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Old 08-27-2010, 11:15 PM
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Default OMG the Lawyer's Fees!

I just got my first bill from my lawyer and OUCH! I had no idea things were racking up like that because last time I asked him how my retainer was doing, he said fine, and now it's all run out and I still owe him a ton and we're not even done yet! He charged me $9 to read an email I sent him informing him that I was unable to attend an upcoming appointment! Makes me wonder what the heck I would have been charged had I simply not shown up...

I've worked so hard behind the scenes on my financial statement, triple checking that everything is right and organized and presented it to him ready to go, and I get charged for the couple of hours it took him to redo all my calculations to make sure they were right! And I've seen him at his computer during appointments and it's agonizing how slow he is. He seems knowledgeable, quick to understand my viewpoints, sensible at getting me up to speed and experienced at divorces, but it's torture watching him hunt and peck on his keyboard. I thought I was reducing reliance on him by doing as much of it myself as I could but if he's just going to redo it anyway at a snail's pace, what's the point?

I tell you, I'm in the wrong business...
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:37 PM
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I know exactly what you mean. I got rid of my lawyer after paying her a total of $10,000.00 to get nowhere. I have been representing myself now for almost a year. The divorce is still moving slowly but at least I am not paying ridiculous lawyer fees. I started to resent my lawyer as I felt she was using me to pay for her nice car and expensive holidays. I certainly did not feel she had my best interests in mind. I would do three hours of work, she would do next to nothing and then charge me several hundred dollars. I was so glad to say goodbye to her. More and more people are chosing self representation- especially in Quebec.
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Old 08-28-2010, 12:34 PM
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As much as possible try to go through the secretary to check on simple stuff like has something been received, when is something due, etc.

When you do your financials (too late now) insist that they be left as is and if the other party disputes anything you will consider corrections. As long as you are sure the numbers are sound and you have statements attached. What on earth did the lawyer actually change to cost that much? Some offices want to enter the numbers into software and print out a typed version, which I kind of understand but it should not cost anywhere near that much. My ex kept turning in messed up scrawl in her own handwriting, including to court, and believe me the numbers didn't add up.

Make a strict instruction to your lawyer that no work is to be done or steps taken without your approval. Don't do things piecemeal, call the receptionist at the start of the month, make an appointment for a phone consultation. That avoids being charged for phone-tag. Have a list in front of you and keep an eye on the egg timer you will have by the phone. Control the agenda, this is your agenda, you have the topics written out, deal with them one-by-one, don't get distracted, find out what the next steps are, ask the time and cost, approve them if you think it is reasonable. Do this each month and get the amount of work done you can afford. Unfortunately separation/divorce can drag out for months and years, but at least this means you can spread out your costs monthly.

Treat your lawyer like a contractor doing renovations. Don't just point at your house and say "Fix it". Decide what you want done, find out the cost and only approve the amount of work you want done.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Treat your lawyer like a contractor doing renovations. Don't just point at your house and say "Fix it". Decide what you want done, find out the cost and only approve the amount of work you want done.
Mess you always give good advice. And you do it in a very catchy, useful and relevant way.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:49 AM
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Once I get enough posts, I'll collect them all and make it a book.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:05 AM
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Until then, and at the risk of hijacking this thread, I can be found on MSN Hearts as swilly100.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:58 PM
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When you get enough "Mess-isms" put together, you should. Hell if that dude on twitter "SH*t my dad says" can get a book deal, I'm sure you could.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBDad View Post
When you get enough "Mess-isms" put together, you should. Hell if that dude on twitter "SH*t my dad says" can get a book deal, I'm sure you could.
https://litigation-essentials.lexisn...83bc11ef200595

Something to think about...

Lexis® Web - Results for "ottawa divorce"
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
As much as possible try to go through the secretary to check on simple stuff like has something been received, when is something due, etc.

When you do your financials (too late now) insist that they be left as is and if the other party disputes anything you will consider corrections. As long as you are sure the numbers are sound and you have statements attached. What on earth did the lawyer actually change to cost that much? Some offices want to enter the numbers into software and print out a typed version, which I kind of understand but it should not cost anywhere near that much. My ex kept turning in messed up scrawl in her own handwriting, including to court, and believe me the numbers didn't add up.

Make a strict instruction to your lawyer that no work is to be done or steps taken without your approval. Don't do things piecemeal, call the receptionist at the start of the month, make an appointment for a phone consultation. That avoids being charged for phone-tag. Have a list in front of you and keep an eye on the egg timer you will have by the phone. Control the agenda, this is your agenda, you have the topics written out, deal with them one-by-one, don't get distracted, find out what the next steps are, ask the time and cost, approve them if you think it is reasonable. Do this each month and get the amount of work done you can afford. Unfortunately separation/divorce can drag out for months and years, but at least this means you can spread out your costs monthly.

Treat your lawyer like a contractor doing renovations. Don't just point at your house and say "Fix it". Decide what you want done, find out the cost and only approve the amount of work you want done.
If the ex has a lawyer and you are a self rep;

As much as possible try to go through their lawyer to check on simple stuff like has something been received, when is something due, etc.

When you do your financials (too late now) insist that they can be changed as much as they like and if the other party disputes anything you will consider corrections. As long as you are unsure of the numbers and you have statements somewhere. Who cares "What on earth did the lawyer actually change to cost that much?" Some offices want to enter the numbers into software and print out a typed version, which I kind of understand but it should not cost anywhere near that much so just in case, ask them to do it again. Me, I kept turning in messed up scrawl in my own handwriting, including to court, and believe me the numbers didn't add up

Make a strict instruction to their lawyer that no work is to be done or steps taken without your approval. Do things piecemeal, call the lawyer at the start of every month, don't make an appointment for a phone consultation. That avoids being charged for phone-tag. Have a list in front of you and keep an eye on the egg timer you will have by the phone, ask about the lawyers children, talk about the weather, etc. Control the agenda, this is your agenda, you have the topics written out, deal with them one-by-one, don't get distracted, find out what the next steps are, ask the time and cost, approve them if you think it is reasonable. Do this each month and get as little the amount of work done they can't afford. Fortunately separation/divorce can drag out for months and years, but at least this means you can spread out their costs monthly.

Treat their lawyer like a Roman Catholic Priest raping your children's future. Don't just point at their house and say "Hail Mary". Decide that you want equality.....
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:46 PM
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An interesting position in the Markham area.

https://reedelsevier.taleo.net/caree.../jobdetail.ftl

leverage.
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