Archive for the ‘Lawyers’ Category

No new wills after testamentary capacity lost

Posted on: December 15th, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Family members create problems for themselves when they encourage a person to sign a new will after they’ve lost testamentary capacity, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

Ontario’s Court of Appeal recently upheld a trial judge’s decision to invalidate two wills made by a successful businessman within months of his diagnosis of brain cancer following a seizure.

The unanimous appeal court panel found the judge made no errors when ruling the man had lost testamentary capacity when he signed the new wills, which disinherited his daughter, his only child.

“No one is helped when you have someone sign documents when they’ve clearly lost capacity,” says Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish. “People struggle with this idea, but once someone has lost capacity, they can’t execute any more documents. It’s too late.”

Still, she says beneficiaries who want to challenge a will for any reason need to back up their claims with evidence.

“People think it’s easy to challenge a will, but you really do need to have proof. You can’t just say you believe the testator lacked capacity, was unduly influenced or there was some other problem with the execution if it can’t be supported by evidence,” Deliscar explains.

This post continues at

No way around French Charter for businesses operating in Quebec

Posted on: November 18th, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Businesses that want to operate in Quebec must abide by the province’s Charter of the French Language, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

A group of 11 Anglophone-owned Montreal businesses challenged the constitutionality of the French Charter after they were fined for violating provisions regarding product packaging, publications and commercial advertising.

However, the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld the fines, and the Supreme Court of Canada recently refused the businesses’ leave to appeal to the nation’s top court.

“What’s important here is that the French Charter was deemed constitutional, which means there’s no way around it if you want to do business in Quebec,” says Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish. “Operating in Quebec is not like any other province, and you have to follow the French Charter.”

She explains that the translation industry in Quebec was watching the decision closely because the French Charter forces many companies that want to expand their operations into the province from predominantly English-speaking jurisdictions to produce French-language versions of many of their internal and external materials.

Sections 51 and 52 of the French Charter require product packaging and company publications — including websites — to be in French as well as English, while s. 58 mandates that the French text in commercial advertising be “markedly predominant” when sharing space with content in English.

This post continues at the following link

Use of customs agents for traffic stop interpretation raises concerns

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Police should handle their own language interpretation services rather than calling in border officers for assistance, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

A recent story by Michigan-based M Live Media reported that local state police were using customs agents to assist with translation issues during traffic stops in the area around Detroit.

“I can see why it would raise concern, especially in the current climate in the U.S. regarding illegal immigration,” says Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish. “There needs to be a division between the two functions because a traffic stop has absolutely nothing to do with customs and border protection.”

Deliscar says non-English speakers may feel intimidated by the involvement of border agents and the prospect that a traffic stop could turn into an investigation of a person’s immigration status.

“Although state police are not supposed to be involved in immigration enforcement activities, mixing the two forces in this way could give the impression that they are working together,” she says. “It makes more sense to use another department or a neutral party.”

This post continues at the following link:

Multilingual lawyers and interpreters flock to Mexico-U.S. border

Posted on: October 1st, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

A recent mobilization of lawyers and interpreters at the U.S.-Mexico border is a good reminder of the value of multilingual professionals, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

According to the American Bar Association Journal, the group’s president recently travelled to South Texas as part of its effort to reunite families separated by the immigration policy of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

The bar association has teamed up with the American Immigration Lawyers Association to create the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project and recently put out a call for Spanish-speaking lawyers to improve communication with clients.

“When crisis occurs, it’s a great opportunity for multilingual lawyers to put their abilities to practise law and speak another language to use,” says Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish.

“If there aren’t enough interpreters there, it’s very helpful to have lawyers who can converse with and offer legal advice to people in their native tongue,” she adds.

This post continues at the following link:–border.html

Resources for Family Law Cases subject to Hague Convention

Posted on: May 17th, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Family law litigants serving documents abroad must make sure they do so in compliance with an international convention on the subject, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish, explains that a landmark 2016 Divisional Court decisionconfirmed that family law litigants in Ontario are subject to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters (Hague Service Convention).

She says that cross-border mobility means that an increasing number of her family law cases have an international dimension, with the bulk of them featuring a party based in the U.S., a signatory of the Hague Convention.

“Canada is also a signatory, and it’s very important to ensure that documents are served in accordance with the procedures the convention sets out,” Deliscar says, adding that Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has created a number of resources to help lawyers and litigants with compliance, in partnership with the province’s Ministry of the Attorney General.

This post continues here:


Webinar: “Diversifying Your Practice to Reach Ethnic Communities” – May 1, 2018

Posted on: May 1st, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

On May 1, join Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar for a one-hour webinar aimed at lawyers who wish to market their practices to specific ethnic communities or language groups.

Deliscar, founder of Deliscar Professional Corporation, will share tools and best practices, and cover topics including:

— Why target specific ethnic groups/language groups in law firm marketing;

— Mediums to use when targeting specific ethnic communities;

— Using social media to target specific ethnic communities;

— Finding qualified translators and interpreters;

— Cultural sensitivity; and

— Providing legal services in other languages.

The webinar offers one hour of professional content accredited by the Law Society of Ontario.

To register, click here.


Federal Court’s unilingual decisions unacceptable

Posted on: May 1st, 2017 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

The Federal Court of Canada needs to push forward on posting judgments in both official languages, says Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar.

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) has spent the last decade investigating the time lag between the release of original decisions online and the translated version, which can often take months or even years. But the office has failed to come to a resolution with the Courts Administration Service (CAS), which is responsible for the release of decisions by the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Tax Court of Canada.

“It’s quite shocking that you can be waiting that long for a decision in your language,” Deliscar tells

The OCOL received its first complaint on the matter back in 2007, with most concerning decisions posted in English without the French versions. However, some refer to French-language decisions and their outstanding English counterparts.

In 2015, the OCOL concluded that CAS had breached the Official Languages Act, but Interim Commissioner Ghislaine Saikaley has expressed frustration at the lack of action since then, even demanding a reference to the Supreme Court of Canada to settle the matter.

Read more here:

Pets are property, not children: judge

Posted on: April 5th, 2017 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

A Saskatchewan court decision should serve as a reminder that Canadian law does not treat family pets in the same way as children, no matter how much their owners might like them to, says Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar.

Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Danyliuk recently rejected an interim exclusive possession application that asked him to take a “custody approach” to the question of where two family dogs should live after the couple’s separation.  

Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish, says she’s not surprised to see pet owners using child custody proceedings as the template for their cats, dogs and other creatures.

“Some people will spend as much time, money and effort on their animals as their own children, but pets are generally considered property in law, which is something I think many people don’t know,” she tells “When you do a will, you can bequeath the family dog or cat just like you would any other piece of property.”


Grandparents’ rights bill feeds misconceptions

Posted on: March 9th, 2017 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

New provincial legislation could exacerbate grandparents’ misconceptions about their rights in custody cases, says Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar.

Bill 34, which recently received royal assent at Queen’s Park, amends the Children’s Law Reform Act to explicitly include grandparents as people who can initiate a custody application in court. The bill also forces judges to consider their emotional ties with their grandchildren when deciding what is in the best interest of the child.

But Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a firm that offers legal services in English, French and Spanish, says the new legislation changes little in practice.

“The grandparent advocacy movement has been around for quite some time, but it really seems to be picking up steam,” Deliscar tells “I think much of it comes from the fact that people think grandparents have a legal right to see their grandchildren when, in fact by default, they don’t.”

Deliscar says she’s glad the bill didn’t result in any more substantive rights.  

“I personally think it’s dangerous to give too many people rights to custody and access. If you’ve got two sets of grandparents, plus the parents, that can make for a really complicated situation,” she says. “Ultimately, it’s parents who are supposed to do what’s best for their children.”   

Read more at:

Eight Ways Shy Lawyers Can Find Mentors

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

This article was previously published in Attorney at Work.



Eight Ways Shy Lawyers Can Find Mentors

I have always considered myself an introvert. I always admire those individuals who show no restraint as their laughter booms across the room, or who talk nonstop and excitedly to someone they have just met. But, alas, that has never been me.

As such, I struggled, particularly early on in my legal career, to connect with the colleagues and mentors all lawyers need to know to advance and succeed in their career. Through trial and error, I learned how to find the right ones to connect with who could mentor me, either formally or informally. To my delight, there are many ways to find mentorship and help from fellow lawyers, whether you are new to the practice of law or a seasoned practitioner. The questions never end.

1. State Bar and Law Society Mentorship Programs

Most state bars and law societies have mentorship programs to assist solo and small firm lawyers in finding the support they need. Senior and midlevel lawyers volunteer their time to provide short-term or long-term mentorship to lawyers who self-identify via a separate mentoring application. It has been well-documented that solo practitioners often struggle to build strong networks, and these programs aim to fill that gap. The programs are already paid for as part of your annual dues and licensing fees, so why not take advantage of the help?

Added bonus: Some mentorship and coaching programs qualify for continuing legal education credits. Ask your CLE regulator for information. I have personally benefited from a mentorship program provided by my provincial regulator, which I used at a time when I was restarting and rebranding my practice. Mentorship programs can focus on specific practice areas, or target specific demographics.

2. Voluntary Bar Association Mentorship Programs

Akin to state bar and law society mentorship programs, many voluntary bar associations also offer mentorship programs. Again, these programs are normally included in the membership fee, so file an application if you are looking for support.

3. Lawyer Referral Services

Lawyer referral services are not just for the public, although that is their main purpose. I have had lawyers use the law society’s lawyer referral service to find me when they needed to refer a file and didn’t have the name of a specific lawyer. I have also used lawyer referral services myself to refer out files and to ask specific substantive law questions. There are also many private lawyer referral services online that can connect you to a potential mentor. In addition, if you are member of a roster such as an employee assistance program (EAP) lawyer roster, ask the roster manager for a referral to a lawyer who could assist you. I did exactly that when I needed some help, and it has been a valuable relationship.

4. Executive Members of Bar Association Committees

Lawyers who volunteer their time for bar leadership positions are typically “in the know.” Bar association involvement exposes executive and committee members to hundreds, if not thousands, of lawyers throughout their tenure. Thus, they are usually in a good position to refer you to the right lawyer.

5. Volunteer Programs

Do you volunteer for charities, nonprofits or other organizations? Programs that explicitly require lawyer volunteers are fantastic ways to connect with potential mentors. You already have one thing in common from the start: a shared passion for a charitable cause.

6. Webinars, Seminars and Conferences

I have had great experiences making contacts at CLE programs and continuing those relationships after the event. I wound up getting some estate law advice from an attorney I met at a conference and, in turn, I connected her with a lawyer in her jurisdiction when she needed help with succession planning for her firm. Another lawyer I met years ago at a conference for junior litigators mentored me informally, and I referred files to him.

If the thought of going to any in-person CLE makes you cringe, try volunteering to be part of the event’s planning committee (or even a speaker). Involvement in planning an event automatically draws attendees to you.

7. Other Legal Professionals

Do not overlook the vast knowledge of non-lawyer legal professionals, especially those who have worked supporting attorneys and law firms for many years. Administrators, marketing professionals, paralegals, court clerks and even process servers can be excellent sources of information to direct you to the right lawyer for a mentorship relationship.

8. LinkedIn and Other Social Media Sites

LinkedIn is a great tool for finding lawyers to connect with, especially if you need to locate a lawyer outside your particular jurisdiction. I have met lawyers primarily via LinkedIn and Twitter who I would not have connected with otherwise. It is relatively easy to take the online relationship offline by meeting for a networking lunch, for example. I am always amazed at how many local lawyers connect first online. I have also had lawyers from other countries contact me for a variety of reasons, and I have done the same.

If They Don’t Know You Need Assistance, They Can’t Give It

I have learned that my shyness and trepidation in reaching out was unfounded. In my experience, lawyers have always been willing to help, whether through short-term or long-term mentorship commitments or by answering a quick question on the spot. Some help, if not most, will be free. But shy or otherwise, infringing on another’s busy schedule beyond what they have agreed to offer is a fast way to end a relationship. I always offer to pay, especially when significant help is requested. I see it as an investment in my continuing legal education.

In addition, I truly believe people get help when it is evident they are willing to do the work themselves to move their careers forward, and when the mentees show that they will pay that help forward someday.

This article was previously published in Attorney at Work.