Pricing & Services – Lawyers & Paralegals (Toronto, Halton & Peel Regions only – please ask for pricing for other jurisdictions, as we can handle cases via our network of Agents in most places throughout Ontario. Please note that HST applies to all fees.)
(Prices appear below – but please read all information before going to prices.)
We are often asked – What is the difference between Lawyers & Paralegals?
LAWYERS: Lawyers are required to have completed undergraduate studies at University before even being permitted to compete to get into Law School. Typically applicants need to be ‘A’ University students, or near the top of their University programs in order to be competitive. They are then required to score in the top percentile (varies from year to year) on the Law School Entrance Exam (LSAT), which is a competition between all of the top University students who are trying to get into Law School. Approximately 150,000 people write the LSAT in Canada each year. Space in Law Schools are very limited, with students competing for about 1000 spaces per year in the entire Province of Ontario. In addition, there is then a complicated written application process to gain entry. If accepted, students then spend 3 more years studying full-time in Law School, followed by a year apprenticing (Articling) and then candidates are required to take the Bar Admission courses and successfully pass all exams in order to be called to the Bar of the Province and entitled to practice Law. It is a competitive, long, arduous and expensive process.
PARALEGALS: Until 2007, the paralegal industry was a completely unregulated industry, which meant that those practicing at the time required no formal training or experience and there was no oversight or regulation. The Law Society of Upper Canada was then charged with the task of taking over regulation of the industry. Paralegals must now be licensed to practice. Paralegals who were already in practice prior to 2007 had to pass a single Ethics exam but otherwise there was no required prerequisite of formal training – there are many still in practice. New Paralegals since then have been required to complete a College program; this program is optional for those grandfathered in.
All licensed legal service providers are now required to participate in annual professional development, which can include watching videos or attending seminars. All full-time Paralegals in our employ are required to also have completed the full College Program; we do not hire people without any formal post-secondary training.
CRIMINAL CHARGES – LAWYERS ONLY
It is critically important to note that only a Lawyer can handle Impaired / Over 80 or Refuse charges (the equivalent to DUI in the U.S.). Paralegal Companies are not permitted to retain clients for these types of services. A paralegal company cannot give you legal advice or handle a case of this nature and should not be advertising these types of services.
For Criminal or Serious Quasi-Criminal charges, only a premium level of service is appropriate. We will pull out all the stops, pursue every possible defence, investigate and speak to witnesses as required, speak to the Police as required, engage in legal research as required, engage in pre-trial discussions with the Crown or Judicial pre-trials with the Judge and Crown if required; pursue any and all available Charter Applications and remedies. Whatever can be done – will be done; with a view to achieving the very best result possible. Our first objective is always to seek to eliminate the charge completely, if that is not possible then we will seek to minimize the damage as far as possible by way of plea bargain to a more minor, sometimes non-criminal charge, or plead otherwise in accordance with your instructions in the event that there are no defences available. Alternatively, we will proceed to trial if there are defences potentially available.
We generally try to estimate fees to handle particular cases – we will need to speak to you further to determine the specific circumstances of your case before committing, but here are our general block fees: