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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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  #1  
Old 03-25-2017, 10:30 AM
triplejjulius triplejjulius is offline
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Default How long before retaining lawyer?

Hi,

The case with my STBX could very well go to a trial on all issues. (Custody, Access and Equalization). Not what I want but I have to face reality.

My question: Assuming I become self rep through initial stages including motions and conferences. Can I then get services of a Lawyer at time when case is for sure going to trial? i.e. what is the deadline for me to have a Lawyer on record that will represent me through the pre-trial and trial if any? And how likely is it that I will be able to find a very good willing lawyer at that time? From what I have read from the time a trial is scheduled till when it takes place can usually take months.

Just not sure I will have enough time due to work requirements to go through a trial on my own-plus I don't like reading and preparing legal stuff.

My main goal is to save money and also put enough pressure on STBX to come to the table and consider settlement offers. Because as it is now she is unlikely to until she is faced with some stiff consequences.

I am aware that lawyers are very helpful in reaching settlement in most cases but I am almost certain that that will not work in our case. Not dwelling on negativity but facing reality.

Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2017, 05:54 PM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Originally Posted by triplejjulius View Post
What is the deadline for me to have a Lawyer on record that will represent me through the pre-trial and trial if any?
There isn't one. But, good luck finding a lawyer (good one) that will take a last-minute family law trial. Most lawyers worth the effort are not going to take on a last minute trial. The last thing they want is to take on a crazed client who hires a lawyer last minute.

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Originally Posted by triplejjulius View Post
And how likely is it that I will be able to find a very good willing lawyer at that time?
Near impossible. A barrister that specializes in Family Law that is good would bill around the 450-800 an hour range in Southern Ontario. The cost of a trial is massive if you are represented properly.

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Originally Posted by triplejjulius View Post
My main goal is to save money and also put enough pressure on STBX to come to the table and consider settlement offers. Because as it is now she is unlikely to until she is faced with some stiff consequences.
Then, you need to demonstrate you are serious by retaining a lawyer. No lawyer really is afraid of a self-represented litigant. You will just be wasting time and running up the costs award against you. There are very few self-reps that can settle things if the other party is high conflict.

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Originally Posted by triplejjulius View Post
I am aware that lawyers are very helpful in reaching settlement in most cases but I am almost certain that that will not work in our case. Not dwelling on negativity but facing reality.
Then retain a proper barrister who can litigate your matter.
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:32 PM
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Janus Janus is offline
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I disagree. Lawyers in the early stages are expensive. If you are certain that the other side won't settle, then why retain a lawyer through the CC and SC? After SC might be a good time to retain the lawyer.

Now, that said, everyone thinks that the other side won't settle until they suddenly settle. Nobody says during negotiations "I'm about to settle so you can start driving a hard bargain with me now".

If the other side has legal aid, then you can probably be sure that they won't settle. Other than that though, most people don't actually like paying lawyers.

Another option is to retain the lawyer, but do most of the legwork yourself. Keeps costs down, but you still have the advice to stop you from doing something terminally stupid.
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:00 AM
OrleansLawyer OrleansLawyer is offline
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Quote:
My question: Assuming I become self rep through initial stages including motions and conferences. Can I then get services of a Lawyer at time when case is for sure going to trial?
Yes, however you should consult with a lawyer from time to time to make sure your case is going well. It also would be advantageous to have a lawyer draft your application (or answer).

If the other side is going to make a conference a waste of time then having a lawyer is unlikely to help that. However, you can do a lot of damage to your case by having poorly drafted materials or lost motions.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:06 AM
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Yes, however you should consult with a lawyer from time to time to make sure your case is going well. It also would be advantageous to have a lawyer draft your application (or answer).

If the other side is going to make a conference a waste of time then having a lawyer is unlikely to help that. However, you can do a lot of damage to your case by having poorly drafted materials or lost motions.
To add to this point. You could possibly find a lawyer who will work on a limited retainer until such time a trail happens. There are lawyers who may do this. You may save some costs doing this.

Lots of people screw up conferences and agree to things they shouldn't have. Which in the end costs them more. We have a number of current posters who are suffering these consequences.
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:07 AM
triplejjulius triplejjulius is offline
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Thank you all for your inputs. Absolutely I agree there will be a need to somehow obtain a limited retainer with a lawyer.

Question: Once we begin case conferences -is there a limit to how many we can go through? and do we need a permission from a judge to file a motion on any of the issues if the other party is not willing to resolve/settle -I mean leave to file a motion. I honestly do not want to incur a lot of legal fees on conferences that won't solve anything. This is my main fear.

No the other side is not on legal aid. I know 100% for sure the other side will become very agitated once they see me self rep'n and saving money while she is spending money on a lawyer. She doesn't want to spend one cent either but would rather leave things in no man's land for ever. No settlement and no moving forward on any issue.

Therefore I am sure the pressure to settle will be there once they see me going through this without spending a lot of legal fees.-especially the conferences. I will work to get a lawyer on limited retainer/ensure all materials are drafted very well by somehow who knows how to do this very well while keeping legal advise near by.

Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:01 AM
OrleansLawyer OrleansLawyer is offline
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Once we begin case conferences -is there a limit to how many we can go through?
There is no limit, however the expected number is one.

Some jurisdictions string a number together, especially for self-represented parties. Check to see if yours is one.

Quote:
do we need a permission from a judge to file a motion on any of the issues if the other party is not willing to resolve/settle -I mean leave to file a motion.
General answer is no. However, it should be brought up with the judge to make sure everyone knows the next step in the case is a contested motion for XXX, YYY and ZZZ.
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