BUSINESS HOURS AND APPOINTMENTS
Our business hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Technology has changed both the ways in which we get instructions from our clients and how we serve our clients. It is not necessary, as it may have been in the past, for our clients to make frequent visits to our office, and we try to minimize the number of appointments that are needed. We encourage you, as much as possible, to use voicemail, e-mail and our Live Chat feature to communicate with us.
Our preferred way of communicating with you about your file is by using electronic mail. We are 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 correspondence relating to your file will be sent to you in electronic format, whenever possible. If you have an e-mail address that you can rely on for private, confidential communications, we will use that e-mail address to communicate with you, including sending you letters, accounts and copies of the material we send and receive concerning your legal matters. If we cannot use your e-mail address for these purposes, please let us know. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we are assuming that we can use e-mail to send you relevant correspondence and that you check your e-mail regularly.
Although we would encourage you to use e-mail as the primary method of communicating with us, we remind you that for urgent contact, a telephone call is preferable.
You may be asked to provide the paralegal with written material in the course of our work for you. This is often an efficient way to get historical or detailed information from you in order to prepare legal documents. The written material you provide will be extremely helpful, may be used in several aspects of your matter, and will result in greater efficiency for us and reduced legal fees for you. We prefer to get this material in electronic format (by e-mail) and, if you can provide it to us this way, it will save you money.
If you do not own an answering machine at home or have a voicemail system, we highly suggest that you get one. We need to be able to reach you promptly, and if it is difficult or time-consuming to reach you by telephone, it may ultimately cost you more money in legal fees. If you are not reachable through electronic mail and do not currently own a fax machine, but may be getting a fax machine soon, now is a good time to get one. We have found that we 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 to give us instructions. It will also avoid the excess cost of courier service which is sometimes required when time lines are short.
This firm returns all telephone within 1-2 business (barring unusual circumstances). Except for emergencies, calls are usually returned in the order they are received.
Organize yourself before you call our office to ensure that you have all the information you need available for the nature of the telephone discussion. Also, consider taking notes during your meetings and telephone calls with the paralegals. This is common sense, and good business.
The more work you do for yourself, the less work you will need to have completed by the paralegal. If you can save time for the paralegal, it will save you money in fees.
Come to your meetings and any telephone calls with the paralegal prepared, possibly with a list of questions or subject areas you need to have covered.
WHAT IS THE PARALEGAL’S JOB?
Your paralegal 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.
If you are transferring your file to us from another paralegal, it will be necessary for us 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 paralegal is arranged in chronological order.
If you are transferring your file to another paralegal from us, you need to remember that you will have already been sent copies of all letters and court documents during the course of our work with you. You should keep them organized, as this may make such a transfer to another paralegal quicker and cheaper. If you have not kept the copies we sent you, we will provide electronic copies and/or originals of the documentation as required. You will be billed for the time involved in preparing the file for transfer. If we have to make additional paper copies of material we have already sent you, you will be billed for that as well.
All information you provide to our office is completely private and confidential. All the details of your legal matters will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and respect for your privacy, by the paralegals 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.
Please remember this when your family members or friends request information directly from your paralegal. We are frequently contacted by new partners or family members who want to discuss your matters. You have to give specific instructions to permit that discussion to take place. Also, as the time spent by the paralegal 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.