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CONSULTATION PROCESS

What is a consultation?

A consultation is a crucial step involving an initial meeting between you and a civil litigation lawyer to understand and address your legal needs.

This session, scheduled for 60 to 90 minutes, ensures a detailed discussion of your legal matter. It provides you with a comprehensive explanation of your current legal position (standing), the legal options available pertaining to your unique circumstances, the potential strength of your case (e.g., whether it is 10% strong or 90% strong), as well as any potential risks and pitfalls relevant to your situation. Additionally, it covers the civil litigation steps that might be necessary to take going forward, should the matter proceed to formal litigation.

An initial informed and comprehensive step (or, in some instances, a second opinion) is the most critical aspect of any civil litigation engagement. Similar to how a doctor evaluates a patient's health-related concerns by understanding symptoms, prior health history, and possibly ordering medical tests, a lawyer evaluates a client's legal case to determine the essential steps required to resolve the issues. This evaluation forms an integral part of the civil litigation process.

Statistics show that about 90% of legal matters could have been resolved if prospective clients had initially hired a lawyer to go over the potential risks and scenarios. Many litigious issues could have been avoided if clients had received qualified legal advice before engaging in legal matters. Thus, obtaining evaluations and legal advice from an experienced and qualified lawyer can help parties make informed decisions based on accurate information and a comprehensive understanding of all circumstances related to their case.

We also strongly invite you to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page that goes hand in hand with this page to address other most basic questions relevant to Consultations and Initial steps involved in the process.


What happens during a consultation?

After completing the preliminary mandatory steps required by the Law Society of Ontario, the following can typically be expected from a consultation with a lawyer:


  • Document Submission: To enhance the effectiveness of the consultation, we request that you submit all relevant documents (i.e.. any formal supporting documents (e.g. contracts, claims), etc, expert reports, correspondence between the parties involved, letters from other lawyers/Counsel, and etc) in advance. This allows the lawyer to familiarize themselves with any official and formal documents relevant to your case.
  • Summary of Facts: We strongly suggest that all clients provide a summary of their side of the story for the initial comprehensive consultation. This should outline all relevant factual information deemed critical, including all involved parties, dates of events, and other pertinent details, preferably disclosed in chronological order.
  • Focused Discussion: This preparation allows your lawyer to delve deeper into the matter during your meeting, avoiding the need to spend time gathering basic information. This way, the lawyer can start offering tailored solutions, advice, and strategies to resolve your issues during the meeting.
  • Volume of Materials: It is important to be upfront with the lawyer if you plan to submit a large volume of legal materials. No lawyer can realistically review thousands of pages (e.g., 3,000-4,000 pages) if you are already in the midst of litigation proceedings. For such comprehensive reviews, we provide a different type of retainer (i.e., limited scope retainers) where we do review all available materials in depth first and then engage in detailed discussions address all major issues.
What are the costs associated with a consultation?

Our lawyers, recognized for their expertise, rightfully earn their fees for the services they provide. Initial consultations are charged at our lawyers' hourly rates at ME Law. Please contact intake@melaw.ca for more details regarding our Lawyer’s current hourly rates.

To accommodate our clients, we offer a variety of payment methods, including:


  • Credit/Debit card payments
  • E-transfers
  • Wire/Bank Draft/Cash payments

Our philosophy is that our lawyers take on only a limited number of cases so they can focus comprehensively on each client's matters. This approach ensures they do not take on more cases than they can effectively manage and assist clients with.

We do not believe that a full-scale consultation can be performed for free. Reviewing each inquiry's materials in detail requires a significant amount of time and effort. Our lawyers need to thoroughly understand the complexities of each case, which involves carefully examining all relevant documents, researching applicable laws, and considering potential legal strategies. This process is integral to ensuring that the advice and solutions we provide are tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of each client.

Given the high volume of calls and inquiries we receive daily, it is not feasible for our lawyers to provide this level of detailed analysis and advice without compromising the quality of service provided to our existing clients. Each consultation requires a significant investment of time to read through documents, understand the client's situation, and prepare a thoughtful, comprehensive response. Without adequate compensation for this time, the ability to maintain high standards of client service would be severely impacted.

Providing free consultations would mean our lawyers could not devote the necessary time and attention to each client's unique circumstances. This could lead to superficial advice that might not fully address the client's legal issues or explore all possible solutions. Comprehensive legal advice requires more than a cursory review; it demands an in-depth understanding of the case details and context, which can only be achieved through careful and methodical preparation.

Moreover, offering free consultations would detract from the time available to assist clients who have already engaged our services and rely on us for thorough and effective legal representation. Our existing clients expect and deserve a high level of attention and diligence in managing their cases. If our lawyers were inundated with unpaid consultation requests, it would inevitably reduce the time and resources available to serve our committed clients, potentially jeopardizing their cases and outcomes.

Furthermore, our lawyers require the necessary infrastructure to perform their duties and cover basic business overheads, such as office expenses, communication devices, legal research libraries, and assistant salaries. Operating a professional legal practice involves significant costs, which must be supported through client fees. Therefore, it is unfair to respond to queries from individuals who are not seriously considering litigation or are merely seeking free legal advice, while our lawyers strive to provide quality advice rather than engage in speculation and second-guessing.

Our goal is to provide value and results to our clients and to foster long-term relationships, as litigation is a very unique industry.

What is your Intake process for B2B & other Corporate Entity clients?

Our approach to B2B process intake is methodical and thorough. We begin with a detailed preliminary assessment of your business and potential risks to determine if we are the right firm to build a long-term partnership with you. This allows us to provide tailored legal strategies that address your unique circumstances effectively.

We are not a traditional transactional solicitor-type law firm but a specialized litigation law firm. This specialization allows us to provide tailored legal strategies that address your unique litigation circumstances effectively, ensuring we can be readily available when you need us.

It's important to note that many litigators are often in court and may not be immediately available for ad-hoc urgent calls that corporate clients like to make to their in-house counsel. However, we have experience with B2B client representation and have developed strategies to handle urgent requests effectively.

We focus on high-stakes litigation corporate matters such as enforcements, injunctions, arbitration, appeals, inter jurisdictional litigation, shareholder disputes, directors' liability claims, and other complex legal issues. This approach enables us to handle intricate and high-risk cases effectively.

Essentially, we could be compared to Mount Sinai / St. Michael’s / Toronto General Hospital top surgeons, as opposed to walk in clinic or family doctors.

This non-cookie cutter focus enables us to handle intricate and high-risk cases effectively, as opposed to traditional in-house counsel and transactional solicitors who may not be as familiar with case law, civil procedure, and litigation techniques.

We represent multiple B2B clients as their "in-house" litigation counsel on a retainer basis. This arrangement allows us to provide continuous and comprehensive legal support tailored to their ongoing business needs. In addition, it is not uncommon for us to act as agents for our clients to seek and source specialized counsel when required, such as, for instance, IP litigation lawyers or employment lawyers. We have the expertise to vet these lawyers thoroughly, given our specialization in litigation, ensuring our clients receive the best possible representation, as well as we have a network of connection already in place.

Our intake process for B2B and corporate clients includes the following steps:

Initial Consultation: We conduct an in-depth consultation to understand your business's legal needs and challenges. This involves a comprehensive discussion to identify the specific legal issues you might face, where we can have the most impact and add value as being your go-to litigation Counsel, and how we can gather all relevant information and documentation that might be helpful for the critical moments, if such were to arise.

Strategic Planning: Based on our assessment, we formulate a tailored legal strategy that aligns with your business objectives. We ensure that our approach is designed to address your unique circumstances and achieve the best possible outcome exactly when you need it.

Ongoing Communication: Throughout the process, we maintain open and transparent communication with you. We keep you informed of any developments and ensure you understand the steps we are taking on your behalf. We believe in creating long-term partnerships as opposed to having cut-and-dry relationships.

We represent multiple B2B clients as their litigation "in-house" counsel on a retainer basis, primarily, once again, for litigation matters. This arrangement allows us to provide continuous and comprehensive legal support tailored to their ongoing business needs. By acting as in-house counsel while outsourcing any solicitor and regulatory work to our strategic partners, we ensure that your business receives consistent and reliable legal advice at the right cost and value, helping you navigate any legal challenges that arise.

Once again, litigation is much like the medical or construction fields, where specialization is key. Just as you wouldn't expect a heart surgeon to perform brain surgery, you wouldn't expect a litigator to handle all aspects of corporate, immigration, employment, construction, and estate law.

Our firm represents many mortgage companies that require enforcement actions, high-stakes insolvencies and business reorganizations, we assist corporate entities application with specific performance for contract matters, urgent motions, commercial list court.

We act as plaintiff and defense counsel for traditional Superior Court matters, handle Discoveries and Cross-Examinations, well-versed in all types of motions, case conferences, negotiation with Other Litigation Counsel, and won High Stakes Trials for our Clients. Essentially, we handle non-trivial, very complex, and unique litigation issues, providing robust and effective legal solutions.

We are always committed to providing value and results to our clients, fostering long-term strategic partnerships and relationships.

When should you consider booking a consultation?

You should consider booking a consultation whenever you find yourself entangled in or foresee the possibility of civil, estate, real estate, or commercial litigation proceedings. Specifically, seeking the advice of a civil litigation lawyer becomes imperative under the following circumstances:

You are engaged in a dispute or are at risk of litigation over a contract, property, or commercial dealings.

  • You're dealing with real estate transactions or property disputes.
  • Your business is encountering legal disputes that may involve breach of contract, partnership disagreements, or commercial disputes.
  • You are dealing with disputes over the terms or enforcement of a contract
  • You suspect rights violations or have suffered damages.
  • You are considering legal action to resolve a dispute or to recover damages.
  • You need legal representation to navigate the complexities of civil litigation, from filing a lawsuit to negotiating settlements or preparing for trial.

In these situations, a consultation with a civil litigation lawyer is key to gaining the insight and strategy needed to navigate your case.

Type of retainers you offer

Types of Retainers Offered


1. Consultations Retainer


Description: A consultations retainer involves engaging a lawyer for specific advisory services or legal consultations. It typically covers initial meetings and ongoing discussions to provide legal advice on particular issues without committing to full representation.


Pros:


  • Cost-Effective: Clients pay for specific advice rather than ongoing representation.
  • Focused Expertise: Access to legal insights and guidance tailored to immediate needs.
  • Flexible: No long-term commitment, suitable for one-off legal queries or occasional advice.

Cons:


  • Limited Scope: Does not cover ongoing representation or litigation.
  • Potential Costs: Additional fees if consultation leads to further legal action or extended services.
  • Client Management: Requires clear communication on scope and expectations to avoid misunderstandings.

2. Limited Scope Retainer


Description:A limited scope retainer involves hiring a lawyer for specific tasks within a larger legal matter, such as reviewing documents, engaging in preliminary negotiations or prelitigation steps to attempt to resolve the matter without taking formal civil litigation steps , or representing the client in specific court appearances.


Pros:


  • Cost-Controlled: Clients only pay for services needed, reducing overall legal costs
  • Tailored Services: Access to specialized legal expertise for defined tasks
  • Client Involvement: Clients can be actively involved in managing parts of their legal matter

Cons:


  • Coordination Required: Ensuring clarity and coordination with the lawyer for seamless task completion
  • Scope Management: Clear delineation of responsibilities to avoid scope creep
  • Risk of Fragmentation: Potential for disjointed strategy if tasks are not well-integrated into the overall legal case

3. Lawyer of Record Retainer


Description:A lawyer of record retainer involves retaining a lawyer to handle all aspects of a legal case, acting as the primary representative throughout the litigation process. This includes court appearances, filings, and strategic decision-making.


Pros:


  • Comprehensive Representation: Full-service legal support covering all stages of the case
  • Consistent Strategy: Ensures cohesive legal approach and representation in court
  • Expertise and Experience: Access to seasoned legal professionals for complex matters

Cons:


  • Cost Considerations: Higher fees compared to limited scope or consultations retainers
  • Long-Term Commitment: Requires ongoing engagement for the duration of the case
  • Less Client Control: Clients rely heavily on the lawyer's decisions and strategy

Conclusion


Each type of retainer offers distinct advantages depending on the client’s needs and the complexity of the legal matter. Consultation retainers provide cost-effective advice for immediate legal questions, while limited scope retainers offer flexibility and cost control for specific tasks. On the other hand, lawyer of record retainers ensure comprehensive representation but involve higher costs and a longer-term commitment.

Choosing the right retainer involves considering factors such as the nature of the legal issue, budget constraints, and desired level of involvement in legal proceedings. By understanding these options and discussing them with a qualified legal professional, clients can make informed decisions that align with their specific legal needs.s.

Do you provide Contingency-Fee Arrangements (i.e. do you represent clients with legal fees compensation solely based on the percentage of winnings)?

For further clarity, we do not offer contingency fee arrangements, which are typically common only to personal injury cases (e.g. suing Insurance companies). We provide litigation legal services solely on a retainer basis, meaning we require funds to be held in our trust account, and our lawyers bill on an hourly-rate basis according to the volume of work done on clients' matters.

We are always transparent from the get-go with our clients about the potential need, in addition to Counsel legal fees, also to allocate additional funds for expert reports, disbursements (such as filing fees, process server fees, postage, and courier charges), and other necessary costs (such as private detective services, forensic expert examinations, business valuations, and similar charges and fees) as part of the litigation proceeding.

Additionally, we emphasize that the lack of funds for these expenses might seriously hinder the success of litigation proceedings. In essence, this can limit the effectiveness of the lawyer in advancing the client's matter and can drastically prejudice the clients themselves. Insufficient supporting evidence can result in clients potentially facing substantial legal costs from the opposing counsel if the litigation is not handled properly and is consequently lost. Therefore, we always advise clients to be cautious of contingency-based arrangements with other lawyers.

These additional costs, especially expert report fees, are never covered by civil litigators themselves. Many clients, while not paying for legal fees, find themselves in a difficult position if the lawyer requests them to pay significant fees to obtain expert reports for litigation purposes. It is essential, in our view, that clients make fully informed decisions and understand the complexities of litigation proceedings upfront.

Finally, our lawyers require the necessary infrastructure to perform their duties and cover basic business overheads, such as office expenses, communication devices and related IT costs, legal research libraries, and assistant salaries. Operating a professional legal practice involves significant costs and stress on the lawyer’s part, requiring expert knowledge and skills. Therefore, it is simply unfair to expect lawyers to finance clients' litigation proceedings out of their own pockets. We believe that all professionals deserve to be paid for their work and expertise at market rates.

At the end of the day, lawyers, like any other professionals, are hired to do their job well and have the right to expect fair compensation. They should not be treated as financial institutions providing services on credit.

Clients need to be aware that while lawyers understand how stressful and intense legal proceedings can be, they are professionals hired to perform their duties with impartiality and competence. They are not psychotherapists, friends, or family members providing favors, nor should they be seen as magicians who can guarantee results or consumer stores where decisions can be bought or demanded for a fee in return.

We repeatedly emphasize that civil litigation is a serious endeavor, involving many risks, including uncertainties in the law, evidence, and facts. Clients with unsuccessful cases may face significant legal costs imposed on them by the opposing counsel. Additionally, contingency-fee arrangements should not be viewed as quick money schemes. Lawyers do not operate solely in a commercial environment motivated by profit; they are actually Officers of the Court and owe a fiduciary duty to their clients, operating under very stringent regulatory rules.

Why choose us as your legal advisor?

ME LAW practice focuses on litigation of Civil Disputes, and in particular in the areas of Real Estate Litigation, Estate Litigation, Shareholder & Partnership Disputes Litigation. Our goal is not just to deliver exceptional results but to exceed your expectations in obtaining legal advice that will set up a benchmark. Our company is not interested in just being your lawyers but we are investing into being your partners for life.

TESTIMONIALS

Our experience with May exceeded our expectations of a lawyer!It was unbelievable!!

She’s truly compassionate and passionate about her clients. We trust her with our life!!!May THANK YOU for being You! We are so grateful!You are our lawyer for life!!!!!

We are so lucky to know and work with May, ME Law Professional. She is so nice, professional and got everything done so fast and amazing even though our case was difficult.

I had the pleasure of working with May on a very difficult matter. She made me feel heard and understood. I can't thank you enough May and your team for your help and understanding.

CONTACT US

Whether you are facing a serious legal dispute, your rights have been violated, or you’ve just been hit with a legal claim, it is time to reach out to ME Law. Here, at ME Law, we act as an independent, unbiased third party who can view your situation through a legal framework, explain any legal risks you may be facing, and then guide you on the best path towards resolution or handle your legal matter for you from start to finish.


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