Under rule 4.2-1 of the Law Society of Ontario’s rules for lawyers, a lawyer cannot inform you that they are the “best.” This is because the relevant section prevents marketing that include bestowing superlative titles or awards upon one’s self if they are not bona fide and or may be considered misleading, confusing, and or deceptive.
In other words, when lawyers in Ontario advertise, they are not allowed to use terms like “best” or “Number One” to describe themselves. That’s fair, and you probably wouldn’t just trust a lawyer who said he or she was the “best”; you would want some information so that you could verify the practitioner’s claims.
So if you’ve been criminally charged in Peterborough, in Peterborough County, or anywhere in in the surrounding area and are looking for a lawyer the critical question to ask yourself is how should you assess prospective lawyers to find the one more suited to represent you given your particular circumstances?
Getting Started Finding a Lawyer: You Can Google
Today, the trend seems to be that when in doubt we give “Google” a shout. As a result, most lawyers today have a presence in our online marketspace. That makes the internet an easy and convenient place to start your search. However, the internet, as a free marketplace, can be a convoluted and confusing place. It is important to prepare yourself before commencing your search. Important things to ponder, when searching for the most appropriate legal representative for your subjective needs include:
- What does the lawyer’s online reputation look like?
- Does this lawyer have a professional looking website?
- Do they provide lots of useful and pertinent legal information?
- Do the demonstrate experience with matters like yours?
- Does the website contain the experience and credentials of the lawyer or lawyers at the firm?
- Can you tell from the website that the firm in question has experience with the type of charge(s) that you’re facing?
- Does the website indicate the potential legal fees in a clear manner?
Typically, these are the things that matter to an individual charged with an offence and they should be made accessible by the practitioner in their marketing materials.
If you’ve been charged in Peterborough or anywhere in Peterborough County, it is important to also find a lawyer who has experience in the local court and a reputation in the region. Does the website of the practitioner reflect this sort of local familiarity?
Assessing the quality of the work of the practitioner in question can be done by reviewing specific portions of their website. Of value will be if they provide examples or case studies of successfully litigated matters of similar fact to your own. It is important to look for testimonials, as these will give you a third party perspective on the capabilities and professionalism of the specific firm.
A final point to consider is the ease of communicating with the law firm in question. Can you efficiently reach the lawyer through the website for a free half hour initial consultation? The criminal law firm of Aitken Robertson offers representation in the Peterborough court, which is where charges originating in Peterborough County would be heard. We do so out of our Peterborough office, which is conveniently located in the downtown core of the city. The criminal law firm of Aitken Robertson has a comprehensive website where you will find all the features described above and more.
Free 30-Minute Consultation in Peterborough
If the lawyer’s or law firm’s website tells you that you can get a free half hour consultation, you should take advantage of it because it’s a good way to assess how a particular lawyer or law firm is able to assist you with your specific matter. Typically, in the free consultation, you get to hear what that lawyer can tell you about your particular case. You can also get a sense of what the lawyer is like to work with. The skill of the lawyer is minimized if you find them difficult to work with, as this could compromise their ability to effectively litigate on your behalf. Ask yourself, is this a lawyer with whom you would get along?
Finally, you should be able to get a clear idea of what representation by this lawyer will cost you and what the next steps of resolving your matter using their firm would entail. You should come away from the consultation feeling that you got some good information about your criminal case, that the lawyer is someone you could trust to handle your charges in Peterborough County, and you should have a good sense of what the cost of their services will be. Aitken Robertson offers free half hour consultations both in-person and by telephone.
Fees for Lawyers in Peterborough County
A question on the mind of almost anyone who is shopping for a lawyer is; How much is this lawyer going to cost me? It is true, good legal representation is not cheap, but it doesn’t have to be exorbitantly expensive either. The optimal lawyer for your case is not necessarily the most expensive. How much legal representation costs is a function of a number of factors and is subject to change based upon the specifics of each case. Therefore, seeking out a practitioner who can accurately assess the work involved in your matter is critical. This way, before you have even retained their services, the law firm has provided you with an accurate indication of what the total costs will entail.
An experienced lawyer will cost you more than one who is just learning the ropes, but the extra cost is probably worth it in a criminal matter because there is a great deal at stake. You may stand to lose your liberty, your ability to drive or to see your family, and at the very least you face acquiring or expanding upon a criminal record.
The complexity of a case will impact the cost of retaining counsel. The more time and resources that must be poured into it the greater the cost will be. A simple shoplifting case will cost less than a complex drinking and driving case involving a fatality. The latter requires much more time to prepare for and may require additional resources, for example accident reconstruction experts. Aitken Robertson is an established criminal law firm with experience representing people at all levels of the criminal courts throughout Ontario, including the court in Peterborough. Its practitioners routinely handle a wide range of matters, including complex cases.
When you meet a prospective lawyer, ask about their fee and billing structures. Some law firms bill you by the hour, making it difficult to know how much the case will ultimately cost you. Lawyers or law firms that bill by the hour will bill you for even small increments of an hour spent on your case. If you call your lawyer, for example to ask a question, you will be billed for the time spent speaking with you. In comparison, other firms, including Aitken Robertson offer a block fee billing system in which you are told up front what the fees will be. At Aitken Robertson, the fees quoted include all the work typically done in a case, including attending all relevant court appearances on your behalf, meeting with the Crown, and meeting with you.
Because the majority of society does not budget for criminal charges, Aitken Robertson can provide you with an individualized and flexible monthly payment plan so that you do not have to pay your legal fees all at once. Aitken Robertson does not charge interest on these monthly payment plans. The lawyers with the firm of Aitken Robertson, due to our block fee agreements, will not bill you for every time you call to ask a question or want to come in and talk with your lawyer. In fact, your Aitken Robertson lawyer will encourage you to ask questions and to stay in touch and won’t charge you for their time. At Aitken Robertson, we attempt to make our services as approachable and all inclusive to our clients as possible,
Most lawyers, in addition to the fees for their representation, will bill you for “disbursements.” Disbursements are all the additional costs of the legal work. Many firms will charge mileage for attendance at distant courts. Examples of typical disbursement costs are charges for photocopying and postage. Aitken Robertson will not charge you for things like photocopying and postage and will not charge for mileage, regardless of the distance.
Only you can determine who is the preferred lawyer for your case. The choice of lawyer for your matter will depend on a constellation of factors. Checking out the relevant information of a prospective lawyer’s website, getting a free initial consultation, and finding out what the lawyer’s fees will be, are all good steps that you can take to help you make that determination.
If you’ve been criminally charged in Peterborough or the surrounding area and your matter is in the Peterborough court, consider contacting the firm of Aitken Robertson (1-800-668-1657) for a free half hour consultation to discuss your case, find out about our fees, and to get to know us.