British Columbians Are Choosing to Self-Represent in Court - How Legal Expense Insurance Can Help
Recently released annual reports from the B.C. Court of Appeal and B.C. Supreme Court have revealed an increase in the number of self-represented litigants.
The Court of Appeal report indicated that 30% of civil cases and 14% of criminal cases involved litigants without legal representation - a 7% and 4% increase compared to the previous year for civil and criminal cases.
The Canadian Bar Association suggests that it would cost $50 million to bring legal aid funding in BC to where it was over a decade ago.
According to Dean Crawford, President of CBA B.C., those without lawyers are depending more and more on guides or Justice Access Centres for help. In his view, it is very difficult to deliver the best possible case when self-representing. “If you’re not legally trained, you don’t know what’s admissible and what’s not. There’s a body of case law in any subject area called common law. Unless you’re legally trained, it’s difficult if not impossible.”
How Legal Expense Insurance Can Help
A one-day criminal trial will likely cost thousands of dollars in legal fees and tens of thousands for a two-day civil trial according to a 2013 Canadian Lawyer Magazine Survey. It's no wonder that self-representation is increasing. These costs can be a huge burden for individuals and small businesses.
Legal Expense Insurance is an affordable alternative that provides access to legal advice and representation and covers the costs of pursuing and defending an action. Areas where this type of insurance will offer support include:
- employment disputes
- contract disputes
- bodily injury
- property protection
- tax protection
- legal defence
Contact us to learn more.
 Source: "Self-representation in B.C. courts on the rise" by Michael Mui at 24 Hours Vancouver (April 16th, 2014).