Archive for the ‘Legal Services’ Category

NEW ONLINE RESOURCE: TEST YOUR LEGAL KNOWLEDGE

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TEST your KNOWLEDGE

Today, we’re very excited to launch the newest resource on our website: a series of interactive quizzes allowing you to test your legal knowledge and get quick answers to some of our most common questions!

Over many years offering legal support services, certain questions pop up again and again – questions about housing and evictions, labour rights, ticketing and arrests, and dealing with the youth protection system. We’ve gathered these questions together into simple on-line quizzes, which we hope will provide easy access answers to some of your most pressing issues!

If you have a situation that needs deeper answers, and want to go further than these quizzes can take you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call! Our legal coordinator, Ralph, is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays to support youth with questions around all manner of legal issues. We also offer evening legal clinics each Wednesday and Thursday, where community members of all ages can meet with volunteer lawyers for some quick advice. And of course, if we’re not able to support you with your particular situation, we’ll be happy to offer a referral to one of the other great legal resources in this city.

Spotlight on: super-volunteer lawyer Irving Narvey!

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Irving Narvey stopped by to chat after a couple rounds of tennis! Lovin the semi-retired life!

Irving Narvey stopped by to chat after a couple rounds of tennis! Gotta love the semi-retired life!

Today, we’re shining the spotlight on super-volunteer Irving Narvey, who, after 43 years giving his time and expertise at the Head & Hands legal clinic, has finally left us to enjoy the fruits of a semi-retired life. 43 years?! That’s right: Mr. Narvey has been volunteering since the inception of the legal clinic, and for almost the entirety of his career!

Fresh out of law school and just starting his own law practice, Irving was invited to get involved in 1971 by Eric Smith, who was one of the first volunteer lawyers at Head & Hands.

“I guess when you’re young and principled, and you carry your sword, you want to help people,” Mr. Narvey told us. “Coming to Head & Hands was an opportunity to meet people who were in need of legal advice, and obviously to give back. And there I was, in a position to do so, and I was thrilled to do it, so I did.”

As a 28-year-old, I have a hard time understanding how anybody could do anything for 43 years, so I had to ask: what kept you coming back to volunteer, after a long day at work, for more than four decades?! “It really wasn’t a hefty burden at all,” said Irving. “I always saw myself as a litigator, representing the people before the courts, and fighting for their rights…I’d like to think that my practice was people-oriented, so coming here was really an extension of what I did on a full-time basis for a living.”

When asked about the best part of volunteering at Head & Hands, Mr. Narvey didn’t hesitate: “Being in touch with the people. What can I tell you? People need people! As a matter of fact, if I didn’t know that Barbara Streisand had already done it I would have written the song.”

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On behalf of the entire team at Head & Hands, and the hundreds of community members who have benefited from your legal expertise over the past four decades, thank you Irving! We wish you many healthy and happy years of relaxation as you move into a very well-deserved semi-retirement.

Throwback Thursday: DIY Divorce!

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Legal Services Coordinator Ralph, with the DIY Divorce Pamphlet from back in the day!

Today we’re taking a look at Head & Hands’ former Do-it-Yourself Divorce service! To find out how it worked, we caught up with two people involved in the service back in the day—former participant Cheryl, and Gabor, who has been a lawyer at the H&H Legal Clinic since the mid-1970s. 

If you have memories to share about DIY Divorce, please do in the comments! But for now…story time!

 I learned about the do-it–yourself divorce course from a newspaper ad. I was separated from my husband and didn’t have the money to see a lawyer so I decided to take this amazing opportunity. The course was given by this lovely lady, Sandra Frost, who unfortunately died several years ago, but I will never forget her.

The course was free and we met as a group in varying intervals. Sandra expertly guided us all through each step. She gave us the information by giving us all copies of every document that had to be typed out, in what order, how many copies needed to be typed, and which department of the courts that they had to be presented to. It was time consuming especially given that no one used a computer back in the day! I had never even learned how to type so making four mistake-free carbon copies took me forever, but Sandra encouraged us every step of the way.

After all of the documents had been prepared and filed we waited to find out through the mail what our date at court would be. Because it had to be a no-fault divorce, that is to say, the spouses involved would not be contesting anything, we did not use the services of a lawyer and we represented ourselves in court. Sandra also explained to us what to expect and how to comport ourselves in front of a judge. It was quite a nerve-wracking experience, to say the least, as the atmosphere in the courtroom was daunting and the judge was very imposing and I was very young!

However, the only thing that I had to pay was the fee for the bailiff to present my papers to my soon-to-be ex husband, around $50. After it was all over, my sister and I went out for lunch with my now ex-husband. It was very civilized! I will always be grateful to H&H for the amazing help that I received from them at this time in my life when I needed it.

– Cheryl: former client, current volunteer and donor

I don’t remember when H & H started the service but it seems it was more than 20 years ago. It was important because many people had simple uncontested divorces and could not afford the $500 to $1000 divorce fees that lawyers were charging. Some people who could afford to pay the lawyer’s fees but wanted to control their own divorce file and did not want to be at the mercy of their lawyer also took the course.

Of course the same situation exists today in that some people have simple divorces but can`t afford the fees, especially the increased fees lawyers now charge. Unfortunately the procedure in court has become more complicated especially where child support is payable and a course that used to take, I believe about six or so sessions, might require a few more.

– Gabor Glasz: volunteer lawyer at the Head & Hands legal clinic, former board member

Head & Hands no longer offers DIY Divorce classes, but we do have a legal clinic where community members can speak with a family lawyer, and a legal coordinator who is there to help youth with all legal queries. In the last year alone, our volunteer family lawyers assisted with 157 cases!

Give the Gift!!

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Did you know that since street work re-launched in October, demand for our emergency food pantry has more than doubled? The need for our medical, legal, and social services is growing, and so we put on our thinking caps to increase financial support this winter. Allow us to introduce our new fundraising campaign, Give the Gift!

When you donate online through Give the Gift, you’ll receive a package of custom-designed cards, ready to print at home and give to friends and family on behalf of each donation. Give the Gift was made possible thanks to two talented local Head & Hands supporters: web programmer, Danielle Bakhazi, and youth artist, J’VLYN.

No matter the occasion, we’ve got you covered in English and French, with cards for celebrating gratitude, birthdays, anniversaries, congratulatory moments, incredible friendships, a new life, or just because! 

Give the Gift cards are perfect for the person who says they don’t need anything, who doesn’t want more stuff, who wishes they had more time to volunteer, who believes in buying local, who believes in homemade gifts, who believes in ethical giving, who you have no idea what to buy, for the person who loves Head & Hands, and for the person that you love. 

No matter who is on the receiving end, they can’t deny the wicked awesome goodness that comes from a donation being made in one’s honour to support youth in our community.

Okay, so we’ve explained why it’s amazing. But how does it WORK?!

1. Go to our Give the Gift page by clicking here

2. Decide how much you want to donate via your credit card or PayPal account

3. Receive a PDF file with a ton of beautiful cards

4. Pick the card you like

5. Print the card you like

6. Personalize it and send it!

7. Enjoy being the best gift giver ever.

It’s easy and fabulous.

Have any questions? No problem! Call Juniper or Jen at 514-481-0277!

Volunteer Opportunity: Legal Clinic & Resources

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Head & Hands is seeking a legal volunteer for 6 weeks this summer!

We are in search of a volunteer to help with the Head & Hands’ legal services. The volunteer’s main task will be to help coordinate the legal clinics (which occur bi-weekly), as well as to update the legal resource guide and web capsules. The resource guide is used by the Legal Coordinator as well as front desk workers, so as to provide useful resources to youth. The web capsules are geared towards clients accessing our webpage. The goal of the above tasks is to ensure that the Head & Hands legal clinics run smoothly and that the resources are up to date and easy to access. We are seeking a volunteer to be available twice a week (for approximately 6 hours per week) for a period of 6 weeks, ideally starting July 3rd, 2013.

The ideal volunteer is a 1st or 2nd year law student, bilingual, reliable, creative, organized, autonomous, has a basic knowledge of the law and its interpretations, familiarity with WordPress, as well as good writing and editing skills (French and English). Experience in legal research and familiarity with youth culture are assets.

For more information about our legal services in general, please explore our website. Interested candidates please respond by sending a cover letter to legal@headandhands.ca or call 514-481-0277 and ask to speak with Ralph (Legal Coordinator). Deadline for volunteer applications is Friday June 21st.

Thank you!

Legal Workshop on Bill 78

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What is Bill 78? Are all public gatherings illegal? How do you contest a ticket? You can find the answers to all these questions and more at the workshop we’re offering on August 6th from 6:00 – 7:30 pm! Come join Andrée Bourbeau, member of the CLASSE legal committee and UQAM law student, who will discuss the impact of Bill 78 and give an update on the tribunal proceedings contesting this law. This will be followed by a presentation on how to contest a ticket from Daniel Barza, a lawyer who volunteers his expertise in criminal and civil law at our legal clinic. If you have questions or concerns about this important issue, we invite you to come out and participate in this night of information sharing, at our offices at 5833 Sherbrooke St. West!

Let’s set the record straight before back-to-school this fall!

Clients, give us feedback!

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As part of our strategic planning process, we’re seeking information from clients who currently use our services or have used our services within the last year. If you have a few minutes to fill out this short survey, please help us out! We would really appreciate your input so we can consider you as we plan our future!

Special Legal Services

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We are excited to announce that over the next six weeks we’ll be offering additional legal services to those involved in the student movement and/or the opposition to Loi 78!

Our Legal Coordinator, Ralph, is available to anyone between ages 12 and 25 to provide information about your rights, the letter of the law, and how to contest a ticket. You can reach him by emailing legal@headandhands.ca or calling 514-481-0277.

We have reserved spots in our legal clinics with lawyers Daniel Barza and Paul Gouveia, on June 27th, July 11th, and July 26th, for anyone involved in the movement who needs legal advice. These lawyers can help you strategize around contesting a ticket, preparing for a court date, and what to say when under arrest. Legal clinics are by appointment; to make yours, give us a call anytime during our opening hours at 514-481-0277. Please mention this post or your involvement in the movement when you call so we know the reserved spots are open to you!

Finally, we’ll be offering workshops on contesting Loi 78 tickets and how to interact with the police in partnership with Daniel Barza and Paul Gouveia in July. Dates will be announced shortly!

Know Your Rights: Interacting with the Police

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This week, Head & Hands would like to remind you of your basic rights when interacting with the police:

  • You can stay silent and refuse to talk to police or answer their questions, unless you are in a bar or a movie theatre, driving a car, or they say you broke the law. In those cases, you must give your name, birth date, and address, or show your ID, but you do not have to say more.
  • You can say no if police ask to search you or your belongings. Saying no does not mean you have something to hide.
  • You can leave unless you are being detained or arrested.
  • If you are being detained or arrested, you have the right to know why, and the right to speak to a lawyer in private without delay, even if you can’t pay.
  • You can only be strip-searched in private and by officers of the “same” sex.
  • You have the right to know an officer’s name and badge number.
  • You can report an officer who abuses you, swears at you, or violates your rights.

At Head & Hands, our legal services include information, support, and accompaniment in the case of arrest or violation of rights. We also have twice weekly, by-appointment legal clinics where you can get legal advice from a lawyer, and we offer community workshops on a variety of legal issues.

The above legal information is based on Pivot Legal‘s  “Statement for Police” cards, available at our offices. These cards can be read aloud and then given to police in case of detention or arrest.

The above information should not be taken as legal advice or relied upon in legal proceedings–if you require legal advice, you should contact a lawyer.

Did You Know?

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A lot of you probably know about services like our medical and legal clinics, counseling, and Sense Project sexual health workshops–at least based on how many phone calls we get about them! Today we’d like to highlight a few of our less visible services. Did you know that Head & Hands offers…

  • Accompaniment! Sometimes life throws you situations that can be confusing or scary.  Our team is available to go with you to your abortion appointment or court date to provide support and help clarify the process.
  • Tons of community workshops! Besides sex ed, we’ve got workshops on racial profiling, legal rights, drugs, healthy boundaries, and relationships. We are often able to tailor workshops to the needs of your school, group home, community centre, or organization. One example? “Paddling the Pink Canoe: The Importance of Talking About Female Sexual Pleasure.”
  • Food Pantry! Up to twice a month, youth can drop by the main offices to pick up groceries intended to last 1-2 days in emergency situations.
  • Free tutoring! Every fall, we match students aged 12 – 18 with volunteer tutors based on scheduling and subject. The pairs work together weekly at Head & Hands.