Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Legal Information Online - January 2016

New on Clicklaw: 

Introducing Kinbrace – Refugee Housing and Support Clicklaw Blog, December 1, 2015

Allard School of Law Launches Business Law Clinic Clicklaw Blog, January 12, 2016

Introducing the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic Clicklaw Blog, January 6, 2016

Refugee Readiness Hub Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia, 2016

How to apply for a family law protection order Legal Services Society, 2015

The New Societies Act BC Registry Services, 2015

New Societies Act: Impact on Pre-existing Societies BC Registry Services, 2016

Challenging A Decision About Your Employment Insurance Claim: Reconsideration and the Social Security Tribunal Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS), 2016

Information on Protection Orders BC Ministry of Justice, 2016

Other web sources:

Criminal Court Process –A brief overview of what you need to know as a victim of a violent crime Victim Justice Network, 2015

Renting it Right: Online Course Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre and Justice Education Society 2016

“The New Litigants”: A Documentary for CBC’s The National The National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog, December 17, 2015
Blog posts and journal articles:

Asked & Answered: Can I file my Court Documents in French in BC? The Stream Blog, Courthouse Libraries BC, November 30, 2015

Asked & Answered: How do I obtain my certificate of Divorce? The Stream Blog, Courthouse Libraries BC, December 18, 2015

Dealing with Pets after Separation JP Boyd on Family Law, December 30, 2015

NSRLP’s Summary Judgment Research Report: Finding a Balance between Process Efficiency & Access to Justice The National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog, January 6, 2016

The Rise of Online Courts The National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog, January 21, 2016

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Legal Information Community Forum: Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library System – Kamloops

Joëlle Samson of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library System Library hosted a legal information forum at the TNRD Kamloops branch in November. We had 16 representatives from a variety of community groups attend, including:

Ask Wellness Society
Canadian Mental Health Association, Kamloops
Courthouse Libraries BC, Kamloops
Elizabeth Fry Society
Family Justice Services
Kamloops Immigrant Services
Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre
MS Society Kamloops
RCMP Victim Services
Thompson Rivers University
TNRD Library

Attendees discussed services as well as challenges in providing legal information and support in the community. They also agreed it was a good opportunity to touch base with other organizations in the area and that it would be beneficial to have more opportunities to keep in contact.

Thank you Joëlle and TNRD Library for hosting it was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the organizations and resources available in the Kamloops community. Thank you everyone for attending and for sharing information about your organizations!

Libraries interested in hosting a forum in their community can view the Planning Guide and contact Shannon McLeod at for more information

Monday, December 7, 2015

LawMatters keynote address at Ontario's Libraries and Justice event

LawMatters Program Coordinator Janet Freeman spoke at an exciting event in Toronto October 29th entitled "Libraries and Justice: Innovative Access for Rural and Remote Communities.” A group of seventy-five lawyers, librarians and other legal information providers met at a day-long event to discuss how Ontario might develop partnerships to provide effective legal information and referral resources in non-urban communities.

BC's experience with both the LawMatters Program and the Legal Services Society's Public Library Program were seen as pioneering and time-tested models of delivery, and our Clicklaw Wikibooks program was also viewed as an innovative legal information publishing tool.

As you can see by the graphic representation I've included, the event brought forth a good deal of valuable discussion and ideas for further action planning.

You can view the LawMatters powerpoint presentation on the LawMatters Conference Materials page.

More details and pictures of the event are included in the blog post "Establish, enhance, engage: reflections on a libraries and justice partnerships event" by Sabreena Delhon, Manager of the Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) at the Law Society of Upper Canada,

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

History of LawMatters article published by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice

 LawMatters at Your Local Public Library; A History of BC’s Program for Public Legal Information and Education in Public Libraries has recently been published by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice in their November 2015 Newsletter. As described in their A2J Blog:
This article, written by Janet Freeman, Courthouse Libraries BC LawMatters Program Coordinator and Nancy Hannum, LawMatters Program Consultant, charts the growing role of public libraries and public librarians as partners in access to justice. It includes a timeline of recommendations for an increase in legal information materials in public libraries and more training for public librarians, that subsequently shaped the current public legal education and information service in BC's libraries. This history references the 1975 Law Commission Report, the 1974 British Columbia Justice Development Commission Report, the 1975 Legal information Services Program (LISP), the Public Library Program (PLP) and the Legal Resource Centre (LRC). Read about the success of this unique program and how British Columbia became the first jurisdiction in Canada (and possibly the English-speaking world) to develop an ongoing program to help public libraries provide legal information to the public.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Announcing: LawMatters Program Coordinator Retirement and New Program Coodinator!

As of January 1, 2016, Shannon McLeod will be the new LawMatters Program Coordinator. Shannon is currently 'learning the ropes' from the current Coordinator, Janet Freeman.

 Janet says goodbye:
"I have had the privilege of developing the LawMatters Program over the last eight years and meeting a great number of wonderful public librarians in the course of my work. I couldn't have done it without the support of my mentors Nancy Hannum, LawMatters Consultant and Johanne Blenkin, CEO of Courthouse Libraries BC. Special mention also goes to Drew Jackson, former Director of Client Services, Courthouse Libraries BC, and also all the staff at Libraries and Literacy who have been such an important support for our training programs. I have enjoyed working with you all, and know that I leave LawMatters in excellent hands!"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - Janet Freeman

And Shannon says hello:
"I want to wish Janet congratulations on her retirement! It has been a pleasure working with her and learning from her experiences. Certainly big shoes to fill! 
I am excited to be the new coordinator for LawMatters, a wonderful program that provides training in legal reference and helps BC public libraries add legal titles to their collections. Public libraries are an amazing source of information: collections, knowledgeable staff, programming and more all make libraries an integral part of their communities. Empowering librarians to work with legal materials and legal reference are my priorities. I am so pleased to be able to combine my passions and experiences in this role.  
A little about me: I started my library journey shelving books at my local library and I've been hooked ever since! After graduating with my MLIS from UBC, I have worked in both public and special library settings. I joined Courthouse Libraries BC as a Client Services librarian and my interest in legal reference and legal materials grew quickly. It wasn’t long before I took on the responsibility of print collection development at CLBC’s Vancouver location.  I understand the importance of finding reliable materials and having support in order to get your patrons started with their legal research.
I am happy to answer any questions or just say hello!
Read any good books lately? I am currently reading Pot Luck/Pot-Boille by Emile Zola.
I look forward to working with you in the future!"
                                                                                                            - Shannon McLeod

Shannon will be the new editor of the LawMatters Blog; and you can reach her at

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Legal Information Online - November 2015

New on Clicklaw:

Behind the Scenes of Mediation: Videos Mediate BC Society, 2015

Complaints and Inquiries Regarding Insurance Companies Trust Companies and Credit Unions Financial Institutions Commission of BC  [4pp PDF] 2015

Family Law Act Orders Picklist Provincial Court of British Columbia, 2015

How to Start and Manage a Registered Disability Savings Plan in British Columbia BC Ministry of Social Development & Social Innovation and Disability Alliance BC, 2015

I want to know what my rights are as a condo/strata owner Clicklaw Common Question November 2015

I’m buying a house Clicklaw Common Question November 2015

New Service Alert: Human Rights Clinic Provides Advocacy & Legal Representation  Clicklaw Blog August 5, 2015.

Thinking of moving in together? [Fact Sheet] Legal Services Society, 2014

What happens if I don’t follow a court order or agreement? [Fact Sheet] Legal Services Society, 2015

Other web resources:

Transgender Rights in Federal Prisons West Coast Prison Justice Society, October [8pp PDF] 2015

Visits: Your Legal Rights West Coast Prison Justice Society, October [8pp PDF] 2015

Blog posts and journal articles:

Asked & Answered: How do I order a Transcript? The Stream Blog, Courthouse Libraries BC, October 2, 2015

Asked & Answered: What is the Family Law Picklist?  The Stream Blog, Courthouse Libraries BC, November 19, 2015

Court of Appeal Releases Important Decisions on Spousal Support JP Boyd on Family Law, September 11, 2015

Do I need a lawyer to file for Bankruptcy?  LawNow, September 3, 2015

SRL Experience “the same” Both Sides of the Border The National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog, September 8, 2015

Summary Judgments – the backstory that may shock you The National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog, November 16, 2015

Tax Issues for Older Adults LawNow, November 3, 2015

Update on the Margot Bentley case Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre, July 9, 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Beginner’s Guide to Finding Legal Information Clicklaw Wikibook Launch

Courthouse Libraries BC is pleased to announce that our new Clicklaw Wikibook, The Beginner’s Guide to Finding Legal Information; A how-to for legal research and representing yourself in court in British Columbia  is now available online. Our news release gives detailed information about the publication.

We describe the Guide as a new resource that "helps people handle their everyday legal problems. It is particularly useful to people who are representing themselves in court in British Columbia. Written by librarians at Courthouse Libraries BC, the new Guide gives a basic introduction to understanding laws & legislation, and gives how-to instructions to find specific legal resources on a given topic."

A copy of the Guide can be printed  by using the PDF download option, or you can download it as an ePub on a mobile device.

We encourage feedback on the Guide's content, because one of the great features of wikibooks is that they can be updated so easily. Please send your comments to