Top 7 Pages on Clicklaw Wikibooks

While we would prefer a world in which no British Columbian needs online help for their legal troubles, the pageview count for our Clicklaw Wikibooks website confirms that is not the world we live in. In reality, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians seek out timely legal information in the course of an average year. For many, this is their only line of support.

In 2017, Clicklaw Wikibooks — which uses the same software that runs Wikipedia — served nearly 940,000 pageviews to over 550,000 individual users. Each year we see these figures growing.

Whereas Clicklaw is a comprehensive legal information website centralizing reliable resources and services from numerous contributor organizations in a variety of formats and languages, Clicklaw Wikibooks is more like a publishing platform. It offers a bookshelf of select legal titles from organizations and independent authors or teams of contributors. These books are for the public and can be read online, downloaded as PDF or EPUB, or ordered by print-on-demand.

The most popular way for visitors to consume the 26 or so titles currently on Clicklaw Wikibooks is to read them online. Usually when we report traffic statistics, we think about the book as a whole. For example, JP Boyd on Family Law is easily the most read title in the collection accounting for about 40% of traffic. But today we look a little deeper to see what the 7 most popular content pages were on Clicklaw Wikibooks for January 2018, give a shoutout to those responsible for their review, and see what insights this data allows.

Surprisingly, for instance, while the overall traffic to JP Boyd on Family Law hints that relationship breakdown as the major legal concern, individual page stats reveal the most popular page from that title is on how to get married in the first place. Looking at the top performing pages can give us clues and help us question assumptions about the types of legal information people need.

Top 7 Pages on Clicklaw Wikibooks by Pageviews

Here is a list of the top seven pages on Clicklaw Wikibooks, the people responsible for their upkeep, plus some thoughts on what this might mean. The list reflects statistics from January 2018, plus relevant changes in a page’s position from January 2017. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts in the comments section below, or by sharing them with us on Twitter @Clicklaw.

#1 – If You Receive an Appearance Notice or Summons (Script_210)

This page from the popular Dial-A-Law collection by CBA BC attracted 5.18% of total site traffic, up from second position and 2.83% the previous January. That is an incredible figure for a site with over 1,500 pages of legal information. Many people first come into contact with the criminal justice system when they are served with an appearance or summons, so we can well imagine finding this page is a first step for many in addressing their problem. Knowing the significance of that step, what else could the page do or point to?

Kudos to lawyers Jordan Allingham and Paul Briggs for writing the page, plus Annie Chen of the CBA BC for the wiki version of this much valued resource.

#2 – How Do I Get Married in British Columbia?

As noted, JP Boyd on Family Law’s most popular page in January had nothing to do with getting divorced. Quite the opposite in fact… 2.82% of visitors came to learn about how marriage is brought to be, rather than how it decays. The page is up from #4 position in January 2017.

Thanks to lawyer Thomas Wallwork for maintaining this page, and of course to JP Boyd himself for his original work on it.

#3 – I Need to Take Someone to Court — What’s the Process?

A significant percentage of first time exposure to the legal system is when someone needs to start a lawsuit. The page attracted 2.43% of traffic, up from #6 position in January 2017, a rise quite possibly related to the Civil Resolution Tribunal’s introduction in 2017.

Long time Clicklaw Wikibooks editor and experienced lawyer John Bilawich deserves credit for this popular page from Legal Help for British Columbians that introduces the basics of starting a civil claim. So does the founding author Cliff Thorstenson. 

#4 – JP Boyd on Family Law

While the book has over 140 pages and accounts for 40% of site traffic, historically the main entry page for JP Boyd on Family Law has not been among top site pages (in January 2017 it was #13). This year, there appears to be more traffic from direct links to the book’s main page from websites run by LSS, the BC Provincial Court, private law firms, etc. Although overall the percentage of traffic coming from Google to the whole site has not changed over this period, a disproportionate amount of traffic to this main page now comes from referral sources. This speaks to the overall value of the title and the work of its many reviewing lawyers that make it a destination resource for others in the justice sector.

#5 – Immediately After Someone Dies

This page from People’s Law School’s title, A Death in Your Family, accounted for 1.81% of all site traffic last month. The equivalent page in January 2017 held #12 position at 1.59%.

Thanks to Helen Low, QC and Nicco Bautista for their skill abbreviating the legal and practical steps to take upon the death of a family member.

#6 – My Husband Sponsored Me and We Have Now Separated

For years, this page from Legal Help for British Columbians was the top destination page on Clicklaw Wikibooks with 2.86% of traffic. In 2017 it dropped to #3 and 2.65%. Today it’s settled at #6 position with 1.81% of traffic. Nearly 90% of this traffic comes from Google searches.

Thanks to Rochelle Appleby for reviewing this page over the years, and to its original author Cliff Thorstenson.

#7 – How Do I Prepare an Affidavit?

Up from #8 position in January 2017, this page from JP Boyd on Family Law accounted for 1.54% of traffic in January 2018. It continues to demonstrate the demand for practical, hands-on tips, and the fact that it derives a substantial greater proportion of its traffic from people who link to the page directly (34% versus the site average of 10% for pages) hints that this is a valuable bookmark for people.

Thanks again to Thomas Wallwork for reviewing the page over the years, and to JP Boyd for the original content and practical examples of how to write an affidavit.

Editor’s Note: Though these were the most viewed pages/titles on the Wikibooks over the past year, our other pages and titles also received an incredible amount of views. Thank you to all of our contributors and volunteers, whose work makes this initiative possible.

Stay informed:


Going to BC Provincial Court? New Resources For You.

Handouts contain short URLs that forward to the Common Question page where the resources are accessible and the handout is available as a shareable PDF download

You may be familiar with Clicklaw’s Common Questions. While you can use Clicklaw’s search and navigation to narrow down resources, sometimes it’s easier to get help picking a few to start with. This is where the Common Questions come in.

We have been working with Judge Ann Rounthwaite of the BC Provincial Court and the Clicklaw Editorial Committee to come up with 3 new special Common Question pages to help you get started with different matters in Provincial Court:

The lists are not exhaustive of all the resources available on these topics. If we included everything possibly out there, it would be much longer than a handy one-pager. We aimed for a mix of helpful basics but also resources that included practical tips for the courtroom.

Check out new resources from the BCPC

The handouts also include some great new resources from the BC Provincial Court. For example, “Preparing for a Family Court Trial in Provincial Court” provides helpful information on Evidence at a Family Court Trial, and what facts can be relevant for your trial depending on what type of Application you are making. See more here.

Everyone is welcome to download, print and share these handouts: judges, court staff, advocates, settlement workers, librarians, and even lawyers who would like to help their clients better understand the court process now have an easy starting point to direct to. If you are a Self-Represented Litigant, this is a good place to begin. Check it out!

Supreme Court Family Law Forms: New Fillable Forms from the Legal Services Society

flws thumbnailMore help with filling out Supreme Court family forms is now available from the Legal Services Society’s Family Law website. LSS now features 23 new and improved Supreme Court family law forms in a fillable Word format available on the LSS Family Law in BC website. These new forms, such as the Notice of Joint Family Claim, allow you to add and save your own information into the forms and give some instructions on how to fill them out.

You can find these forms through Clicklaw on the LSS Court Forms page. The forms were created in the last few months and were refined and tested to be used in a range of family law cases, including divorces, changing child support, or changing parenting arrangements. To provide further help with filling out these forms , LSS has also created instructions and tips that will help you fill out your forms quickly and correctly. Some of the more complicated forms also have additional, more detailed instructions and tips.

If you need more assistance with your court forms, LSS also provides a list of organizations that will provide more hands-on support.

These forms were created with funding from The Law Foundation of BC.

A Death in Your Family – A Clicklaw Wikibook Produced by People’s Law School

A Death in Your FamilyWhether expected or unexpected, a death in the family is always an emotionally charged event that involves a considerable amount of last minute arrangements, both logistical and legal, that family members must attend to. 

For example, you may wonder if there is a prescribed time to dispose of a body or who should you first notify of your loved one’s death?  Is an autopsy automatically performed?  What is the coroner’s role in this situation?  Also, you may be wondering how to honor a loved one’s wish to donate their organs to science.  Answers to all of these questions and more are now available in a comprehensive wikibook,  A Death in Your Family, published by the People’s Law School.   This resource was first published in 2007 and was available in PDF format until its wikibook release.  For more information on wikibook features, see Clicklaw Wikibooks

Clicklaw features a Common Question that also addresses this topic – What legal issues do I need to attend to when a family member dies?  It includes links to resources on making funeral arrangements, obtaining death certificates as well as guidelines on some of the costs involved.

Canadian Environment Week – Things To Know About The Use Of Pesticides

Use of pesticidesJune 2-8 is Canadian Environment Week and cities across the country are gearing up for activities to mark the occasion. Some of us may be taking the green route and biking to work, while others will be revisiting their local parks. As tradition goes, many of us will be rolling up our sleeves to commence spring cleaning. With a wide assortment of cleansers and detergents on the market today it may be worth taking a moment to consider the chemical components of cleaning supplies and what impact they have on our environment. 

If you have concerns about everyday chemical usage or pesticides you may want to take a look at the work done by West Coast Environmental Law. West Coast Environmental Law is an organization dedicated to advocating for environment-related issues through law. It offers legal advice, educational programs and advocacy for BC citizens seeking information on protecting our environment.  

West Coast Environment features a number of useful information resources dealing with pesticides, including Pesticides and Your Health, Pesticides in Your Home and A Citizen’s Guide to Pesticide Use and the Law in BC, all of which you can find on Clicklaw.

The ABC’s of Drinking & Driving Offences

Wondering about drinking and driving laws?  How much alcohol in your system makes it okay for you to drive?  Drinking and driving legislation is a very complex area of law, where both provincial (BC Motor Vehicle Act) and federal statutes (Criminal Code of Canada) apply, depending on the circumstances. 

 The British Columbia branch of the Canadian Bar Association features a recently updated Dial-a-law script titled Drinking & Driving that outlines the rights and responsibilities of someone who is stopped by the police and suspected of driving under the influence.

 Essentially, if you do drink and drive you can face three serious criminal charges:

 (a) displaying blood-alcohol level of over .08 or over eighty

 (b) demonstrating impaired driving due to alcohol or drug consumption, and

 (c) refusing to provide a breath sample without a lawful excuse. 

 What to do if you are charged with a drinking & driving offence , a guide published by LSS, is a good starting point for those interested in what happens when someone is charged with drinking and driving under the Criminal Code.   In summary, this guide explains the type of charges that apply, offers a checklist of what the prosecution must prove in court, outlines the steps involved in defending  yourself in court and what sentence one can expect if found guilty. 

 Both guides emphasize the complicated nature of drinking and driving offences and encourage clients to seek legal advice when necessary.

Living on welfare

As you may have heard, Jagrup Brar, MLA Surrey Fleetwood, will spend the first month of the new year living on welfare. Having accepted Raise the Rates Coalition’s MLA Welfare Challenge, Brar’s budget for Janurary 2012 will be $610 – the welfare rate set for a single person considered employable. According to Raise the Rates, the goal of the Challenge is to raise public awareness around welfare rates and poverty.

If you are applying for, or are living on welfare, it is important to know your rights and what to expect.

Clicklaw can help you get started by helping with these common questions:

I have to go on welfare. What do I need to know before I apply?

I’m going to the interview for welfare. What do I need to know?  


Also, if you live on a reserve, be sure to get started with:

How is welfare different on and off reserve?


November: Adoption Awareness month

This month provides an opportunity to celebrate and promote awareness about adoption.

Adoption in BC is governed by a provincial law called the Adoption Act. Anyone who lives permanently in BC can apply to adopt, including opposite- and same-sex couples.

There are four different types of adoptions:

  • placement by the director of adoption (who works for the Ministry of Children and Family Development),
  • placement by an adoption agency,
  • direct placement (when the birth parent places a child with a non-relative), and
  • relative adoption (adoption by a relative or step-parent).

Want to learn more?

A good place to start is with Clicklaw’s commonly asked questions:q+a icon

The TRAC Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre needs your feedback!

Are you working with members of the community who might be using the Tenant Survival Guide?

Perhaps you use it yourself?

If so, please take a moment to complete TRAC’s 2-question survey and spread the word to your community.

The Tenant Survival Guide is a plain-language guide that offers tenants a basic understanding of residential tenancy law in BC. It is designed to educate readers on their rights and responsibilities and help prevent or resolve any problems they may encounter during their tenancy.

The Guide is produced by TRAC, a nonprofit organization that provides tenants with legal education and information about residential tenancy law. For more information about how to order a hard copy, click here.

TRAC Executive Director Nicky Dunlop says that TRAC’s survey is designed to determine how people use  this comprehensive guide .

For follow-up information stay tuned to TRAC on Facebook and Twitter. Or, check out TRAC’s website.

Also, for more information about tenancy, rentals, and landlords, take a peek at these great resources on Clicklaw!

Join FIPA in celebrating Right to Know Week!

During this week of September 26 – 30 the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) is hosting two exciting Right to Know Week events in Vancouver: a 20-year FIPA anniversary party and fundraiser on the 28th and an FOI Workshop on the 29th. For details, click here.

There are a host of events going on across BC, as well as across Canada. Check out the Right to Know Week Website for more information.

This is the sixth year that Canadians have celebrated Right to Know (RTK) Week. It was created to increase awareness about their right of access to government information, and it highlights the essential role freedom of information plays in democracy and good governance.    

Want to learn more about freedom of information and privacy? Check out these resources on Clicklaw!