When to Call a Canadian Lawyer



Natalie Fraser

By consulting a lawyer in matters such as separation and divorce, or wills and estates, Canadian residents receive peace of mind in knowing that nothing has been overlooked. Using a kit to write a will instead of consulting a Canadian lawyer may seem like a bargain, but not when compared with the risk of leaving loved ones insufficiently provided for because of complexities not addressed by the kit.

Canadian lawyers use their knowledge and experience to protect their clients' interests and to ensure their clients effectively solve their legal problems.

Alternatives to Hiring a Canadian Lawyer

Trying alternatives before hiring a Canadian lawyer may assist in resolving some types of legal problems. For example, after buying a defective product, contacting the salesperson who sold it or the owner of the business from which it was purchased to discuss the problem may bring an offer of compensation. Contacting the customer service department of the business may also assist in resolving the issue. Most businesses recognize the value of a satisfied customer, motivating them to resolve problems before they escalate.

Provincial or federal consumer agencies in Canada provide another route for dissatisfied consumers to try. These agencies assist people who wish to file a complaint against a business, and often offer their services through the Internet. As well, community organizations in Canada such as associations for the elderly or ratepayers associations can often provide their members with useful resources in resolving legal disputes.

Alternate dispute resolution (ADR) offers another option to resolve legal disputes, as opposed to bringing a court action. Mediation, one kind of ADR, involves hiring a neutral third party who facilitates communications between the disputing parties in order to find a solution satisfactory to both. ADR can encourage creative problem solving and avoid the intensity and expense of litigation.

Although other options can bring positive results, a consultation with a Canadian lawyer provides the safest route to resolving serious legal issues.

Limitation Periods in Canada

Legal deadlines called limitation periods present a major reason to consult a Canadian lawyer quickly regarding serious legal issues. Limitation periods in Canada place time limits on filing a lawsuit. For example, legislation may require a party who has suffered property damage due to a municipality's negligence to notify the municipality of the damage within two weeks. Without notification within the two week time period, the party loses the right to sue the municipality.

Limitation periods vary greatly based on the facts and type of legal action involved, and even vary from province to province. Consulting a Canadian lawyer quickly ensures limitation periods aren't missed and allows clients to preserve essential legal rights.

Natalie Fraser practised law in Whitby, Ontario for seventeen years and is now a freelance legal writer. She often writes for The Lawyers Weekly.


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