Our Policies

Cash Transactions Policy

We do not accept cash retainers or transactions.

When we agree to be retained by you, we will send you an e-transfer request for the agreed amount of our retainer.

Client Identification and Conflicts Policy

We are required by the Law Society of Alberta to verify the identity of our clients. We cannot accept instructions from potential clients without verifying identity.

You do not want to give us any confidential information on your file, unless you can be certain that we are not acting for any parties whose interests conflict with yours. Unless we are retained by you, our duty is to our existing client, and we cannot keep that information confidential from our client. We can only determine whether there is a conflict by doing a conflict check on all the parties involved in your matter.

Inactive File Policy

If your file has been inactive for 12 months, and we have been unable to reach you by the agreed methods to obtain instructions during that time, we will invoice and close your file.

Any original documents that are in our possession will be returned to your last known address.

Any monies remaining in trust will be remitted to the appropriate authority in accordance with the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta.

If you wish us to keep your file open beyond 12 months, you may expressly instruct us do so by amendment to your retainer agreement.

Joint Retainer Policy

If we agree to act for more than one client jointly,

  • we must believe that your interests are not in conflict on the date of the jointly-retainer; nonetheless
  • we require a written acknowledgement from you that you know of no reason that your interests would be in conflict for the duration of the matter.

If a conflict arises after we are retained, the Code of Conduct and the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta
require that:

  1. We owe each of you a duty of undivided loyalty. If we are unable to fulfill this duty of undivided loyalty to each of you, we will have to withdraw.
  2. No information we receive from one of you or from any other source with respect to this matter can be treated as confidential from either of you. This means that, as long as the joint retainer continues, we must disclose relevant information to both of you.
  3. If we receive confidential information from one of you on a prior matter that is relevant to this matter, we will have to either obtain consent to disclose that information to both of you, or withdraw from this matter.
  4. If a conflict arises between you, you may negotiate directly with one another, or seek our assistance, so long as the conflict between you does not also create a legal conflict of interests for us.

Litigation Referral Poicy

We pride ourselves on keeping our clients out of court. Our business model is built around litigation avoidance, because a good agreement is better than a good judgment.

We encourage our clients to have the difficult conversations at the beginning of (personal and business) relationships and to document their agreements so that undisclosed expectations do not land them in court at a future date. These discussions are best had at the beginning, but sooner is better than later, and later is better than never.

Even after a disagreement has arisen, agreements:

  • give the parties more control of the outcome,
  • are quicker and less expensive to obtain, 
  • are more self-enforcing (since both parties have consented), and 
  • preserve the possibility of a continuing personal or business relationship between the parties.

However, we recognize that not all litigation is avoidable.

Through the Canadian Women Lawyers group, we have access to 3000+ women lawyers across Canada. And if we do not do the kind of legal work that you require, we are happy to refer you to a lawyer who does exactly the kind of work that you need.

Original Documents Policy

We do not retain originally signed documents in our closed files.

All original documents will be returned to you on the completion of your file.

Scanned copies of original documents will be destroyed in accordance with the file destruction timelines as prescribed by the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta.

Public Legal Education Policy

We like our clients to be well-informed in every significant decision they make. 

We contribute to that by presenting public legal education seminars. These presentations not only help to education the public about the law generally, but also to better prepare them in dealing with their own lawyer(s) when the need arises. These presentations offer general legal information only, and they are not sufficiently detailed to count as legal advice.

Not everyone who attends one of our presentations will retain us on a file. Until we are retained by you, there is no solicitor/client relationship between us.

Retainer Policy

Work will not begin on your file until a retainer is deposited into our pooled trust account.

Your retainer is held in our pooled trust account until an interim or final invoice is issued on your file, at which time the payment is transferred to our general account.

You will be required to replenish your retainer before further work can be done on your file.

Triage Policy

Every file starts in triage.

In the same way that you trust your family physician to refer you to a specialist as needed, trust us to do an initial assessment of your legal needs. We will advise you of your options so that you can make informed choices about your next steps.

Triage creates a conflict of interest.

In order to assess your legal needs, we will need to gather information from you and to maintain the confidentiality of that information, as we do for all our other clients. We cannot do that without opening a file for you, and that requires the payment of a triage fee.

(Last Updated 24May08)

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