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Assessing legal fees

There are times when the legal fees seem so high that either an owner or the board of directors need to have their legal fees assessed.

The page before this one makes it clear that—at times—legal fees are way over what should be deemed reasonable.

Avoiding surprises
When you first go shopping for a lawyer, after you explain your legal problem, ask for an estimate on how much the court application or response may cost.

Ask how much the lawyer charges for an their hourly rate. Some charge $300 and hour and some charge more than double that.

Do they charge for travel time? Ask about the cost of disbursements, the expected initial retainer and if there are ways you can assist in helping to keep the billable hours lower by you sorting through your documentation, servicing the applications or responses and doing some of the initial typing.

Too expensive?
If the lawyer's hourly rates are expensive, most lawyers will refer you to a competent lawyer who charge lower hourly rates.

You lost in court
If you lost your case, most likely you will have to pay the other side's legal costs. That is when you may get the shock of your life.

A couple of condominium law firms have a reputation for charging extremely high legal fees and if you have good reason to believe their fees are excessive, then you may want to have them assessed.

Looking for help
Here is a good website that will help you understand the process of getting a lawyer's bill reviewed.

Law Help

How Do I Get a Lawyer’s Bill Reviewed
Getting a lawyer’s bill reviewed is called a Solicitor-and-Client Assessment.

This is a court procedure where a client and/or a lawyer may have his or her legal bill reviewed at an assessment hearing in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. An Assessment Officer conducts the hearing.

An Assessment Officer is an official of the Superior Court of Justice. The purpose of the hearing is to decide whether the lawyer’s bill is fair and reasonable.

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