THE CRIMINAL LAWYERS VOTED TO STOP TAKING CERTIFICATES STARTING SEPTEMBER 26, 2022. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE CALL YOUR FAMILY LAW COLLEAGUES -- ASK BEG AND PLEA WITH THEM NOT TO TAKE ANY MORE CERTIFICATES STARTING MONDAY. IF EVERYONE SAYS NO THEN THE GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE TO SAY YES. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.
167 days ago
Dawn Nelson Dawn L. Nelson, Barrister & Solicitor Edmonton, Alberta
I disagree. The government will be quite happy to "de-fund" Legal Aid if lawyers refuse to work with them.
Dawn, I appreciate this may be scary for some. The reality is that the government cannot defund legal aid. They can switch to a model that takes more in-house counsel (hybrid) but that is not the indication to date. Please join the criminal lawyers in their job action starting Monday September 26, 2022. Press release follow.
This is a critical moment to take a united stand to push for an adequately funded Legal Aid system in Alberta. There is obviously a crisis and to pretend otherwise is naive. To do nothing is not a helpful response. Adequate funding for Legal Aid is essential.
However, I remain very concerned about what is going on in relation to Family coverage in the context of the Crim action and am looking for some sign from the Crim lawyers of the same solidarity asked of Family lawyers when it comes to this issue. Sadly, until there is an equally organized response from Family lawyers it would not surprise me if Family coverage is the easy sacrifice to address the Crim action. And unfortunately so few Family lawyers are prepared to take a stand on Legal Aid and instead have opted out and see it as the problem of only the few lawyers still taking Legal Aid files (now generally believed to be only new lawyers and bad lawyers who can’t get any other work). Sorry - but I have to say it out loud. This is the hurdle for the Family lawyers. Because there is so much private work, access to justice as a social policy and a societal norm is someone else’s problem.
With my reservations about the vulnerability of Family coverage, I nonetheless support the Crim lawyers and join in on the action and call for an adequately funded Legal Aid regime in Alberta.
What contract? No you can't abandon files you already have, but you are free to decline certificates, you are also free to update your profile to indicate that you are not currently accepting files. What do you think we do when we go on holidays or parental leave?