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Working with a Lawyer

The Law Society of Saskatchewan regulates the conduct of Saskatchewan lawyers. It sets standards lawyers must meet in order to practice law. Lawyers must be competent in the law and have the necessary skills to practice law.

In the course of providing this service, a lawyer should...

  • keep you reasonably informed
  • respond to your telephone calls
  • respond within a reasonable time to communications that require a reply
  • inform you about proposals of settlement and explain them properly
  • not withhold information from you or mislead you in order to cover up negligence or mistakes
  • make a prompt report when the work is finished

It’s important that you and your lawyer are able to communicate well and understand each other. Tell your lawyer if there is something that you don’t understand. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be clear about how you would like to see your matter resolved. Your lawyer can help you determine whether your expectations are realistic.

Lawyers have a duty to hold in strict confidence all information acquired in the course of the professional relationship. As well, a lawyer owes a duty not to withdraw services except for good cause and upon appropriate notice in the circumstances. Lawyers must also carry professional insurance.

Negotiations and court cases can take a long time. Your lawyer won’t have control over all delays. If you have concerns about the length of time the matter is taking or other issues, discuss them with your lawyer. You have the right to question your lawyer’s actions so that you can understand what is going on.

Even if your lawyer does everything possible for you, you may not get the result you wanted. The actions of the other party or the court will affect the outcome. If you are not satisfied with your lawyer you may decide to go to another lawyer. However, you must pay what is owed for work already done. Once an account is paid, you or your new lawyer can get your file from the first lawyer.

Starting over with a new lawyer can be costly and time consuming. Before changing lawyers, you may want to try to find a way to keep working with your lawyer. Discuss your concerns with your lawyer. Be sure that you understand what is going on and why. Once you understand the situation clearly you may be satisfied.

If you feel that your lawyer has not met the standards for the profession you can make a complaint to the Law Society of Saskatchewan. See Complaints for more information.

Keeping Costs Down

Be organized whenever you contact your lawyer, whether in person or on the phone. Be sure that you have provided your lawyer with all the information they need from you. Provide clear, concise instructions and limit your discussions to legal aspects of your case. Remember that you are paying for your lawyer’s time. Be clear from the start about how you will be notified about the progress of your file. Get assurance that your lawyer will contact you if needed and contact your lawyer only when necessary. Ask your lawyer if there is anything else you can do to help keep your costs down.

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About PLEA

PLEA gratefully acknowledges our primary core funder the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan for their continuing and generous support of our organization.