Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Family Mediation and Free Legal Advice Services

* Free Family Mediation Services
Up to six hours of mediation services are now available to eligible families living in non-urban areas of British Columbia through the B.C. Mediator Roster Society’s Distance Mediation Project . The Project will use current information and communication technologies, and is expected to run for approximately six months, ending November 30, 2009.

* Free Legal Advice Event Provided By Volunteer Lawyers
In September 2009, volunteer lawyers will participate in a free legal advice-a-thon in the streets of Vancouver, Kelowna and Victoria in order to raise awareness and funds for BC's pro bono programs. The advice-a-thon will assist low and modest income people, including the homeless, with their legal problems.

* Elder Law Clinic
The first free legal advice clinic for older adults in Western Canada was opened in 2008 by the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support . The Elder Law Clinic is located in Vancouver, and receives referrals from the Seniors Information and Help Line . BC CEAS also publishes a Legal Advocacy Brochure in nine languages.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Legal Information Online Update

* People's Law School released an updated version of Writing Your Will , 2nd ed. [8 pp PDF] April 2009

* In the past year, the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch has published two new Dial-A-Law scripts: Applying for a Temporary Order in a Family Lawsuit , January 2009 and Income Assistance: Reconsideration and Appeals , September 2008. The script Noise, Untidy Premises and Dog Control was updated with more information, to Neighbour Law September 2008.

* BC Civil Liberties Association published Privacy: Why It’s Important and How to Protect it in May 2009. The web resource includes: how to protect yourself from identity theft and from spam, phishing and spyware; when credit reporting agencies can collect and disclose information about you; and when you have to give out your Social Insurance Number.

*Legal Services Society has revised and updated two booklets: What to Do If You Are Charged with a Breach of a Court Order, [13 pp PDF] May 2009 and What to Do If You Are Charged with Assault [12 pp PDF] May 2009 . A useful list of Resources for clients with credit/debt issues was published in the latest issue of their newsletter Elan.

* Shannon Salter's Rights & Remedies blog published When does a step-parent have to pay child support? in April 2009.

* Surrey Public Library's Law, Government & Statistics page provides an extensive list of legal databases and recommended websites. Updated July 14, 2009.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Legal Information Online Update

*A news release was issued by the BC Ministry of Attorney General on July 7, 2009 announcing that new Supreme Court Civil and Family Rules have been adopted by the Province and will be fully implemented on July 1, 2010. Two attached backgrounder papers describe the new court rules, as well as the new Vancouver Justice Access Centre which offers family law services.

* Residential Tenancy Act: A Guide for Landlords & Tenants in British Columbia is available from the Guides page of the BC Residential Tenancy Branch. Available in English, Chinese Traditional, and Punjabi. (60 pp PDF) Updated version: March 2009

* The Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre has a newly updated website with:
- printed materials in 16 languages, and multilingual videos coming soon
- new frequently asked questions
- new Fact Sheets such as Finding Out Who Your Landlord Is [4 pp PDF] 2009, Dealing With a Problem Roommate [3 pp PDF] 2009 and Guide for Tenants in Non Profit Housing [8pp PDF] 2009
- current news such as New 10-Day Eviction Notice! February 09, 2009

* New on Canadian Legal FAQs: Temporary Foreign Workers is a series of fact sheets and question/answer lists that include some services in Alberta, but is written mostly for a national audience. June/July 2009

* Povnet's Online Resources lists Legal Help for Rural British Columbians [50 pp PDF ] July 2008. Prepared by lawyer Cliff Thorstenson through a grant from the Law Foundation, this guide covers common legal topics including family law, criminal law, welfare, and debt. Written for non-legally trained helping professionals, the guide includes legal services and self-help resources.