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Most of us have heard the jokes and negative commentaries associated with lawyers. Lawyers are liars – What do you call a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? – A good start!

Most lawyers are polished, good communicators and therefore usually great salespeople. The simple truth is they do work in a very competitive industry, and yes; as in any profession; there are those who do take advantage. However, this perception is often unfair and compounded by the fact that the value brought by your lawyer is difficult to gauge.

We don’t question the hourly rate of a mechanic though many of us grumble under our breath as we pull away from the garage – it is an accepted cost of driving. On the other hand, it is not all that hard to establish how many hours are spent on the job and/or the cost of part(s).

With lawyers, we look for knowledge, experience, comfort, and sometimes – even miracles. They often represent the only ‘lifesaver’ for a person facing criminal charges while facing the uncertainty, fear and frustration associated with the Canadian justice system.

Red flags

Lee possesses an accumulative total of more than thirty years of experience in courtrooms and interaction with lawyers. This includes twenty-five years spent as a defendant with dozens of court appearances under his belt, combined with the diverse experience base built over the past five years spent in an advocacy role. This extensive experience has allowed him to create a list of “red flags” of things to look out for when shopping for a lawyer – remember, your lawyer works for you, and you must feel safe in your lawyer’s hands.

  • When searching for a lawyer to defend you, ask them to provide you with a ‘bottom line’ or worst case scenario fee. If they cannot, or will not do this, once they know the facts of your case – it is a red flag!
  • Hidden fees – after entering into the relationship with your lawyer have you become fearful of contacting them – due to fees associated with previous emails and phone conversations?
  • Lack of accessibility, communication and information sharing. Do you find it nearly impossible to speak directly with your lawyer? You have hired your lawyer to represent you, although your lawyer may be busy, ensure that they are not too busy to speak to you and answer questions or concerns.
  • Do you receive clear communication and insight, regarding the purpose, and what to expect, throughout the court process and prior to each court date?
  • Does your lawyer, themselves, rarely attend your court dates? Are you forewarned of this?

The firms and lawyers Lee has come to respect and trust throughout his many years of experience, as both defendant and advocate, share many of these same traits.

First of all, they provide upfront fee quotes – providing best and worst case scenarios – and do so by setting block fees rather than charging hourly rates. To clarify – a retainer once agreed upon and paid – is the fee that gives a lawyer the go ahead to review the circumstances of your case, so they then can set a fee for what lays ahead.

Just as importantly, you need to get out there and shop around and kick some tires. Most of us accomplish this today through Google searches, so when shopping around pay attention to things such as accessibility and responses to direct questions. You need to feel comfortable and confident that the lawyer you choose is straight up, down to earth, and will treat you and your case with the importance you deserve.

Though Lee does not provide legal services and is NOT a substitute for your lawyer, he will work with you to simplify legal jargon throughout the court process. He works in alignment with lawyers, bringing an experienced viewpoint and advice to the Pre-Sentence Report (PSR) process. Lee views the Pre-Sentence Report process as an important dimension to sentencing as it can reduce sentences and is a direct prelude towards setting the stage for any form of early release or parole.

What lawyers know vs. what you think they know?

A criminal defense lawyer’s job is to defend you against criminal charges and advocate on your behalf throughout the court process. Their mandate is clear – it is to establish your innocence, or if guilty, negotiate the best deal on your behalf. This job ends the moment your day in court is over.

If you are facing time in the Canadian correctional system, your lawyer does not have the answers to questions about going to jail. The truth is lawyers have never been to jail and therefore do not know the first thing about navigating the correctional system.

Contact us at CPC Inc. for all the questions you need answered to navigate the ins and outs of the system – including lawyer referrals.

Lee has built an extensive legal network and is aligned with many of the top Canadian defense firms and lawyers.

Call us today (416) 595-9328 – At this time in your life, it could be the most important phone call, you will ever make!




401 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON
M5V 2Y2
Main: (416) 595-9328