Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Feature On The Clicklaw Website: HelpMap

New on the Clicklaw Blog this week:

A HelpMap was recently added to the Clicklaw website. Integrated with Google Maps, HelpMap assists the public in finding those who can provide assistance with legal problems in their community. It also assists service providers who are making referrals for clients who have legal issues. HelpMap includes information about legal services provided by groups including:

- pro bono clinics, community legal clinics, and legal aid offices
- court registries
- courthouse libraries
- organizations with community legal advocates
- Native Courtworkers
- free and low cost legal services
- other law-related helping services

Many more services will be added to HelpMap in the future. If you have any feedback about the new HelpMap, you can post a comment on the blog post of December 22nd, or email editor@clicklaw.bc.ca.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Incidence of legal problems surveys

As the LawMatters project prepares for the second annual legal reference survey of selected BC public libraries [see blog posts of March 5 and September 10, 2009], it is interesting to see which legal topics are reported as most often experienced in other jurisdictions, and how frequently people experience legal problems.

The following are excerpts from Civil Legal Needs Research Report by Carol McEown for the Law Foundation of BC, 2nd Edition [39 pp PDF] March 2009. The report summarizes research from several provincial, national and international studies:

Results of legal needs studies

Citizens experience legal problems in the course of their daily lives. Many of these problems are seen to be difficult to resolve and have serious consequences. Canadian civil legal needs studies suggest that over 1,500,000 adults in BC will experience one or more serious legal problems in a three-year period.

  • Consumer, debt, and employment problems occur more frequently than other problems and people will most likely try to resolve these problems themselves or, in the case of employment problems, look to their union or a government agency to help.

  • Housing issues and neighbour problems rank third in the BC survey and second in the 2008 Canadian Study.

  • Family, wills, and personal injury cases also occur frequently. People most often seek legal assistance for family law problems, wills and threat of legal action.

  • People with low incomes and/or who are otherwise disadvantaged tend to experience more problems than average, especially in the areas of debt, family law, housing, income assistance, and mental health. If they are unable to find help, they tend to experience more serious consequences and have further problems that can result in a downward spiral.

    [excerpts from pp 31 - 32]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Legal Information Online Update

New on Clicklaw website:

* Brydges Line wallet card, Legal Services Society, 2009. Help for individuals who are in police custody, arrested, or detained and want to speak to a lawyer free of charge.

* Dealing with a Problem Roommate factsheet, Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, 2009

* PATHWAYS: The Family Law Diagnostic Tool interactive website, The Law Centre, 2009

Other new titles:

* Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship study guide, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, [83 pp PDF] November 2009

* Native Land Claims and Treaties in BC Law Connection, SFU Centre for Education, Law & Society and Justice Education Society, November 2009

* Privacy Rights in the Digital Age Transitions, from the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities. Contains articles on E-Health and privacy issues. Fall 2009

* What Every Renter Needs to Know series of 3 videos from Residential Tenancy Branch of BC Ministry of Housing and Social Development. Topics include Beginning of the Tenancy, Security and Pet Damage Deposits and Ending the Tenancy. 2009

* What is an Aboriginal delegated agency? Frequently asked question from Family Law in BC website, Legal Services Society, December 2009

* From JP Boyd's Family Law in BC website: New Rules 101 , an overview of new BC Supreme Court family law rules; Blog posts include 'Website Begins Integration of New Rules', December 7, 2009 and 'Section 15 Reports', December 3, 2009.

* From Cleonet: Bylaws, letters patent, and constitutions Audio interview, Charity Village, November 30, 2009
When an organization in Canada seeks incorporation, it is necessary for them to have a consitution, bylaws, and letters patent in place. This podcast explains each of these terms, describes what types of information must be included in each document, and suggests where organizations can go for more information on preparing them.