LEGAL AID TORONTO
If you landed on this page, you may require the assistance of a legal aid lawyer in Toronto. Rely on Gottlieb Law Firm when you demand excellence, commitment and experience.
Gottlieb Law Firm, in an ongoing historic effort to provide access to justice for those who are of modest means, continues its dedication to working with litigants who require public funding to pay for their legal services. We are amongst a few law firms in the GTA that take Legal Aid Certificates for both Child Protection as well as Family Law (Domestic) proceedings before the Ontario Court of Justice as well as the Superior Court of Justice.
Our philosophy is such that our lawyers dedicate themselves to providing excellent and professional legal services to all persons who have a legitimate family law and child protection case. We don’t discriminate based on income. We want to help and have helped hundreds of people irrespective of their ability to afford a lawyer.
We are, however, not Legal Aid Lawyers. We are lawyers who accept Legal Aid Certificates. We do not work for Legal Aid directly. Some legal aid lawyers do work for Legal Aid Ontario directly and as such are paid by Legal Aid Ontario. We are independent/private lawyers who work with clients of all backgrounds and socio-economic circumstances. We don’t discriminate against the poor. We do not judge people who are of modest means. We are a law firm that treats everyone equally and with respect.
If you think you qualify for government assistance to help pay for your legal services, your first step is to call Legal Aid Ontario and take its financial eligibility test. Details of the financial eligibility test can be found on LAO’s website noted as www.legalaid.on.ca.
Once approved, you will be granted either a Child Protection Certificate or a Domestic Certificate depending on the issues involved in your case. Child Protection certificates provide funding for legal services associated with proceedings involving you and the numerous Children’s Aid Societies throughout Ontario. Domestic certificates provide funding for private disputes between separating couples or couples who have not lived together but who have children. In each case, family violence issues must be considered and we are well versed in handling those cases both on an emergency basis as well as in the standard dispute.
Some Legal Aid certificates are given to a client for free legal services. Others require a contribution from the client (known as Contribution Certificates) and others require an agreement to place a lien on your property. Legal Aid Ontario determines at the outset which of these certificates applies to you. Regardless of the certificate granted, Legal Aid Ontario pays the lawyer, not you. If a contribution is required by you, it would be paid to Legal Aid Ontario. If a lien is required, your lien would be satisfied at the end of the case and when the property upon which the lien is registered is sold. Gottlieb Law Firm lawyers can explain all these differences to you at your initial intake meeting.
With both certificates, lawyers are allotted permission to work on your case for specific issues with specific time allotments. Certificates are therefore not to be seen as the ability to fight cases in court on a carte blanche basis. Certificates control the issues to be litigated and allot time allowances to those issues. Clients, along with their lawyers, are required to carefully work within the approved issues and time allotments. Lawyers and clients must be reasonable in their approach to litigious matters and must at all times consider avenues for settlement. Reasonableness is a test used by Legal Aid Ontario to grant funding and issue/time allotments. Certificates may cover custody/access issues, restraining orders and support issues. They can also cover cases where children are taken into the care and custody of the Children’s Aid Society and a return is warranted or access to the child is requested. There are also Family Violence certificates, Restraining Order certificates and Sexual Assault certificates.
Gottlieb Law Firm is well versed at working within the allotments provided by LAO and always has the “reasonability” test in mind when dealing with clients. We know what to argue, how to argue and how to ensure you get the best legal services within the confines of the Legal Aid Act. We have been accepting Legal Aid Certificates since 1987. We know the system.
When contacting our firm, it is helpful to advise the intake clerks that you are a client asking for our services to be covered by Legal Aid. When this is identified, we will then ask that you provide us with your client number and certificate number. Those numbers are required for us to check to determine if you are accepted as a Legal Aid client. We therefore ask that you have those numbers available for us as soon as possible. These numbers can be identified as beginning with CE and CLT.
Checking on the status of your certificate is different than acknowledging your certificate. Acknowledging your certificate means we have confirmed our retainer with you. We never acknowledge a certificate until it is clear that the lawyers at our firm and the client seeking legal services agree to work together. As it is difficult to change lawyers on a Legal Aid certificate, we ensure that the client is comfortable with his or her choice before accepting the certificate. We know choosing us is an important decision. We are therefore here to answer any questions you may have about our experience and philosophy - before you confirm your desire to work with us.
A good solicitor and client relationship is always key to successful representation, success in court or in negotiated settlements. We are therefore here to make the relationship work. Call us and we will be happy to answer any inquiries you may have.
For more information contact Gottlieb Law Firm located in the Greater Toronto Area,