After 15 years of acting as a paralegal, Maureen Boldt has been sentenced to house arrest for the unauthorized practice of law.
The operator of Boldt paralegal and mediation, located in North Bay, Ontario, violated a 2000 court order that forbid her from practicing law. A four term city councillor, Ms. Boldt was found guilty of acting as a barrister by offering and providing services with regards to wills, estates, and divorce agreements. According to the law society, who as of last year has undertaken to regulate the burgeoning profession, paralegals are restricted to practice only in Small Claims Court, the Ontario Court of Justice under the Provincial Offences Act, summary conviction offences where the maximum penalty does not exceed six months of imprisonment, and before administrative tribunals.
This is a first of it’s kind decision. It can be seen as a victory for the average person, protecting them from trusting their legal matters with someone who may not be appropriately qualified to practice law.