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Lecture 19

POLS 3130 Lecture 19: pols3130nov18

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Political Science
POLS 3130
Kate Puddister

Access to Justice: Enhance the System Class Action Suits • Allow many individuals with the same legal dispute to combine resources into a single claim • Facilitate cases where individual plaintiff would not be able to recoup enough in damages to cover legal costs cases where individual claims are complex • Economies of scale • Allow individuals to enjoy the advantages of repeat players • Decreased commitment for participation • Increased leverage over defendant Legal Expenses Insurance • You pay a certain amount of money (yearly or monthly), and should a legal problem arise, you are covered • Available in the US and many European countries • May encourage unnecessary litigation • Raises several questions logistically, how we decide what plans cover, could it function like medicare? (governments would be setting rates for legal services like they do for healthcare) • If lawyers are responding to the government, it changes the way they look at Access to Justice: Access to Legal Services • Access to information does not necessarily need to come from lawyers paralegals, legal clinics, duty counsel in the civil law court system • Unbundling of legal service to give some assistance to self-represented litigants • Assist with one of the following: -identifying arguments -presentation of material -oral advocacy • Don’t rely on lawyers to start to finish, use paralegals etc. • Case management -fast track most serious cases • We could rely on small claims court -2 litigants, self-represented, small amounts of money, fast, simplistic cases (Judge Judy) • Price control (right now its an open market, firms compete with other firms in terms of price) We could implent a scale of whats important, we could enforce caps on hourly fees, we could shift to block fees • Block fees: doesn’t charge you by the hour, but by the service. It doesn’t matter how long it takes for the lawyer • Court fees Trial Lawyers Association of BC v. BC (AG) [2014] 3 S. C. R. 31 Facts: • Couple moved from England to B.C. with their daughter • Relationship terminated and the question of custody arose • Ms. V went to court to have an issue resolved • To set a trial date, Ms. V had to pay in advance a court hearing fee • Ms. V requested that the trial judge relieve her from paying the fee •
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