FAQs

  1. Why should I retain Cusack Legal Services to deal with my emergency?
  2. What kind of cases does Cusack Legal Services handle?
  3. What is considered an emergency?
  4. What happens when the emergency has passed?
  5. Do you handle cases in Small Claims Court?
  6. Do you handle trials?
  7. Do you handle appeals?
  8. What business valuation services do you provide?
  9. Do you accept Legal Aid certificates?
  10. Do you provide a free initial consultation?
  11. Do you accept contingency fee arrangements?
  12. How are your fees calculated?
  13. What else will I be charged for, in addition to fees?
  14. When is payment required?
  15. What happens if you ask me to provide a retainer, and I don't provide it?
  16. What happens if the total amount you charge me is higher than the retainer I have provided?
  17. What happens if the total amount you charge me is lower than the retainer I have provided?
  18. How can I book an appointment to meet with you?

Why should I retain Cusack Legal Services to deal with my emergency?

We been practicing law in Ontario since 1985. We draw on this experience to help our clients deal with situations that require urgent assistance when "life happens". Our handling of the stress and emotional turmoil associated with emergencies is done with respect, empathy and confidentiality. Our clients have consistently told us that they appreciated the friendly, professional and expedient services offered by Cusack Legal Services.

What kind of cases does Cusack Legal Services handle?

Cusack Legal Services can assist lawyers, individuals, businesses and other organizations you with the following matters:

  • emergency situations involving
    • civil litigation
    • family law
    • proceedings before administrative or regulatory boards or tribunals
    • preparation of Wills and Powers of Attorney, including home visits and visits to hospitals, if required
  • business valuation cases

Cusack Legal Services does not handle the following kinds of cases:

  • criminal matters
  • immigration cases
  • real estate transactions

What is considered an emergency?

Emergencies are typically a single step in the process — they do not involve handling a case from its beginning through to completion of a trial. Our services are typically sought when:

  • the party facing the emergency does not have a lawyer;
  • the party facing the emergency has a lawyer, but the lawyer is not available to deal with the emergency
  • the party facing the emergency has a lawyer, but that lawyer does not handle civil litigation or family law — for example, if the lawyer only handles real estate or corporate matters

Emergencies Involving Civil Litigation or Proceedings Before Boards or Tribunals

Situations requiring immediate attention to any step in a legal process are emergencies. They may involve motions, case conferences, mediations, examinations, for discovery, examinations on affidavits or other matters. They often arise when a party has been served with documents requiring attendance in court within the next few days.

Emergencies Involving Family Law

Examples of family law emergencies include motions for interim custody of children or for child or spousal support, attempts to remove a spouse or partner from a family home, efforts to prevent children from being removed from their usual home, and other urgent situations.

Emergencies Involving Wills and Powers of Attorney

Occasionally, situations arise in which someone must prepare a Will or a Power of Attorney on very short notice. For example, an emergency could involve preparing a Will for a person who is terminally ill, or drafting a Power of Attorney for someone who is about to undergo surgery or travel outside the country.

What happens when the emergency has passed?

When the emergency situation has passed Cusack Legal Services will refer the matter to a reputable lawyer who can handle the rest of the case. If it was referred to us by a lawyer we will normally return the case to that lawyer, unless we are instructed not to do so.

Do you handle cases in Small Claims Court?

Although Cusack Legal Services will handle emergency matters in any court or before any board or tribunal, some cases may not justify our involvement. Most Small Claims Court matters involve disputes over relatively small amounts of money. In such cases, it may not be advisable to pay for our services, since the legal costs may exceed the benefit that can be obtained.

Do you handle trials?

In most cases trials will not involve an emergency — they are normally scheduled with sufficient lead time to allow the litigants and their lawyers to prepare properly. Occasionally, situations arise in which there is an emergency involving an impending trial. In such cases Cusack Legal Services will handle an impending trial if there is sufficient time to prepare properly for it.

Do you handle appeals?

Appeals do not normally involve emergencies — they are usually scheduled with sufficient lead time to allow the litigants and their lawyers to prepare properly. Occasionally, situations arise in which there is an emergency involving an impending appeal. In such cases Cusack Legal Services will handle an impending appeal if there is sufficient time to prepare properly for it.

What business valuation services do you provide?

Many cases require the value of a business to be determined — for example, when one business partner wishes to buy out the interest of another, or when a married couple separate and equalize the value of their assets. Businesses valuations will normally be performed by a Chartered Business Valuator, who is an expert at such matters. However, many lawyers and some judges are unfamiliar with the concepts and processes involved in business valuations, and Chartered Business Valuators do not always arrive at appropriate conclusions. Cusack Legal Services has the expertise to analyze the reports produced by Chartered Business Valuators, advise whether appropriate processes were used and assist in preparing for or conducting cross-examination of the person who prepared the valuation report. Cusack Legal Services can bridge the gap in expertise between the lawyer and the Chartered Business Valuator.

Do you accept Legal Aid certificates?

Cusack Legal Services does not accept Legal Aid certificates.

Do you provide a free initial consultation?

Because our services focus on emergencies, administrative and support functions and resources must be allocated promptly — sometimes immediately — to respond to the situation. Due to this high demand on resources, it is not practical to offer a free consultation. However, if Cusack Legal Services is retained to handle an emergency situation after a client has paid for an initial consultation involving the same matter, we will provide a credit on the invoice equal to the cost of a half hour consultation.

Do you accept contingency fee arrangements?

Because emergency matters must be dealt with quickly and do not involve handling an entire case, Cusack Legal Services cannot enter into contingency fee arrangements. All fees are calculated on an hourly basis for the amount of time required to deal with the emergency matter.

How are your fees calculated?

Fees are calculated on an hourly basis for the time required to deal with the matter.The expertise of a senior lawyer will be provided at an hourly rate of $500.00. An estimate of the time required to deal with the emergency and the anticipated total cost will be provided in the first meeting.

What else will I be charged for, in addition to fees?

The bill will include charges for legal fees and out-of-pocket expenses (disbursements) incurred on behalf of clients. Disbursements may include such expenses as court charges to file documents, fees charged by process servers or other agents hired to help with the case, courier charges, long distance telephone charges, postage, faxes, photocopies, document binding and so on. The most likely disbursements will be outlined in a retainer agreement that clients will be asked to sign when our services are retained. In addition to fees and disbursements, the invoice will include a charge for GST. In the summer of 2010 the GST system will be combined with the provincial sales tax and will be known as "HST". Thereafter, HST will be charged on the invoices.

When is payment required?

When you retain Cusack Legal Services we will estimate the amount of time required to deal with the emergency matter and the associated disbursements. The estimated fees and disbursements for the matter will be calculated and you will be asked to provide a cash retainer in that amount before any work is undertaken on your behalf. The cash retainer will be paid into a lawyer's trust account and used to pay the invoices that are issued to you, or to pay disbursements that are incurred on your behalf.

What happens if you ask me to provide a retainer, and I don't provide it?

We cannot start work on your matter until the retainer has been provided. If you are asked to provide an additional retainer while your emergency is underway and you don't do so, work on your matter will cease until the additional retainer is provided.

What happens if the total amount you charge me is higher than the retainer I have provided?

There are two possibilities:

  • if, before your emergency services have been completed, it becomes apparent that the initial cash retainer will be insufficient to cover the amounts that will be billed to you, a new estimate will be given to you and you will be asked to provide additional funds to increase the cash retainer before further work is undertaken;
  • if the shortfall in the retainer only becomes apparent after your emergency matter has been dealt with, you will be billed for the difference, and any such amounts are due and payable at that time.

What happens if the total amount you charge me is lower than the retainer I have provided?

If the amount billed to you is less than the cash retainer you have provided, the difference will be refunded to you.

How can I book an appointment to meet with you?

Click here to book an appointment with Cusack Legal Services on-line or by telephone.