Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Get Ready for Personal Planning Month!

LawMatters is once again partnering with Nidus Personal Planning and Resource Registry to help promote personal planning information sessions at public libraries! LawMatters has previously worked with Nidus and public libraries with great success!

This November, Nidus will be presenting the following webinars:
  • The Essentials of a Basic Plan for Your Future
  • End-of-Life: at home? In hospital? In a care facility?
  • Adult Guardianship - What does it mean in 2016?
  • Expressing Wishes - That Don't Backfire!

Public libraries are invited to host these webinars for their patrons!
The following libraries will be offering live viewings of several webinars:

In person sessions will be held at Vancouver Public Library (Firehall Branch) and Burnaby Public Library (Bob Prittie Metrotown Branch)!

For more information on each of the webinar sessions as well as locations for viewing - please see the following posters.


It's not too late to sign up! 

If your library would like to host a live-stream of one of Nidus's information webinars, please send me an email at smcleod@courthouselibary.ca

Monday, October 3, 2016

Get Legal Info at Your Local Library - LawMatters Overview

This post originally appeared on Clicklaw Blog September 28, 2016

By Shannon McLeod
LawMatters Program Coordinator

October is only a few days away, and it is Canadian Library Month, an excellent opportunity to recognize the role public libraries play in providing legal information to their communities.

Since 2007, Courthouse Libraries BC has been proud to partner with BC’s public libraries through the LawMatters program. Supported by the Law Foundation of British Columbia, LawMatters is Courthouse Libraries BC's outreach program for public librarians. Through this partnership we are working to enhance public access to legal information in all communities across British Columba. The LawMatters program focuses on four main areas to help support public libraries:


Financial assistance is given to all public libraries that choose to participate through our grants program. Grants are distributed annually to help purchase legal information and reference materials.

Collection Support

We provide libraries with a core list of titles to use as a guide for selecting and ordering materials. The list is evaluated annually for currency and accuracy. We are also available to offer suggestions and work with librarians to support local collection needs. Working with Clicklaw Wikibooks, LawMatters has previously distributed print copies of Clicklaw Wikibook titles Legal Help for British Columbians, JP Boyd on Family Law, and Dial-A-Law free of charge to libraries throughout BC to support legal collections.

Skills Development

We offer training sessions to public librarians to improve their confidence helping the public with legal information questions. This includes how to use legal resources, the basics of legal research, and general legal reference skills.


Our goal is to increase access to legal information for all communities in BC and empower librarians and to provide legal information, reference, and referral. We aim to build community capacity through partnerships which we continue to explore with libraries and other organizations. We encourage and consult with public libraries to host community forums to connect with local organizations that work with the public to help them find legal information.

For more information on the growing role of public libraries and public librarians as partners in access to justice, see “LawMatters at Your Local Public Library; A History of BC’s Program for Public Legal Information and Education in Public Libraries.”

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Legal Information Online - August 2016

New on Clicklaw

What is the difference between Personal Planning and Estate Planning? - Clicklaw Common Question, June 2016

What can a landlord ask or require of me before renting? - Clicklaw Common Question, June 2016

I’m a refugee abroad. How can I get to BC (Canada)? - Clicklaw Common Question, June 2016

Protecting Children - Your Role as a Relative - BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, 2016

Disclosing Your Disability: A Legal Guide for People with Disabilities in BC - Disability Alliance BC (formerly BC Coalition of People with Disabilities) and Law Foundation of BC, 2016

Clicklaw Blog

Moving in together, “Common-Law Relationships” and Unmarried Spouses in BC - Clicklaw Blog August 10, 2016

Residential Tenancy Rights: Where to go for help? - Clicklaw Blog, August 17, 2016

Blogs & Journal Articles 

Canada’s Law on Medical Assistance in Dying – Ask Joanne, Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, June 18, 2016

Asked & Answered: What is the BC Building Code? – The Stream, Aug 5, 2016

Tenancy: Human Rights - Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Strata Property Disputes and the Civil Resolution Tribunal – Webinar Announcement

As of July 2016, most strata property disputes must be resolved using the new online Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) instead of the court.

Join us for a free* webinar on the CRT:

Civil Resolution Tribunal Intake Process 
Presented by CRT Chair Shannon Salter
September 8, 12:30-1:30pm PDT

The online Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is up and running to resolve strata (condominium) property disputes. This session will show you how to use the CRT’s online information and application systems, and answer some common questions about how to help your clients use the CRT. The webinar will be recorded and made available after the presentation to help users navigate this fantastic tool.

*This is a FREE event aimed towards public librarians, community workers and advocates.

Want to know more about the CRT?
Want to know more about the CRT? Shannon Salter provides us with a great overview:

The CRT’s goal is to improve access to justice by using technology to provide accessible and affordable dispute resolution services. As a first step, the CRT’s Solution Explorer software application provides free legal information and self-help tools. You can access the Solution Explorer here. These tools help to diagnose problems and resolve them through information, videos, and template letters that are directly relevant to the dispute.   

Accessible 24/7 from computers and smart phones, the Solution Explorer helps people resolve their disputes without having to go to court or use the CRT process.

If people cannot resolve a dispute themselves using these tools, they can begin a CRT claim from within the Solution Explorer. The CRT then issues a notice package, which the applicant serves on the other parties to the dispute. The claim goes through a facilitation phase, where a dispute resolution expert works with the parties to achieve an agreement between the parties. If this is not possible, an expert, independent tribunal member will make a binding decision after a hearing. This CRT decision is enforceable as a court order.

We hope you can join us!
Check out our previous CRT webinar for a refresher on the Solution Explorer!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Starter Legal Display Kit: Now Available to Order for a Limited Time!

This kit is a limited time offer with the purpose of promoting handouts in legal displays for public libraries. Legal handouts can offer another access point for patrons: access to print information they can take away for themselves.

LawMatters is pleased to partner with Legal Services Society (LSS) to bring you this kit. The Starter Display Kit includes a Basic Kit of handouts and any Specialized Add-ons you choose to order. All of this information, including titles, subjects, dimensions, and more, are on the order form.

Download the order form here (Word Document).
Fill out your library’s information and send your form to me at smcleod@courthouselibrary.ca

Please note that this is for public libraries only. We hope this will be a great start or addition to your legal display.

Currently this kit includes LSS publications. You can add other publications (from People’s Law School, for example) to your Starter Display or re-stock titles from Crown Publications.

LawMatters and LSS welcome your feedback as it helps us shape future resources and services. Please let us know your thoughts and experiences!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Law Books for Libraries - LBL 2016 August Update

The August update for the Law Books for Librarians (LBL) list is now available!

You can find a link to the excel document (to download) here, or from the NEW: Librarians' Guides section on the LawMatters website.

I have included titles that have been updated since our last list (March 2016) and added a few new titles as well.

New titles include recently published items as well as titles that haven't been on the list before.There are a couple that are so new they don't have a link yet; I will update the links when they become available. I wanted to put these on your radar in the meantime!

Here are a few of the new additions to the list (images linked to publishers' websites):

  • Cause of Action: Professional Negligence, Carswell 2016
  • Oral History on Trial: Recognizing Aboriginal Narratives in Courts, UBC Press 2012
  • Digital Copyright Law, Irwin Law 2016


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

LawMatters + Clicklaw Webinar Now Available

Do you regularly help people with their legal information questions?

Brush up your legal reference skills with this great introduction (or review) to using Clicklaw to answer legal information questions.

This webinar session was presented June 28th. We reviewed how to search Clicklaw for reliable legal information specific to B.C. as well as how to use Clicklaw Wikibooks and the Clicklaw Helpmap to make better referrals.

If you were unable to attend the webinar and want to learn more about Clicklaw, we have made a recording available:

Introduction to Legal Information & Help Online - Clicklaw Refresher from Courthouse Libraries BC on Vimeo.

Please feel free to share with your colleagues!

Here are a couple of resources that summarise some of the resources we discussed: