Client Bill of Rights

It is fair to say that law is both complex and intimidating for the average person.

Rules and regulations are formal. Attitudes and everyday behaviours are less formal, but just as important.

At M. G. Michaels & Associates, we recognize the importance of our clients, and we pledge to treat you with dignity and respect. We know that for many people, dealing with a lawyer is an emotional and financial strain. Always feel free to ask us what is going on, what we are doing for you, and why.

Our Client Bill of Rights deals with three important areas:  Timely Client CommunicationConfidentiality and Privacy;  and Rates, Fees, and Disbursements.

Right to Timely Client Communication about Your Case

Our clients deserve:

  • To understand which M. G. Michaels & Associates lawyer is primarily responsible for your case.
  • To understand if, when, and who, another M. G. Michaels & Associates lawyer or legal professional will be involved.
  • To understand how M. G. Michaels & Associates operates.
  • To understand, to the degree agreed to by client and lawyer, the law surrounding your case.
  • To receive a timeline that will be revised during the resolution of their matter, showing when various actions will take place and fees and disbursements will be due.
  • To establish an agreement with your main lawyer regarding how detailed and extensive communication will be, bearing in mind that the more communication there is, the higher fees will be.
  • To know, to the degree agreed to between client and lawyer, what is happening to the progress of your case.
  • To receive prompt responses to questions asked in person, in letters, or electronically. We aim to respond to client queries in one business day.

Right to Client Confidentiality and Client Privacy

Our clients deserve:

  • To know what client confidentiality and personal privacy really mean.
  • To understand the concept of lawyer-client confidentiality (also known as solicitor-client privilege) and to be confident that M. G. Michaels & Associates lawyers will maintain this confidentiality.
  • To know when confidentiality cannot be offered or guaranteed because of Canada’s open court and public justice system. For instance, family law and civil litigation paperwork can often be obtained from the court by reporters, business competitors, nosy neighbours, or complete strangers.
  • To not have M. G. Michaels & Associates lawyers act for a competitor, without the prior approval of both clients and an agreement on the scope of the project.
  • To have the opportunity to contribute their time and expertise to do additional research and perform tasks that do not require specific legal expertise, but would serve to lower legal fees. The client must understand that the lawyer cannot accept instructions from the client to “twist” the legal process in any way.

Right to Clear Rates, Fees, and Disbursements

Our clients deserve:

  • To know which M. G. Michaels & Associates lawyers and staff will charge you for time spent and services rendered.
  • To know what project charges or hourly rates apply to each of these lawyers and staff.
  • To know what activities, actions, and services are chargeable.
  • To know if internal conversations between a lawyer and an assistant are charged to you.
  • To know how a retainer works in your specific case.
  • To know what happens when a retainer is depleted.
  • To know if travel time is charged back to you.
  • To be aware if evening and weekend fees are priced at a premium.
  • To be able to easily understand your account’s current financial position.

Read more about our Fees.

Sincerely Yours,

Marie G. Michaels
Founder and Managing Partner