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ZZZZZZZ
Premium
join:2001-05-27
PARADISE
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage

1 edit

[Excessive/unfair] lawyer [fees].........unreal.

»www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-c ··· ?cmp=rss
--
Sarcasm is the body’s natural defense against stupidity.


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5

Re: Somebody should do this lawyer in.........unreal.

I suggest the lawyer hire a lawyer to defend himself from veiled threats by forum posters. If there is a buck to be made........

logical conclusions
a. dont get married.
b. stay away from lawyers.
c. dont marry a lawyer
e. just have sex with lawyers and keep the pictures in case you need them later.

The only thing I could add is that there needs to be disclosure of the whole scheme. The lawyer should present the breakdown of potential costs and that she was liable for all costs regardless. If she had understood all of that she may have sought alternative counsel that was less intent on gouging her.
--
Ain't nuthin but the blues! "Albert Collins".
Leave your troubles at the door! "Pepe Peregil" De Sevilla. Just Don't Wifi without WPA, "Yul Brenner"

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zod5000

join:2003-10-21
Victoria, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw
reply to ZZZZZZZ
If it were me I think I would of:

1) Gotten bill total updates. IE i'd want to know how far I'd been adding up the charges

2) I'd really not want to mortgage my home/property to cover legal fees.

3) See #1, and realize that the ex probably wouldn't have the money to cover the legal fees in the first place. When individuals get sued or go to court, how many olf them could serious afford fees that large. Shouldn't she of either know her husband never had that kind of money, or he was the kind of d-bag that would hide it and claim bankruptcy. Would the guy of bothered to take her to court if he actually had something to lose?

It really sucks the lawyer did this too her, but I'd like to think if some of us were in the same situation we'd use some common sense.


Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
reply to ZZZZZZZ

Re: [Excessive/unfair] lawyer [fees].........unreal.

Based on the information presented, I'm not quite so willing to throw the lawyer all the way under the bus.

So common-law ex thought he deserved a piece of her house after they split? Are we so sure, that he wasn't entitled to one? Don't know what the common-law spouse laws are in B.C. specifically, but in Ontario an ex-common law wife? Yeah, she's getting half the dude's house and half the bank account. No questions asked. Was he contributing upkeep/money towards mortgage payments that increased the equity value? I'm guessing that he probably was.

But, ok, a court said no, so perhaps they had good reasons. Maybe the scoundrel hung out on her couch drinking for years. Whatever.

First mistake, involving a lawyer at all. But having made that first one, what she should have done a couple years into this is probably to have poked her head into the door of yet another lawyer for advice. Probably the last thing you'd want to do is go to trial over such a thing. 3 week trial? Yeah, I have little doubts that her lawyer spent tens of thousands on the case, and he deserves his money. And she should have considered the guy's ability to pay a judgment when deciding to go to trial. I'd bet all of my own money that this guy would have went away for a $5,000 cheque and a case of beer. But of course, her lawyer had more interest in soaking her for years of fees.

First thing she should have done when asked to get a mortgage on her house as collateral for legal bills should have been to go to a bank, not sign an 18% one with her effing lawyer. Idiot.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong

NCRGuy

join:2008-03-03
Ottawa, ON
Ian, I don't believe you are correct. There is Lo automatic division of property on the end of a common law marriage. And there can be no matrimonial home without matrimony (ie. an actual marriage, not a common law one).

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to ZZZZZZZ
I think that an ethical lawyer would have periodically discussed with the client how the costs were going, and whether or not proceeding with the case was still worth it.


ZZZZZZZ
Premium
join:2001-05-27
PARADISE
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage
reply to Ian
Well I agree she's not the sharpest pencil in the box,and she should've gotten a 2nd opinion from anyone else.

But it's pretty obvious this creep of a lawyer took her for a ride.

Maybe with all the publicity this story is generating the BAR will step in and do something........they can't be happy with the negative press.
--
Sarcasm is the body’s natural defense against stupidity.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to PX Eliezer70
said by PX Eliezer70:

I think that an ethical lawyer would have periodically discussed with the client how the costs were going, and whether or not proceeding with the case was still worth it.

Ross Celino (sing it with me guys, Celino and Barnes, injury attorneys, call 888-8-8-88!) over in Buffalo was suspended for six months a few years back for similar stuff. Steve Barnes was also involved. He wasn't suspended, but was censured. I'm surprised the Law Society of British Columbia sees something like this as being on the up-and-up, especially since the court ordered her ex-CLS to pay all legal fees.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to NCRGuy
said by NCRGuy:

Ian, I don't believe you are correct. There is Lo automatic division of property on the end of a common law marriage. And there can be no matrimonial home without matrimony (ie. an actual marriage, not a common law one).

Correct - in Ontario, there is no such thing as common law; you are married, or you are not, there's nothing in-between. Joint bills, joint assets, etc are divided based on contribution; but there's no matrimonial attachment. Trust me, took mucho $$$ to sort that out with my ex...

As for the OP's post - it's criminal what lawyers can do in the name of the law... 18% interest? Forcing her to give him a mortgage against the property before he'd proceed... It may be within the letter of the law, but I hope it's not within the spirit of it... :S

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to ZZZZZZZ
I just got finished paying a lawyer $650/hr. for some corporate legal work. Fking ridiculous.

IamGimli

join:2004-02-28
Canada
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to LazMan
said by LazMan:

Correct - in Ontario, there is no such thing as common law; you are married, or you are not, there's nothing in-between. Joint bills, joint assets, etc are divided based on contribution; but there's no matrimonial attachment. Trust me, took mucho $$$ to sort that out with my ex...

...unless there's kids involved. Once common laws have a kid, they might as well be married in Ontario.

The article also describes the ex as "common law ex-husband". I don't know if it's a typo or if they got back together as common law after the divorce but that may muddle the waters quite a bit.

I've long believed legal protection should be a service provided by the Government, like health care. Unfortunately since a lot of court cases feature a level of Government on at least one of the side it's very unlikely they'll ever move to give people more access to protect themselves properly.


Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
reply to LazMan
said by LazMan:

Forcing her to give him a mortgage against the property before he'd proceed...

I didn't read it as having forced her.

quote:
As it advanced, her lawyer said he wouldn't continue unless she allowed him to secure a $100,000 mortgage against her property, at 18 per cent interest per year.
For one thing, we have her side, and only her side of the story here. I suspect that lawyer wouldn't continue unless she paid him for the work he did. Hardly unreasonable on his part. And could well be that the lawyer made the pretty good "guess" that expecting that he'd ever get paid from a judgment against her ex as being pretty damned remote.

Having asked her to pay, her likely response was "I have no money. All I have is my house." I don't know about you, but I don't work for free against some faint hope of ever seeing a dime.

If she had a modest amount of intelligence, she should have talked to her bank and borrowed against that equity, and paid her lawyer. If and when she got any money out of her ex, she could have paid that loan back. It would have been smart to borrow just enough to cover her expected legal fees and interest on that new loan for a decent length of time.

But she wasn't very smart, and her lawyer screwed her with an unnecessary 18% mortgage.

So long story short, dumb person got screwed by a lawyer. Yes, this is a repeat of 10,000 stories like it every year since the dawn of the written language and advent of lawyers.

And as with all such things, there will be the usual howls for the law society to get involved or for there to be some sort of legislation to "protect" her from her own stupidity. I'm not opposed to all such things, but realistically? There's only so much you can do.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong

technocar2

join:2009-05-29
Brampton, ON
kudos:2
reply to IamGimli
said by IamGimli:

said by LazMan:

Correct - in Ontario, there is no such thing as common law; you are married, or you are not, there's nothing in-between. Joint bills, joint assets, etc are divided based on contribution; but there's no matrimonial attachment. Trust me, took mucho $$$ to sort that out with my ex...

...unless there's kids involved. Once common laws have a kid, they might as well be married in Ontario.

The article also describes the ex as "common law ex-husband". I don't know if it's a typo or if they got back together as common law after the divorce but that may muddle the waters quite a bit.

I've long believed legal protection should be a service provided by the Government, like health care. Unfortunately since a lot of court cases feature a level of Government on at least one of the side it's very unlikely they'll ever move to give people more access to protect themselves properly.

That's why I think there should be a insurance policy for legal expenses (LEI). Pay a monthly insurance fees and be protected against these kinds of legal shenanigans.


Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3

1 recommendation

said by technocar2:

That's why I think there should be a insurance policy for legal expenses (LEI). Pay a monthly insurance fees and be protected against these kinds of legal shenanigans.

So the business that's as much as, or even more of, a gouging racket than the legal business should protect us from the latter?

Auto insurance company - Pay us $2000 a year and we'll cover your losses in case of an accident. Plus we leveraged our influence to make it against the law not to buy our product. And you can't get it cheaper, because we've all agreed it's in our best interest to screw you.

You - ummm....ok..here ya go.

You 20 years later....Ummm I totaled my car.

Company - Here's a cheque.... By the way, now your premiums are $4600 a year since you had a claim.

You - Umm....Shouldn't the $40,000 I've already given you for that have covered it?

Company - We spent it on executive bonuses. PS - Fuck you.



To the extent that you can, self-insure. Put $50 or $100 a month into a legal account earning interest. Never need it? You keep the money, AND the interest.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong

technocar2

join:2009-05-29
Brampton, ON
kudos:2
said by Ian:

To the extent that you can, self-insure. Put $50 or $100 a month into a legal account earning interest. Never need it? You keep the money, AND the interest.

That would only work in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec where cheap public insurance covers personal injuries, while your savings account can cover damage to property as per your example.

Also you conveniently ignore the fact that LEI is very successful in other countries because of government regulation. Our governments are too weak when it comes to regulation, except in the above mentioned provinces.

From what I gather LEI would be about $500/year for $100,000 coverage even if you lose a case, this is what one company is proposing.

Anyway, I will always be pro insurance when proper government regulations are in place that insures mutual benefit to the insurer and the insured.

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
reply to ZZZZZZZ
I guess the couple grand and 18 months I spent in college to get a diploma as a paralegal didn't go to waste if I can do my own legal work.


Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
reply to technocar2
said by technocar2:

Anyway, I will always be pro insurance when proper government regulations are in place that insures mutual benefit to the insurer and the insured.

Which we don't have because it's rigged to ALWAYS be in favour of the insurance companies.

First thing the insurance company is going to do when you lose your case is look for a loop-hole (in the reams of fine print) to avoid paying it. Failing that, they'll claim they don't owe it to you anyway and let you fight with them for a year or two, perhaps finally, grudgingly, paying the claim.

And so $500 a year for lawsuit insurance up to $100,000?

What do you suppose the odds would be that any given person will lose a $100,000 judgment in their lifetime? 2%? 5%?

Put $500 a year into an investment at 6% a year? You get $45,000 in the account by year 30. And likely 95% yours to keep. $15,000 to an insurance company? 95% likely to kiss it goodbye forever.

I'm aware that peace of mind comes at a price, but guess what would increase the odds of you ever getting sued? Them knowing you have insurance.....
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong


J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
reply to NCRGuy
said by NCRGuy:

Ian, I don't believe you are correct. There is Lo automatic division of property on the end of a common law marriage. And there can be no matrimonial home without matrimony (ie. an actual marriage, not a common law one).

Not in Ontario (although you can be compensated with some cash) but it appears to be different in B.C....(although you did use the word "automatic")

An example for B.C. law:

quote:
If your partner has been able to buy a lot of property because of your help, the law says that you may have a right to a share of the property, even though these things don't have your name on them. This situation can occur, for example, if you paid all the rent and food bills so your partner could invest in a business, or if you worked in your partner's business without getting paid for it.
Likely her common law partner felt he contributed to her house in different ways, such as paying utilities. Likely the court felt he didn't do enough. Likely her lawyer didn't know enough to know better.
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If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein

markf

join:2008-01-24
Burlington, ON
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reply to ZZZZZZZ
I don't think we actually know enough about what happened here to judge anything properly. As usual with sensational stories, lots of the facts are missing.

Either way, she hired a $300/hour lawyer knowing the rate. She signed the mortgage papers for the bill approaching $100K with no other assets backing it. I'm guessing he didn't have any assets which a legal claim could be brought against at the time before bankruptcy. She could have hired a more affordable lawyer as well.

From what I have learned going through the civil justice system is that money talks and the truth doesn't really matter. You can have a rock solid case, but to get it to court (at least in Ontario) often costs $100k + with a good lawyer and no guarantees you'll win.

In my case, the lawyer was a $450/hour lawyer, but a good one. I went to another guy first, $90/hour, but he seemed very ignorant of the law and basically told me you are SOL, no point in pursuing. The case involved fraud against a bank (which they obviously took no responsibility for) and against an elderly person. If I'd listened to the $90 guy, I wouldn't have received anything I was supposed to.

When it came to mediation (already having spend many $10's of k to get to that point including close to $10k on an agreement the other side agreed to but then refused to sign to move things forward at the last minute), the lawyer basically looked at me and said, doesn't really matter what the truth is, the facts on your side are you don't have the cash to go to court so you'd better get as much as you can here and walk away. Ended up with a lot less than I was supposed to, but again, money talks, the other side had enough to fight all the way and knew very well that there was a snowball's chance in hell that I would have enough to go any further. Hence, no justice. Like the lawyer told me as well, it's not so much about justice as making a good business deal for yourself.

This lawyer was a good one, both in their job and with their humanity and ethics as they told me they could not in good conscience move forward to court with the case knowing I could not afford to lose. Even though they thought the case was strong, in their experience the judge can make a huge difference and you can get wildly different results.

The woman in this case should have just cut the guy some sort of cheque, knowing she'd never collect on a judgement if it went to court and moved on (I know it was her house, but again, there is no justice system). Sometimes when you go for the home run you strike out. If you don't have wads of cash, you're not going to "win" in court, but rather you need to make a deal to protect yourself as best you can.

The guy obviously lied to his lawyer, or the lawyer was unethical and shouldn't have continued the case on his side knowing that he wouldn't have the money to mop up any mess he made.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by markf:

Either way, she hired a $300/hour lawyer knowing the rate. She signed the mortgage papers for the bill approaching $100K with no other assets backing it. I'm guessing he didn't have any assets which a legal claim could be brought against at the time before bankruptcy. She could have hired a more affordable lawyer as well.

$300/hour for a lawyer is pretty normal. Expensive is $800/hour.

The issue I see is that the court ordered her former common-law spouse to pay all legal fees. He then went bankrupt. It all comes down to who is owed the legal fees, and I don't quite understand how the lawyer can collect on someone for which the court has ordered is not liable for payments, regardless of who holds the mortgage. Is the debt due to his former common-law wife for those fees, or directly to her lawyer? If they're due directly to her lawyer and the guy went backrupt to get out of paying those fees, too bad so sad for the lawyer. That's what happens when a debtor goes bankrupt.

markf

join:2008-01-24
Burlington, ON
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I would assume that the way things were worded was the lawyer is protected no matter what (especially with the mortgage). I know my agreement was such and that any monies received from any settlement or agreement would pay of the legal bills before I saw a penny of it. My lawyer was smart enough to know she wasn't getting paid $100k plus if I lost (and if I won there were a number of assets worth a few hundred K to pay the bills).

She should have known enough about his financial situation to understand that a $100k settlement would bankrupt him. And knowing that fact as an outsider shows me that he probably would have taken a chunk of cash as "buyout" money to walk away. He may have known all along he was going to lose, but since he felt like a ruined man anyways, he decided to take her down with him.

The key word I think is that she thought she "won". Again, there is no winning unless you are a lawyer or have reams of cash to blow.

IamGimli

join:2004-02-28
Canada
kudos:2
reply to technocar2
said by technocar2:

said by Ian:

To the extent that you can, self-insure. Put $50 or $100 a month into a legal account earning interest. Never need it? You keep the money, AND the interest.

That would only work in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec where cheap public insurance covers personal injuries, while your savings account can cover damage to property as per your example.

Actually it wouldn't work in Québec as you must provide proof of at least $2 million dollars in available assets (IIRC) in order to be able to self-insure.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
You can do the same thing in Ontario.


J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
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join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
reply to ZZZZZZZ
Now another thing to consider, while he went bankrupt, the judgement still survives that. So she needs to go out there and enforce whatever she can, which apparently she hasn't.

Although likely she wouldn't get enough, but at least it would be something for her to give to her lawyer.
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein