COLUMN: Consult with a lawyer before navigating the legal system

Often, in our first meeting with a client, we discover that they have been attempting to navigate the legal system on their own.

  • Jul. 11, 2014 12:00 p.m.

Legal-Ease by Sheri Yakashiro

Often, in our first meeting with a client, we discover that they have been attempting to navigate the legal system on their own.

Often they have become too overwhelmed to carry on, or in some cases the judge has requested that they retain legal counsel before continuing with their claim.

Why do clients see us when many times it’s too late? There are a number of reasons why, but it’s often because of one of three reasons: They don’t believe they can afford a lawyer; their “friend” went through the same problem so they just do what their friend did, or; they looked up the answer online. Unfortunately everyone’s situation is different, and the law is an ever-changing creature.

Part of our role is to offer practical advice. As an example, we have clients who attend our office regularly with claims that fall within the small claims jurisdiction ($25,000 or less). Unfortunately, in most cases, you cannot recover your legal fees and so the cost of retaining a lawyer to represent you can often exceed what you might recover. Clearly it wouldn’t make sense to spend $10,000 on a lawyer to recover $5,000, but we can offer options, such as helping prepare you for court without appearing on your behalf.

The best investment anyone can make is to spend an hour with a lawyer. This will generally be at a cost, but you are not required to hire that lawyer on the spot. Ask them all the questions you might have and determine what your options are before getting started.

Overall the cost in having these initial steps assessed by a lawyer can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars by having the proper evidence, law and other resources at your fingertips.

Your first step should always be to see a lawyer. By doing so, you can know that your next step into the legal arena is done properly and with confidence.

Sheri is an associate lawyer with RDM Lawyers LLP in Abbotsford. She practises in the areas of labour and employment law, civil litigation, real estate, business law, and wills and estates law. Questions or comments about this article can be sent to legalease@abbynews.com.

 

Just Posted

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat greets fans outside of the Abbotsford Centre prior to the Canucks exhibition game against the Ottawa Senators in 2019. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
More jobs posted for Abbotsford AHL team

Five new opportunities accepting applicants, Comets forward Lukas Jasek signs in Finland

Singer Ben Cottrill performs during the 2019 Arty Awards at The Reach Gallery Museum, the last time the event was held in person. Cottrill received the award in the performing arts category. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Nominations now open for 2021 Arty Awards

Annual event hosted by Abbotsford Arts Council, with ceremony Sept. 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read