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    Appointment of Legal Counsel Under Section 3 of the Substitute Decisions Act

    When individuals would otherwise be unrepresented in proceedings that can significantly impact their decision-making ability, their interests, and their autonomy, the court may appoint legal counsel for such individuals pursuant to Section 3 of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, S.O. 1990, c. 30 (“SDA”).

    In pertinent part, Section 3 of the SDA provides as follows:

    (1) If the capacity of a person who does not have legal representation is in issue in a proceeding under this Act,

    (a) the court may direct that the Public Guardian and Trustee arrange for legal representation to be provided for the person; and

    (b) the person shall be deemed to have capacity to retain and instruct counsel.

    If the court orders the appointment of a legal representative for an individual pursuant to Section 3 of the SDA, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) is charged with the responsibility of arranging such counsel. The OPGT selects Section 3 counsel from a list of lawyers approved by Legal Aid. Section 3 counsel are not counsel for the OPGT.  If legal representation is provided for a person pursuant to Section 3, and no certificate is issued under the Legal Aid Services Act in connection with the proceeding, the person is responsible for the legal fees.

    The role of Section 3 counsel can be complicated because a Section 3 lawyer is required to convey the allegedly incapable person’s wishes, even if that position is different or contrary to the views of others.

    For more information on the appointment of Section 3 legal counsel under the Substitute Decisions Act contact Pinelopi Makrodimitris at 613-563-6693 or by email at [email protected].

    The content on this website is for information purposes only and is not legal advice, which cannot be given without knowing the facts of a specific situation. You should never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. The use of the website does not establish a solicitor and client relationship. If you would like to discuss your specific legal needs with us, please contact our office at 613-563-7544 and one of our lawyers will be happy to assist you.

    Posted By: Merovitz Potechin

    Merovitz Potechin LLP has been serving the business and personal needs of the Ottawa area since 1976. Our lawyers will work directly with you throughout your legal matter.

    We are committed to asking the right questions so you obtain the best advice. We are responsive to your needs, and you can trust that we will give you the care and attention you deserve.

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