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Not Just a Substitute for Full Service: Expanded Duty Counsel in Nova Scotia

Expanded duty counsel (EDC) is an approach to providing duty counsel services that attempts to move matters quickly at the early stages of the court system, often achieving early resolutions prior to a written application for full legal aid service. Expanded duty counsel differs from the traditional facilitating model in that duty counsel lawyers are assigned to the same court on a continuous basis so they are able to see the same client on more than one initial appearance. This allows the lawyer to resolve straightforward cases quickly where the client is able to do so at the early stages of the court process without an application for legal aid and the assignment of a private bar lawyer on a certificate or staff counsel. When early resolution is achieved the client will not need to apply for full representation legal aid. If the matter is not able to be resolved EDC will move the matter forward by accomplishing major steps such as bail applications, disclosure motions, applications for full service and referrals to community resources.

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