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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-10-2015, 07:49 PM
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Default Need a family lawyer

I am in need of a referral. I need a new lawyer.

Someone who is young, energetic, reasonably priced. (around $150/hour) and would like to work hard to get their names out.

My current lawyer is so slow and cannot be found for days or weeks sometimes. My feeling is that he cannot get much money from me so he puts everything before my case. Which is understandable. I however would like to see if anybody has a good experience with any particular lawyers and could pass along the information. In general I would want to have someone who cares.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:35 PM
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You may have to disclose what city you are located in. The cheapest lawyer I found in Ottawa was $160/hr, and had only been called to the bar a year ago.

As a reference, another lawyer was 300 an hour and billed his articling student out at 120/hr
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:00 AM
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Yes in ottawa.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:24 AM
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I think it goes without saying that we all want lawyers who "care" and who would work for 150.00/hr. However, if you are "needy" (need hand-holding and constant reassurance) it is much cheaper to seek out the services of a counsellor.

Lawyers have overhead (have to pay assistants, their share of office rent) and yes many of them are paying their own student loans for the years they were in university.

You say you want a lawyer who wants to "work hard to get their names out." What makes you think that your case is unique?

If you want to hire an deeply-discounted lawyer then you had better be ready to roll up your sleeves and bring yourself up-to-speed on family law. Are you presently well-versed in family law enough to spot errors or oversights of a not-too-experienced lawyer?

Not everyone has the fortitude or finances to see a case all the way to trial. More often than not a case can and should be settled through mediation or case conference process.

Also keep in mind that you very well may lose and end up having to pay costs. An experienced, competent lawyer will guide you through the family court process and make recommendations of when to call it a day, settle and accept your lot in life. Ultimately it comes down to whether or not you choose to accept this advice.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:14 AM
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Arabian's reply is logical.

My lawyer currently has always been late. Late at filing, late at responding, cancelling and rescheduling mediation last minute for month later. Currently it has been about a year and nothing has settled yet.My ex's lawyer has been very efficient at strategic planning and everything they planed is spot on negotiation tactics. However my lawyer has never communicated with me on how to response. There has been mistakes made, things got missed, most frustrating thing is both me, my ex's lawyer keep on reaching out to him for next step and he would just flat out ignore us.

Another thing is, he has no secretary. So there is no way I can find him. It is a 3rd party reception line that never works, for a year. He bills me his hourly rate for doing many of the paperwork.

Majority of his responses to the other party were just taken points from my note. Sometimes it is straight point to point. I am not saying I am up to date in family law myself. I need someone who can provide more guidance than taking all my notes and using them. If everything I wrote were so correctly, why would I need a lawyer?

Majority of the cases don't make to trial. So someone who is clever and efficient at negotiation will be more cost effective. However my lawyer has always been indifferent in terms what should happen next. I do not need his reassurance emotionally. But whenever I need legal strategy, I find it is always quite hard to get anything out of him because of his indifference and his super delayed responses either to me or my ex's lawyer.

I know someone who is cheap and good, unfortunately she is my ex's lawyer.


I know it is hard to find a good lawyer, at this moment I am actually looking for someone who's basic. That way I can still continue what I have been doing and maybe paying half of the legal cost.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:40 AM
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What you do today will effect you and your child for many, many years to come. I don't think it wise to put a hourly wage cap on what you are prepared to pay, rather find the lawyer that you have the most confidence in to do the best of his abilities.

I would recommend hiring someone who currently practices in the pulse of family law in your city. I found it extremely helpful to have a lawyer who is respected by his peers as well as the bench. It doesn't hurt that the lawyer has suffered a few major losses as well as wins - mistakes made on someone else's case will hopefully deter the lawyer from making the same oversight on your case. Don't be fooled by those on-line lawyer rating sites.

Finally, a lawyer who doesn't sugar-coat things is important. A lawyer who has good client control will keep you in line and point out when your demands are unrealistic. This will save you mega bucks.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:52 PM
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I suggest interviewing several lawyers before you hire any of them. You're going to be giving them a lot of money, so you should be sure you're comfortable with them. It's like test-driving a car before you buy it. Any decent lawyer should be willing to meet with you for 30 minutes to talk about whether they would be a good choice to represent your case. You can lay out the facts of the case, the current issues for which you are seeking legal help, and your expectations of your lawyer (e.g. calls returned within two days). Tell them who your ex's lawyer is and ask if they have dealt with this lawyer before. If the lawyer asks you a lot of questions about your case and your preferences for how to handle it, that's a good sign. Beware of the lawyer who says s/he can get you everything you want exactly the way you want it.
(One way to keep costs down is to ask if a junior lawyer at the firm could handle some of the mundane daily aspects of your case so you only need the big guns for the most important negotiations or court appearances).

After you've interviewed three or four lawyers, you should have a good basis for a decision.
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