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so many dishonest lawyers nowadays

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  • so many dishonest lawyers nowadays

    I'm going through a divorce right now and have encountered a few lawyers in Ottawa, I have to say some of them are very dishonest for their billable hours. They never worked that amount of time on your case but the time just showed up on the bill. My current lawyer Rodney Cross claimed he worked 4.5H on my case but during our last phone call to revise my financial statement he failed to mention any questions raised by my ex about my statement. and this is just one example. I just think he didn't do his due diligence. what should I do if I want him to reduce his bill? I already talked to him but he refused. Have you guys encountered this kind of issue? If I go to Assessment office, what are the chances that I can get my bill reduced to a reasonable amount?

  • #2
    You may think he didn’t do any work but he may have actually done it. Lawyers do take time to review matters before appearances and meetings. They do receive and respond to correspondence from the other parties and they do review materials from time to time. Plus their assistant’s time is billed depending on the work they are doing.

    You could ask for a breakdown of the time he spent and what he did in those four hours but if he says he worked it, reporting him will simply result in him providing that information to the law society.

    If you don’t trust your lawyer then it is best to find a new one and when you do, review your retainer agreement fully. Billing is clearly laid out in all retainer agreements.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by rockscan View Post
      You may think he didn�t do any work but he may have actually done it. Lawyers do take time to review matters before appearances and meetings. They do receive and respond to correspondence from the other parties and they do review materials from time to time. Plus their assistant�s time is billed depending on the work they are doing.

      You could ask for a breakdown of the time he spent and what he did in those four hours but if he says he worked it, reporting him will simply result in him providing that information to the law society.

      If you don�t trust your lawyer then it is best to find a new one and when you do, review your retainer agreement fully. Billing is clearly laid out in all retainer agreements.
      The problem is that he never sent a retainer agreement and I asked for a breakdown of the bill but what he sent was very vague and I even attached a invoice from my previous lawyer as a reference. everything seems so unprofessional.

      where can I report him? to the Ontario Law society? to the Assessment Office? does it work?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Luna View Post
        The problem is that he never sent a retainer agreement and I asked for a breakdown of the bill but what he sent was very vague and I even attached a invoice from my previous lawyer as a reference. everything seems so unprofessional.

        where can I report him? to the Ontario Law society? to the Assessment Office? does it work?

        He should have given you a retainer agreement to sign when he took you on. I would be asking for that too. You can contact the law society and outline that he never provided a retainer agreement or outlined what he billed for. They may or may not look into it.

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        • #5
          The problem is that he never sent a retainer agreement and I asked for a breakdown of the bill but what he sent was very vague and I even attached a invoice from my previous lawyer as a reference. everything seems so unprofessional.
          Lack of a retainer agreement is a problem.

          Tasks should be sufficiently described on the bill to understand what was done in a general way.

          The classic "$5,000 for services rendered" is not sufficient. Although used to be common.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Luna View Post
            The problem is that he never sent a retainer agreement and I asked for a breakdown of the bill but what he sent was very vague and I even attached a invoice from my previous lawyer as a reference. everything seems so unprofessional.

            where can I report him? to the Ontario Law society? to the Assessment Office? does it work?
            The Upper Law Society of Ontario will deal only with cases of bad behavior of a lawyer and matters where they acted unprofessionally and/or against their ethical codes.

            https://lso.ca/getdoc/8626e365-d1a8-...ke-a-complaint

            For anything dealing with overcharged fees and inapropriate detailed invoice, you must take the steps to have his services revised under an assessment.

            If you are talking just about a few hours difference for some thousand or less dollars, don't waste your time (or the assessor's time) with your complaint.

            I had hired a lawyer from the law firm Sicotte & Guilbault from Ottawa (the boss of the shop) once for my case on Appeal in Toronto. When we met, he was very vague and evasive on the fees he was to charge me on reviewing my documents that I had prepared. He only changed a few paragraphs for legal wordings. Then I filed everything with the Appeal Court without his help. He then contacted me to plead my case in my favor but once again, was very unclear with the fees but was to be somewhat low, around the X$. He sucked real good at pleading even though we won but his fees went to XXX$. Then after, he sucked real tight in taking care of the Power of Sale of the property in order to get my share of the equalization payment.

            I ask him to provide all his invoices with full details for an assessment. He was mad enough to call and insult my wife over the phone. I was very determined to have his fees reassessed. Then we had a conversaton over the phone where he said he was sorry but I kept on saying that he had overcharged me as his services were poor and lacking at several points. I did not pursue my complaint but did a formal review of his services with my signature on Google. Don't forget, the social media is the #1 place for justice before the court system itself. The judicial system will hide the evidence from the view of the public but the media won't. Don't waste your time with the Law Society, make the public know about that lazy/crook lawyer.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mafia007 View Post
              The Upper Law Society of Ontario will deal only with cases of bad behavior of a lawyer and matters where they acted unprofessionally and/or against their ethical codes.

              https://lso.ca/getdoc/8626e365-d1a8-...ke-a-complaint

              For anything dealing with overcharged fees and inapropriate detailed invoice, you must take the steps to have his services revised under an assessment.

              If you are talking just about a few hours difference for some thousand or less dollars, don't waste your time (or the assessor's time) with your complaint.

              I had hired a lawyer from the law firm Sicotte & Guilbault from Ottawa (the boss of the shop) once for my case on Appeal in Toronto. When we met, he was very vague and evasive on the fees he was to charge me on reviewing my documents that I had prepared. He only changed a few paragraphs for legal wordings. Then I filed everything with the Appeal Court without his help. He then contacted me to plead my case in my favor but once again, was very unclear with the fees but was to be somewhat low, around the X$. He sucked real good at pleading even though we won but his fees went to XXX$. Then after, he sucked real tight in taking care of the Power of Sale of the property in order to get my share of the equalization payment.

              I ask him to provide all his invoices with full details for an assessment. He was mad enough to call and insult my wife over the phone. I was very determined to have his fees reassessed. Then we had a conversaton over the phone where he said he was sorry but I kept on saying that he had overcharged me as his services were poor and lacking at several points. I did not pursue my complaint but did a formal review of his services with my signature on Google. Don't forget, the social media is the #1 place for justice before the court system itself. The judicial system will hide the evidence from the view of the public but the media won't. Don't waste your time with the Law Society, make the public know about that lazy/crook lawyer.
              Thank you very much for your reply. I know what I need to do now.

              Comment


              • #8
                My first lawyer said something so stupid in the Court that I blushed. I quickly changed her to a lawyer who was much more reasonable but he did charge a lot. I found it strange that he would charge for things like 'review by another lawyer in the firm'. There were charges that were never explained to me.

                I don't think it makes sense to go into legal fees hoping to gain something or just to prove to the other side who wins. I could've proven dishonesty and end up with a better deal but the most important thing is that kids have the money for what they need and we stay healthy to recover. Winning doesn't mean paying less or getting more. Entire event and how it affects us and kids is what's important. Would it make sense to take everything from a dishonest spouse? The kids may pay a heavy emotional price for something like this and in the end they may be stuck with helping that parent. So maybe they'd need to take a loan from a bank to do this. Then they get your money from the Will and pay that loan off..? Bank scores the interest! Where's the sense? Sometimes you win by letting the other side win. You need to be strong enough to let someone win. If you lose a thousand dollars doing the right thing, you'll find a lottery ticket that will provide you with five times more. Or something to that effect.

                I ended up accepting what mediator offered to me. It was a heavy hit but I took the blow and have fully recovered. I don't have custody but I don't have debt and there was no issue with money for my son's toys, activities, etc. If he asks me why I never fought for custody, I think I will very quickly explain this. It'll be interesting if he asks his mom about why she went that way. I know people who went to considerable debt that I doubt they'll ever pay off. I also know a case where a man spent roughly 30K to win 20K of child support. He and his ex spent a lot more on settling other financial matters. A few years later it turned out she had a serious medical problem which explained her behaviour. After her operation she can't function by herself, so she was hoping they get back together. This, after losing probably half a mil to legal fees between the two of them. Wouldn't that cash be handy? I think this should be simply illegal.

                Whatever you do, don't stress out too much. Apparently, very soon we won't own anything but will be happy.

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