WRC talk series to map way through legal minefields
A series of talks is to be held to help people navigate the legal system to deal with domestic problems.
The Women’s Resource Centre will run the online Pathway to Justice workshops.
Elaine Butterfield, the charity’s executive director, said: “The Women’s Resource Centre recognises the challenging times we are in and sees first-hand the uncertainty many are facing.
“We also recognise that there is an unprecedented level of stress in the community, which presents additional challenges to the very existence of healthy family life.
“As part of our response in providing support services to women and their families in the community, the Women’s Resource Centre will be presenting a series of workshops to help folks to navigate the legislative processes that may be necessary in order for clients to move forward in their lives.”
The talks will be run with Cristen Suess, a civil and commercial lawyer at Wakefield Quin.
Topics will include Understanding Maintenance Orders – sessions for both men and women – as well as Understanding Divorce 101, Estates and Wills Planning, Landlord and Tenant Rights and Understanding Protection Orders.
Ms Butterfield said that the free sessions, which start next Monday, were “based on a demand for these services”.
She added: “We sincerely hope that everyone who could benefit from this information will attend.”
Ms Suess said talks about maintenance and protection orders last year had got a good reception.
The WRC board member added that the charity often got calls from people who wanted advice on legal processes.
Ms Suess said: “I thought, it will make it a lot easier if I just did a series so that it could be a permanent resource for people to refer to if they have questions.”
She added: “For me, access to justice is really important and I know that a lot of people probably have ignored their legal rights or have thought it’s not worth pursuing.
“I’m hoping that with these talks people get more educated on how the law works in Bermuda.”
Ms Suess said: “We run free a legal advice clinic every quarter and I’ve based the seminars on the hot button issues that the clients we deal with in the clinics really come to us with.
“A lot of people want to do a will … a lot of people have property disputes because of a will, wherein they were left property.
“We get a lot of divorce questions – a lot of people don’t realise that they can do the divorces themselves and what that looks like.”
Ms Suess added she hoped that greater awareness of legal processes would help the entire system to “function a bit better”.
She thanked Wakefield Quin, where she has worked for more than five years, for backing her work with the WRC.
Ms Suess said: “They’ve always supported all of the ideas, the clinic.
“But for coronavirus this would have been a lunch and learn – they were going to sponsor the lunch.
“They’re very supportive of the work that the Women’s Resource Centre does in the community and I’m grateful for that.
“It means a lot for me to be able to do this.”
• To register for the workshops, call 295-3882 or e-mail email@example.com.