The Fight the Fines campaign is a pro bono legal service organized and supported by The Democracy Fund, a charitable non-profit legal clinic supported solely by donations. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and provincial restrictions in Ontario came a new legal landscape with thousands of people and businesses being charged for various reasons under various statutes– both provincial and federal. Fight the Fines was created in 2021 to support those unable to afford or find legal representation for their matters. They vary from basic Trespass To Property Tickets with a $65 fine to quasi-criminal corporate charges with fines in the millions.
With over 2,000 people in need, TDF enlisted Jenna Little to spearhead their campaign, organize the clients and defense in Ontario, and fight the fines. She couldn’t do this alone!
Jenna Little, MBA graduated from Humber College with a diploma in Court & Tribunal Agents in 2004. She then completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at York University, and then a Maser of Business Administration at the Unversity of Fredericton in 2018. That same year, she also completed the Osgoode Certificate in Provincial Offences Practice. She has extensive experience defending provincial offences and case management. She is passionate about arguing Charter applications, crafting appeals, legal research and writing, and making novel arguments. She is based out of Pickering, Ontario.
Kaitlyn completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto, studying Religion, Society and Ethics, and graduated with distinction in 2010. She went on to pursue paralegal studies, graduated with high honours and was licensed as a paralegal in 2013. She has worked mainly in criminal law and provincial offences throughout her career. Kaitlyn is passionate about issues arising in the intersection of mental health, ethics and the law. She joined the Fight the Fines team intially to assist with out-of-province matters in 2021 and now works solely on cases in Ontario; she based out of Etobicoke, Ontario.
Mark graduated from the University of Guelph in 2010 with a major in Criminal Justice and Public Policy. He Completed his Paralegal Studies diploma from Sir Stanford Flemming College in 2014. His focus is trial and Charter advocacy with an emphasis on defending serious, quasi-criminal matters. He has also represented clients in matters concerning minor, summary conviction, criminal charges laid under the Criminal Code of Canada. He is based out of Napanee, Ontario.
Kristen obtained a paralegal diploma from St. Clair College in 2016. Her primary focus was initially on employment law related matters as well as the defence of provincial offence charges involving a wide variety of violations including traffic tickets, commercial vehicle violations, snowmobile operation charges, among other issues. She joined the team in 2022 and is based out of Windsor, Ontario
Sandra completed her honours diploma in Paralegal Studies at Westervelt College in 2016. She has worked in the provincial offences scope since graduating and has become a general practitioner in recent years. She joined the team in 2022 and is based out of Brantford, Ontario.
Choosing the best paralegal for your case can be difficult. With so many paralegals to choose from, how do you know who to pick? The best way to find the right paralegal is by knowing what type of case you have and what your needs are. There are a few things you should consider when looking for a paralegal:
Scope: What kind of legal issue are you having? Paralegals have scopes, so you will want to hire one who specializes in the area you need help in, such as Provincial Offences or Small Claims. Hiring a “jack of all trades” will not give you the professional expertise you really need if you have a particularly serious or complex matter. Here are Lighthouse Legal Services, we specialize in only one scope: quasi-criminal and regulatory offences, also known as Provincial Offences. That’s it! There’s no need for us to muddy the waters with any other kind of law– we want to master this scope, period.
Experience: How long has the paralegal been practicing? Has he or she dealt with cases similar to yours before? Have they run many trials and do they know all the players in your specific court? You want someone who has been around for a long time, knows the ins and outs of each court (they are all unique!), and has the experience to support the type of fight and passion you want from a representative.
Cost: How much will your case cost? Are there any extra fees that might be added on during the process? Are you willing to pay more for a paralegal with more experience? When dealing with an accident matter, or something that is intense with serious consequences for you, going the “cost effective” route may not be your best option, because you could be sacrificing service, experience, and attention, but you need to ensure your fees are affordable at the same time.
Big firm vs. small firm (or sole practitioner): Here are Lighthouse Legal Services, we’ve worked with the “big firms”. We know how they operate and how your file will be treated. If you want a boutique experience, including specialized attention to your file by one or two people max, and personalized communication, you will probably want to go for a smaller firm or sole practitioner. Sole practitioners and smaller firms are also more available to you: they can text you when you would like, speak to you on the phone when they aren’t in court and on weekends when you aren’t at work, and can generally give you more attention than big firms. You aren’t a case number with Lighthouse Legal Services– you are a valued client!
Your initial interaction: How do you feel when you speak with this person? Do you have a good rapport and do you feel comfortable? Were they able to make you feel calmer about your situation? Were they able to give you an idea of what to expect out of your case, and the pros and cons of your choices at first? How did that make you feel? Did you feel comfortable asking questions and for clarification, if needed? Do you feel you are able to contact them without feeling like you are “bugging” them (we hope you never feel this way with us!)? Did you feel pressure to retain them right away?
We hope that these tips are helpful when thinking about which paralegal to retain. There are many firms and practitioners out there, so you need to choose the one that is right for you. If you decide that firm is Lighthouse Legal Services, great!
If you have received a traffic ticket, chances are you are doing your research on how to try and defend yourself from the charge(s). So what factors should you consider when hiring legal representation?
Do some research
Find out if the legal service provider is qualified & specializes in defending the charge(s) you are facing.
Know who will act for you
Ask to speak directly with the Court Agent who will be acting for you, when you contact the firm you are considering hiring. You need to know who is going to be acting for you in Court! You need to know what their qualifications are and what actual experience they have!
It is always best to insist on speaking directly with the actual person who will be defending your charge(s) in Court.
Keep in mind that some Companies have Sales staff working in their offices who may answer the telephones and will accept you as a Client. But, they have never actually been in Court themselves defending a client. They may not be the person who will stand up and defend you in Court. Their role is administrative only.
You should understand fully what services the firm will be providing to you and what steps you’re Representative will be undertaking on your behalf, in order to effectively fight your traffic ticket(s) for you.
Check Google Reviews. Look for authentic testimonials.
In order to properly gauge the satisfaction level of the customer experience with each legal firm that you speak with. You can also ask your family, co-workers & friends who’ve used the services of a specific Traffic Ticket firm or representative previously. Take the time to check out who you feel will work hard to defend you.
Lighthouse is proud of its reputation. We value all of the heartfelt Thank You’s & the many positive testimonials we receive.
It can be stressful when you receive a Traffic Ticket. At Lighthouse we prepare thoroughly and always aim to win for you. We continuously strive to improve our services and our Clients customer service experience(s).
Trust your choice
Hiring a legal representative, is like choosing a new family doctor. You should feel comfortable, and trust your legal representative. A licensed lawyer or paralegal owes you a fiduciary duty, so make sure you feel comfortable with the legal firm and the representative you choose.
If you are looking for a Competent, Capable and Confidential personalized service you are invited to Call “Lighthouse Legal Services” at 647-528-5422
When hiring a legal service provider, keep in mind that your cost will depend on what type of service you are seeking or need, as the prices will vary.
For instance if you need to hire a representative to handle the filing of a ticket; obtaining disclosure and appearing in court on your behalf, perhaps it’s on a speeding charge, then the cost for that service alone , would be different than the cost to also conduct a Trial.
Running a Trial results in higher costs because the legal services firm you choose (such as Lighthouse) will need to also devote greater resources from start to finish to thoroughly research & vigorously defend your case.
Also some firms may offer Flat fixed fees (one single price). Or they may offer a retainer fee (you pay them for each billable hour). This is where the fee for legal services can ultimately increase beyond your initial down payment (retainer deposit) depending on the amount of work undertaken and the number of hours that the firm works on your behalf.
At Lighthouse we always take the time upfront, to explain to our Clients their options. We also provide clients with a clear explanation as to how much a service will cost them, before our Clients need to make decision.
We value the trust our Clients place in us when they retain our services. You can count on us to always strive to ensure that our Clients get the best value for any fees they pay for us to represent them.
The Lighthouse Legal Services Difference:
Our firm handles all types of Ticket Defences and Appeals. However, we specialize primarily in Careless Driving accident defence. Which is a very serious charge. Brian Morris is expert in representing clients in the Ontario Traffic Courts and has a proven track record in fighting the charge of Careless Driving at Trial
If you are interested in learning more about how “Lighthouse” can help you achieve the very best results possible with any of your Traffic Ticket(s) … Contact us now for a FREE initial consultation.