Finding a Lawyer or Legal Information

Finding a Lawyer That Practices in the Area of Law You Need Assistance With

Court staff cannot recommend a lawyer for you but there are other ways of finding a lawyer that practices in the area of law you need assistance with:

  1. Contacting the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador – The Law Society maintains a directory of practicing lawyers in Newfoundland and Labrador. You can visit the Law Society website to view this list.
  2. Check the Yellow pages in the phone book – Lawyers advertise in the Yellow pages and often indicate the type of law they practice.
  3. Contacting the Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador – this Association operates a lawyer referral service and can arrange a 30 minute meeting with a lawyer who practices in the area of law you need assistance with for $40 (tax included).

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Getting a Lawyer for a Criminal Matter

If your case is a criminal matter and you meet certain financial thresholds, you may be eligible for a Legal Aid Certificate. In such a case, the Legal Aid Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador will provide you with a lawyer without charge, or for an affordable monthly contribution to your legal fees. For more information about the application process, please visit the Legal Aid Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador’s website .

If you do not qualify for a Legal Aid Certificate you can bring an application to the Court (sometimes called a “Rowbotham application”) asking the Court to appoint a lawyer for you who will be paid for by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Such an application will generally only be granted where you have applied to the Legal Aid Commission and you have been denied a Legal Aid Certificate.

To bring such an application in a criminal matter, please complete the following application form:
CR Form 12.02 Notice of Application (General)

And provide the following:

  • An affidavit setting out:
  • the efforts you made to retain a lawyer
  • the reasons why you have been unable to retain a lawyer
  • whether you have made an application to the Legal Aid Commission for legal assistance and, if so, the status of that application
  • whether you were formerly represented by a lawyer and when that representation ceased
  • the name of any lawyer who has indicated a willingness to represent you in the event that the order is granted and the terms on which he or she is prepared to provide representation
  • any other information you think is relevant

These documents will have to be filed in the Court registry where your matter is being heard. Once these documents are filed, you will have to provide notice of this application, by service, to the following persons/entities:

  • The Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • The prosecutor
  • Any co-accused persons
  • The Legal Aid Commission

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Getting a Lawyer for a Family Matter

If your case is a family matter that involves child protection, custody, access, child support, spousal support or matrimonial property, and you meet certain financial thresholds, you may be eligible for a Legal Aid Certificate. In such a case, the Legal Aid Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador will provide you with a lawyer without charge, or for an affordable monthly contribution to your legal fees. For more information about the application process, please visit the Legal Aid Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador’s website .

If your case is a child protection matter, and you do not qualify for a Legal Aid Certificate you can bring an application to the Court (sometimes called a “Rowbotham application”) asking the Court to appoint a lawyer for you who will be paid for by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Such an application will generally only be granted where you have applied to the Legal Aid Commission and you have been denied a Legal Aid Certificate.

To bring such an application in a child protection matter, please complete the following application form:
Form 56A.16A - Interim/Interlocutory Application

This document will have to be filed in the Court registry where your matter is being heard. Once these documents are filed, you will have to provide notice of this application, by service, to the following persons/entities:

  • Any other party including the Manager of Child, Youth and Family Services
  • Attorney General of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • The Legal Aid Commission

If your matter is being heard in the St. John’s Family Division you may be able to speak with Duty Counsel (provided by the Legal Aid Commission) about your matter.

If your matter is a family matter and you do not have sufficient funds to pay a lawyer’s retainer fee but you do have equity in matrimonial property (such as your house), the Legal Aid Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador may be able to assist you in getting representation with a private lawyer by guaranteeing the first $5,000 of your lawyer’s account in lieu of a retainer from you.

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Finding Legal Information

There are a number of ways to get legal information:

  1. Contacting the Court’s registry – if you have a procedural question, you can contact the Court’s Registry. Court staff are limited in the information that they can provide – for more information about what Court staff can and cannot do, click here.
  2. Contacting the Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador - this Association operates a lawyer referral service and can arrange a 30 minute meeting with a lawyer who practices in the area of law you need assistance with for $40.
  3. 3. Visiting the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Library - You can visit the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador Law Library for assistance with finding legal information. As the library is locked during business hours, please call 753-7770, before you drop in.

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