Spotlight on legal health checks

  • April 11, 2017

Health Checks

For Law Day 2017, the CBA has released nine new Legal Health Checks dealing with everything from cyber-bullying to phone scams and tips for protecting your business’s intellectual property rights.

This is the fourth year for these popular cards, which are meant to provide people with some basic information about what to do when they find themselves in a situation with legal implications.

CBA Sections develop the content for the cards, which are then laid out and made available in formats suitable for printing. Lawyers can use them as handouts for clients or leave them in community centres or other places where people who are likely to need the information can find them. Each of the cards advises readers to seek legal help, and they all have a space at the bottom for lawyers to put their contact information.

The Legal Health Checks are an educational initiative that came out of the Reaching Equal Justice report, which said law needs to be seen as a “life skill” and taught along with other subjects in school, so that everyone has a basic understanding of their rights. A better understanding of the law will give Canadians, as the report says, a “greater sense that they own the justice system, that it’s a system intended to serve them, rather than a system for lawyers and judges to exert power over them.”

Here’s a snapshot of this year’s offerings:

  • Youth and police questioning: Information about the rights youth aged 12-17 have if they’re stopped by the police.
  • Preventing cyberbullying: Information about cyberbullying – what it is, what can happen to you if you’re doing it, and what you can do if you’re on the receiving end.
  • Preparing for a tribunal: Some general information about the whys and hows of tribunals, where many legal problems can be resolved without having to go to court.
  • Annual pension checkup: Workplace pension plans seem to look after themselves, but there are some things the pension-holder needs to keep in mind to ensure all is running as smoothly as it should.
  • Overwhelmed by debt?: Money worries afflict most of us from time to time. This card has information for those whose debt is becoming insupportable.
  • Avoiding financial abuse: Scammers can include everyone from the guy in your email inbox presenting himself as a Nigerian prince to friends and family members. This card has tips for identifying a scam, and ways to protect yourself.
  • Safe online shopping: There are still a lot of things people need to watch out for before giving out their personal information.
  • Marrying or moving in?: Tips about financial issues to talk about – and decide – before marrying or moving in together.
  • Counterfeit and your business: Tips for protecting the reputation and intellectual property rights of your business from counterfeit goods crossing the border.

Find our full series of legal health checks here.