Ottawa Divorce .com Forums


User CP

New posts

Advertising

  Ottawa Divorce .com Forums > Main Category > Divorce & Family Law

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

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 10:13 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 178
ninehundredt is on a distinguished road
Default Self Representation or Hybrid Rep

I personally am self representing, but I have a lawyer retained for counsel. I'm doing the majority of the paperwork/legwork to keep costs down. I'm wondering whether it would be advantageous to change to full representation, yet still do most of the leg work.

In both cases the lawyer will want to review some of the paperwork you draft. The main difference would be that the lawyer would be present at court proceedings. I realize this adds extra cost, but would it be worthwhile in terms of saved time spent in front of the judge (since I have little experience interacting with these types of people).

From peoples experience how much actual time was spent in court (whether it be trial or not) versus outside time filing and serving?

I've noticed that the courts don't always meet their scheduling (10am case conference actually didn't get called until 10:45). Do you pay your lawyer for that 45 minutes of waiting? I assume the answer is yes.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 01:30 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,692
OrleansLawyer is a jewel in the roughOrleansLawyer is a jewel in the roughOrleansLawyer is a jewel in the rough
Default

The answer to your question - how involved should your lawyer be - is very dependent upon both your talents (public speaking and analytic thinking) and the complexity of the issues.

The more complex the issues, and the more involved the lawyer is, the more value they may add. For example, if you had a complicated file to a lawyer ten minutes before a motion, you save on costs but risk failure at court.

Some court appearances require more experience than others. Short of being pushed down a flight of stairs, it would be challenging for anyone to screw up a first appearance date (FCDC). A trial, or complicated motion, can be very difficult for people who are inexperienced.

In general terms, the amount of time spent preparing for a court appearance is related to the complexity of the issues, and whether other related work has been done. For example, a case conference may require less time preparing than actually attending the conference whereas a motion or trial may see 2-5 hours preparing for each hour in court.

It is expected that a lawyer will bill time "door to door" - from when they left their office until when they return. If you spend an hour chatting in the hallway at the courthouse while waiting for your matter to be heard, that time is part of the cost of the motion.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 01:37 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 178
ninehundredt is on a distinguished road
Default

Based on what you've said in regards to my particular situation (relatively uncomplicated) I think it would be best to maintain self representation until the matter heads for trial. I can always have my representation status changed before an actual trial so she can step in for the hard stuff.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 01:55 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 145
annapurna66 is on a distinguished road
Default

I agree with Orleans lawyer. My matter was very complex. I held my own thru basics of assignment court, drafting of simple motion and settlement conference. I got crushed during a full day motion which got side tracked to trial. I was asked to make difficult decisions on credibility and then later minutes of settlement that I did not fully understand. It is very easy to find oneself bullied by opposing counsel ( and yes sometimes even by the judge) and to agree to things you might not fully understand. I used a lawyer for the difficult things ( factum, book of authorities etc). It still cost me $$$$. My lawyer would not attend court without doing all the prep work himself...and prep is pricey. Either way it's expensive.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 02:03 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 178
ninehundredt is on a distinguished road
Default

Yeah I got a very poor impression of the judge residing over the case when I attended the case conference adjournment, and it's given me an overall negative outlook of the legal system. It's too bad your lawyer would not allow you to draft most of the literature, and just review it / modify it to suit him/her.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 02:14 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,692
OrleansLawyer is a jewel in the roughOrleansLawyer is a jewel in the roughOrleansLawyer is a jewel in the rough
Default

Quote:
until the matter heads for trial.
If it is not complicated there is no reason for it to head to trial. Why is it not settling?

Quote:
My lawyer would not attend court without doing all the prep work himself...and prep is pricey
It is uncommon for a competent lawyer to trust laypeople to draft material to the quality that is expected.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 02:27 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 178
ninehundredt is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrleansLawyer View Post
If it is not complicated there is no reason for it to head to trial. Why is it not settling?


It is uncommon for a competent lawyer to trust laypeople to draft material to the quality that is expected.
You can get the entire story in this thread (ongoing):
http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...-record-17460/

Why is it not settling? It's too early to tell since my case conference has been rescheduled for the beginning of June, but I'm basing this opinion on the uncooperative behavior from my ex since we separated.

Agreed about the reasoning around not trusting 'lay people' to draft materials. However some of us are scientists and engineers, and can figure these things out easier than others...at least to the point where a lawyer can massage it before filing.

If the going rates for retaining a lawyer were a bit more competitive with other professions I would be more than happy to have them do everything. It's simply not possible for some of us, even if we have good jobs.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 03:38 PM
arabian's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 9,960
arabian will become famous soon enough
Default

I have always been represented by legal counsel. My ex, on the other hand, has been self-represented at times, semi-represented at other times and fully represented by good and not-so-good counsel.

My experience was that when he was self-represented he made many mistakes filing. This wasted my lawyer's time. Judges were exceedingly lax in allowing him to reschedule matters while he was self-represented. Judges were not very flexible when his lawyer tried to reschedule.

Something else to consider is that often these lawyers know each other on a somewhat amicable basis and can simply pick up the phone and coordinate dates with opposing counsel without a lengthy letter-writing process. You might simply ask your lawyer if he/she knows OC. Then ask the next question - can you please phone or email OC and coordinate a date?

Lousy lawyers use the unnecessary back-and-forth letter writing process simply as a means to increase billable hours. You have to keep a close eye on all correspondence that is originating from your lawyer's office and, of course, request detailed monthly billing so you don't get any surprises.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 03:44 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 178
ninehundredt is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
I have always been represented by legal counsel. My ex, on the other hand, has been self-represented at times, semi-represented at other times and fully represented by good and not-so-good counsel.

My experience was that when he was self-represented he made many mistakes filing. This wasted my lawyer's time. Judges were exceedingly lax in allowing him to reschedule matters while he was self-represented. Judges were not very flexible when his lawyer tried to reschedule.

Something else to consider is that often these lawyers know each other on a somewhat amicable basis and can simply pick up the phone and coordinate dates with opposing counsel without a lengthy letter-writing process. You might simply ask your lawyer if he/she knows OC. Then ask the next question - can you please phone or email OC and coordinate a date?

Lousy lawyers use the unnecessary back-and-forth letter writing process simply as a means to increase billable hours. You have to keep a close eye on all correspondence that is originating from your lawyer's office and, of course, request detailed monthly billing so you don't get any surprises.
Thanks for the very good advice. I know already that my lawyer (with whom I'm meeting for the first time this week) knows the OC. I'll make a note to ask her whether she can simply call to schedule as opposed to writing letters every time we need to schedule something.

I am hoping that she will not be lousy, based on the fact that she was recommended by other local law firms during my search for counsel.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 03:46 PM
MrToronto's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,338
MrToronto is on a distinguished road
Default

A Trial costs 20 to 30 grand with a lawyer and if you lose it's 20 to 30 grand on top for the other sides lawyer.

I use the analogy if I screw up I save 50 percent of overall costs and I make dam sure I minimize the other sides "cost award" by offers to settle and looking reasonable

If your already at Court on "simple matters" there's a good chance you'll be back again either you learn the process or go broke with lawyers.

it's easy for people with a lot of cash to get a lawyer sit back and enjoy the ride but they don't learn anything. A self rep that's smart with endless non billable time can become a real force in Court that makes people with lawyers that don't learn anything think twice about kissing away thousands of dollars

Keep a lawyer around just for going over settlements and giving advice or direction

just my thoughts anyways
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Self Representation - Feedback Serene Divorce & Family Law 27 08-16-2013 10:39 AM
Rules of Civil Proceedure, R15 Representation by Lawyer - Disability ddol1 Divorce & Family Law 2 05-02-2012 12:56 AM
Self Representation tlwa Divorce & Family Law 14 01-02-2012 08:37 PM
Change of Representation - Signature of BOTH parties? #1StepMom Divorce & Family Law 8 06-10-2009 08:49 AM
Self Representation time2lookahead Divorce & Family Law 0 04-03-2009 12:46 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:20 PM.