Our General Conditions of Service
PARALEGALS – Justice Matters is a sole-proprietorship owned and operated by Furaz Alvi, a licensed paralegal, whose business address is PO Box 20028 – 3029 Clayhill Drive, Mississauga, Ontario L5B 4L7. All paralegals working for or with Justice Matters are registered with the Law Society of Upper Canada and carry errors and omissions insurance as required.
CONSULTATION & ASSESSMENTS – Our fees are inclusive of an initial consultation (maximum 20 minutes) during which time we will provide a preliminary assessment of a client’s case. Please note that assessing a case is an ongoing process and our assessment may change as more information becomes available.
UPDATES – Our clients are advised that ongoing consultations, meetings, inquiries or information requests about court processes are subject to our hourly fee of $90 per hour billable in ten-minute increments.
GUARANTEES – Our clients are advised that no guarantees have been, or can be, made with respect to the outcome of any matter.
HONESTY, DECENCY & RESPECT – In order to handle any matter, and as a condition of this contract, we require full, honest and timely disclosure from the client. In addition, a client must not publicly shows disrespect to the court or its officials, engage in abusive, dishonourable or malicious behaviour to an opposing party or their representative, make offensive remarks either publicly or privately (such as, but not limited to, blasphemy, racial epithets, derogatory comments based on gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity) or otherwise behave in an uncivilized, indecent or inappropriate manner. The client further agrees to respect the integrity of Justice Matters’ business and shall not employ or recruit any Justice Matters employee, past or present, without the written advance consent of Justice Matters.
PRICING – We charge an hourly rate of $90 per hour billable in ten-minute increments. Our fees are exclusive of court fees, disbursements, court-ordered costs and subject to HST. As a guide to our clients we have included typical costs for the most common steps in a lawsuit on our website www.justicematters.ca. The typical costs shown are not necessarily the costs that may be incurred on your matter. Prices may change with 30-days notice on our website. If the client causes unanticipated proceedings or expense by action or inaction, the resulting costs and/or labour may be billed to the client at $90 per hour.
SERVICE AREA – Our posted prices apply to the Greater Toronto Area only beyond which additional fees may apply.
DISCOUNTS – We may, from time-to-time, discount some of our work as a courtesy to our client. Discounts applied to future work that no longer needs to be completed by us for any reason whatsoever become void and cannot be retroactively applied to any other work.
RESEARCH DISBURSEMENTS – For the preparation of any claim or defence you authorize us to spend and bill you for same for up to $150 in disbursements as part of any research we may deem necessary including but not limited to business name searches, corporate profile reports, title abstracts, vehicle and license plate searches, commercial credit reports, etc.
SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS DISBURSEMENTS – As a cost savings measure to our clients we first try to serve Plaintiff’s Claims against individuals by registered mail and corporations by Xpresspost as part of our fee. However, if a Defendant does not respond then an additional fee will be required to serve the Plaintiff’s Claim either personally or by courier which you authorize us to bill you up to $150. All other documents shall be by regular mail, XpressPost or fax unless otherwise requested or required under the Rules. We do not, and cannot, guarantee service of documents.
ADJOURNMENTS, ETC. – The Client always has the right to make all critical decisions with respect to the final disposition of their matter, however, during the course of a proceeding we require and reserve the right to consent to opposing party requests for adjournments, extensions in time, scheduling, waiving procedural formalities, and amendments to pleadings. We also require and reserve the right to make similar requests of an opposing party.
OUTSIDE HELP – We may, at our sole discretion, retain such other licensed paralegals or process servers as we deem necessary.
SETTLEMENTS & AGREEMENTS – The client shall authorize us to extend or accept settlement offers within specific parameters.
YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION – Unless we receive written instructions to the contrary we shall assume that the contact information you have provided us may be listed on court forms and be used to communicate with you including leaving detailed voicemail messages to any telephone number you provide us.
ISSUES OR DISPUTES – Should a client take issue with any of our services then the client shall provide us with notice of same delivered by fax or XpressPost and then allow a minimum of 30 days for Justice Matters to respond before the client takes any other action.
CORPORATE CLIENTS – We require a personal guarantor for our services to a corporate clients unless specifically waived by our firm.
SUCCESSIVE TERMS TO PREVAIL – Until the disengagement of our services the most current version of these terms shall prevail.
DISENGAGEMENT OF SERVICES
GENERAL – The client may, without explanation, discontinue the use of our services in which case the client or their successor representative shall advise the respective court(s), opposing parties, and any other involved parties of the change in representation. We may discontinue our services for the reasons given in the following sections. In either event, the client may request in writing the return of their case file up to 90 days after our services are discontinued failing which the file will be archived. A file may not be returned to a client unless all of our fees and disbursements, including those described herein, are first paid.
COMPLETION OF WORK – Once any billed work is completed, and unless we are retained for additional steps in a matter, we reserve the right to take ourselves off record. If any billed work becomes unnecessary and/or is not completed due to resolution, settlement, discontinuance, adjournment, or abandonment by any of the parties to the action, or by waiver, adjournment or order of the court, or by default of the client (see below), or termination of our working relationship for any reason whatsoever, then any fees billed will be applied to the work performed to that point.
DEFAULT OF CLIENT – In cases of default by the client (including but not limited to non-payment or other non-compliance with this retainer agreement, non-attendance at meetings or hearings, non-disclosure, failure to respond in a timely fashion to inquires or requests, missed deadlines, dishonesty or indecency, or failure to comply with court orders, settlements or agreements) we reserve the right to cease all work and also take ourselves off record. No refund shall be made. A $75 service charge applies to cheques that do not clear. Delinquent accounts are subject to interest of 12.0% per annum and, in the event that legal action is required for payment of our invoice then a $500 fee plus any and all such charges, costs and interest as permitted under the Rules of the Small Claims Court shall apply.
IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES – We may discontinue our services if there is a serious loss of confidence between the client and our firm, or the client persistently instructs us to do something inconsistent with our duty to any court, board or tribunal, or if it becomes clear that our continued employment will lead to a breach of the Paralegal Rules of Conduct.
(c) Justice Matters, last updated March 2015