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Featured Question

Does my ex-spouse have to know I hired a lawyer on a limited scope retainer?

A lawyer is required to avoid acting such that it appears the lawyer is providing services to the client under a full retainer. If the lawyer deems that disclosure of the nature of your retainer is necessary to meet this requirement, then the lawyer will seek your instructions to disclose this information to an opposing party and/or their counsel. Such discretionary disclosure may also be necessary where the lawyer represents you in court.

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Most Recent FAQs

Are my chances of getting the result I want higher under a general retainer as opposed to a limited scope retainer?

Your ability to manage the parts of your case you are responsible for under a limited scope retainer is a key factor in your success throughout your case.

If you do not meet procedural and substantive requirements for moving your file forward or cannot present your interests in the best possible light, then a limited scope retainer may not achieve the result you are seeking.

However, if you are able to do so, then your chances of getting the result you want under a limited scope retainer will likely be comparable to... MORE »

My decision to represent myself for certain aspects of my case is not working out as I planned. Can I upgrade my limited scope retainer to a full retainer?

It depends on the circumstances. If you took all necessary and reasonable steps to keep the parts of your case you were responsible for up to date, then a lawyer may quite likely be able to take full carriage of your file under a full retainer.

However, if you did not, then considerable time will be required to rectify the course of your proceeding. Under these circumstances, a full retainer depends on the lawyer’s ability and availability to provide full legal representation competently and efficiently.

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Does a lawyer owe the same duty of professionalism under a limited scope retainer as a general retainer?

The Rules of Professional Conduct apply equally to limited scope retainers and general retainers. In other words, a lawyer working on limited scope retainer is required to provide legal services to the same level of competence, integrity and quality of service, to a name a few, as a full retainer. The Law Society of Upper Canada even added a rule delineating appropriate conduct when working on limited scope retainer. For more information, see Rule 3.2-1A of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

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Will I save time and money with a limited scope retainer?

Having a lawyer take carriage of certain parts of your case will alleviate some of the burden of handling your own family law dispute. When you retain a lawyer to perform specified tasks in your case, you will save time by not having to do those tasks yourself. While spending money to save money seems counterintuitive, it is not when you consider the likely alternative—a general retainer. A limited scope retainer undoubtedly saves you money when compared to full legal representation under a general retainer. The amount of time and... MORE »