Donald R. McLeod Law Corporation
We are a small, boutique law practice, which engages in family law, civil litigation
Most people don’t know what or how a lawyer charges and think they shouldn’t ask. There is nothing wrong about asking – it is your money. This section deals with how we charge, and what sort of cost you can expect for some services. We will let you pay over time, on approved credit.
Please Note: Our first interview with you is at no charge and there is no obligation. We meet to explore if your claim is something that the Civil Law can assist you with, because not all wrongs can be righted by our justice system. We explore the nature of your claim and whether you and we make a good fit and can work together. We will see if your claim is the type we have experience and expertise in dealing with.
Fees & Expenses
There are no set schedules of how lawyers must charge. The method of calculating fees may vary according to many variables; some are the seniority and experience of the lawyer, or the type of case and the difficulty of the legal problem. Some common methods of how lawyers charge are:
We keep a record of time spent and charge you an hourly rate agreed upon in advance. The rate and other important details will be set out in a written Fee Agreement. No one can predict, when a case begins, how much time will be required. Among other factors, it is very dependent upon the actions and court applications the opposing party and his/her lawyer make.
We agree to act for you and be paid a percentage of what you are eventually awarded or settle upon; if your case is dismissed, we do not get paid (but you must in all cases cover disbursements and costs). This fee is common in personal injury claims.
When we can predict how much time is required and what sort of documentation is required, we can often quote a flat fee. This method is commonly used for non-contentious matters such as uncontested divorces, where everyone agrees on what the terms are going to be but need the matter shepherded through the Court.
Sometimes fees are calculated as a percentage of the value of the subject matter, but they don’t depend on the outcome like a contingency fee does; an example is probating an estate.
Disbursements and Taxes:
All fees and some disbursements are taxed by the Federal and Provincial Governments. Disbursements are for items such as Court Filing & Hearing Fees, Government Search Fees, process servers, photocopying, long distance charges, experts’ services (examples of some expert reports, but not all, are custody and access reports, medical-legal reports & examinations, appraisals and economists’ reports). There are many possible disbursements; these are just examples of common ones. The cost of these items changes frequently and what specific disbursements may be necessary vary with particular circumstances and as a case develops. We will tell you the current cost of the things we think will be needed at the time you retain us, but you should be aware that items thought necessary may prove not needed, and things not believed to be required may turn out to be necessary. The same is true for the services we perform: while we tell you our best estimate of what will be necessary to accomplish your goals, it may be necessary to drop certain strategies or actions and add new ones as the case progresses.
Payments Over Time and Credit
Time and credit payments are often available, on approval of credit. In a specific situation, we will meet and craft a solution that works for all of us.
Unfortunately cash payments present problems due to regulations imposed by the law society and FINTRAC (the Federal Government agency that deals with money laundering), so while not illegal or impossible, we prefer payments of any kind not to be made in cash.
Visa and MasterCard payments are limited to $5,000.00.