Duty Counsel - Criminal

November 24 2021
Industries Legal
Categories Criminal, Legal, Paralegal, Legal, Paralegal
Newmarket, ON

To provide criminal duty counsel services in Newmarket and throughout the Central East district. This role may require travel throughout the district on occasion.

Criminal Duty Counsel is responsible for providing client service for criminal law matters in the courthouse, both virtually and in person once in person services resume. Criminal Duty Counsel will be responsible for the intake and assessment of criminal law clients to determine the appropriate service for those charged with criminal offences, including but not limited to providing procedural and summary legal advice; drafting and reviewing criminal court documents; in court representation at various stages of criminal court proceedings; supervision of per diem duty counsels and other duties as assigned.

As a result of the pandemic all services are currently being provided virtually with minimal “on-site” supervision. This position will appeal to a lawyer experienced in a broad range of criminal proceedings who can effectively navigate the demands of a hectic and sometimes frenetic workplace, both in-person and online.

Reports to: Manager, Criminal Duty Counsel

Legal Aid Ontario has a COVID-19 vaccination policy that requires all staff be fully vaccinated by a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine or undergo regular testing. Individuals with valid medical or other human rights-based exemptions will be considered for appropriate accommodation within the policy.

• Assisting unrepresented clients who have been charged with criminal or quasi-criminal matters
• Representing clients at bail hearings, guilty pleas and remands both in-person and remotely
• Assessing clients’ needs, including the early identification of vulnerable clients, to facilitate referrals to appropriate services.
• Providing in-person and remote summary legal advice to clients in or out of custody
• Assisting colleagues in preparation of bail hearings, guilty pleas and other forms of resolutions
• When appropriate, representing clients in Crown pre-trial negotiations for purposes of resolution
• Representing clients in specialty courts including Mental Health, Gladue, Domestic Violence, and Youth Courts as required
• Ensuring a high quality of legal work in a cost effective manner
• File management as per LAO requirements including use of computer technology; data input for statistics measurements in a timely manner
• Punctual attendance at court to perform daily duties
• Providing assistance with legal aid referrals as required
• Facilitating knowledge-sharing and best practices among court locations and staff offices
• Perform other duties and administrative tasks as assigned and remain adaptable and flexible in a changing environment.

• Lawyer in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario
• Experience acting as Criminal Duty Counsel on behalf of LAO’s vulnerable clients
• Demonstrated experience in representing clients with complex legal issues including conducing bails hearings, guilty pleas and bail reviews.
• Sound knowledge of the Criminal Code of Canada, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, criminal law procedures, rules of evidence and case law
• Practical understanding of the Rules of Professional Conduct
• Communication, presentation and negotiation skills coupled with strong advocacy skills in the Ontario Court of Justice
• Proven judgment and analytical ability to determine appropriate legal remedies
• Knowledge and appreciation of impact of criminal proceedings on immigration, family and other poverty law issues; and the integrated nature of legal issues faced by LAO clients
• Proven experience in providing excellent client service to vulnerable populations such as racialized communities, First Nations, youth and those experiencing mental health or addiction challenges and/or homelessness
• Ability to work independently and unsupervised in a fast-paced environment while also demonstrating collaboration and teamwork with colleagues and other stakeholders
• Demonstrated proficiency in using computer based file management and data entry systems such as PeopleSoft, DCSW, etc as well as Microsoft Office.
• Demonstrated ability to use latest communication technologies including tablets and smartphones and ability to utilize video conferencing platforms in order to deliver services virtually. (Zoom/Lync/Teams)
• Ability and willingness to travel between central east district court locations when in-person services resume.
• Ability to communicate in French is an asset.

To apply submit a cover letter & résumé.

This position is represented by The Society of United Professionals and the employee will be governed by the provisions of the collective agreement and union dues will be deducted bi-weekly from date of hire.

Please note that all applicants are encouraged to provide a valid email address for communication purposes. Applicants may receive written correspondence regarding this job posting directly to the email address provided on their resume or to the one used to set up their Candidate Profile if applying on Njoyn. As an applicant, it is your responsibility to ensure that you check your email regularly.

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Trouble applying? For telephone support please call 1-877-427-7717 or email support: candidate.njoynhelp@cgi.com.

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