Your supplier has not delivered your new cabinets despite your payment? Without necessarily going to court, you could prevent an unwelcome situation or avoid it by consulting a lawyer. The recipe for finding the “good” and the questions to ask him.
You are not alone in dealing with a day-to-day legal problem: nearly 12 million Canadians will experience a problem of this kind in a given three-year period, according to a study by the Department of Justice Canada.
Word of mouth is probably the best way to find a lawyer. People are reassured in advance about his qualities.
If you do not know anyone, the Barreau du Québec monitors the practice of the profession and offers a referral service by region that will direct you to lawyers who practice in the area of law related to your dispute, and who are authorized to practice.
If not, you can find one for yourself on the Internet and check with the Law Society both its history and the validity of its right to practice.
“Unlike other professions, a professional can hold the title of lawyer even if he does not practice,” says the president of the bar, Bernard Synnott. To have the right to practice, a lawyer must compulsorily take out liability insurance.
Lawyer found. The purpose of the appeal: describe the problem and give details to the lawyer on the facts in question. Precision is your main ally here. The lawyer is trying to find out if you have a case.
For example, if you have lent an amount to your neighbor and he has not paid you yet, you must mention the date of the loan. Why? “If it’s been too long, the appeal period can be prescribed,” says Maxime Alepin, lawyer at Alepin Gauthier Avocats inc. Then comes the first meeting. Remember that this is a team effort.
“You have to present yourself with all the relevant documentation, classified in order of events. The lawyer will not put the papers in your shoe box! “Says the president of Quebec.
An informed client is worth two. Among the key questions to ask the lawyer to handle the possible sources of dissatisfaction: what will be the approximate duration of the process? In Montreal, for example, a regular civil case can take 4 to 5 years to resolve. If it’s too long for you, better consider other avenues with your lawyer.
In particular, negotiation, mediation or arbitration may be other ways that can save a lot of time and money compared to prosecution. It should be noted that a majority of disputes are settled in any case by an agreement out of court.
Amendments to the new Code of Civil Procedure will also come into effect on January 1, 2016 to promote these methods of amicable settlement. In addition, the Small Claims Court is now hearing litigation of up to $ 15,000.
The question that hurts the wallet: what are the expected costs? The lawyer is obliged to provide a detailed assessment of the costs of his services. Again, ask questions. Does its tariff include research and payment of certain fees? What will be the billing method: hourly rate, package, percentage? If it is the percentage, is it calculated on the result, on the value of the dispute?
Transparency throughout the process is important to maintain trust with the customer. “If other interventions that were not planned must be done in the process, the lawyer must disclose it to his client,” says lawyer Alepin Gauthier.
Finding the “right” lawyer is largely based on the transparent communication that you will establish with him.