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Ontario|Find A Lawyer
Find A Lawyer
860 Working with your Lawyer If you understand the role of your lawyer, and assist your lawyer wherever possible, you can speed up the legal process and possibly reduce your legal fees. There are several things that you should do to prepare for your first meeting and to maintain a good working relationship with your lawyer.
- How to prepare for the first meeting with your LawyerTo prepare for the first meeting with your lawyer, you should gather as many facts, documents, and items related to your situation as you can. This includes documents, agreements, letters, transcripts, contracts, and photographs. Bring these papers with you to the first meeting.
You should know what you want and also think about what you are going to say. Prepare to explain your situation clearly and simply, starting from the beginning. You may want to write down your questions and an account of your story on paper. This will help you put the events into the proper sequence, and it will help you make sure that you do not forget any important details. This can help your lawyer understand your situation and what needs to be done, which in turn will save the lawyer's time and make it easier for the lawyer to begin working on your case.
- What to do at your first meeting with your LawyerThe first time you meet with your lawyer, you will need to explain what has happened or what it is that you want to do. There are several questions you should ask at your first meeting. These include how the law applies to your situation and what options you have, if any.
You should also be prepared to talk about legal fees at the first meeting. Your lawyer will need some money to begin working for you right away. This is called a retainer, and it is money that a client pays the lawyer to cover the lawyer's fees and expenses. This is particularly the case in lawsuits. You will also be asked to sign a document called a retainer; this authorizes the lawyer to initiate or defend legal proceedings on your behalf. You should ask the lawyer questions about the cost of his or her services, and find out how and when you will be billed. Some lawyers bill their clients every month, and some lawyers bill their clients at the end of the case or transaction.
You can also ask how long it will take to resolve the problem or achieve the desired result, and what you should do next. And, you may want to ask about the lawyer's expertise and experience in handling your type of situation or problem.
After the lawyer has had a chance to look at your situation, you should ask what potential difficulties there are, and what can be done to speed up the process or reduce the legal costs.
Many clients pay for more of a lawyer's time than they should because they phone the lawyer too often. Before you phone your lawyer you should ask yourself whether it would be better to write a letter. If you must call, you should see if you can discuss your concern with the lawyer's secretary. Often the secretary knows a lot about your case and can answer your question.
If you have a legal aid certificate you should bring it with you to your first meeting. You should also make sure that your lawyer will accept Legal Aid.
- Ongoing rights and responsibilities of the Lawyer and the clientLawyers and clients both have several ongoing rights and responsibilities. Lawyers have a duty to keep client communications confidential and to give an honest and candid legal opinion. Clients have an obligation to be honest and provide all relevant information. Your lawyer needs to know everything in order to protect your interests and give you the best possible advice.
After you have chosen a lawyer you should be kept informed of how the case is progressing, and expect to receive a copy of all relevant documents and correspondence relating to your case. You should make sure that you read and understand the documents your lawyer sends you. If you do not understand something, you should ask your lawyer to explain it to you. The reality is that in the litigation process there can be considerable delay and periods where the lawyer has no information or updates for the client.
You can help establish a good working relationship with your lawyer by being prepared for your first meeting and by understanding your lawyer's role.