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Old 05-24-2017, 08:24 AM
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arabian arabian is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 9,854
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I agree with you WD. My divorce was indeed of a mathematical nature. I was divorced 9 months after serving my ex. I attribute that to having a good lawyer and going through binding arbitration process. No case conferences. Just a judge spending one day with us. A judge who made final Order. Nothing was passed on to another judge, as is the case with case conference/endorsements. Where my matter was difficult was AFTER divorce when my ex took me to court repeatedly to try to have divorce Order overturned. Ex was represented by competent counsel at the Arbitration and had agreed to terms of divorce Order.

I think what people have to ask is what exactly is a paralegal? What are their qualifications? The paralegals that I am aware of in the Edmonton area are merely people who had previously worked as clerks at the law court. Some work at law firms. I do believe they could be useful if someone has difficulty in filling out forms. When I was very young (18) I had a summer job at a law firm. The paralegals at that firm were conveyancing clerks and handled real estate transactions.

Of course there are lousy lawyers out there. There are lousy mechanics and lousy accountants. Typically the person who retained the lawyers simply didn't do their homework. Often people have unrealistic expectations when hiring lawyers and simply do not read the retainer agreement they sign (this would be similar to giving a mechanic a blank cheque). Many people squander lawyer's time by not being prepared and wasting time chatting on inconsequential matters. I think the first meeting with a lawyer is a critical time. I also think people make huge mistakes by not requesting detailed monthly invoices from lawyer. With the detailed invoices a person can see, right from the start, on where their hard-earned money is going to (incessant phone calls, meetings, emails, 4-way meetings, to name just a few).

I have self-represented on a few matters in the past 2 years. I can tell you that the preparation was intense. Sure, I could have hired a lawyer but I felt that I could handle this "simple" matter which went to a judge for a written hearing. I ended up successful but I can tell you it gave me a personal insight into the work a lawyer and staff put into a "simple" matter. The preparation was extensive even though I had all of the documentation I required. Putting things together and writing and rewriting the document was an exhausting task. I'm not sure I would do this again. So while my divorce seemed to be simple to me (my lawyer made it that way for me) I do know he spent many days and hours preparing. In the end it was well-spent money. I have to say, however, that my lawyer told me repeatedly how I was a good client as I didn't waste time and promptly provided any documentation he required. I took it upon myself to get up-to-speed on legal matters affecting my case. I did substantial reading and learned much by joining this forum.
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