Recent grad develops app to help Nova Scotians navigate legal system

A new support for Nova Scotians trying to navigate the legal system is now available thanks to the efforts of recent Saint Mary’s University Computer Science graduate Kislay Trivedi.

The Small Claims Court App is designed to assist people representing themselves and considering an action in Small Claims Court. Available on the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS) website, the app provides clear and easy-to-understand legal information for self-represented individuals navigating the Small Claims Court and processes.

“Our goal at LISNS is that individuals dealing with a real or potential legal issue will feel confident and informed through accessing our many offerings, including our telephone help line, online resources and innovative apps, such as the Small Claims Court App,” says LISNS Executive Director Heather de Berdt Romilly. “Research shows that when clearly explained legal information is accessible at an early stage it helps address potential litigation problem areas in a significant majority of cases.”

Gavin Giles, Q.C., the Chief Adjudicator of the Small Claims Court, recognized a need to better assist the many self-represented individuals and reached out to LISNS for its expertise and assistance. With contributions from Adjudicators Eric Slone and W. Augustus Richardson, LISNS turned to Saint Mary’s University alumnus Kislav Trivedi to develop the app.

The app will be part of a pilot project taking place in November at the Small Claims Court in Halifax.  During November, law school students will be available at the courthouse to provide in-person assistance to self-represented litigants. The pilot will help identify the benefit of in-person assistance to using the Small Claims Court app and the findings will inform how public navigator programs are developed for other areas.