At times individuals need independent legal advice about an Agreement that has been drafted and given to them to sign. There are many different kinds of such agreements in family law, but for all of them, our role is to:
We provide independent legal advice for Agreements that have been drafted by licensed lawyers. Agreements drafted by non-lawyer paralegals, or by the parties themselves, while usually well intentioned, often present with substantial drafting and legal understanding deficiencies, and so we will not work with them.
In any file opened for Independent Legal Advice we request an initial 3 hour retainer deposit. This usually supports the initial review and feedback on the Agreement including the client meeting to discuss the draft Agreement. It is important to know that counsel is professionally and ethically obligated to represent the best interests of the client, and to advise clients on the law and on their rights and obligations in any given situation. This obligation can sometimes mean counsel needs to be frank with a client to protect them from themselves or from the consequences of a questionable decision. Leamy Family Law will not hesitate to discourage the signing of an unfair or unbalanced Agreement, or an Agreement the terms of which are not supported by a sufficient or any sharing of financial information. The obligation to protect the client is a serious one and is not met if counsel just ‘rubber stamps’ the client’s signature on an Agreement, without first engaging in proper expert consideration.
The first 30 minutes of initial consultations are free. If the consultation continues for significantly longer that half an hour, then the extra time is charged at our regular hourly rate.
Meetings for Independent Legal Advice for a Contract or Settlement Agreement are charged on a regular basis for the full time spent. Please see: Independent Legal Advice