Don’t be intimidated by the law process! I’m here to help. Get answers to some of your most frequently asked questions on this page.
Q: What if I need a wrongful dismissal lawyer in Niagara for advice but not for an actual court case?
A: As your wrongful dismissal lawyer in Niagara, I would suggest you choose our “unbundled” law service option. “Unbundling” means that you can choose which services you want and which to forego, which can be less expensive in the end. If you don’t need your lawyer present in court but rather to offer legal advice, you should definitely choose to “unbundle.” This way, you will never pay for non-essential legal services beyond those you require.
Q: I am going through a divorce but have never needed a lawyer before. Won’t hiring a divorce lawyer be expensive?
A: I am here to assist you by providing advice and leadership to you in a difficult time, but I will not provide services you do not need. Instead, I will simply assist you in assessing the legal risks of your situation, providing direction relative to your choices and the probable consequences of those choices. While I can’t accurately estimate your costs in advance, since I don’t control every aspect of the case, I will settle your file as quickly and economically as possible.
Q: My ex-husband and I need to work out visitation rights. Does hiring a family lawyer in St. Catharines mean we have to go to court?
A: No, as a family lawyer in St. Catharines, I offer mediation services. This means that I can help negotiate a resolution that is reasonable for both of you, which will save you money unless the two of you can’t reach an agreement within a certain amount of time.
Q: What information will you provide to my opponent?
A: All information you give me remains confidential. I will not divulge any details that would violate your privacy in any way. In fact, your privacy is protected by law in Ontario and must be observed unless you waive it.
Q: What if I need your services outside normal business hours?
A: While my office hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM throughout the week, we sometimes make appointments available outside normal hours if circumstances require it. However, those appointments are the exception. We can minimize the number of costly appointments you need to attend here at our office through voice mail, email and fax. In fact, we suggest that you email us at the following addresses:
Weekend and holiday appointments are also not generally available, but are available in cases of emergency or by special prior arrangement. Unfortunately, we are not available for consultation without appointments.
Q: What are your current rates?
A: We charge to the nearest one-tenth of an hour for all activity on your case. Each hour billed to you is based
on actual work done on your particular case. These are our present rates:
You will be billed a flat consultation fee of $350.00 (including applicable HST) for the first two hours of your initial consultation, payable at the time of the meeting and/or prior to my advice being provided to you. This payment may be made by way of cash or cheque only. Our fees are also based on one or more of the following elements:
These rates may be adjusted at any time. However, unless you are advised otherwise, we will not raise our fees more than $50.00/hour.
Q: How can I save on legal fees?
A: By minimizing the time we spend on your case. This means that it’s a good idea to give some thought to your appointment before you show up or call. You might, for instance, come with a written list of questions and concerns. By our first meeting, you should provide us with any documentation or written materials we may need. We suggest that you prepare a written chronology of your situation for clarity. It is best to provide as much as possible by email. Do not send us non-essential electronic replies to emails we send you or telephone conversations we have had with you, as we will bill you for the time it takes to read, print and file those communications. Also, when you call us and leave a voice mail, please clearly state the reason for your call (i.e., status of the case, etc.)
Q: What is a “disbursement?”
A: Disbursements are actual file expenses incurred in your matter: printing, photocopying (25 cents per page), couriers, long-distance telephone calls, fax transmissions (25 cents per page), postage, court filing fees, parking costs, consultations with outside experts, etc.
Q: What is a “retainer?”
A: The retainer is an amount paid to our firm in trust on the understanding that it will be used to satisfy our accounts for legal services and disbursements, at the time accounts are delivered. The retainer is a source of payment for your accounts. The retainer is not a flat fee nor an estimate of the cost of our services. The amount of the retainer is arbitrary to some extent. Before the issues are clarified and before we know the degree of resistance offered by the other side, we cannot predict the amount of work necessitated, nor the time needed to complete it.
You Can Count on Us
"I appreciate the time you took to explain my recent situation to me over the phone. I would like to be able to count on your guidance and services in the future, if possible."
AE from Niagara
Compassion & Perseverance
"Thank you, Leigh, on behalf all of us for navigating us through those "muddy waters". Your expertise, compassion, and perseverance brought about a great resolution, and for that we are relieved and grateful."
PB from Niagara
Seek a Better Life
"Today is the first anniversary of living on my own. I wish to thank you for all your work on my behalf and, most importantly for encouraging me to leave a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship and to stay focused on creating a new and healthy situation for myself. You've helped me to learn that it is never too late to seek a better life."
AT from Niagara
Wisdom & Advice
"I would like to thank you again for your excellent service, your many words of wisdom, and your advice. I am so pleased my case was successful!"
LG from Niagara
Thank You for Everything
"This thank-you isn't long, but the meaning behind it is much, much more. Thank you for everything you've done for me over the past three years. You were such such a big help."
BP from Niagara