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Saskatoon court rules against self-proclaimed ‘justice advocate’

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WATCH ABOVE: Court rules against Mark Zielke providing legal services without a licence – Aug 8, 2019

Mark Zielke believes there are people in Saskatoon who need his help.

A Court of Queen’s Bench decision on Wednesday ruled Zielke is not allowed to charge for legal advice without a licence to practice.

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Zielke calls himself an “advocate for justice.”

“Anyone who cannot afford a lawyer, someone who doesn’t know the system and doesn’t have anywhere to turn,” he said. “I get calls repeatedly who have just heard about the work that I’ve done for other people.”

Zielke said he only offers services for clients in traffic, residential tenancies and small claims court.

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He admits he does not practise law or have any training. Justice Brian Scherman’s ruling states that Zielke cannot charge a fee for his work.

“That fee is helping to make sure they understand the process. They have somebody walking and standing beside them so that they can focus on making sure their case is heard in an efficient and effective way but with the best chance of a fair outcome,” he said.

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The Law Society of Saskatchewan brought the challenge before the courts.

“The law society has an important role in protecting the public from the activities of unlicensed and unregulated persons holding themselves out to be lawyers and paralegals,” said Timothy F. Huber with the law society.

“The respondent, for example, is not required to carry professional liability insurance, keep books and records for inspection by the law society, or maintain a trust account for client funds that can be audited by the law society.”

The law society said there are changes coming to the Legal Profession Act later this fall to grant limited licences to non-lawyer legal services.

However, Zielke is appealing the decision and vows to continue his work.

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