However, the A2JLN study shows that many social services in particular play a very direct and active role in assisting clients with legal problems. The discussion that follows describes the different ways in which certain non-legal services – particularly social services – provide or combine legal aid to clients. These include: If you now think about all the clients you currently have with mental health issues, my recommendations are all of them. They don`t go to the centre, they come from youth centres.15 A service can use both types of referrals, depending on the time available and the needs of each client.18 While many people with legal problems may only need to be informed of which service to contact, the study suggests that people with complex needs need more intensive support. Non-legal service providers are often asked for legal information or advice. Lay staff reported that they provide their clients with preliminary information about a legal issue and the process for resolving it, including information about how certain court proceedings work, what happens in court, what documents they need, and how they should dress to appear in court.20 Legal information may be provided orally, in the form of pamphlets or other published legal information (e.g. videos, posters and brochures). However, there may be risks for people who are not lawyers or who have legal training in legal advice. The advice they give may be wrong and it may not be covered by adequate insurance. For these reasons, organizations – legal and non-legal – may prohibit employees who do not have legal training or a lawyer`s licence from providing legal advice to clients.21 Some of the problems employees face in distinguishing between legal information and legal advice are discussed later in this paper.
Services that play a “case management” role with clients, such as youth and homeless people, specifically identify “assessment and referral” – identifying issues facing their client and referring them to appropriate supports – as part of their role. One itinerant worker explained: Non-legal information provided by a non-legal worker to a group of people is a community education service. Names do not need to be collected and information is not tailored to each participant`s circumstances. Not necessarily. The management of the legal practice of some centres uses non-lawyers for the provision of legal services. While the judge recognizes the controversial nature of the evaluation of a certain non-legal fact (e.g. performance), he has different strategies at his disposal: when deciding cases, judges must constantly evaluate non-legal facts. In this case, he must decide whether the driver acted negligently, i.e.
whether he was responsible for the accident – from a criminal point of view – or not. To answer that question, it must, among other things, determine whether the car was actually defective, as claimed by the driver. While the legal system sets certain standards for the evaluation of non-legal facts (rules of evidence), the issue itself cannot be resolved by the “legal method”, i.e. by the interpretation of other norms. On the contrary, a non-legal fact must be evaluated on the basis of non-legal knowledge and then analysed what this means for the legal issue in question. In this case, the judge could appoint an expert witness to answer the question of whether the accident was caused by a defect in the car. However, the legal issue itself – whether the driver acted negligently – has not yet been resolved by the judge. Now consider the following example: if the trademark is used in a Chinese-language market, what might a Chinese-language equivalent look like? If the trademark is used outside Australia, what does that mean in the local language? Even if it is not used outside Australia, what does it mean in the most commonly used foreign languages in Australia? However, it is important to reiterate that this in turn can lead to the “translation problems” discussed above.
It is all too easy to forget the complex premises that make statements “true” for a particular discipline and ignore disagreements among scientists. This is particularly likely when lawyers include aspects of other disciplines primarily to promote their individual or policy goals. If this is the case, adopting aspects of non-legal disciplines does not help lawyers deal with non-legal facts, but rather contributes to misunderstanding. An example of this is the so-called “legal and economic” approach. The “law and economics” approach claims to deal with the “economic analysis of law” and thus promises a better understanding of the law through the use of economic instruments, but also a better understanding of the economic issues for lawyers. However, the hegemonic approach in “law and economics” mainly applies the views of a particular school of economics, namely neoclassical theory, and generally ignores the ideas of contradictory economic approaches such as Keynesianism or institutionalism. It does not help lawyers develop a more nuanced understanding of non-legal issues, but promotes a one-sided and ideologically biased view disguised as an objective economic view. As a result, different approaches to case law research may again be called into question with regard to their premises.
In some cases, this is simply a “cold recommendation”: providing information about another agency or service so that the client can contact them. In other cases, referral is more proactive, a “hot transfer”.16 A “hot transfer” involves communicating with another department on behalf of the client and may also involve writing a report or history about the client for the legal department and/or participating in the service with the client. This can be effective for clients who are reluctant to contact other services or who may not have the means – such as a phone – to communicate with the other agency. One mental health provider commented: However, lawyers may not recognize the controversial nature of their assessment of certain non-legal facts. No wonder: all knowledge is contingent, and even supposedly well-established facts can turn out to be controversial. Lawyers obviously cannot know all the current scientific and social controversies.