Where can I get legal help and information about my Small Claims issue?
Because of COVID-19, the Small Claims Court has changed some of its processes. You can learn more in the question: How is Small Claims Court handling cases during COVID-19?
You don't have to hire a lawyer or paralegal when you go to Small Claims Court. But a lawyer or paralegal can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities, and the options you have.
Lawyers can give legal advice. This means they can explain what the law says and how it applies to your situation. They can also help you find out more about:
- your legal options
- the result you're likely to get
- how strong your claim is
- the evidence you will need
- how long it might take to get a result
- the rights the other side has
Make sure you talk to a lawyer with experience in the legal area you need help with. Some lawyers only deal with specific areas of law.
A paralegal is another kind of legal professional that can give legal advice about Small Claims Court. A paralegal can work for a lawyer and be supervised by them. Or, they can work for themselves.
Depending on your legal problem, hiring a paralegal can cost less than a lawyer. But a paralegal is not allowed to work in all the legal areas that a lawyer can.
For example, both lawyers and paralegals can represent you in Small Claims Court. However, only a lawyer can represent you in Superior Court, or the Court of Appeal.
Rules for Lawyers and Paralegals
The Law Society of Ontario regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario. This means they: