The Manitoba government has just released a report titled Modernizing Our Family Law System, by Manitoba’s Family Law Reform Committee. The 10 page report, followed by 4 pages of appendices, is written in plain English, befitting the audience it is intended for. The Committee suggests a three year pilot project.
Our model would by legislation, require all matters proceeding
under the Family Maintenance Actto be commenced by
an application form which would be simple enough that an
individual could complete it with or without the assistance
of a lawyer.
While restricting this pilot project to Family Maintenance Act
matters will significantly limit the scope of this initiative, we
believe there will be a large volume of matters, sufficient to
test the effectiveness of this approach during the pilot phase.
The Committee was formed in the fall of 2017, and completed their report in record time, as mandated by Justice Minister Stefanson.
As many studies have noted, the adversarial court system does not work well for family law matters. Families must continue to work together after divorce and custody issues are taken care of. We will be watching for the government to introduce legislation to enable this project, and keep you informed when it has been released.
The Court just released its decision on Groia v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2018 SCC 27, clarifying the test for when a lawyer’s conduct in the courtroom becomes professional misconduct.
In a 6-3 decision authored by Justice Moldaver, the Court laid out the framework under which lawyers can provide a vigorous defence of their clients. While the Court agreed the law society’s appeal panel adopted the correct test for a finding of professional misconduct, they disagreed with the application.
Since this decision was just released on June 1st, there will be more commentary to come. Keep checking CanLII Connects for more news.