Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Community Advocate Support Line

The Legal Services Society of BC recently launched the Community Advocate Support Line (CASL). The CASL line will be operated through the LawLINE. CASL will be staffed full-time by a lawyer who will be available to provide brief legal advice and legal information to BC advocates in relation to certain client files the advocate is handling.

CASL anticipates their advice and assistance will generally be in relation to the following areas of law:

- income assistance;
- residential tenancy and other housing issues (including foreclosure);
- family law;
- employment insurance;
- Canada Pension Plan (including disability benefits);
- debt collection and bankruptcy;
- consumer contracts; and
- judicial review.

If you have a legal question regarding a client with a problem falling outside the specified CASL case priorities, please contact CASL and they will review the situation.

To access services through the CASL project, you must provide the CASL lawyer at the outset with the full legal name, address and phone number (if any) of your client. You will also need to provide the full legal names of any opposing parties involved in your client's legal issue. CASL’s professional responsibilities as lawyers require them to confidentially review and record this information. This means that before calling the advocate should generally obtain their client’s consent to release this information to the CASL project before calling.

The CASL line has requested that the phone number not be distributed because it only has one line and is for advocates. If you are an advocate and this service would be helpful to you please contact LawLINE for a referral at 604-408-2172 or 1-866-577-2525 (toll free outside of the Lower Mainland).

If you not an advocate, but are looking for legal information, advice or referrals you can call LawLINE at the above numbers as well.