Job Specification

Position Title:
Amended - Inmate Appeal Case Management Officer - Bilingual (English/French)
Job Code:
11OAD - Office Administration 11
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

Working for the highest level of court in the province, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, to perform a range of case management and legal administrative services, ensuring the complete and accurate processing of all appellate matters from receipt to final disposition. To act on behalf of the court by liaising between all justice participants, including directly supporting the court's judiciary, to provide timely and efficient processing of all criminal and civil appeals and motions heard orally in court and in-writing, including appeals brought by inmates of correctional facilities located across Canada.

Duties / Responsibilities :

This position supports Court Services Division in the provision of a modern and professional court service that supports accessible, fair, timely and effective justice services to the public and justice participants and is committed to a diverse, respectful and professional workplace that reflects the Ontario Public Service values and service excellence.
The inmate appeal case management officer position is a front-line representative of the Court of Appeal for Ontario (COA) and demonstrates professionalism and respect when interacting with clients, colleagues and justice participants in performing all functions of the position both in and out of the courtroom.
Within the fast-paced environment of the COA, which has a caseload of approximately 1300 criminal and 1300 civil appeals plus numerous leave to appeal motions and intervener motions annually, and with minimal supervision, the incumbent is responsible for:
1. Case managing appeals and motions from initiation to final disposition by:
' Reviewing, accepting/processing or rejecting notices of appeal, notices of motion and other documents pertaining to all civil and criminal matters under the Courts of Justice Act, Rules of Civil Procedure, Criminal Code of Canada, Criminal Appeal Rules, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, Provincial Offences Act (POA), Family Law Act, Family Law Rules, Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA), Company Creditors Arrangement Act, Extradition Act, Civil and Criminal Appeal Practice Directions and other relevant statutes and legislation; ensuring accuracy and completeness of all filings;
' Analyzing complex matters and immediately flagging and bringing forward exceptionally serious, sensitive and high-profile matters to the attention of the Registrar/Deputy Registrar or Senior Legal Officer; exercising judgment and initiative in preparing a diverse range of correspondence such as case summaries of complex cases, memorandum and letters relating to the rejection of documents due to discrepancies or non-compliance with the Rules; prioritizing issues in family matters and inmate appeals for review by a COA justice, such as child custody-related appeals, allegations of the ineffective assistance of trial counsel, applications for judicial interim release (bail), applications for appointment of lawyer under s.684 of the Code and applications for appointment of amicus curiae;
' Acting on behalf of the COA and maintaining effective working relationships with members of the civil and criminal bar, federal and provincial Crowns, offices of area directors of Pro Bono Ontario and Legal Aid Ontario, correctional institutions, mental health care centres and trial courts across the province to acquire or provide information to ensure the accurate, timely and efficient case management of all matters before the court;
' Using the COA's computerized database system, the Court Office System (COS) or any replacement database system, to effectively manage caseload and ensure appeals and motions activities are properly documented and updated; recording and monitoring deadlines, ensuring that legislated time limits are adhered to and that all appeals and motions are otherwise dealt with in a timely fashion without undue delay;
' Coordinating with the parties and/or their lawyers to attend proceedings by scheduling single judge motions, POA motions for leave to appeal, settlements and registrar motions in accordance with applicable legislative policies, procedures and processes;
' Ensuring that notices of hearing are sent to all parties providing hearing date, time and location in accordance with statutory timelines and adhering to non-statutory guidelines provided for in the Rules or practice directions; ensuring notices regarding the COA's intention to dismiss actions for delay under the Rules are sent only after detailed file review and confirmation of case deficiencies;
' Drafting all criminal final orders on behalf of the COA by interpreting the handwritten/typed decisions of the judiciary, formatting and amalgamating theoriginating court information; and
' Releasing decisions, including reserved judgments on single judge motions, decisions on motions for leave to appeal, and inmate appeal or appeal book endorsements by contacting counsel and self-represented litigants; updating shared data which may impact the hearing date of an appeal, recording deadlines for the filing of court materials, adding parties to an action or recording other directions regarding the conduct of an appeal and communicating the information to all affected justice participants.
2. Providing customer service to clientele from across the province by:
' Using a variety of effective communication skills to obtain relevant information from justice participants via telephone, email or in person including employing effective strategies to constructively obtain relevant information from persons who may be distressed or emotionally distraught or who face mental health, accessibility and/or other challenges;
' Providing oral and written responses to requests for information from the legal profession, the media, members of the public and other justice participants on the status of appeals and motions using tact and discretion when dealing with confidential information; and
' Performing records management functions related to the filing of electronic or paper documents including facilitating access to documents that form part of the court record by abiding by Court Services Division's policy regarding public access to court files, documents and exhibits; maintaining the confidentiality of pardoned files, sealed files such as matters under the YCJA and CYFSA or files with publication bans.
3. Serving as a signing officer on behalf of the Registrar in the issuance of all criminal and civil final orders, summons to witness, certificates of stay and certificates of non-filing by:
' Reviewing orders drafted by the COA (criminal) or orders submitted to the court by the parties (civil) and reviewing form and content for compliance with legislation, decisions of the court and applicable rules and guidelines; and
' Signing, issuing and entering same and making appropriate entries onto COS or any replacement database system, pertaining to their issuance.
4. Serving as a courtroom registrar by performing pre-court, in-court and post-court duties including but not limited to:
' Preparing counsel slips for each motion/appeal based on the daily court list; checking for previous bail orders and confirming surrender of the out-of custody party with the relevant correctional institution and preparing surrender memos for the President of the judicial panel; ensuring that all court materials required for the oral hearing are present in the courtroom by cross-referencing with COS or any replacement database system;
' Supporting access to justice by setting up, troubleshooting and operating various court technology and ensuring specific equipment requested by justice participants is operational and available for use in the courtroom, e.g. video/remote appearance technology, evidence display, assistive listening devices and other accessibility aids;
' Opening, recessing and adjourning court as directed by the judiciary; completing minutes of each motion/appeal electronically and ensuring that all lawyers in attendance are recorded and final dispositions entered for each motion/appeal onto COS, or any replacement database system; administering oaths when necessary; maintaining court decorum and ensuring all security requirements are met;
' Sending out post-court notification of the dispositions of the day's matters and any carry-overs or adjournments; preparing new bail orders or urgent final orders that would result in the release of the in-custody party immediately as court ends; preparing all other criminal and POA final orders for distribution to correctional institutions, ministries, Crown and defence counsel; and
' Assisting in training and providing back-up support to new staff; assist management in the development and updating of training manuals and procedural guides for program delivery; and
' Other case management and court administrative support duties as assigned.

Staffing and Licensing :

Oral and written French language skills at the Advanced level

Knowledge :

Job requires the incumbent to act as a local and direct liaison between the public/media, the Crown and other counsel, and the third branch of government - the judiciary. Job requires knowledge of judicial independence as it is the cornerstone of the Canadian judicial system, and this position must ensure that the essential support services being provided to the judiciary supports their right to administrative independence and is consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Attorney General for Ontario and the COA.
Job requires knowledge of the Courts of Justice Act, which governs the court's role and authority, as well as advanced knowledge of the court's jurisdiction, procedures, practices and operations to respond to in person, telephone and email inquiries from members of the bar, self-represented litigants and member of the public/media.
Job requires extensive knowledge of the Rules of Civil Procedure, Criminal Code of Canada, Criminal Appeal Rules, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, POA, Family Law Act, Family Law Rules, YCJA, CYFSA, Company Creditors Arrangement Act, Extradition Act, Civil and Criminal Appeal Practice
Directions and all other relevant statutes and legislation dealt with in the lower courts, including boards and tribunals jurisdiction where leave to appeal can be sought to the COA.
Job requires advanced knowledge of analytical techniques to probe for information and determine client objectives, needs, requests or concerns; to assess situations or circumstances, determine appropriate courses of action and to discern facts in order to detect irregularities; to interpret complex rules and procedures and communicate them to clients in a way that is concise and plain language; to interpret situations and then make sound judgments or decisions on behalf of the COA based on the information gathered.
Job requires knowledge of third party service providers, other government programs and related agencies to obtain information for clients and refer clients' issues for information, assistance and resolution.
Job requires knowledge of Ontario Public Service customer service principles and service standards in order to consistently provide professional and responsive client service.
Job requires knowledge of office procedures and policies and knowledge of records and case management practices in order to perform administrative duties such as reviewing, accepting and/or rejecting filings, preparing correspondence and monitoring/adhering to assigned deadlines.
Job requires knowledge of government policies and procedures related to cash handling and point of sale machines (credit/debit), daily reconciliation and other policies/procedures related to accepting, recording, reporting and administering financial transactions.
Job requires knowledge of ministry directives pertaining to courtroom procedures, practices and protocols, including serving as the designated Fire Warden in the courtroom to assist all justice participants in the event of an emergency, and technical knowledge to operate a wide range of court equipment/technology to ensure proper operation of the court and to support access to justice.
Job requires knowledge of PC, internet and electronic case management systems, Microsoft Office suite and other third party software applications such as Adobe products and specialty designed applications to synthesize large amounts of information from multiple sources and extract, compile and apply relevant data for complex appeals and motions.

Skills :

Job requires advanced tact and political acuity to routinely engage and consult with the judiciary of the highest court in the province.
Job requires ability to work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders, including ministry staff and management, and departments/officials from various offices/organizations across the province. Job requires case management skills to intake and oversee a caseload of files, research skills and investigative and analysis skills to make processing decisions in accordance with civil and criminal appeals and motions rules and procedures.
Job requires planning, time management and organizational skills to manage a high-volume caseload; to determine priorities and to coordinate and carry out concurrent responsibilities within prescribed deadlines and/or to meet unexpected tight and shifting deadlines under minimum supervision; to oversee a diverse and complex case management system while taking into consideration the requests of the parties vis-à-vis the COA's rules and procedures.
Job requires analytical skills to administer, interpret and apply legislation, practice directions, policies, Rules and procedures.
Job requires proficiency in using a PC, Microsoft Office applications, internet/intranet, electronic case management systems, Adobe products and related computer software.
Job requires team building skills to work in a fast-paced team environment and ability to participate as an effective member of a team.
Job requires interpersonal and oral communication skills with a high level of tact and diplomacy, to converse appropriately and compassionately with self-represented litigants, who are often experiencing great personal stress, and to maintain a calm and professional demeanour to address concerns or complaints regarding filings, scheduling or other logistical arrangements.
Job requires sound judgment to ensure the protection of privacy and confidentiality relating to judicial information/correspondence and party/case details that do not form part of the public court record that if disclosed, could impact the administration of justice.
Job requires superior written communication skills to prepare a diverse range of correspondence, including customized letters or emails to appellants, respondents or their counsel, and case summaries for complex cases for the judiciary.
Job requires presentation skills to apprise management, members of the COA's Legal Support Unit and the judiciary on case information/status, issues, trends and recommendations.
Job requires ability to exercise personal initiative to solve problems that arise with respect to case management procedures; to identify complex or potentially serious issues in order to triage the case as the situation requires.
Job requires aptitude to learn new procedures, rules, legislation, regulations and case management processes of the COA as/when these changes occur.

Freedom of Action :

Work is performed under the guidance of the registrar/deputy registrars and the Office of the Chief Justice of Ontario, and involves decision-making in the context of a wide range of choices of action to accomplish assigned objectives.
Job requires the incumbent to work with a high level of autonomy and initiative in a fast-paced, demanding environment by effectively setting priorities and overseeing case management systems and services for the COA. The incumbent is expected to resolve all work related matters and is required to interpret and assess the intent of existing policies/practice directions when providing written and/or oral information to justice participants. Work is performed within the framework of legislation, rules and judicial direction; however, the incumbent is expected to devise appropriate court administration procedures to provide for the efficient case management of appeals and motions.
Judgment is required in overseeing a high-volume case workload with changing priorities and strict deadlines, identifying contentious issues and providing well informed recommendations to the registrar/deputy registrars. It is expected that this position carry out its responsibilities with a minimum amount of supervision and technical assistance. Judgment is required in assessing trends, resolving complex technical/administrative issues both in and out of the courtroom and researching/making recommendations on process/scheduling improvements. Judgment is required in preparing reports/correspondence/memorandums using references from statutes, civil and criminal rules, the COA's practice directions and legal precedents. Sound judgment and discretion are required in making decisions where past precedents and guidelines do not apply directly. Judgment is used in ensuring the accuracy and integrity of court data handled and ensuring that confidential information is not released to unauthorized individuals.
Job requires the incumbent to provide authoritative and reliable direction in response to inquiries from staff at other court locations, the bar, self represented litigants and correctional institutions regarding unusual issues that arise in the appeal/motion case management process and to ensure that this information is consistent with an accurate understanding of Court jurisprudence and rules that are unique and particularized to appellate litigation. Job requires recognizing potential threats to justices' safety and security in the courtroom and taking appropriate action with the appropriate officials to maintain control of the courtroom.
Errors in case management and scheduling could adversely affect the reputation of the COA, the ministry and the overall administration of justice in Ontario and could possibly invalidate court actions or decisions resulting in a miscarriage of justice. Errors in judgment can result in the under-utilization of specialized and costly resources such as judicial time and courtrooms, poor use of counsel's time causing inflated litigation costs, delays in access to justice, hardship to those involved in litigation and unnecessary jail stays for accused awaiting the finality of their actions before the COA.

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