Did your supplier not deliver your new cabinets despite your payment? Without necessarily going to court, you could prevent an unfortunate situation or avoid escalating it by consulting a lawyer. The recipe for finding the “right lawyer” and the questions to ask.
You are not alone in dealing with a daily legal problem: almost 12 million Canadians will experience such a problem in a given three-year period, according to a study by the Department of Justice Canada.
Word of mouth is surely the best way to find a right lawyer. People are reassured in advance about its qualities.
If no one is known, the Law Society of Ontario monitors the practice of the profession and offers a referral service by region which will direct you to lawyers who practice in the field of law related to your litigation, and who are authorized to practice.
If not, you can find one by yourself on the Internet and check with the Bar both its background and the validity of its right to practice.
Unlike other professions, a professional can hold the title of a lawyer even if he or she does not practice. To have the right to practice, a lawyer must subscribe to liability insurance.
How To Find The Right Lawyer: First steps
The right lawyer found the objective of the appeal is to describe the problem and provide the lawyer with details on the facts in question. Precision is your main ally here. The lawyer is trying to find out if you have a case.
Thus, if you have loaned an amount to your neighbor and he has not yet reimbursed you, you must mention the date of the loan. Why? “If it’s been too long, the appeal period may be prescribed,” explains John Miller, a lawyer at Best Lawyers Toronto. Then comes the first meeting. Remember that this is a team effort.
“You must present yourself with all the relevant documentation, classified in order of events. The lawyer will not file the papers in your shoebox! Says the President of Ontario.
An informed customer is worth two. Among the key questions to ask the lawyer to manage possible sources of dissatisfaction: how long will the process take? In Montreal, for example, a regular civil case can take 4 to 5 years to settle. If it is too long for you, it is best to explore other avenues with your lawyer.
Negotiation, mediation or arbitration can be other methods that can save a lot of time and money compared to legal proceedings. Note that a majority of disputes are settled in any case by an out-of-court agreement.
The question that hurts the portfolio: what are the expected costs? A right lawyer is obliged to provide a detailed assessment as to the costs of his services. Again, ask questions. Does its price include research and payment of certain costs? What will be the billing method: hourly rate, flat rate, percentage? If it is a percentage, is it calculated on the result, on the value of the dispute?
Transparency throughout the process is important to maintain the bond of trust with the client. “If other interventions that were not planned must be made along the way, the lawyer must disclose it to his client,” said the lawyer at Best Lawyers Toronto.
Finding the “right” lawyer depends largely on the transparent communication you establish with them.
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