For the Self Represented

Are you representing yourself in court?

Many people simply cannot afford full-time legal representation in family law cases, but there is help out there.

There are parental support groups where those who have represented themselves in court in the past are more than willing to help the novice. If you are self-represented, you should take full advantage of such resources, but in order to make a persuasive submission to a judge, you need more than tips and encouragement from those who have gone before.

Family law becomes more complex every year. Knowing the facts of your case is only part of the picture – you need to know the law as well. You can read statutes and case law online, but without proper training, you may not fully appreciate the significance of what you are reading, nor will you have comprehensive access to the law of Ontario.

I can help. If you cannot afford to hire me full-time (or choose not to), I can provide you with a legal memorandum tailored to your fact situation. You provide the facts; Colman provides the law.

I have over thirty years of solid family law experience including court experience, legal research and publication of many popular and scholarly articles. A legal memorandum from me can help to give you an 'edge' that just might make the difference.

What is a legal memorandum?

A legal memorandum is a summary of the law that is relevant to your situation. It includes statutes (like the Divorce Act), regulations (like the Child Support Guidelines) and case law (including copies of the relevant cases). A legal memorandum directs the judge's attention to the relevant law in a given case.

A legal memorandum does not discuss the facts of the case to any great extent. Certainly, a legal memorandum cannot take the place of having a lawyer.

How do I get a legal memorandum?

If you would like me to prepare a legal memorandum for you, then follow the steps below:

  1. Prepare an outline of the facts and issues in your case. Use numbered points wherever possible.
  2. Send your outline to Gene C. Colman by mail, courier or e-mail. (Please do not phone or fax at this initial stage). Provide a cover letter that states:
    1. you would like Colman to consider preparing a legal memorandum;
    2. your case is being considered in Canada;
    3. you do not have a lawyer. (Or if you do, that you have checked with him/her before contacting me); and,
    4. how you would like to be contacted (phone, e-mail, fax, letter).

I will then contact you with a price quotation. Once you have received the quotation, you choose whether or not to proceed further.

What kinds of cases will be considered?

I provide memoranda dealing with:

  • any family law issue in any family law case in Ontario;
  • if your case is a Canadian case outside of Ontario, any issue that arises under the Divorce Act (including the Federal Child Support Guidelines);
  • any family law issue before the Supreme Court of Canada.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: By providing a legal memorandum, Gene C. Colman is not providing legal advice and does not become the lawyer for the person requesting the legal memorandum.