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Hi, my name is Andrew Feldstein of Feldstein Family Law Group. Today I will be speaking about how a lawyer can help you prepare for your trial on a limited basis.
Having a lawyer represent you will almost always lead to a quicker and more favorable resolution, with the least amount of stress to you and your children. But I understand that the cost of full legal representation may be beyond your means. That doesn’t mean you can’t get any help from a lawyer. At Feldstein Family Law Group we don’t believe people should have to deal with their family law matters without any legal assistance and that is why we offer unbundled legal services.
When a client retains a lawyer in a court matter, they are entering into a solicitor-client relationship that the lawyer can’t be released from unless the client releases the lawyer or the lawyer obtains an order from the court. A limited retainer is when the client hires a lawyer to act on his or her behalf in only certain instances. The client has more control to choose what services they do or don’t need help with. Since it can be difficult to prepare for a trial, you may want a lawyer to give you advice and help you with the preparation of evidence, materials and strategy but then not attend on your behalf. As part of our unbundled services, you can select to get help with any of the following depending on your individual situation: coaching services before your court appearance, document drafting, advice about your legal position, legal research, and court representation in some circumstances.
There is a lot of work involved in preparing for a trial and ensuring you put your evidence forward in the most effective manner. Many self-represented litigants fail to follow proper trial procedure when gathering and presenting their evidence, and believe they can just show up at the trial and tell their story to the judge. Your lawyer can help you prepare the relevant evidence and ensure you follow the rules of evidence.
Helping a client on a limited basis to prepare for a trial can consist of just an explanation of what I would do with witnesses and evidence all the way up to handling the entire process of trial preparation.
During the trial, I would provide guidance as it is ongoing by answering questions and ensuring you are properly prepared for each day of the trial. You can also get help with opening and/or closing arguments. It is up to you how much or how little you want assistance with.
Trials are difficult and require experience to understand and succeed. You should not expect any special treatment from the trial judge if you are unrepresented and make mistakes. But if you decide to do your own trial, you should still strongly consider retaining a lawyer on a limited basis to assist you with the process and to increase your prospects for success.
If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your family law matter, please visit our website at www.separation.ca or call us for an initial consultation at (905) 581-7222. Thank you for watching. I’m Andrew Feldstein for Feldstein Family Law Group.