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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 12-14-2005, 07:23 AM
CatvsLion CatvsLion is offline
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Angry Lawyer's

Ok, I'm starting to get discouraged again with my lawyer. I've seen and heard various comments about getting a good lawyer but you never really know until you've already spent time and money investing in one before you find out if they're good or not. You're lawyer might also be good at what they do but to overwhelmed with work to be effective or make you feel like their working for you at their highest potential.

So I was wondering as the best referal are usually through past experiences and word of mouth - can anyone else give names/location of some good lawyers that deal with custody. (obviously Jeff I know you're one of them but it's nice to have some variety to choose from)

Now with the above said. If my bill has been all paid up - is my lawyer entitled to hand over every piece of document that he has regarding my case - If I choose to switch lawyers. I know there's letters or phone call conversations that I haven't even seen and just the final outcome of them. Also, considering the application, answer, and hopefully my reply have been served what costs/delays am I looking at for switching lawyers.

(My reason for again thinking of switching is because I had to call my lawyer the day of the reply to ask where the letter he was suppose to send me 3 days ago was - it wasn't ready and his secratary told me we would ask for an extenstion and he'd send it to me later that day - which I still don't have and I don't know if they agreed to the extension either - I haven't been able to get ahold of my lawyer and he hasn't called me back in the last 4 days as he's been in court).

So please, if you know some good lawyers let me know. Also what's involved in the dreaded 'switching of council' especially this late in the game.
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:51 AM
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Well I can tell you that once you have paid the final bill on your account and you have retained another attorney all of your file will be sent to the new attorney. You need to write a letter or you may just have to sign a change or representation for the courts (usually done with new lawyer). It should only be a couple of days turn around.
I can also tell you from experience that getting a hold of your attorney when you need them is difficult at the best of times. Everytime I start to lose faith in my attorney, he does something that makes me feel bad. Although it may seem like they are doing nothing, my lawyer has and is working behind the scenes all the time.
It is a busy time of the year for attorney's, and it is very difficult to get back to each and every client they have in the time frame the client wants. I would suggest making an appt with your lawyer and discussing what it is you expect from him and he in turn call tell you what he can do. Most times, they are dealing with clients that are going through emergency situations that need to be dealt with ASAP. I know you think what you are going through is serious and a huge deal to you, but just remember, others have worst situations at times then your own.
Good Luck.
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:25 AM
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Default Lawyers assistants

Keep in mind that you could possibly talk to the lawyers assistants. These are the people that do alot of the difficult, behind the scenes work ... and rarely are they acknowledged for their hard efforts.

You'd be surprised to find out just how much they know. They can at least give you updates and such ... not sure about giving of advice, but then again, they do know the law to some extent if they have worked in the field for a extended time.

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Old 12-14-2005, 09:42 AM
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Hubby is right.. law clerks and legal assistants definitely cannot give legal advice, but we *can* discuss what is fact.

To reduce legal costs, a great idea is to try speaking with your lawyer's clerk first. 99.9% of the work goes through us, so we are normally just as helpful on supplying information as the lawyer would be, depending on what the client is asking about. There is normally no charge or hourly rate for clerks, but some do charge for their time depending on what kind of work is being done.

Lindsay
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:47 AM
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Default No charge for time.

Lindsay,

So if a client phones the legal clerk or legal assistant ... the clock is NOT ticking on that one? It's only when you actually talk to your LAWYER that charges are registered? This is what I assume considering Legal assistants/clerks are on the payroll anyway?

Hubby


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsay
Hubby is right.. law clerks and legal assistants definitely cannot give legal advice, but we *can* discuss what is fact.

To reduce legal costs, a great idea is to try speaking with your lawyer's clerk first. 99.9% of the work goes through us, so we are normally just as helpful on supplying information as the lawyer would be, depending on what the client is asking about. There is normally no charge or hourly rate for clerks, but some do charge for their time depending on what kind of work is being done.

Lindsay
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubby
So if a client phones the legal clerk or legal assistant ... the clock is NOT ticking on that one? It's only when you actually talk to your LAWYER that charges are registered? This is what I assume considering Legal assistants/clerks are on the payroll anyway?

That's right hubby. In *most* cases, time with assistants and clerks are free. But again, I just want to clarify, some clerks do charge a small hourly rate. Hourly rates of your lawyer's staff are normally outlined in the retainer agreement you sign when you retain your lawyer.

If you really have to discuss particular details of your case, your lawyer is the person to speak with. Otherwise, it's certainly worth a try to speak with the clerk first. A thirty second phone call with a lawyer will automatically cost you 10% of his or her hourly rate, whereas a five minute phone call with the clerk will likely cost you nothing.

Lindsay
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:50 AM
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Lindsay ... would you accept a Tim Hortons coffee instead!

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Old 12-14-2005, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
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would you accept a Tim Hortons coffee instead!
No one could turn down a coffee from Timmies and call themselves a true Canadian!
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:50 PM
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wow, can I relate to your situation! When my ex and I were in custody dispute(which is still on-going in one way or another, sadly to say)
I went through three lawyers in less than a year! They all seemed so wonderful before I retained them but then: no-return phone calls, non-answered letters, sending their not-as-experienced associate for a court appearance (yet charging their fee) remanding and adjourning court dates at every opportunity---the list goes on. Although I was paying for a certain level of service, yet receiving what I thought what not up to par, I was viewed negatively by the court system because I changed so often. It's no different than changing a home service provider because the service is not acceptable.
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:55 PM
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Hi GOD

What sort of custody did you start off with and 6 years later what have you got now ???
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