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Filing a complaint against your lawyer

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  • Filing a complaint against your lawyer

    I had long motion that wasn't heard due to a mix up where it was supposed be treated as an existing case and not a new case. I retained new counsel but prior to this I already scheduled a settlement conference. My new lawyer reviewed all my material before drafting my brief and offer to settle. I also provided him 17C Conference Brief Notice. His junior lawyer drafted the brief and offer to settle. Unfortunately, he filed my material two days late and my settlement conference needs to be rescheduled. He thought I was the respondent. I made it very clear to the senior lawyer that I booked the settlement conference, and I provided him the Conference Brief Notice which states I'm the applicant. I'm not sure whether the junior lawyer was informed or not however its not my job to make sure all the relevant information is relayed.
    The most frustrating part about this situation is the next available dates are in January 2025. I feel humiliated because of stupid mistake. Now I'm out pocket once again to draft another brief.

    1.What are my rights as client?
    2. Is it reasonable to ask for another draft at no cost because it was their mistake?
    3. At what point should I file a complaint with the Ontario Law Society

  • #2
    My two cents…not a lawyer…

    If the brief is still good for a future date, pay the lawyer for the time to prepare the materials and only that time. Should be in the range of two to three hours max.

    Advise your lawyer you are not paying for any other time due to their failure to meet the timelines and the change of date.

    You can report them at any time to the Ontario Law Society, they just won't be your lawyer anymore.


    • #3
      I was thinking at the very least they should pay for the updated brief that will probably change very little in the next year or so considering they f**cked up. If it wasn't for them I would be able to use this brief which I already paid for.


      • #4
        Nothing should really change in the brief and you could redo it yourself or provide it to your new lawyer.

        Technically because the brief is being kept, you would pay for the work on it. The other work they did and attendance at the hearing is not paid for since their screw up meant it didn't get heard.

        We had a similar issue with an offer to settle. The lawyer didn't send it but then charged for the time do it. We disputed it and the charge was removed from the bill. We stayed with the lawyer though so he still got paid.

        You may not want to leave this lawyer. If the senior lawyer is good, they may want to keep your business. Have you reviewed them on (or .ca, I haven't opened it in a while but it can be found on google).


        • #5
          Originally posted by tunedx View Post
          I had long motion that wasn't heard due to a mix up where it was supposed be treated as an existing case and not a new case.
          What happened? Did you schedule another motion?

          ... my settlement conference needs to be rescheduled.
          Why? It's a conference - you could continue without submitting a brief.

          The most frustrating part about this situation is the next available dates are in January 2025.
          10 months wait for a conference seems excessive. You can definitely go for an interim motion if needed.

          A brief is a quick update document which is thrown out at the end of the conference. No need to create another one or spend more than 10 minutes on it...


          • #6
            Unfortunately, no a settlement conference was scheduled instead.

            Brief was submitted 2 days late since I was the applicant (moving party)

            My ex is unreasonable. Settlement conference seems to more effective in my case. What is the difference?


            • #7
              A (long) motion would not have anything to do with conference dates. They are two separate things.

              A conference could still take place even if you don't submit a brief. No need to reschedule.

              You know your issues and whether a motion is needed or delays welcomed.


              • #8
                Finally secured another settlement conference date. However my question is what happens if my ex doesn't attend it for some stupid reason? She mentioned the date was tentative based on how March break schedule is for 2025. The day is actually the Monday after March break.


                • #9
                  It's the same if ex doesn't file a brief... you'd continue as usual. Attend the conference and move forward towards trial. Ex doesn't have to file or attend trial either.


                  • #10
                    What is the result if my ex doesn't attend conference or trail? At what point can I award her with costs? Will the judge automatically grant me all my requests if she doesn't attend trail or settlement conference?


                    • #11
                      It's not that black and white. If you are seeking enforcement of child support, that could be ordered without attendance. If you are seeking access schedule change or reduction in spousal support - not something with an imminent risk to a child or situation, your ex would likely get several opportunities for a defense. And you don't award her costs - the judge would do it - but thats not straightforward either. For example, is there an offer to settle before your requests for costs on a favourable ruling? You won't find direct answers to your questions... and I'm super surprised you have to wait till 2025 to get in front of a judge.


                      • #12
                        Since settlement conferences are only heard twice a week hence why the long wait. My conference will be to address section 7 expenses and post-secondary education. Offer to settle will be included with the conference brief.


                        • #13
                          based on my experience, filing complained with LSUC is waste of time. If you're lawyer neglected you and caused you damages, you sue them in court. Generally, if you're lawyer fuked up so bad in this kind of situation, I would start looking for a new lawyer and fire their ass. You then challenge their bill, and once you're done with that, you report them to their professional body. I can't say I'm not speaking from experience.

                          In terms of settlement conference, if ex doesn't show up, then you ask for you court costs. A judge generally reverses cost but if ex doesn't show up at all, you may very well get it on the spot and set to file your motion to get what you're asking for. The fact that your ex didn't show up and got costs ordered (or reserved) against her will likely not sit will with any judge who hears the matter or when it comes to ordering costs.


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