Lawyers Using Technology to Continue Serving Clients during the Pandemic

Lawyers Using Technology to Continue Serving Clients during the Pandemic

Lawyers Using Technology to Continue Serving Clients during the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everybody’s lives over the past months. It has certainly had a huge impact on the ability of people to obtain common legal services in the way they are accustomed.

Social distancing, self-isolation, and sheltering in place have put severe restrictions on lawyers’ ability to hold traditional office meetings. Also, the courts are currently closed to all but the most urgent types of cases and the limited hearings that are taking place are generally only by video conference with judges and lawyers interacting remotely.

Fortunately, thanks to technology many important legal processes can continue despite the current restrictions. Many lawyers now offer video conferencing and telephone meetings. In family law, lawyers have been conducting multi-party settlement meetings (with lawyers, clients and any other needed participants) using videoconferencing with everyone participating from their own home or office.

Contracts, including separation agreements or marriage contracts, can be signed electronically thanks to the Ontario Electronic Commerce Act, which has actually been in force for a number of years.

Electronic signatures are not, however, permitted for wills and powers of attorney. Since many people need to have these documents executed despite the current meeting restrictions, the Ontario government has recently made a temporary change to the legal requirements for the signing of wills and powers of attorney (POAs).

While electronic signatures are still not permitted on wills and POAs, the strict requirement that the person making the will or POA sign it in the physical presence of two witnesses, has now been relaxed. Instead the person signing the will or POA and the two witnesses (one of whom must be a lawyer or licensed paralegal) may all link up using video conferencing technology and each may sign a separate copy of the will in the virtual presence of the others with the result that the combined three documents will be recognized in Ontario as a properly executed will or power of attorney.

Marc A. D’Heureux

Lawyer

Marc A. D’Heureux Family Lawyer Durham Region

Author |Marc A. D’Heureux | Family Lawyer
Marc focuses his practice on family law. He has years of experience handling all aspects of family law including prenuptial agreements, divorce, child custody, support, and division of property.  Contact

Michelle Choi

Michelle Choi

Michelle Choi

Michelle Choi

Estate & Family Law

Michelle joined Reilly & Partners after her call to the bar in 2018.

She obtained her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. She enjoyed researching case law and developing fact-based arguments both as a moot competitor and later as a moot judge for her university’s Law Society. Michelle was a founding member of University of Leicester’s Information Technology Law Society and the co-founder of the society’s law journal, LegalBrew.

Throughout law school, she volunteered at the Leicester City of Sanctuary as part of the New Evidence Search Team, helping asylum seekers find credible evidence to support their refugee claims. She also gained experience as a summer student at a criminal defence law firm.

Michelle discovered her passion for family law while working and articling at a retail-based law firm in Toronto. She understands that family matters can be emotionally complex and that legal services must be orientated around the client’s circumstances. Her diverse background increased her respect for building strong relationships with clients who come from all walks of life.

When not at the office, Michelle enjoys dancing and going on hiking trips with friends.

Please feel free to contact Michelle by telephone at (905) 427-4077 ext. 32 or by email at MChoi@reillyandpartners.com

 

Family Law & Divorce – What Happens at a Case Conference

Family Law & Divorce – What Happens at a Case Conference

What to expect when you are litigating – the case conference

The Case Conference in a divorce case is usually the first opportunity for parties to hear a Judge’s view of their case.  If both parties have lawyers, depending on the judge, a Case Conference may be held in the Judge’s chambers (office) without the parties present.  It is then up to the lawyers to convey to their respective clients what was said about the custody, access, equalization and other financial issues being discussed.  At times, a judge will then speak directly to the parties in the courtroom.

If the Case Conference is in the Courtroom, the Judge will sit at the front of the room, at a raised desk.  In front of him or her are several court staff – the deputy (who escorts the Judge into the courtroom through a special door); the registrar and the court reporter, who records everything that is being said.  The recording is not published.

The parties and, if they have one, their lawyers, sit facing the Judge and staff.  Usually, the lawyers will make submissions and the parties do not speak; at times, a Judge might ask you a question directly.  You should stand to respond unless told otherwise by the Judge.  Then the Judge will give his or her views of the case, and make recommendations.   Orders can be made on consent at the conference or, if proper notice has been given, the Judge may make an order even if the both sides don’t agree to it.  Child support may be ordered even without the consent of both parties depending on the circumstances.

Conferences require Briefs, but these documents (which follow a specific format) are not kept in the court file after the hearing. They are returned to the parties after the conference or shredded.  It is essential to prepare detailed and up-to-date Briefs that inform the Judge, and the other side, about the facts you are relying on and what position you are taking on custody, child support, equalization and any other issues involved in your divorce.

A family law case will go through several conferences, usually at least two or three, before being placed on a trial list, to give the parties ample opportunity to resolve the issues on consent.

Written by Simonetta A. Lanzi

Related Links:

Family Law & Divorce

The Matrimonial Home & Divorce

Michael P. Reilly

Michael P. Reilly

Michael P. Reilly

Michael P. Reilly

Senior & Managing Partner

Michael is the senior and managing partner at Reilly and Partners. He has been certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in family law. An accomplished litigator with more than 25 years of legal experience, he currently restricts his practice to family law. Michael has successfully argued cases at every judicial level in Ontario, including the Court of Appeal.

Notwithstanding his success in the courtroom, family law often requires a less adversarial approach and Michael remains focused on early resolution.

Mediation should always be seriously considered, especially by those who may choose or have no alternative but to represent themselves in a family law dispute. Michael is a family mediator who not only has an extensive background in family law, but also mediation training and over 10 years of mediation experience. In fact, Michael has successfully resolved over 90% of the cases in which he has acted as a mediator. Although a lawyer is not required to participate in the mediation process, independent legal advice at the conclusion of the process is strongly recommended.

Michael spent two years in undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, before accepting an offer for early admission into Osgoode Hall Law School. He graduated from Osgoode Hall in 1990 and worked in a mid size litigation firm in downtown Toronto for the next few years. In 1994 he started his own law firm in the east end of Toronto. Over the next 20 years, he added 4 lawyers and relocated the firm to its current location in Pickering Village, Ajax.

Michael is a devoted family man who is married with three children. He has been actively involved in the community for over 30 years including coaching, refereeing and sponsoring youth sports.

Please feel free to contact Michael by telephone at (905) 427-4077 ext. 24
email: mreilly@reillyandpartners.com

Simonetta A. Lanzi

Simonetta A. Lanzi

Simonetta A. Lanzi

Simonetta A. Lanzi

Family Lawyer

Simonetta joined the firm in 1998, after having her own practice in downtown Toronto for several years. Simonetta restricts her practice to family law, including matters regarding custody and access, child support, spousal support, property division and child protection, as well as uncontested divorces. Simonetta can assist you in resolving issues through agreement, or by bringing the matter to a conclusion with the assistance of the Court. She has experience at all levels of court, including the Court of Appeal. Simonetta has an honours B.A. from the University of Toronto, a Master of Arts from Dalhousie University and her law degree from Western.

Simonetta has found her greatest joy in her family and devotes as much time as possible to her young girls and her husband. Her passion is cooking, and if she had more spare time, she would read more, knit more, and exercise more. She is hoping to return to playing squash and golf very soon.

Simonetta was an editor of Durlaw, the newsletter of the Durham Law Association. She has sat on a number of boards, she has written for various publications, and she has been actively involved in the community.

Please feel free to contact Simonetta by telephone at 905.427.4077 ext 23

Email: slanzi@reillyandpartners.com

Marc A. D’Heureux

Marc A. D’Heureux

Marc A. D'Heureux

Marc A. D'Heureux

Family Lawyer

Marc focuses his practice on family law.

He has years of experience handling all aspects of family law including prenuptial agreements, divorce, child custody, support, and division of property. He represents clients in the negotiation of separation agreements out of court and also represents clients in family court in Oshawa and Toronto on a regular basis.

In addition to representing clients in family court, Marc is an experienced collaborative family lawyer. He has completed Level Two Collaborative Family Law training and is a member of Collaborative Practice Durham Region (www.durhamcollaborative.com), the association of Durham Region collaborative lawyers. Collaborative Family Law is a way of resolving family law disputes outside of the court system through a series of four-way meetings between the separating spouses and their lawyers. The goal of the process is to achieve a negotiated settlement that takes into account the interests of both spouses and their children while avoiding the negative side-effects that adversarial court proceedings inevitably have on the family.

Marc was born and raised in Toronto. He studied International Relations at Trinity College, University of Toronto, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree. He also has a Juris Doctor degree from the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

When not at work Marc enjoys cycling and spending time with his family.

Marc may be reached at 905-427-4077 ext. 27

email: marcd@reillyandpartners.com

Jeffrey R. Robles

Jeffrey R. Robles

Jeffrey R. Robles

Jeffrey R. Robles

Employment Law & Personal Injury

Jeffrey graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2000. He then completed his articling year at a corporate/commercial and litigation firm in Toronto. Jeffrey joined Reilly & Partners Professional Corporation as an Associate after his call to the Bar in 2002 and became a Partner in 2008.

Recognized by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation, Jeffrey represents clients in employment, disability insurance and personal injury matters at all levels of the court in Ontario. Jeffrey also acts on behalf of clients in matters before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Ministry of Labour, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Jeffrey is very active in the community. His past involvement includes organizing fund raising campaigns for Epilepsy York Region and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and he was a member of the Diversity and Community Engagement citizen advisory committee for the Town of Ajax.

When he is not spending time with his wife and three young children, Jeffrey enjoys playing the guitar and ukulele, and martial arts training. He currently holds a second degree black belt in karate and also trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Please feel free to contact Jeffrey by telephone at (905) 427-4077 ext. 29
email: jrobles@reillyandpartners.com

You may also follow Jeffrey on his blog, WorkLawyer.ca.on Twitter (@Work_Lawyer), and on Facebook (@WorkLawyer.ca).

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Reilly and Partners Personal Injury Law Ajax, ON

Personal injury occurs where you have suffered some form of injury, either physical or psychological, as the result of an accident. When you suffer a serious injury, the impact on your life can be overwhelming.  Many difficult decisions have to be made.  Many questions will arise.  Who will pay for the cost of my therapy?  How can I recover these out-of-pocket expenses?  What can I do about my loss of income?  What compensation am I entitled to?

 Reilly-and-Parnters-Personal-injury-law

It is difficult to assess damages in the early stages of a personal injury case. In most circumstances the true cost of an injury is unknown until you have received medical treatment, therapy and rehabilitation. That is why it is important  to seek legal representation at the beginning of the process to ensure you are receiving the necessary funding for the treatment required.

There are many factors to consider when assessing the value of a personal injury claim including  the nature of your injury, the cause of the injury and the impact that the injury has on your ability to work and on the activities of daily living.

Common damages awarded in a personal injury case can include;

Medical Treatment – The cost of medical care associated with the accident including, reimbursement for expenses for medical treatment you have already received and compensation for the estimated cost of medical care you will require in the future as a result of the accident.

Pain & Suffering – You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering you endured, or will continue to endure, as the result of the accident.

Income – You may be entitled to compensation for the accident’s impact on your salary and wages in the past and in the future.

Home Maintenance Services – You may be entitled to compensation for housekeeping and home maintenance services that you are no longer able to perform as a result of your injuries.

Property Loss – If any personal property was damaged as a result of the accident, you may be entitled to reimbursement for repairs or compensation for the fair market value of the property that was lost.

Family Member Claims– Family members may be awarded compensation for their financial losses related to the claim.

Whether you are injured in a slip and fall, an assault or even as a result of a faulty product, Reilly & Partners Professional Corporation has the experience backed by results to help you find the answers.  If you have been injured, please contact us for a free consultation to discuss how we might be able to help you.

Civil Litigation

Civil Litigation

Reilly and Partners Civil Law
Ajax, Pickering, Whitby & Durham Region

If you need a lawyer to guide you through a civil litigation matter, Reilly & Partners can help you resolve your case. Whether you’re dealing with a personal injury, a property dispute, or a breach of contract, you don’t need to navigate the complex waters surrounding a  lawsuit on your own.  Our civil litigation lawyers have the skills and experience to effectively represent you in court.

Here to Help

We understand that legal battles can be confusing and emotionally taxing. That’s why our lawyers will work to facilitate a timely resolution to your  lawsuit. When you work with Reilly & Partners, any questions you have about your case will be answered patiently. You can expect prompt, responsive, and professional service from the moment you become a client.
If you’re involved in civil litigation, turn to Reilly & Partners to protect your rights and put your best interests first. To discuss your case, call today to schedule a consultation.

About Civil Litigation

Civil litigation is the area of the law relating to the enforcement of your rights in the civil courts. This is a very broad area of the law and includes cases such as:

  • claims for monetary compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of others, including:
    • claims relating to falls on icy or poorly maintained property,
    • defective products;
  • employment law disputes involving:
    • contract disputes such as disability insurance claims,
    • debt collection,
    • wrongful dismissal,
    • constructive dismissal, or
    • enforcing confidentiality and non-competition agreements;

    Our firm has extensive experience in this area of law, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. While we strive to resolve cases by negotiating settlements in a timely and cost-effective manner, we have an excellent track record representing our clients at trial and on appeals.

Get Advice About Personal Injury from Reilly and Partners, Ajax, On

Business Law

Business Law

Business, Commercial and Corporate Law
Ajax, Whitby, Pickering & Durham Region

Reilly & Partners provides a wide range of legal services designed to help you with your business. Many transactions in business require legal knowledge and long-term planning. Our firm will work with you to establish your business, provide continuing legal counsel, advise or represent you on any disputes that may develop and ensure all your business needs are considered well into the future.
We can help you identify the right structure for your business and effectively set up a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or professional corporation.

Our business law practice includes:

  • Contract review, drafting and negotiation
  • Corporate compliance
  • Corporate formation/incorporation – Ontario and federal corporations
  • Franchise agreements
  • Labour and employment issues
  • Licensing and registration
  • Litigation
  • Purchase and sale of a business, including asset and share transactions
  • Shareholder agreements

Whether you are seeking legal advice about your commercial obligations, require representation in a negotiation or civil action, or you require assistance preparing documents for your business, our firm can assist you.

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Employment Law

Employment Law

Reilly & Partners Employment Law
Ajax, Whitby, Pickering & Durham Region

In Canada, there are specific laws that govern many aspects of the relationship between employer and employee. These laws were established to offer workers protections that contribute to their overall well-being while on the job.

When Conflict Arises

Even though there are laws in place to protect your rights as an employee, disputes with your employer may still arise. This conflict could have an adverse impact on your  income, benefits, long-term career potential, and quality of life.

If you’re currently involved in an employment law dispute, you’ll want to reach a resolution as soon as possible. However, you may be too intimidated to speak with your employer or may have tried to discuss the conflict, only to receive little to no support. In these instances, it may be in your best interest to consult with an employment lawyer. Reilly & Partners Professional Corporation can provide you with representation when facing:

  • Discrimination and human rights violations
  • Sexual harassment or workplace bullying
  • Wrongful  dismissal
  • Severance packages
  • Employment agreement negotiations
  • Benefits disputes including disability claims

Protecting Your Rights

 

As an employee, you have the right to be treated fairly by your employer. If you believe that your employer may have violated the law in its dealings with you, contact Reilly & Partners Professional Corporation to seek advice.  Our lawyers would be happy to discuss your case and provide you with guidance so that you can resolve your employment law dispute.

Mediation

Mediation

Reilly & Partners Mediation
Ajax, Whitby, Pickering & Durham Region

Mediation is an excellent alternative to litigation.  Reilly & Partners offers mediation services in the area of family law.  The senior partner at the firm, Michael Reilly, has been mediating family law disputes for over 10 years.  He brings extensive experience to the table, including 20 years as a family law lawyer.

At Your Service

Mr. Reilly works hard to help both sides develop a thorough and shared understanding of the dispute, and then guides them through the process of defining a practical, fair and lasting resolution. Mediation is private and confidential, and Mr. Reilly will take the time to work through your dispute rather than push you toward an outcome with which you are not comfortable.

Call today to learn more about Reilly & Partners mediation services.

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