Casual Legal Advice

Welcome to the MIABC Casual Legal Advice program. If you are a subscriber to the program, please click here to login to access all the resources provided by Lidstone & Co.

If you are currently not a subscriber to our Casual Legal Advice program and would like to enroll, please contact the Director of Member Services.

In January 2013 the MIABC launched the Casual Legal Advice (CLA) Program, through which MIABC members can receive legal advice from our municipal law firm for an annual fee.

How it Works

Once you have enrolled in the CLA Program, the MIABC will send you an orientation package which includes a hotline phone number and email address. To access the legal advice service, employees of the local government can submit their legal question on local government matters by email or telephone. Time to answer each question is limited to 30 minutes and involves no legal research or preparation of documents. There are no limits on the number of times a CLA subscriber may call to obtain advice.

The legal advice is provided to the local government, and not to the MIABC. For each casual legal matter a legal services contract, characterized by privilege and confidentiality, exists between the law firm and the local government. The identity of the local government, the advice and the matter itself remain confidential as between the law firm and the local government.

Matters Exceeding 30 Minutes

If a Casual Legal Advice subscriber contacts Lidstone & Company in good faith for the 30 minute advice service by email or phone, but the matter takes longer than 30 minutes (by mutual agreement of the subscriber and the law firm), then the subscriber is entitled to a discounted hourly rate, billed to the subscriber, for the continued legal service.

How to Enroll

A member can enrol in the program by paying its premium invoice and including the optional amount for Casual Legal Advice services.  You can find the optional amount (somewhere between $250 and $750 depending on population) near the bottom of the 2015 premium invoice.

Additional Benefits

Subscribing members will also receive free quarterly newsletters, regular bulletins on court decisions and legislation, templates and checklists and an invitation to an annual one-day local government law seminar and luncheon. So far this year, MIABC has over 110 subscribers to the Casual Legal Advice Program. Members that subscribe to this service also have access to members only section which provides a number of local government resources.

Megan Chorlton

Director of Member Services,
Assistant General Counsel