Merovitz Potechin LLP
Menu Contact

The Referred to Law Firm


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

MP Blog Photo

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].

Email us for a response

Request A Consultation

Request A Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an lawyer-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Merovitz Potechin LLP
300-1565 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R1

Toll Free: 877-612-1123
Ottawa Law Office Map