Administrative Information for New Clients

Business Hours and Appointments  

  1. Our business hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  2. Technology has changed both the ways in which lawyers get instructions from our clients, and how we serve our clients. It is not necessary, as it may have been, for my clients to make frequent visits to my office, and I try to minimize the number of appointments that are needed. I encourage you to use voicemail, e-mail and fax to communicate with me as much as possible.
  3. My preferred way of communicating on your file will be electronic mail. I am moving away from paper files to storing all file material, where possible, electronically. As a result, your file will predominantly be stored in electronic format, and the correspondence on your file will be sent in electronic format, whenever possible. If you have e-mail that you can rely on for private, confidential communications, I will use e-mail to communicate with you, including sending you letters, accounts and copies of the material I send and receive on your file. If I cannot use your e-mail address for these purposes, please let me know. Unless I hear otherwise from you, I am assuming that I can use e-mail to send you this material and that you check your email regularly.
  4. Unfortunately, the available technology for electronic communication is vulnerable to attack by viruses and other destructive electronic programs. As a result, while I have sought to take countermeasures, my system may occasionally reject a communication you send to me, or I may send you something that is rejected by your system. Accordingly, I cannot guarantee that all communications and documents will always be received, or that such communications and documents will always be virus free, and I make no warranty with respect to any electronic communications between us. In addition, I make no warranty with respect to the security of any electronic communication between us and you consent to our exchange of electronic communications, including confidential documents, unencrypted.
  5. Although I would encourage you to use e-mail as the primary method of communicating with me, I remind you that for urgent contact, the telephone is preferable. You can learn from the telephone whether the lawyer is in the office to help you that day, a feature not available through e-mail.
  6. You may be asked to provide the lawyer with written material, in the course of my work for you. This is often an efficient way to get historical or detailed information from you in order to prepare court documents. The written material you provide will be extremely helpful, may be able to be used in several aspects of your case, and will result in greater efficiency for me and reduced legal fees for you. I prefer to get this material in electronic format (by e-mail), and if you can provide it to me this way, it will save you money.
  7. You can reach the members of the firm at the following electronic addresses:
  8. The law firm, generally
    kiera@kllaw.ca

    Kiera Le, Lawyer
    kiera@kllaw.ca
  9. If you don't currently own an answering machine at home or have a voice-mail system, I suggest that you get one now. I need to be able to reach you promptly, and if it is difficult or time-consuming to reach you by telephone, it may even cost you more money in legal fees. If you are not reachable through electronic mail and don't currently own a fax machine, but may be getting a fax machine soon, now is a good time to get one. I have found that I can serve our clients who do not have electronic mail, but who do have fax machines, faster and cheaper, particularly with regard to the drafting of documents. It may also result in fewer trips to our office for you to review material, or give me instructions. It will also reduce the cost to you of couriers, which are sometimes needed when time lines are short.
  10. The lawyer accept appointments with a starting time as follows:
  11. Kiera Le - between the hours of 10:00a.m. and 4:30p.m. Tuesday to Thursday. Other appointment times are available, please discuss with the lawyer.
  12. In special circumstances, appointments may be available with the lawyer outside normal business hours (that is, after 5:00 p.m.). However, those appointments are the exception. As these appointment times are popular, they are often the first appointments to be booked, and may not be available in the same week that you request such an appointment.
  13. The lawyer is not available for consultation without appointments. Please don't "drop in" hoping to see the lawyer.
  14. Weekend and holiday appointments are not generally available.
  15. Certain aspects of law are crisis oriented, and on occasion, lawyers are called to court on short notice, or are required to stay in court longer than they expected. Consequently, on occasion, appointments may have to be rescheduled or even cancelled on short notice. Every effort will be made to provide you with as much notice as possible, should that be necessary. If you are booking an appointment with the lawyer on a day that is a court day for the lawyer, it is a good idea to confirm the appointment with the lawyer before that day.
Back to top

Telephone Calls  

  1. This firm returns all telephone calls and wherever possible, within two (2) business days. Except for emergencies, calls are usually returned in the order they are received.
  2. This firm has a voicemail system. You can leave a detailed confidential message. The person you intend to contact will listen directly to your message. Also, you can learn the lawyer's availability to help you from their phone greeting (e.g., "I'm in court today and will return calls tomorrow").
  3. Voicemail has changed the way business is conducted. It allows us to actually conduct business in messages, sometimes even "back and forth". I hope you will use my system this way to ensure the smooth and prompt progress of your case.
  4. It is very helpful to me, and it is in your financial interest, that you leave the purpose of your call with any message.
  5. The lawyer in this firm also practices litigation, which means she is often in court. When she is in court, and particularly, when she is involved in a trial, it is not possible for the lawyer herself to return telephone calls.
  6. Lawyers charge for the time they spend. You will be charged for all your contact with the lawyer, including telephone calls, voicemail and e-mail.
  7. There is a cost to you for every contact you have with the lawyer, so it is in your financial interest to make your contact with the lawyers valuable to both you and the firm. You should think of telephone calls with a lawyer as though they were long distance calls, for which you are billed by the minute. Where possible, minimize the contact you have with the lawyer, unless the purpose of your contact can only be satisfied by a discussion with the lawyer.
  8. Organize yourself before you phone, and ensure you have all the information you need available for the telephone call. Also, consider taking notes during your meetings and telephone calls with the lawyer. This is common sense, and good business.
Back to top

Accounts  

  1. If you have questions about your accounts, (either regarding fees or disbursements) please direct all inquiries first to the assistant of the lawyer involved.
  2. The more work you do for yourself, the less work you will need done by the lawyer. If you can save time for the lawyer, it will save you money in fees.
  3. Anytime you are giving the lawyer a collection of documents (court documents or financial documents, for example) it is in your financial interest to put those documents in chronological order first, and to prepare an index or list of the material you are giving us. If you do this, it will reduce the work needed by us to organize the material. It is the first thing the lawyer will do when the firm receives the documents.
  4. Come to your meetings and any telephone calls with the lawyer prepared, possibly with a list of questions or subject areas you need to have covered.
Back to top

What is the Lawyer's Job  

  1. Your lawyer will help you by providing leadership to you in a difficult time. This leadership means providing direction to you, to help you to identify and eliminate the risks and dangers in your situation, as well as to help you understand your options and opportunities. It means working with you to design a plan to help you make progress and achieve success in the areas of your life where you are looking for legal advice. You will be the one to make the decisions. One of the goals of this leadership is to help you experience ever-increasing confidence and independence, so you can look more optimistically at the path that you will take through personal difficulties to a more positive future.
Back to top

The Conduct of your Case  

  1. Most of my clients do not want their case to go to court. Most would like to negotiate a settlement. That is not always possible. It is not in your interest to negotiate on an open-ended basis, as that does not always accomplish a cost-efficient resolution. Some long negotiations end up costing more than it would've cost to simply start the court case. My firm will negotiate for you for a period of three months after I have given the other side our financial information. If no progress is being made (and particularly if I have not received the other side's financial disclosure) I will start a court case. This is a tactical decision (when to start the court case) and it is a decision that the lawyer makes.
Back to top

File Transfers  

  1. If you are transferring your file to me from another lawyer, it will be necessary for me to review the correspondence and documentation provided and ensure that it is complete and organized. You will be billed for this time spent, and for any time spent organizing the material received. You can minimize this expense by making sure that the material from your previous lawyer is put in chronological order.
  2. If you are transferring your file to another lawyer from me, you need to remember that you will have already been sent copies of all letters and court documents during our work for you. You should keep them organized, as this may make such a transfer to another lawyer quicker and cheaper. If you have not kept the copies we sent you, I will provide electronic copies of the correspondence between solicitors and electronic copies of any court documents (again), and as well, the originals of any of your personal documentation. You will be billed for the time involved in preparing the file for transfer. If I have to make additional paper copies of material we have already sent you, you will be billed for that, as well.
Back to top

Confidentiality  

  1. All information you provide to my office is completely private and confidential. All the details of your case will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and respect for your privacy, by the lawyer and support staff. The privilege of confidentiality between solicitor and client is, in law, a protection which belongs to the client. Therefore, it is up to the client, only, whether or not that confidentiality is to be waived.
  2. Please remember this when your family members or friends request information directly from your lawyer. I am frequently contacted by new partners, or other family members who want to discuss your case. You have to give your lawyer specific instructions to permit that discussion to take place. Also, as the time spent by the lawyer will be time spent on your file, you will be billed for any time spent discussing your case with anyone at your request, or in the context of your file.
Back to top