Clients often ask for estimates on how much a matter will cost. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to provide an estimate with any precision. The problem is that people can be unpredictable.
In family law, the way we bill is very simple. We record the amount of time we spend on your file, and bill you for those hours, or portions of hours, at our hourly rate. The following are suggestions that you can do that can help us keep your legal fees at a minimum:
- Try to keep telephone calls and emails to a minimum. If something is not urgent, write it down, or start a draft email. At the end of the week(s) you may have a list of questions. Send those to us in one email. It will save you money if we only read and write one email as opposed to one email each day of the week, or numerous emails each day of the week.
- Make sure all emails go to your lawyer and the assistant assigned to your file.
- Remember we are your lawyer, we can only provide you with legal advice. Most of us do not have the professional expertise to act as your counselor. Further, it does not make economic sense to pay for counselling at our hourly rate. We work closely with mental heal professionals on many files, and are always happy to provide referrals.
- Do not procrastinate. If you have an upcoming Court date, and we have requested your instructions or information/disclosure from you, please provide it as soon as possible. If you wait until the last minute, then we will not be able to save you money by using an assistant or student to draft documents, review disclosure, etc. Also, every time we have to remind you that we are waiting for something from you, it costs you money. If you need time to think something over, simply let us know.
- If we ask you to review draft documents and provide us with your comments in advance of a meeting, please do so. It is inefficient for us to sit and watch you read, and wastes your time if you have to sit and wait while we make revisions.
Ultimately, our goal is to help you through what can be a very difficult time in your life. All the better, if we can do so in an expeditious and efficient manner.