Our office hours are typically Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. We will do our best to accommodate your schedule when booking meetings. Our lawyers have some availability in the evenings and on weekends by request.
We use an online scheduling tool, which you can access at any time to book an appointment with your lawyer. You can find it here.
Communication With You
We will keep you informed of all developments in your case but in order to keep your costs down we will only communicate with you when necessary. If you do not hear from us, it is because we do not have anything new to report to you.
We will forward to you copies of all relevant correspondence between lawyers, pleadings, any other court documents, and reports. We will send you copies of this material by e-mail, if possible, and if not, then we will send you paper copies of this material. It is your responsibility to keep track of all correspondence as you will likely have to reference this information. We suggest that you create your own file at home to store all communication and documentation.
We will communicate with you in most cases by telephone and e-mail. If possible, we ask you to book an appointment when you wish to discuss your case by telephone to ensure that we are available and as prepared as possible. This will help keep your costs down by making the best possible use of our time.
If you e-mail us or leave us a telephone message, we will make every effort to reply to you by the end of the next business day and we ask that you do the same.
We do not communicate with clients by text message or messaging apps. You may call or email us.
We will frequently communicate with you by email. It is up to you to provide us with an email address you consider sufficiently secure to receive confidential and/or privileged communications from us. You may wish to set up a new email address and/or change your password to your account to ensure your former spouse or other third parties does no have access.
We recommend that you avoid using your work email address, which is likely the property of your employer and may be accessible by other people.
Our emails to you will include confidential and/or privileged information. By forwarding our emails to other people, you may be at risk of waiving privilege or disclosing confidential information. Copying other people on emails you send us may also waive privilege or disclose confidential information. Waivers of privilege and disclosure of confidential information to others could hurt your case or harm your interests. Please take care in how you use the information you send us and receive from us by email.
Due to the inherent risks associated with the Internet, we assume no responsibility for unauthorized interception of any Internet communication with you or the transmission of computer viruses.
Your Role as Client
We can only do our job at our best if we have your trust and are fully informed. We wish to stress the importance of giving us all the facts and of being totally honest with us. In particular:
Give us all the information and documents that you have, or have access to, which you think could help us in working on your case. In the case of documents, please provide us with photocopies (not originals) but keep the originals in a safe location in case they are required.
If your or your spouse’s property or financial circumstances change, inform us immediately.
If your spouse is harassing you or being abusive, keep a daily written record of such problems and provide us with a copy monthly.
If your contact information changes, inform us immediately.
Keep us informed of all facts that come to your attention that relate to your matter in any way.
Advise us of any inaccuracies that you become aware of as soon as possible.
We will assist you with preparation of court documents and required disclosure. This means that you will also be required to perform work on such documents.
You will need to respond to our requests for documentation or information in a timely manner. If you do not provide information or documents in a timely manner, this could result in the court dismissing your case or ordering costs against you.
We will send you an electronic copy of court documents. Please keep these documents for future reference.
When we have a meeting scheduled, we will in most cases be required to prepare in advance (e.g. reviewing your file, recent correspondence, research, etc.) If you cancel or reschedule your appointment for any reason, you will be charged for the time we spent preparing regardless.
Children in the Office
We ask that you make every effort not to bring children to our meetings, or to the office for any reason (e.g. dropping off documents). You should also do your best to ensure children are not present during telephone calls. It is difficult for you to concentrate fully during our meetings if children is/are present. Further, it is in your children’s best interests to be shielded as much as possible from the legal issues as well as any conflict between you and your spouse.
If you have difficulty making arrangements for childcare, please advise us and we will try to accommodate you by limiting the topics of conversation around the child or rescheduling the appointment entirely.
Forms of Payment
We accept payment of accounts and retainers by cash, money order, personal or certified cheque, credit cards and e-mail transfer.
Should you choose to pay or replenish your retainer by personal cheque, there may be a delay in the commencement of work on your file as we await confirmation from our bank that your cheque has cleared.
We bill our clients on a regular basis for fees and disbursements. If your case is very active, particularly if we are in court, you may get accounts from us more frequently or after certain steps or court appearances. You will also be billed as soon as possible upon the completion of work on your file. Our bills will detail the work done and the expenses we have had to pay on your behalf or that you have been charged for.
We send accounts by email in PDF format or via Clio Connect (an online portal) whenever possible.
We may store information about you, such as your documents or our own documents about you, on network-based computer services (“in the cloud”). Information stored in the cloud may be located in servers outside Canada and, if so, may be subject to disclosure under foreign law. If you have any concerns, please let us know.
Payment by Third Parties (Other Than Legal Aid)
If someone other than you is or will in the future be paying funds on your behalf:
They will not have access to information about the work done for you or about your case unless you specifically authorize use to release such information to them in writing;
They will not be given information about how the funds are applied;
All accounts will be provided to you alone and they will not receive copies from our office;
All accounts will be owed by you alone; and
Any unused portion of said funds will be refunded to you, not them, and that they will not, in that event, receive notice from our office of the return of the funds.