Selecting A Good Consumer Issues Lawyer in Canada
It's sometimes difficult to find a Canadian Consumer Issues lawyer who will represent a single consumer in a legal dispute, often because there's not enough money involved to make it cost-efficient to hire someone. However, if you have a consumer complaint that you haven't been able to resolve, it would still be a good idea to try to talk to a consumer lawyer. Helpful hints are provided below on how to come up with a list of Canadian consumer lawyers to call.
Before calling a Canadian consumer lawyer, discussing the problem with the business from which the product was purchased can sometimes provide a solution. You can also file complaints with your local consumer organizations, who will sometimes work at negotiating a compromise.
If you're unable to resolve your dispute short of taking it to court, you may be able to represent yourself in Small Claims Court if the amount at stake is small enough. However, if there is too much money involved to take the matter to small claims court, or you know of several other consumers who are having similar problems with the same business, you may be able to find a Canadian consumer lawyer to take your case.
A great place to start a search for a consumer lawyer is right here at Canadian-Lawyers.ca. You can do a free search to come up with a list of Canadian lawyers by using the Find A Lawyer search box that can be accessed from anywhere on Canadian-Lawyers.ca. (You should see a search box on the right side of your computer screen.)
To do a search for a Canadian consumer lawyer, go to the first part of the Find a Lawyer search box where it says, "Select a type of lawyer" and enter 'Consumer' in the search field for Area of Law or a Lawyer / Firm Name. Then, in the second part of the search box, type in your hometown, insert your province, and click on the Search button. You should be able to pull up Search Results with a list of Canadian consumer lawyers in your area.
If you don't pull up any names, try broadening your search for a Canadian consumer lawyer. Ultimately, you will be able to pull up a list of names consumer lawyers.
To try to hire the best Canadian consumer lawyer you can for your situation, it is critically important to take the next step of accessing background information for the lawyers on the list you have pulled up. You should easily be able get a lawyer's biography either by clicking on his or her name, or by clicking on the "More info . . ." link that appears in each listing. If the Canadian consumer lawyer has a website, you should check it out by clicking on the hot link that may also be provided in the listing.
You'll want to find out everything you can about the consumer lawyers and then do some initial screening to reduce your list to three or four prospective candidates. You can use the My Lawyers functionality on Canadian-Lawyers.ca to compare your selection side-by-sideand to contact them all with a single email message.
Review the biographies and websites for the lawyers and their law firms. Do they appear to have expertise in the area of law that you need? Do they have any information on their Web sites that's helpful to you? Does the Canadian consumer lawyer belong to any legal associations that cater to consumer issues?
Look for a list of representative clients. Are they the types of clients that you'd want your Canadian consumer lawyer representing? Has the consumer lawyer represented other consumers similar to yourself?
Search the Internet under the name of the Canadian consumer lawyer and his or her law firm. Can you find any articles, FAQ's or other informational pieces the consumer lawyer has written that give you a level of comfort?
Ask other people if they have heard of the consumer lawyers and what they think about them.
Contact your provincial law society or go to their website to find out if the consumer lawyer is in good standing.
Check out the archives of your local newspaper. Has there been any publicity about the lawyer or the consumer cases that he or she has handled?
Consider any special needs you have. For example, could you benefit from a consumer lawyer who speaks a language other than English?
Check Canadian-Lawyers.ca for Client Reviews. These are objective reviews of the lawyers' service from previous customers.
Ask for references. You will want to talk to people such as other lawyers who can comment on skills and trustworthiness
Look to see if a Canadian lawyer is connected with associations that cater to your legal issues.
Having a Canadian lawyer who is involved in a chamber of commerce or other local organizations may also be a good sign, depending on your legal needs.
Unless there are special circumstances, you'll want to hire a Canadian consumer lawyer with an office that is not too far away from you or the business with whom you're having the dispute. Special circumstances where you may have to go out of town would include a situation where local consumer lawyers don't specialize in the area where you have specific legal needs. If the business you're in conflict with is in different cities or out of the province, you should also consider a consumer lawyer or law firm with offices (or with affiliations with other lawyers or firms) in some of those locations.