What is more stressful than being in the middle of a legal dispute that threatens to turn into a lawsuit? This is what thousands of Quebecers experience from time to time as they are drawn into civil disputes or even criminal cases. Finding yourself in a legal system that is anything but simple requires that you have a qualified and knowledgeable lawyer by your side.


The Quebec legal system is complex and necessitates a legal expert to guide you.


This is why you must hire a lawyer when a situation like this arises. While litigation is complex for both the plaintiff and the defendant, it is not a hopeless situation- a good lawyer can get you out of a tight spot. Here is how a lawyer working in the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu region can assist you!


The different specializations of lawyers

Professions have the particularity of having many specialties. That of the lawyer is no exception. In fact, lawyers not only specialize in a specific area of law, but they also aim for a style of practice that is unique to them. This choice will dictate not only their ability to manage different files, but also the quality of the customer experience. To ensure that yours meets your expectations, identify your needs adequately among the following specializations.

Litigator: Courts of justice have their own particular decorum and rules of practice that it is essential to know in order to fall into the good favor of the judge and ultimately succeed. Argumentation that is devoid of legal merits will not fly high in court. Even within the legal community, some lawyers avoid appearing before high courts, leaving this specialized practice to litigators.

They are advocates who specialize in litigation before the courts and are particularly useful in matters of civil litigation or in criminal trials. In the latter, their talent for legal debate can convince a judge or jury of your innocence and should not be overlooked!

Litigation Counsel: The largest companies in Quebec sometimes have a very broad and important field of activity which forces them to maintain close links with the legal world. For this reason, they hire their own lawyers to settle legal matters concerning the company and to work with external lawyers in important cases.

Tax Lawyer: Tax laws are so overwhelmingly complex that it should come as no surprise that lawyers specialize in interpreting and applying them. Their services, although primarily intended for businesses, are also offered to individuals with significant assets or a particularly complex financial situation. The usefulness of tax lawyers is visible in their approach to optimizing the payment of taxes, budget, contributions, and tax deductions as well as the development of a comprehensive financial strategy.

Legal Advisor: Not all cases require the full support of a lawyer. Sometimes all you need is some expert advice to improve your situation. While some lawyers prefer complex cases requiring such intervention, others are more than happy to offer simple legal advice and opinions to both individuals and businesses.

Legal aid lawyers: Whether they work directly for a community legal aid center or accept clients who meet the eligibility criteria, legal aid lawyers promote access to justice for low-income individuals. Check your eligibility with a lawyer or legal aid center in your area!


Lawyer Fees: What Price Should You Pay?

As with any service, you will have a bill to pay by hiring a lawyer. It is also true that legal services have a reputation for being expensive. However, you don’t have to come to terms with your fate without taking the time to explore your options. By understanding how lawyer fees work, you are putting the odds in your favor!


Know the cost of your lawyer’s services at the first meeting.


When is it justified for the lawyer to ask for an advance?
Your lawyer may ask you for a cash advance to start working on your case. This can be requested at the start of the file or even en route. Can you refuse such a request? Not if you want the lawyer to continue working on your case! However, you can demand a justification and explanations in relation to this requested amount.

What are the price differences between the different lawyers?
There are many factors that affect the cost of a lawyer’s services. The difficulty of your case is a considerable factor that will greatly influence your bill. However, factors such as the lawyer’s experience, reputation, affiliation, and your location can all have an impact. What hourly rate can you expect? Lawyers charge from $150 to $350 an hour for their services.

The ethical duties of a lawyer
Regardless of the hourly rate set by your lawyer or the advances requested, legal invoicing is always governed by the provisions of the Code of ethics of lawyers. This provides for duties on the part of the lawyer, meaning that he must justify the amount of his fees, justify cost overruns, and ensure that the final amount is proportional to the service offered.

Worried about paying too much for your legal fees? One of the best ways to avoid this scenario is to compare the different lawyers available to you. This is what Compare Lawyer Quotes can help you with!


What type of cases are handled by the Small Claims Court?

In Quebec, there are several courts charged to hear civil and criminal cases. Despite this, each of the courts in the province has what is termed exclusive jurisdiction; there is no case that can be heard by both the Court of Quebec and the Superior Court. It is necessary to determine which one is competent. Also, for smaller claims, you should go directly to the Small Claims Court.


The small claims court handles small claims for money below $15,000.


This court is actually called the Small Claims Division of the Civil Division of the Court of Quebec. It is a specialized court for disputes of such low pecuniary value that the intervention of a lawyer is prohibited; the two sides clash without legal representation. The limit for the value of a litigation before interest in Small Claims Court is $ 15,000 or less as of 2019.

Who can file a request? Anyone with legal personality can apply. Thus, both an individual and a company can appear in Small Claims Court. Certain groups of employees of 10 or less will also be allowed to apply.

What are the prohibited claims in the Small Claims Court? In terms of prohibited degrees, the Small Claims Court provides that certain cases cannot be presented before it, even if the amount at stake is less than $15,000.  Among these are defamation lawsuits, the purchase of debts, an appeal for alimony, or a dispute over a lease. In the latter case, the Régie du logement has exclusive jurisdiction to hear the case.

How much are the small claims court costs? Court fees represent the amount that must be paid in order to use the justice system. Each court stipulates its own legal costs and those of the Small Claims Court are $103 for claims of $5,000 and under, $190 for claims between $5,000 and $10,000 or $205 for claims between $10,000 and $15,000.

Just because legal representation in the small claims court is prohibited does not mean that you cannot consult a lawyer before showing up. There is no reason to forego legal advice before going to small claims court!


What services do lawyers provide in matters of inheritance?

Settling an estate is a necessary step that most people find unpleasant. In addition to the strong emotions involved in the death of a loved one, the countless legal and administrative formalities are a heavy burden to carry for those charged with liquidating the estate. However, there are many ways a lawyer can help you with this important task!

Estate planning: By planning in advance the protocol to be followed after a person’s death makes life easier for everyone involved. Writing a clear will, implementing a strategy for distributing assets to heirs, and planning a way to save taxes are all proactive ways to properly plan for a death.

Drafting a Will: As lawyers are not public officers with the same powers as notaries, the wills they draft do not have the value of an authentic instrument like notarial wills. Lawyers write wills before witnesses but with the advantage of being prepared by an expert in legal drafting and of being kept in the registers of the Barreau du Québec.

Assistance with the liquidation of an estate: Liquidating an estate involves many complex and technical steps. The worst part of all is that it is often a relative of the deceased with limited legal knowledge who is appointed as the liquidator of the estate. Fortunately, lawyers offer services to assist these liquidators in carrying out their mandate.

Will and Mandate Searches: Few people know that one of the biggest problems in terms of estate settlement is finding the deceased person’s will. While this problem is eliminated with the drafting of a notarial will, holographic wills are sometimes lost or their whereabouts are unknown.

Estate lawyers sometimes work with notaries to provide you with state-of-the-art estate legal service. Don’t hesitate to explore this option!


Why do you need to hire a lawyer to settle an estate dispute?

Although a notary is considered a lawyer for inheritance law, when a dispute arises in the settlement of an estate, it is to a lawyer that you should turn! The reason is, first of all, the fact that notaries are not authorized to undertake litigation which falls exclusively within the purview of lawyers.

Although discord is the last thing people need when there is a death in the family, your rights still need to be protected with the help of a lawyer. If you are in any of the following situations, now is the time to act!


Ensure the equitable distribution of the estate with help from an estate lawyer.


Breach of the duties of the liquidator of the succession: The work of the liquidator of an estate
is often thought to be a thankless job since he acts voluntarily, in addition to having to respect an exhaustive list of legal and administrative responsibilities. In addition, a breach of obligations such as prudence and diligence, inventory, accountability, and others opens the door to a lawsuit against the liquidator.

Whether you are the liquidator targeted by the lawsuit or the heir who claims a breach of duties, it is imperative to consult a lawyer as soon as possible because such a situation could paralyze the settlement of the estate.

Request for false registration: Such a procedure consists in fact of contesting an authentic instrument by alleging that the public official (often a notary) made a mistake in the registration of the facts that he was instructed to ascertain. In the context of a will, false registration could apply if the notary has indicated the wrong heirs in the will, for example. However, not all disputes will require such a procedure and it is your estate litigation lawyer who will tell you what to do.

Inequitable division of family patrimony: The fact that the deceased named specific heirs other than their surviving spouse does not change the fact that the provisions of the family patrimony continue to apply if the couple were married. It happens that the liquidator of the estate does not know enough about the laws of marriage to properly distribute the property while respecting the right of the surviving spouse to half the value of the family patrimony.

An estate dispute can quickly escalate and make the settlement of the estate complex and frustrating. Check the benefits of hiring a lawyer to make your job easier!


The advantages of hiring a lawyer for the division of the estate

Even before a conflict arises among the heirs, the services of a lawyer specializing in inheritance law may be relevant, especially if the friction is palpable even before the reading of the will. Don’t worry, an estate lawyer can help you!

Ensure proper division: An estate may pit the rights of several heirs against those of a surviving spouse, a business partner, children of the deceased, and the latter’s creditors. Even when the testator has done his best to make a clear and unambiguous will, the wills may not correspond exactly to the letter of the law, especially if the will was not drawn up by a notary.

Mediation among heirs: When a large sum of money, real estate or a family business is bequeathed to several heirs, discord can be inevitable. Being well aware of this situation, lawyers offer mediation services between heirs so that they can proceed with the partition. This is much more advantageous for everyone than leaving the division to a judge.

Preservation of the Family Business: Leaving a family business seems easier to do than it is to run it which is even more so if one heir was actively running the business and the others were not. Specific legal provisions such as the preferential allocation of the family business have been put in place in order to simplify the legacy of such a business.

Questions about settling an estate? Hire a lawyer specializing in inheritance law in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to help you.


How can a lawyer help you contest a will?

The final wishes of a deceased person are always expressed through a will. This is the only document that legally allows an individual’s instructions to be recorded in the event of death. However, for these to be valid and binding, the legal requirements must be met.

If you suspect that something is wrong with your loved one’s will or that the wishes on record do not represent what you have been told, then this is a good reason to consult a lawyer! Here are the main ways to contest a will with a lawyer!

Dispute on the form: There are three ways of making a will in Quebec, either the holographic way, in front of witnesses, or in notarial form. Each of them requires compliance with certain conditions stipulated by the law. When these conditions are not met, the validity of the will should be challenged with the help of a lawyer. This may be relevant if, for example, the holographic will was not written by hand or in the hand of the testator or if the will before witnesses is incomplete.

Undue Influence: Contesting a will because of undue influence consists in invoking the fact that the deceased was manipulated in an unlawful manner before his death by a person named in the will so that the provisions are in his favor. This can take the form of various threats, manipulation or abuse, which you will have to prove if you want to establish the presence of undue influence.

Incapacity: To form a legally valid legal act, whether it is a contract or a will, the author must have the necessary capacity to do so. . If you believe that the loved one who passed did not have the necessary capacity when preparing the will, you can prove it in court. However, be aware that the ability to test, that is, to prepare a will, is presumed. It is, therefore, up to the one who alleges an inability to prove it.

Contesting a holograph will: A holographic will is one that was written by the hand of the testator.  To illustrate how the holographic will works, it is any piece of paper on which the testator has written his wishes as long as they are written down in his own handwriting. To challenge such a writing, you will need to seek the right experts to help you prove that it is neither the signature nor the handwriting of your loved one.

Why turn to the lawyer when the notary is the expert in wills? For the same reasons that inheritance litigation is the responsibility of the lawyer rather than a notary; the dispute is outside the latter’s domain and is the sole responsibility of a lawyer. This is particularly true if conflict turns into litigation and ends up in court.

If you want to dispute a will in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, you need the services of an expert referred by Compare Lawyer Quotes! Fill out the form at the bottom of the page to get connected with competent lawyers in your area!


What is an Ombudsman and when is it time to contact one?

A dispute can arise between two neighbors, two uncles, or two complete strangers. What is more surprising is when such a dispute arises between an individual and a government department. This is an argument that leaves one side at a serious disadvantage, and it’s not hard to guess which one. For these specific disputes, it is essential to contact a specialist called the Ombudsman, also referred to as a Protector of Citizens.

Specifically, the Ombudsman is responsible for hearing disputes between a citizen and a government agency or department or the health or social services network. His services are needed to level the playing field and make it easier for the underdog. His role therefore consists mainly of:

  • Handling complaints from individuals against a public body;
  • Hear the claims of each of the parties;
  • Do a factual check;
  • Judge the relevance of the complaint;
  • Recommend a solution.

In particular, the services of the Ombudsman are useful for filing a complaint against the services of an insurance company, a hospital, an educational institution, a municipality, or another body of the public function. To ensure neutrality, deal with an Ombudsman who does not work directly for the entity with which you have a dispute.


Child custody and alimony: why hire a family lawyer?

Among the many appeals filed in Quebec courts, child custody and alimony petitions are two of the most common. Delicate in nature, these situations require the intervention of a lawyer specializing in family law. Here are the main points that will be addressed in a spousal support or child support petition.

Determine the payor and the recipient of the support. Before submitting a claim to court for child support, it is important to identify which parent will have primary, if not sole, custody of the children in order to determine which parent should pay child support to the other. This is the reason why requests for support are almost always accompanied by a request for custody.

The calculation of the support to be paid and the criteria considered:

Parents ‘income: The parents’ income before taxes must be established for the purposes of support calculations. Disposable income (net income – compulsory expenditure) must also be established.

The number of children: The number of children affects the amount of support payable. A conversion table exists to determine how much a parent must pay based on their income and the number of dependent children.

Costs related to children: When the child incurs costs that exceed his basic needs, they will be taken into account for the purposes of the calculation. (Ex: Private school, glasses, care not covered by RAMQ, etc.)

Parents’ ability to pay: The law states that the pension cannot amount to more than half of a parent’s disposable income.

Parents’ Assets and Liabilities: What is the point of calculating debts and assets? This is because a parent with a low income may see their support payment increased if they have significant assets.

Several lawyers in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu specialize in the field of family law and are ready to help you with your petition for alimony or support. Use the free form on this page to connect with the best lawyer in your area to handle your case.


Important Questions for your lawyer in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

The law is a complex subject but it is certainly interesting, even for those who see it as an amalgam of incomprehensible rules. When your personal interests are at stake, you will be surprised at your renewed interest in the law. One of the best ways to take control of your case and increase your chances of hiring a lawyer who matches your needs is to ask the following questions!


Don’t hesitate to ask questions from a lawyer to find one that matches your needs.


What strategy does he recommend to resolve your case?
As you consult multiple lawyers and take the time to compare legal experts, you will notice that not all lawyers hold the same beliefs when it comes to dispute resolution. Some jump at the opportunity to go to court, while others opt instead for out-of-court settlements or alternative resolution methods. You will certainly have a personal preference so it will be important to choose a lawyer with whom you share a common vision.

Does he plan to appeal your case in the event of a setback at first instance?
You should only consider an appeal if your case is of significant importance and not just emotionally. It takes a tremendous amount of time and even more money to appeal a case. So the potential financial return must be worth it. This is a discussion you should have with your lawyer, in addition to asking if he or she is willing to support you until the appeal.

How does the client-lawyer relationship work in his practice?
The resolution of a legal case does not happen overnight. You will be in contact with your lawyer for a good period of time during which you must be kept informed of developments in your case and consulted about various decisions. Not all lawyers do the same type of follow-ups; if you have special requests, make them clear!

How much does he charge for his services?
You have the right to know the estimated cost of the services of your lawyer! You can ask for an estimate that he will try to meet. Nothing will prevent him from exceeding the amount set, if necessary, but he will have to justify the increases at that time. Asking him for the amount of his hourly rate and the estimated time to settle the case are two good starting points!


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  • Divorce/Separation
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