Quebec bar launches free telephone call-in legal clinic

The Barreau du Québec has launched a free telephone call-in legal clinic to help citizens with questions they may have regarding their rights and responsibilities in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some 200 Quebec lawyers from across the province are expected to voluntarily man the phones to reply to legal questions. Lawyers will answer legal questions ranging from employment to insurance to mortgage payments as well as admissibility to federal and provincial aid packages launched over the past week.

The bilingual service, a collaborative effort with the Quebec Ministry of Justice, the legal information broker Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (CAIJ) and the provincial legal aid agency Commission des services juridiques, is expected to be in operation for at least several weeks.

Calls by citizens will be screened so that they can be forwarded to lawyers who can reply to their questions.

Here’s how you can reach them.

  • 1-866 699-9729 (toll-free)
  • 1-514-789-2755 (Montreal)
  • 1-418-838-6415 (Quebec City area)
  • 1-819-303-4080 (Gatineau)

Quebec inquiry that examined treatment of Indigenous people calls for changes to justice system

It will take a healthy dose of political will, huge investments and nearly a generation for the Quebec government to implement the wide-ranging recommendations an inquiry that examined treatment of Indigenous people made to the province’s justice and correctional systems, according to legal experts.

In the latest of a growing body of reports examining the plight of Indigenous people in Quebec, retired Quebec Superior Court Justice Jacques Viens concluded after an 18-month examination that “it seems impossible to deny” that members of the First Nations and Inuit are victims of systemic discrimination in accessing public services in Quebec.

Continue reading “Quebec inquiry that examined treatment of Indigenous people calls for changes to justice system”

Montreal lawyer disbarred for 10 years for misappropriation

A month after an Ottawa lawyer with serious memory problems was disbarred after failing to help the Law Society of Ontario investigate complaints made by a raft of clients who are collectively owed more than $2.5 million, a Montreal lawyer who misappropriated approximately $130,000 suffered nearly the same fate.

Antonella Petrolito, a member of the Barreau du Quebec since 1989 but no longer practicing since she went bankrupt in 2016, has been disbarred by the Quebec Bar’s disciplinary committee for 10 years and ordered to pay the victims a total of $137,900, the amounts she pilfered, after she pled guilty to the charges.

Petrolito, now working as a legal assistant for a lawyer, has a history of misappropriating funds. In 1999, the disciplinary committee sanctioned her for misappropriated on three occasions amounts totaling $3,350.

“In spite of three decisions rendered against her in 1999, one in which she was struck from the roll for two years, she did not change her conduct and blatantly disregarded her ethical obligations,” said the disciplinary committee.

Quebec budget injects more than $1 billion to modernize justice system

More than $1.4 billion has been set aside by the Quebec government in its latest budget to modernize the justice system, its courthouses and detention centres, a move that has elated a relieved Quebec legal community.

“We’re absolutely pleased with the budget,” remarked Paul-Matthieu Grondin, the bâtonnier or president of the Barreau du Québec. “It’s a major step forward for justice in the province. We were stuck in the 1970s. Now with the new investments, hopefully we will get it right and hopefully we can get to something that is paperless.”

Continue reading “Quebec budget injects more than $1 billion to modernize justice system”

Quebec Bar and Ombudsman want to make it easier for alleged victims of sexual assault

The Quebec Bar and the Quebec Ombudsman want to make it easier for alleged victims of sexual assault to gain access to the legal system and are calling on the provincial government to follow in the footsteps of the overwhelming majority of Canadian provinces and eliminate the prescription period for civil actions in cases of sexual assault.

Continue reading “Quebec Bar and Ombudsman want to make it easier for alleged victims of sexual assault”