August 23rd, 2017

The Alberta limited legal services project


By Medicine Hat News on June 17, 2017.

The Alberta limited legal services project is an initiative of local Alberta lawyers aimed at providing Albertans with access to the legal services they want, when they want them, at a price they can afford. You can find information about this project and participating lawyers at http://www.albertalegalservices.com.

This project connects Albertans with lawyers who will help with just part of the case, not all of it. Limited legal services include:

— Giving legal advice, including second opinions;

— Giving a legal opinion about an agreement;

— Notarizing a document;

— Drafting court papers such as applications and affidavits;

— Drafting other legal documents like some wills and powers of attorney;

— Doing research about a legal problem;

— Preparing a legal argument;

— Writing a letter for you;

— Preparing a settlement offer or reviewing a settlement offer you have received and giving you a legal opinion;

— Going to court for settlement conferences or hearings; or

— Providing on-going advice and coaching while you run your own legal case.

Limited legal services are sometimes called limited scope retainers and unbundled legal services.

Lawyers are usually hired by clients to take a case from the beginning to the end, which can get expensive. When you hire a lawyer to provide a limited legal service, you’re hiring the lawyer to perform a specific task or do just part of your case.

For example, in a family law case, a lawyer can give you advice about what is likely to happen if your case goes to trial or explain the law about parenting time with children, child support, spousal support or division of assets and debts. A lawyer could help you make an application for child support or help you write a separation agreement or get you divorced.

Not every kind of legal problem can be handled like this. It is generally very difficult for a lawyer to run a trial, for example, unless the lawyer has been involved in the steps leading up to trial. The lawyer you talk to will tell you if the sort of service you would like her to perform is one that can be done on its own.

When you have a legal problem it is best to take action as soon as you have identified your problem. Get the information you need right away as this will help keep small problems from growing big. Friends and family can be great supports and may not know much about the law. Legal advice and information about many different issues can help you to make better, more informed decisions.

Legal advice can help you with relationships:

— Before you live together;

— Before you have a child;

— Before you get married;

— When your marriage or common-law partnership is ending; or

— When your spouse is dying.

Legal advice can help with money matters:

— When some thing or service you paid for doesn’t work and you can’t get your money back;

— Before you sign an offer to buy a house, condo, timeshare or other property; or

— Before you rent out your property.

Legal advice can help with conflicts:

— When you are let go from your job without notice or an explanation;

— When an insurance company is not paying your claim; or

— When you have a serious disagreement with a neighbour

The Alberta Limited Legal Services Project is a great place to start. Take the first step. Ask.

Janis Pritchard helps you navigate the turning points of life. She is a partner with Pritchard & Co. Law Firm, LLPand a Registered Family Mediator. Contact Janis at 403-527-4411 or at jpritchard@pritchardandco.com


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