Thank you for retaining my services and those of our firm. In our meeting I may have
touched on some issues to what you can expect of me as your lawyer, but I take this
opportunity to review it in a little more detail in order to make our relationship work as
well as possible.
My role in your separation/divorce is to provide both practical and legal advice, discuss
your options, responsibilities, assist in negotiations and advocate for your interests. If
litigation becomes necessary as a last resort I can represent you in court and help you
through that difficult process.
I believe that your issue is of the utmost importance and it will be treated as such.
However, my work hours are limited from Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
During these times, I can be reached by e-mail or via telephone.
I have a high volume of files any point in time. As a result, I don’t have control over whether only a few of my files, or most of them, are active at any point in time. There will be days, and sometimes weeks, where I am out of the office or simply unavailable due to my high work load. This will limit my ability to respond to calls and emails as quickly as you would like. Part of that challenge for a lawyer is prioritizing work. For instance, I sometimes deal with children or property in need of protection. This may work in your favour (immediate attention) or it may mean delay if I am dealing with someone else’s emergency. However, if your matter is truly urgent you may contact my assistant and she will do her best to ensure that I respond as quickly as possible. Remember, it may not be immediate. But it will be at done at my earliest opportunity.
Many clients ask what they can do to keep legal fees manageable. The most effective things you can do in this regard is to be available for meetings, be accessible by phone or e-mail, organize your financial information and provide it promptly, be open to new ideas and take a problem solving approach. An approach that is based on assigning blame is, in my experience, rarely effective. I charge by tenths of an hour, keep in mind that I five minute phone call or an e-mail will likely be charged as a .1 of an hour. Don’t be afraid to communicate, but keep the cost in mind.
Lastly, my value to you is as a trusted advisor who has knowledge and expertise you do not have whose judgment is not clouded by being too close to the people or events. This may create the appearance at times of someone who is objective or even dispassionate, but in reality it is simply a necessary professionaly distance. My goals is to ensure that you are supported and empowered to make the best possible decisions under all of the circumstances. I look forward to working with you.
Verhaeghe Law Office Legal Counsel
Verhaeghe Law Office
Should I execute a will?
Estate planning is not only for the elderly. Every adult should have an estate plan specifying what should happen to their property when they pass away. While most people prefer not to think too far ahead, death is a reality that is, for most of us, unplanned. It is much better to draw up your own will and testament than to rely on what the law has in store for everyone who did not take the time to do so. If you have a spouse and/or children, it is especially important for you to have a will to ensure they are properly taken care of once you have moved on. Most of our estate planning appointments also encompass completing a Power of Attorney and Personal Directive.
When should I contact a lawyer?
Act without delay. If you find yourself in a situation wherein you need legal advice, make contacting a skilled, experienced Edmonton lawyer your priority. The sooner you seek legal advice, the easier it will be for your Edmonton lawyer to build a strong case in your favor, whatever the charges or circumstances of your situation. Delay in obtaining legal counsel might lead to some important information being lost or forgotten, or allowing the other party involved in your dispute to build a stronger case against you. Often times, you also have to allow some time for your Edmonton lawyer to review the case, file paper work and get the proceedings started.
How much should I say?
Be open and honest. Your Edmonton lawyer can only help you insofar as you help him or her understand your case. Keeping details or information from your Edmonton lawyer only makes his or her job that much more difficult, which is in every case a detriment to your claim or defense. Your Edmonton lawyer is there to represent you and therefore you need to have enough trust in him or her to divulge everything pertaining to your situation. Your Edmonton lawyer will in most cases ask questions that may seem very personal in nature, or might upset you. Remember that their only concern is to ensure you come out of the situation with the best results possible, and as such you should answer honestly and not feel defensive when being questioned.
Should I ask questions?
Ask questions and make sure you get answers. Your Edmonton lawyer, if skilled, qualified and experienced, should expect you to have many questions about your case, their background, the cost of the proceedings and other aspects of the law. Any Edmonton lawyer who cannot or will not take the time to answer these questions clearly and openly should not be trusted. You should know exactly what to expect walking in to legal proceedings, from lawyer fees to court procedures. Make sure you are comfortable with your Edmonton lawyer and that they can explain legal jargon to your entire satisfaction before deciding to hire him or her.