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Hiring a Paralegal? Here are some things to think about

Old 11-05-2008, 11:26 PM
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Hiring a Paralegal? Here are some things to think about

If you decide you want to hire a paralegal to represent you, check them out first. As of May 1, 2007, all paralegals in Ontario must be licensed. When this requirement became law, many companies went under. Some due to the new financial requirements and others because they simply didn't have a license. Even XCopper went bankrupt leaving 1000s of people who paid a deposit without anything (see this CBC story).

A "work around" some unlicensed companies do is take your money and then subcontract your file to a paralegal who is licensed. You end up paying a middle man. Make sure the contract you sign states who will represent you AND that this person is licensed. Otherwise buyer beware.

Ask them when their next court date is and say you want to see them in action before you hire them. A reputable company won't have any problem with this.

Also watch out for the "guarantee" they offer. The "We win or you don't pay" slogan is misleading. They define "win" as any reduction to your ticket. You can just as easily negotiate a similar deal with the prosecutor at First Attendance or just before your trial.

If you want to learn how to fight your ticket, or just want to be more knowledgeable before you hire a paralegal, check out my site
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