Rights of Appearance for Lawyer Licensing Process Candidates

Lawyer Licensing Process Candidates who are serving under an approved Articles of Clerkship or are engaged in their LPP work placement term may appear before Ontario courts and tribunals on certain matters, which are set out in non-exhaustive lists below. Candidates who are serving under an approved Supervision Agreement are also entitled to appear in the below circumstances, as are students who are enrolled in the Integrated Practice Curriculum at the Lakehead University Bora Laskin Faculty of Law (“Lakehead IPC Students”) who are currently completing their work placement semester.

A Candidate appearing before a court or tribunal must identify him/herself as a “student-at-law” or “articling student”, as appropriate. A Lakehead IPC Student appearing before a court or tribunal must identify him/herself as a “law student”.

A. Rights of appearance conferred on candidates in civil and criminal law matters are set out below.  

Articling Principals and/or supervising lawyers are under an obligation to ensure in each case where candidates are instructed to appear before courts or tribunals that: 

  1. the attendance of the articling principal and/or supervising lawyer is not necessary in order to secure the client's rights, assist the court or for any other reason;
  2. the candidate is adequately supervised;
  3. the matter is appropriate for the candidate's training, experience and ability; and
  4. the candidate is properly prepared.

B.  Candidates are permitted to appear on the following civil law matters:

Note: For Family Law Matters see Explanatory Notes Below:

  1. Consent motions and matters before Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice, and before the Masters and Registrars of the Superior Court of Justice and the Registrars of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, including references and assessments of costs.
  2. Matters brought without notice to the opposing party before the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice, and before the Masters and Registrars of the Superior Court of Justice, provided no substantial rights will be affected.
  3. Simple contested interlocutory motions before the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice and before the Masters and Registrars of the Superior Court of Justice, unless the result of such interlocutory motion could be to finally dispose of a party's substantive rights by determining the subject matter in dispute.
  4. Subject to the discretion of a judge of the Superior Court of Justice, on the passing of accounts in estate matters.
  5. Examinations for discovery, examinations in aid of execution, examinations of witnesses on pending motions and cross-examinations on affidavits in support of interlocutory motions.
  6. Assignment court matters in both the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice.
  7. Status hearings in the Superior Court of Justice.
  8. Applications in the Ontario Court of Justice. Candidates may not appear on contested Crown Wardship Applications.
  9. Proceedings before administrative tribunals in appropriate matters and the Small Claims Court.

C.    Candidates are permitted to appear on the following criminal law matters:

  1. Applications for adjournments in the Ontario Court of Justice.
  2. Summary conviction matters punishable by a maximum of six months imprisonment in the Ontario Court of Justice, and on adjournments in indictable offences.

Explanatory Notes

  1. All family law proceedings in the Family Court branch of the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice are governed by the Family Law Rules (the Rules). Rule 4 of the Rules provides that anyone acting for a litigant must be a lawyer unless the Court gives permission in advance.
  2. Appearances by candidates at pre-trial conferences in the Superior Court of Justice and at Trial Scheduling Court and at Motions Scheduling Court in Toronto have been expressly disapproved. However, candidates may appear at pre-trial conferences in Small Claims Court.
  3. Under subsection B.(i) civil law matters, candidates may not appear on motions for certificates of pending litigation and for interlocutory injunctions brought without notice.
  4. Under subsection B.(iii) civil law matters, above, candidates may not appear, whether they appear on behalf of the applicant or respondent, on motions to strike pleadings on the ground of no reasonable cause of action or defence, or on motions for summary judgment, default judgment and dismissal on any ground, subject to the following limited exception. Candidates may appear on behalf of a responding party on a motion to dismiss an action on any ground, if such relief is merely alternative to the primary relief sought on the motion, and there is no reasonable prospect that dismissal of the action will be ordered. Candidates should appear on matters that are truly interlocutory in nature. The question of whether a matter is interlocutory or final in nature is a matter of law. Examples of interlocutory orders, which may be found in the case law listed under Rule 62.02 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, Ontario Annual Practice, includes orders to amend pleadings, granting a judgment debtor examination, granting a stay of execution etc.
  5. The Criminal Code provides for a number of offences where the Crown may elect to proceed either by way of summary conviction or by way of indictment. In terms of classification the offence is an indictable offence until the Crown elects to proceed by summary conviction. Authority for this position is to be found in the Interpretation Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 1-21, s. 34(1), which provides:
  6.            Where an enactment creates an offence,
               (a)   the offence shall be deemed to be an indictable offence if the enactment provides that the offender may be prosecuted for the offence by indictment.

  7. Section C.(ii) should not be interpreted to confer upon a candidate the unrestricted right to appear on a summary conviction trial in all instances. The articling principal/supervising lawyer is responsible for providing effective supervision to the candidate according to all the circumstances of the situation, including the complexity of the matter. This includes consideration of the possible consequences to the accused.
  8. Candidate rights to appear in Youth Court are guided by the same rules as for criminal matters heard in other courts. Therefore, candidates may appear on summary conviction matters in Youth Court subject to the qualifications in note 6 above. They may, however, appear only on remands in indictable offence matters.
  9. Candidates may appear in the Ontario Court of Justice under the Provincial Offences Act.
  10. Candidates may extend their rights of appearance beyond the conclusion of their articles or LPP work placement up until their call to the bar by executing an Agreement and Confirmation of Supervision form with their supervising lawyer and filing it with the Articling Office at the Law Society. 
  11. The Summer Students Rights of Appearance outlines tasks to be delegated to summer law students.