Toronto: Ontario’s licensed paralegals cast their votes in the first-ever paralegal election last month, electing five of the 39 candidates nominated to run for the Law Society’s Paralegal Standing Committee. The committee plays an integral role in the governance and regulation of licensed paralegals throughout the province.
The elected paralegals are as follows: Cathy Corsetti, Paul Dray, Michelle L. Haigh, Kenneth C. Mitchell, and Robert Burd.
They will fill five of the 13 seats on the committee and serve a four-year term. The other committee members include five lawyer benchers and three lay benchers from the Law Society’s governing body – Convocation. Two of the newly elected paralegal committee members will be chosen by the committee’s paralegal members and lay benchers as paralegal benchers who will participate in Convocation.
The first five paralegal members of the current committee were appointed by the Ontario government in November 2006 to develop the paralegal regulatory framework. “This election marks a significant milestone in paralegal regulation,” says Law Society Treasurer W. A. Derry Millar. “The Paralegal Standing Committee plays a critical role in ensuring that the paralegal profession is regulated in the public interest. We congratulate the elected committee members and look forward to working with them.”
Full election results are available in the paralegal section of the Law Society website. Biographies and photos of the winning candidates are also available in this section of the website. Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to licence paralegals in 2007. Almost 3,000 paralegals in Ontario are now licensed by the Law Society. Licensed paralegals can help people with matters in small claims court, as well as traffic matters, tribunal hearings and minor criminal matters. The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner.