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The players in the legal world definitely do not lack work these days. Indeed, lawyers receive cases by the ton and courts have been clogged up for years. Yet, still too many people involved in disputes revolving around a point of law hesitate to consult a lawyer! Urban legends about the profession in question surely do not help to convince skeptics.
For this reason, we want to show you how the legal profession in the Saguenay region works. You will find that these professionals, with their hard-earned skills, have more than one trick up their sleeve and will try their best to resolve your problem.
With the exception of general practitioners who touch on several areas of the law, a significant portion of lawyers focus on only a few areas of practice. These often have close ties to each other. This ensures that such lawyers are specialized in their legal field and are able to provide expert advice to help you settle your case.
Real Estate Law: The practice of real estate law encompasses not only real estate acquisition but also commercial and residential rental lease disputes. It is therefore a branch of law which brings together remedies of various legal natures. For example, disputes within a divided co-ownership (condominium) are common in the offices of real estate lawyers as are disputes between tenants and landlords.
They are also able to perform pre-purchase verification on all types of properties which gives you some assurance that there are no contractual defects.
Family law: Always ready to uplift the emotions and temperament of those involved, family law encompasses both positive and negative proceedings. Indeed, lawyers in family law are just as qualified in matters of divorce as of marriage, application for adoption and forfeiture of parental authority as well as all remedies for unpaid maintenance payments.
Youth Law: A sub-category of family law, youth law is such a delicate area that many lawyers dedicate their entire careers to without ever taking on other types of cases. Since any action in juvenile law must be aimed at one thing — the best interests of the child — and parental interests sometimes run counter to this key principle, lawyers must navigate these murky waters to tip the court to their client’s favor. A mandate that is complex and demanding, to say the least!
Business Law: Lawyers dedicate a large part of their services to various companies in Quebec in matters of incorporation, drafting of contracts, revision of shareholder agreements and commercial litigation. Far from being limited to large corporations, lawyers working in this area of law aim to represent all companies, regardless of the size of their structure.
Civil liability law: This field of law covers compensation for a wrongful act that has caused damage to a third party. By granting monetary compensation, we seek to restore the situation as much as possible, knowing that going back and erasing the facts is impossible.
Lawyers who work in civil liability have a limited scope as insurance and labor law have taken over much of this area. However, there are still several damages suffered that may justify compensation for you; it is still necessary that a fault or error must have been committed!
Criminal and penal law: No one finds himself in this area of law by choice! When a criminal charge is filed, you are potentially exposed to serious penalties. Imprisonment is certainly not a career path you envisioned so consult a lawyer who practices primarily or even exclusively in criminal law; this will put the odds of success on your side.
Insurance law: An insurer refuses to pay you compensation that you believe is due? Do you disagree with the interpretation of your insurance policy? Hire a lawyer who will represent your interests against those of your insurer. Your lawyer may, using his legal knowledge and negotiating skills, succeed in securing the compensation you desire!
While it is sometimes advisable to hire a lawyer, there are other situations when the services of such a professional are no longer just an option but a necessity! If you are in any of the following situations, act fast and find a lawyer with help from Compare Lawyers !
When you are under arrest. The time of your arrest is not the time to tell your side of the story or try to explain your alibi. As long as you are in handcuffs, remain silent, ask to speak to a lawyer, and continue to remain silent until the requested lawyer has arrived.
When you receive a formal notice. Such a document accuses you of behavior which the issuer considers to be faulty and which it orders you to correct. A formal notice may ask you to cease an action or to initiate an action when inaction is the source of the problem. Seeking advice from a lawyer will give you a good indication of the seriousness of the case but also of the steps to take to prevent the situation from escalating further.
When you receive a subpoena or subpoena. When someone is suing you in civil proceedings or summons you to testify in such a case, it is essential that you receive legal advice before going to the courthouse. Even if you are only called as a witness, you will want to receive some directions before taking the stand.
If your rights are violated by a third party. When you are the victim of abuse by another person, it is essential to consult a lawyer. Indeed, a legal professional will take charge of your case and represent you throughout the proceedings, regardless of the nature of the dispute you wish to bring to court.
Not committing a criminal offense is an effective way to avoid a criminal conviction. Aside from this admonishment, knowing that life is full of complex situations especially in criminal cases, it is important to know the ramifications of a guilty verdict in a criminal court.
Criminal record. The information stored in your file will theoretically stay for the duration of your life and is accessible to the public. The nature of your crime, the year of the conviction, as well as the facts relating to the crime committed, are all recorded in this file.
Difficulties in finding a job. Employers are not expected to discriminate against potential employees with criminal records. The exception to the rule is when the crime is related to the desired job or the nature of the profession prevents such a mistake. For example, the Barreau du Québec does not admit applicants with a criminal record due to the nature of the job provided by their training.
Restricted international travel. As each country is sovereign and independent, the laws on international travel with a criminal record vary from country to country. For example, many people know that the United States denies entry to its territory to Canadian travelers who have been convicted of a criminal offense. While the laws from place to place may change, there is one thing that remains true; your records could complicate travel and could potentially get you in trouble abroad.
Refused when applying for housing. There is no law preventing landlords from renting to people with criminal records. While a criminal record is not recognized as a ground for discrimination, you may, nevertheless, have difficulty finding accommodation with such a legal history.
Higher cost of insurance policies. Insurers are also entitled to increase the price of their insurance policy when a person has been convicted of a criminal act. The reason is that the risk incurred by the insurer is higher by insuring such a person, which, according to insurers, justifies a price increase. It is also recommended that you notify your insurer of your criminal record because in the event of an accident or loss, they may refuse to pay you compensation and cancel the policy in question.
In civil matters, lawsuits against neighbors stopping them from fully enjoying their property are commonplace. After all, being near strangers with only a fence separating you can be a recipe that leads to conflict! While some neighbors deserve to be held responsible for their misconduct, you will find that the legal requirements to do so are high.
Prove an “unreasonable” neighborhood inconvenience. The provision of the Civil Code of Quebec governing neighborhood disturbances speaks of exceptional inconveniences which “exceed the reasonable limits of tolerance that they should”. To know what is reasonable, you have to look at the nature of the place, their use, and the situation in question.
There is no point in going after your neighbor because his children are screaming while playing in the pool or his barbecue emits a smell that gives you, as a vegetarian, unbearable heartaches. These are drawbacks which the court find to be part of community life and which do not exceed the limits of tolerance.
Rather, it will be necessary to prove concrete damage that goes beyond what is found in a good neighborhood similar to yours. The bar is high to say the least!
Liability for neighborhood disturbances: a no-fault regime! Neighborhood disturbances are part of Quebec civil liability but are part of a separate regime. Indeed, while traditional liability requires wrongful behavior, damage, and a causal link of the two aforementioned criteria, neighborhood disturbances are part of a no-fault liability regime.
This means that the moment one person prevents another from fully enjoying his right to his property and his actions exceed those that are tolerable in a good neighbor, he will be liable for compensation to his neighbor. This is true even if the first one made no mistake!
While you don’t need to know the law inside and out to get the most out of a lawyer, being familiar with how some legal documents work will give you a head start. This is especially true if you became involved in a dispute unwillingly and you receive legal documents before you have hired a lawyer. Before you start to panic, understand the effects of such documents.
Formal notice: As mentioned in the previous section, the notice is intended to encourage the other party to comply with the requests you submitted. It is not compulsory to send one before prosecuting someone (but strongly recommended) and failure to comply with a formal notice has no legal effect.
Subpoena: When you are given a subpoena, a person is suing you in civil proceedings for damages or other civil law remedies. It is mandatory to comply with a subpoena when it requires your presence in court.
Summons: Similar to a subpoena, a subpoena is aimed at witnesses called for a civil trial. Often given by a bailiff, this document obliges the summoned witness to appear in court at the time and place indicated. Note, however, that witnesses are compensated up to $90 per day for their time spent testifying.
If you are unsure of the facts with which you are charged, the legal effects of the document you have received, or if you simply need legal advice on how best to handle the case, contact Compare Lawyers without delay!
Under Quebec civil law, the word given is theoretically sufficient to create a contract and force the parties to it to respect the obligations arising therefrom. This is why a simple verbal contract is perfectly valid, although it is not recommended because of the difficulties in proving it. This is all the more inadvisable considering that it is possible that your co-contracting party decides not to perform his part of the obligations.
In such circumstances, are you justified in doing the same thing and refusing to follow through on your own obligations? The answer is yes, but several conditions must be met for this to be done in accordance with the law. In fact, the law qualifies this rule as “the exception of non-performance” and it allows a party to the contract to refuse to perform his corresponding obligation when the first contractor does not himself perform his end.
This rule stems from the fact that the Civil Code provides that any obligee has the right to demand that it be performed fully, correctly and without delay. When this is not the case, the right to apply the exception of non-performance arises. It is also a form of “leverage” on the contractor to force him to comply but only when the following conditions are followed to the letter.
Reciprocal obligations: For a contracting party to invoke the exception of non-performance, it is necessary to be in the presence of a contract qualified as synallagmatic, that is to say, within which the performance of one depends on the performance the other. A concrete example would be the obligation to pay a delivery person for goods. There is no need to deliver these goods if the other party does not pay the cost just as there is no need to pay the delivery person if he does not deliver the goods.
Due obligation: To justify not following up on one’s own obligation, the obligation of the other must still have become due. This means that the co-contracting party must be in default of performance and the exception of non-performance cannot be raised if the term for performing the service has not been reached. You have to give the party a chance to execute.
Substantial non-performance: The slightest non-performance will not in itself justify invoking the exception of non-performance. For example, if a person is doing almost all of the work that they have agreed to do and only a small percentage is missing, the counterparty will not be justified in withholding full payment. The breach of contract must be substantial in order to invoke this rule.
Priority: Another very logical aspect of the breach exception rule is that of the priority of performance. This is because a contractor cannot refuse to perform if he is required to do so first under the terms of the contract. This remains equally true even if he has reason to believe that his co-contractor will not comply.
Does this non-performance cancel the obligations contracted? No, the non-performance exception does not have the effect of canceling the obligations entered into, but rather of suspending them until the defaulting contractor performs. As mentioned earlier, this is a way of putting pressure on your contractor to comply.
Beware of the exception for default! Some contracts can turn out to be much more complex than they seem so consult a lawyer in the Saguenay region before terminating your contractual obligations.
When a co-contractor refuses to perform, the first thing to do is to give him notice to perform the obligations to which he is bound. This is mainly done by sending a “lawyer letter”, but the law provides for other ways to put someone on notice to demand the fulfillment of their obligations.
But what is the difference between “default” and the “formal notice”. The first signifies the state in which the defaulting contractor finds itself when it is required by the obligee to perform. The formal notice is usually the notice which gives a deadline to be observed before being in the status of default. What is more, the law requires that the defaulting contractor be in a state of default in order to avail of certain rights such as the exception of non-performance.
Here are the main ways you can get someone to comply!
By the contract itself: It is possible and even strongly recommended to provide in the terms of a contract that the contractor who refuses to perform will be in default after a period of non-performance stipulated in the contract. In doing so, as soon as the deadline is exceeded, the contractor will automatically be in default.
Extrajudicial formal notice: This is the most frequent form of default and it simply consists of sending a letter (preferably through a lawyer) to the opposing party, indicating the alleged non-performance and the time he has to fully execute.
Default as of right: Certain legal situations are created so that no formal notice is necessary, thus putting the contracting party in default from the time of default or from the time indicated in the text of the law.
Default by legal action: The fact of filing a legal action against his co-contracting party has the effect of putting the latter in default. However, it is not advisable to wait until this crucial step to put the debtor in default, as this could force the plaintiff to pay legal costs.
Time to act usefully: When the debtor leaves the time he had to act and remedy the problem, it is not necessary to put him in default. The criterion of utility is essential in order to avail this rule; late performance of the obligation must render it unnecessary.
Failure to act in an emergency: When the debtor, or the person who would usually be put in default, does not act when there was an urgent need to act, it will not be necessary to put him in default. This is the case of a contractual breach which needs to be accomplished promptly because of risks either to the material integrity of certain goods or to security.
Why should you always send a formal notice through a lawyer? The rules mentioned above are clearly stipulated by the law but they still have certain gray areas or elements that are subject to debate, especially when the debtor disputes the fact that he was in default to perform.
To prevent the trial from dragging on from the start simply to find out whether the debtor was in default and even risk losing the case simply because of this formality, it is always better to use the extrajudicial notice through a qualified lawyer! In this way, the document sent to your co-contracting party will be drafted clearly and in accordance with the requirements of the law.
Start your recourse on the right foot with Compare Lawyers and ask a lawyer to draft your formal notice by filling out the form on the page!
The price of a lawyer is determined by many factors but it is always set by the lawyer himself. Hourly rates for legal services range from $150 to $350, depending on the lawyer chosen. One thing is certain, it is essential to compare your options before making a choice and to know what are the factors influencing the cost of legal services.
Factors Influencing Lawyers’ Fees:
Variations in legal fees: The hourly rate is the form of remuneration that you are most likely to encounter due to its popularity with lawyers and its fairness. However, do not be surprised if your lawyer opts for a fixed price, a salary conditional on victory in court, a percentage salary on the earnings or if he requires from you an advance paid in trust.
Some ethical obligations for billing: The fees of a lawyer are subject to a few provisions under the code of ethics which establishes the principle of proportionality. This principle stipulates that the fees charged must represent the efforts put into the case depending on its complexity, the number of hours spent, and the financial status of the client.
Knowledge of the law is not very common with people who do not work in the legal field. Thus, it would be foolish not to ask your lawyer a few good questions when meeting him! If there aren’t any bad questions, there are still some you should definitely take the trouble to ask.
While there are no wrong questions, there are some that you definitely need to ask!
How many years of experience do you have as a lawyer?
The number of years of experience in law is an invaluable asset. While legal training is rigorous and gives lawyers invaluable skills, there is nothing like hands-on professional practice to making a really good lawyer.
What type of cases have you handled in the past?
Besides the number of years of experience, the experience of the lawyer is another important aspect of his practice. If your dispute falls into the realm of family law and your lawyer has always focused on contract disputes, he may not have the experience needed in successfully resolving your case. Rather, try pairing up with a lawyer who has already settled cases like yours to get a clear advantage!
What are his working methods and what does he expect in terms of collaboration?
Although he is the expert at the legal level, you are the expert at the factual level. Since the practice of law is about giving a factual application to the rules of law, you will need to work with your lawyer to give them the best chance to present your situation properly. The more details are available, the better your lawyer is able to apply the law. You should, therefore, discuss the methods of collaboration between you and your lawyer at your first meeting.
What are the reasons that prompted your lawyer to take charge of your case?
Lawyers are in not obligated to accept cases presented to them. Indeed, many lawyers do not accept cases which they believe to be ridiculous, futile, or with little hope of victory. Thus, it is good to ask your lawyer what motivated him to accept your case.
Does he believe you have a good chance of winning?
You are about to wage a legal fight and go to “war”. It would, therefore, be wise to ask your lawyer if he really believes in your chances of winning and if not, what viable alternative does he recommend in place of a traditional trial.
Have you decided to take legal action and need a lawyer to help you?
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