First Since 1996
- A lawyer should always be honest and courteous. If not. there is a problem.
- A lawyer must keep you reasonably informed. The lawyer should tell you what's happening in your case. Failure to respond within a reasonable time to your enquiry can be cause for a complaint.
- If the lawyer says that something will be done, or the next step in the process taken by a given date, then does not do so and lets the date pass without letting you know why the delay is occurring is cause for a complaint.
- You don't know what’s going on with your file. Withholding information from the client or misleading the client is cause for a complaint.
Law Societies cannot reduce your lawyer's bill.
Please refer to "Is Your Lawyers Bill Too High" on CanLaw for information on how to have your lawyer's bill reviewed.
Some examples of complaints with which law societies are supposed to deal.
A LAW SOCIETY CAN NOT INTERVENE TO
- regulate the amount of a lawyer's bill;
- give legal advice;
- pay compensation;
- intervene in a court proceeding;
- change the decision of a court;
- insist that a lawyer take a case, remain on or withdraw from a case or do something specific in a case;
- make a finding that a lawyer was negligent;
- review a judge's conduct.
IT IS 90% CERTAIN THAT, IN EFFECT, YOUR COMPLAINT WILL END UP IN THE LAW SOCIETY'S WASTE BASKET
DO YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT AGAINST A CANADIAN LAWYER?
The law societies dismiss about 90% of the complaints they get.
Please contact your local Law Society. Your lawyer complaint must be signed and in writing.
You will be treated as second class. They will prefer the word of the lawyer over yours.
While the law societies are not to be trusted, complaining to them is the only way to get a problem heard. But your chances of an honest and fair hearing are slim and none.
The Law Society is "authorized" to deal with your complaint. They seldom do act. Lawyers get away with outrageous and even criminal conduct. Disbarred lawyers are often reinstated. So what is the use of complaining?
Law societies have a monopoly and supposedly are responsible for "making sure that their members practice law competently and ethically."
Generally the lawyer you are complaining about cannot come after you for complaining to the law society. But do not broadcast your complaint to the world or you will probably face a defamation action.