Caution:  This page contains ONLY GENERAL LEGAL INFORMATION. 
It is NOT LEGAL ADVICE nor a replacement for talking to a lawyer
and getting legal advice about your case.    
The law can be complicated and the details of a case can be even more complicated! 
There are exceptions for every rule. 

 

What you do not know can harm you.  Do not rely on general legal information.

AT YOUR OWN RISK.

FINDING A LAWYER

How Can You Locate Lawyers?
The best way of finding a lawyer is with a referral from someone you trust - a friend, a service agency, a community group, or another lawyer.

There are lists of lawyers available from:

 

How Should You Choose A Lawyer?
Consider the following:

  • Experience helps, but is not always an indicator of knowledge, skill or commitment.

  • Hourly rate sometimes indicates greater ability, but may just relate to how much money the lawyer's clients have.

  • Having the same cultural or linguistic background helps, but often a sensitivity to your background is enough.

  • Fancy offices merely indicates that the lawyer has chosen to spend money on the appearance of the office.

 

A lawyer should:

  • be professional

  • communicate clearly and effectively

  • listen to you but be disciplined in keeping the focus and move things forward (make sure they get the info they need and use time wisely)

  • give you the advice you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear

  • be firm about following the rules (someone who will break the rules for you may brake them against you)

  • acknowledge any gaps in their knowledge and the unpredictability of cases (they can fill gaps - but you must be able to trust them)

  • be forthcoming about what they can do and the costs (so far as they can be predicted)

  • demonstrate a understanding of family law, how it applies to a case like yours, and about the dynamics of family law disputes

 

Beware of evaluating a lawyer by what you observe in court.  It is hard, for someone who has no experience, to understand what is really happening in court.

  • A few words from one lawyer may be more effective than a lot of noise from another lawyer.

  • A good lawyer knows when to stop talking.

  • A good lawyer says what their client needs them to say, not necessarily what the client wants them to say.

  • If a judge tells a lawyer that they do not need to hear from a lawyer, it means that lawyer has been rather successful. 

  • A lawyer must be polite to everyone.

  • A lawyer should be calm and focused on the true issues, not be emotional..

  • A lawyer who is focused on "winning" often does not serve the client's best interests.

  • Usually, most of the important work is done before the lawyer steps into the courtroom.