An Assessment Officer who reviews the bill is usually an official of the Court in your province.
WHERE TO START: Contact your local court office to find out how to start and assessment review and hearing of your lawyer's bill.
The rules and forms differ from province to province, but the procedure is very simple and easy to follow. It just takes a bit of effort by you.
You probably should make an appointment with an Assessment Officer to have your bill reduced or assessed as a precaution while you are negotiating with your lawyer.
Try to ascertain what the charges are for and if they seem reasonable. Do not allow this to consume too much time.
If your lawyer refuses to adjust her bill, you can seek to have the amount assessed by a Court Assessment Officer.
In Ontario if you apply for the assessment within one month of delivery of the bill from your lawyer the assessment is automatic.
If you delay longer then the month, you will be required to seek either the lawyer's consent to the assessment or a judge's order. Obtaining the judge's order may require you to retain yet another lawyer, although it is possible to represent yourself.
Delays may weaken your position and make it appear you just are trying to get out of paying a legitimate bill. In addition, obtaining a judge's order could be costly and the judge may refuse your request for an assessment. and order you to pay some court costs.