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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 01-05-2015, 10:17 PM
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Default Special Chambers Court on Jan 14, can I adjourn because she never filed on deadlines?

So I have a conundrum and I feel my lawyer is not exactly giving me all the options.

In October, my ex filed an affidavit in morning chambers to challenge the fact that she wants 50/50 even though she signed off on giving me primary custody. The judge said this is not a matter for Morning chambers (it's only 5-15 minutes) and is going to need to Special Chambers (up to an hour).

We get our document for the filing dates.
We have court scheduled for January 15th. My ex was supposed to file on December 22nd and serve me her new affidavit. I would then need to respond with my affidavit on January 2nd. She would then have the 8th to respond. Then we have the court date.

However, she missed her Dec 22 deadline and hasn't filed or served me. My lawyer's assistant that day tells me if she misses her deadline then the date will be struck and we won't have to do anything till she reapplies.

Today is Monday, lawyers office calls me and says I need to send all my information by tomorrow morning because they will submit affidavit on my behalf and if I don't give anything, they will show nothing and I will lose. She said she called the file clerk this morning and it hasn't been struck so they are going forward like we have a court date.

I don't get this, if I haven't been served with a new affidavit as per the filing schedule, how the hell can I respond to any new or existing arguments in her affidavit that she hasn't given me.

I don't even her affidavit to respond to. My lawyer says we will base it on her first one filed in court.

K...correct me if I'm wrong here, wouldn't this screw me if I responded to the original one, when I have no clue what is on the new one?

Shouldn't we be going to court and saying, look she missed the deadlines, I can't prepare a response if I have no affidavit to respond to.

I'm staying up all night to do this anyways, but feel now I have ZERO time to adequately prepare a response to an old affidivat that I clearly know has changed because my ex told me.

Its like they are back tracking on their mistake saying don't worry we don't need to do anything if she misses the deadline.

I almost want to fire them at this point but how would this even play out. I don't want to self represent but then could I ask for more time for another lawyer?

To me, I would have expected them to say, k, the court didn't strike it off the list but we will show up on January 14th and tell them we were never served and it should be adjourned as opposed to k, give me all your materials by tomorrow morning, and we'll go for it.

How do you win in court if your response affidavit is based upon one that was previous? Is there incompetency here?

Btw, is this normal. I haven't talked to my lawyer at about our court case for the past 6 months of this going on. Even for this January 15th special chambers which is going to cost 6-10K as per her Paralegal said, I asked them if I could talk to her before the court date to figure out the plan, questions about evidence and the paralegal says no.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:37 PM
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If your lawyer hasn't met with you or spoken to you in 6 months and will not talk or meet with you prior to special sessions then I would seriously consider canning the lawyer (and then go to court and say you no longer have a lawyer and you need to adjourn).

Why are you dealing with a paralegal and then having to spend 6 - 10 k for a special sessions/chambers application?
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:50 PM
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Exactly, and this is the question I said to the paralegal. If I'm spending 6-10K, how do I not talk to the lawyer?

My question has always been, k can you tell me what kind of evidence you want me to submit, paralegal says everything and we will figure out what is relevant.

Like this situation tonight, just submit whatever you have that supports the new routine is working, like journals, text messages, schedules,e tec...k no problem but what do I need to specifically focus on. Response is give us everything.

Me: Do I need to talk to lawyer before we prepare affidavit or how court is going to play out.

Paralegal: No, my job is to talk to you so she doesn't.

Paralegal: You give me everything, I prepare the affidavit, lawyer reviews and will use it in court otherwise she will have nothing to say.

Me: k, that doesn't make sense to me, it sounds like you are doing all the work and she just reviews. Shouldn't the lawyer work on strategy first, then you gather evidence, we ALL check to make sure evidence fits the strategy. Hope she is paying you well for all that work.

Paralegal: No, I prepare it, she read its and makes her changes then we go to court.

Paralegal: In speaking of pay (person to person) no, she doesn't at all, I am under compensated and staying for the experience because she makes me do everything. Once I feel I am ready, I will leave for better.

Correction, my lawyer did show up in Court when we had to set up the date for Special Chambers. The gist of her feedback was, No I didn't really read your case, I will now when I started asking what we should do next. That kinda sums up how I feel.

To be frank, my gut feeling she doesn't really care. The paralegal does, if she was representing me in court for sure. LOL I spent two mornings in court and saw the differences between lawyers. Some you were like wow you have the crappiest lawyer possible. However, I did see one where she actually was prepared and passionate about the case...I got her number...should I arrange a meeting with her? Is it too late for me to get another lawyer?


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Why are you dealing with a paralegal and then having to spend 6 - 10 k for a special sessions/chambers application?
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:51 PM
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Agreed with Arabian on the lawyer.

If you're planning to go ahead and file, respond to the filings you do have, note that it's the last received info you have and have not been served for this motion.

Reply to what you have, indicate what you are looking for, serve and file. Go see FLIC regarding the lawyer situation and not receiving any documents, ask them what you should do and if things are going to proceed.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:54 PM
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The reason they are saying it will.cost sof much is they are wanting you to give them everything to prepare when you can do a lot of it on your own, the more you give them the more it will cost to sort through and prepare.

You have every right to speak directly to your lawyer, not just the paralegal.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:57 PM
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Paralegal said that's how much its going to cost to have lawyer represent me in special chambers...? I don't know pricing

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Why are you dealing with a paralegal and then having to spend 6 - 10 k for a special sessions/chambers application?
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:01 PM
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They are going to make a custody change in 1 hour hearing, seems weird.... Quebec it is a multi-day thing...
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:07 PM
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yeah, that's what I asked the paralegal too. She said in special chambers (20-60Minutes), judge reads our affidavits, asks questions. My lawyer doesn't get to ask ex questions vice versa.

Judge will make a verdict at the end of the hour on the spot. If I want the multi-day thing, that it goes to appeal, and if appeal is allowed goes to trial.

What do you think? Your vote matters too, should I get a new lawyer, trust my gut instinct?

This is very disheartening, thought I had a good plan but feel like it's unraveling with paralegal saying we have one day to prepare and that's just how it is. How is that our fault for her not filing her dates.



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They are going to make a custody change in 1 hour hearing, seems weird.... Quebec it is a multi-day thing...
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:10 PM
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At the very least, get a second opinion to find out what is customary. Then go with your gut.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:12 PM
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Trust your gut - I had a completely incompetent lawyer and I put aside my intuition because I thought I was being too jumpy or emotionally involved. I had a perfect psych assessment, I literally had the judge JOKING with me in court to the point my ex-wife got on the stand to testify that "this is a serious" matter and we shouldn't be joking. My lawyer ended up screwing up some basic crap to the point that I SUED my lawyer for damages and "won".

So yes, get rid of lawyer, ask somebody from this forum for a referral.

Never send your lawyer everything to sort out.... you decide what REALLY matters (not much really matters).

I am from Quebec btw....
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