RETAINING A LAWYER
WARNING: LAW SOCIETY REFERRALS ARE NOT WHAT YOU EXPECT:
Law Society referrals are based on a bored telephone clerk asking you where you want a lawyer. She then looks at her list and takes the name of the next lawyer whose turn has come up.
There is no checking of skills, suitability or experience. Lawyers using law societies referrals pay a fee and when it is their turn they get the referral. The system stinks.
Check with CanLaw to see if we have any complaints on file.
Read CanLaw's Advice on How to Hire a Lawyer
Here is our list of Lawyers in Yukon
Questions you should ask of both the Law Society and the lawyer before you retain any Yukon lawyer.
- Check that s/he is in good standing with The Law Society of YukonThe Law Society of Yukon
202 - 302 Steele Street
Tel: 867-668-4231 EMAIL Fax: (867) 667-7556
- Ask when s/he was admitted to the Bar. (This will tell you how long they have been in practice.)
- Ask if s/he specializes in the area of law you in which you require assistance.
- What specialist training or certification does s/he have?
- Ask how many similar cases s/he has handled? How many were won.
- Ask if s/he has ever been disbarred, suspended, or disciplined by any Law Society anywhere.
- Ask if she has been the subject of fee reviews.
- Ask if any complaints have been made against her (regardless of the outcome) to the Law Society.
The Society's Discipline Process guidelines are available online They can provide a great deal of useful information and leads to assist you.
"Professional Standards: Many of the complaints against lawyers which the Law Society receives do not reveal conduct for which the lawyers can be disciplined but do in fact disclose problems of lack of knowledge of a particular area of law, law office management or client relations.
Professional Standards complaints are initially handled the same way as in discipline. In fact, it is the Law Society staff that usually makes the initial decision which way to direct the complaints. The Chair of the Professional Standards Committee can appoint an investigation committee. In this process, law office management reviews are often carried out. If there is a finding of improper procedures or lack of knowledge a report will be filed recommending that the lawyer undertake certain remedial procedures or courses, or not to practice in certain areas of law. These remedies are recommended with the consent of the lawyer. If that consent is not given, the matter may be referred back to the discipline process."
TO FILE COMPLAINTS:
Please go to review the complaint procedures.
KNOW THE RULES. IT WILL HELP YOUR COMPLAINT!
The Code of Professional Conduct for the Yukon Law Society can be obtained from the Society's web site.
Use and read the Code to help organize your complaint. It is better if you can say that the lawyer violated rule # xxx by doing what she did or did not do. This organizes your material and shows you have done your homework.
HINT: Keep your complaint calm and rational. Avoid name calling, abuse and threats. Try to stick to the facts and avoid all emotion. It isn't easy, but it is smart.
HISTORY OF COMPLAINTS IN Yukon
Their are about 300 practicing full and part time lawyer/members of the Yukon Law Society. Complaints run about 20 a year.
Most Law Societies will not tell you if they have complaints against a lawyer unless s/he has been "convicted" in an internal discipline hearing.
However, of all the complaints received only about ten percent will ever get as far as a discipline hearing in Yukon. The rest will be dismissed or closed at the preliminary stages
Most complaints to any Law Society are dismissed. Most complaints are simply frivolous and few have any real merit. Complaints should be filed on the slight chance that they will have an impact.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CONTACT:
Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Statutes must be answered within 30 days. Although the law societies are not bound by these statutes, most will comply and fill your requests.