The Advice and Settlement Counsel (ASC) is a pilot project developed in consultation and cooperation with the 393 Bench and Bar Committee and the Judiciary and Court Services.
The program is part of the larger Family Law Limited Scope Services (FLLSS) Project. Funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, the FLLSS Project is working to increase the availability of limited scope services in family law in Ontario.
What is the Program About?
The ASC program provides family lawyers who can provide you with summary legal advice.
The program’s goal is to help self-represented litigants in the following ways:
- Attending motions;
- Attending court conferences;
- Assisting you to negotiate consents when both parties are present;
- Providing summary advice when you are not at court about an upcoming court conference or motion, including advice about potential settlements, drafting settlement terms offers, and court protocols;
- Providing summary advice when you have negotiated a consent at a prior DRO session, mediation, court conference or motion;
- Providing summary advice (and coaching about next steps) when you have an upcoming court attendance or when you want to commence or respond to a case;
- Preparing “to do” lists so that you understand what steps need to be taken next.
How Does the Program Work?
The ASC Program is currently operating remotely. This may change in the Winter 2021 and we will provide updates on this website. The good news is that we are available 5 days a week, from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. while we are operating remotely!
We have a Calendar on this website where you can see the lawyers who are providing services either in the morning or in the afternoon on each day. The Calendar has the lawyer’s email and phone number. Please call or email the lawyer to get started.
If you wish to retain the ASC lawyer, you will be asked to complete a Form to provide information about your case. These forms are fillable so you can complete them, save and email them to the ASC lawyer on shift.
The ASC lawyer will verify your identity and do a preliminary check to ensure that he or she will not be in conflict acting for you. Next, the lawyer and you will discuss the service(s) you are requesting and confirm an estimate of the time required to provide those services. If you agree on terms, you will sign a Retainer agreement. Since we are working remotely we suggest you complete the Retainer first and send it back, and then confirm your agreement to same after you speak with the ASC lawyer.
The ASC lawyer will “meet” with you by phone or Zoom on the same day as you contact them.
In Person (Currently Suspended)
When you attend at court, please add your name to the sign-up sheet if you would like our services – the sign up sheet is at reception in the FLIC office. Typically, you will be seen on a first-come basis unless there is a legal conflict with one of the roster lawyers, or the court requests assistance. While the program aims to help as many litigants as is reasonably possible, you may be asked to return another day if there are several clients ahead of you.
If you wish to retain the ASC lawyer, you will be asked to complete a Form to provide information about your case.
The ASC lawyer will verify your identity and do a preliminary check to ensure that he or she will not be in conflict acting for you. Next, the lawyer and you will discuss the service(s) you are requesting and confirm an estimate of the time required to provide those services. If you agree on terms, you will sign a Retainer agreement.
SERVICES AND PAYMENT
After the Retainer agreement is signed, you will pay the ASC lawyer for up to one hour of services. The lawyer will provide the services agreed upon and then complete an information form indicating outcome(s) of the services and outlining the next steps you need to take.
The ASC lawyer will prepare and provide you with an invoice. If you and the lawyer have agreed to extend the time for services beyond one hour, any amounts owing are due immediately upon delivery of the invoice.
If you wish, you may choose to retain the ASC lawyer for additional services after the day at court by completing a new retainer (including payment terms) that are agreeable to both you and the lawyer.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Advice and Settlement Counsel services are available at a rate of $200.00 plus HST for up to one hour of services.
You are welcome to ask your ASC lawyer if they have additional time and can extend paid their services beyond one (1) hour. The ASC lawyer will discuss their regular hourly rate with you and you can make a decision about whether you wish to retain them privately.