her lawsuit to try to recover money she had lost to a con-artist, thinking that in the “people’s court” (small claims) she would not need to pay for legal counsel – “we never dreamt we would need one for this”.…

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Added by Julie Macfarlane on February 18, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments

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