The most important thing in any legal case is to get as much information as possible.
- Give your lawyer all the information he or she asks for
- Immediately tell your lawyer if any information changes, such as:
- You decide that you do not want to go ahead with your case
- Your address or telephone number changes
Your lawyer may send you copies of all important letters in your case and of all orders and judgments that are made in court.
- Ask your lawyer for any copies that you want
- When meeting with your lawyer, bring all papers related to your case, such as:
- Court documents
- Income tax returns
- Pay stubs
- Bank statements
If your lawyer gives you advice that you do not agree with, think about it carefully. Your lawyer is giving you advice because she or he is acting in your best interests.
- You are not required to follow your lawyer’s advice, but your lawyer will expect you to give reasonable instructions
- Your lawyer may refuse to act for you if he or she decides that your instructions are unreasonable or unrealistic
The Other Side
You must not sign any papers or agree to do anything with the person on the other side of the case without checking with your lawyer first. You must not, under any circumstances, telephone or go to see the other person’s lawyer.
To ask a question that does not require legal advice, contact your lawyer’s secretary, articling student or paralegal. Phone your lawyer only when necessary. If you take up a lot of your lawyer’s time with phone calls, you will prevent your lawyer from getting work done on your case.
If your matter is an emergency, contact your lawyer immediately.
If you leave a telephone message for your lawyer, call again only if your lawyer has not returned your call within a reasonable amount of time.
If you want to book or cancel an appointment with your lawyer, contact your lawyer’s office ahead of time.
Your lawyer should tell you when all your court dates are and whether you have to be there. You must go to court whenever your lawyer asks you to be there. If you do not, your lawyer may not be able to continue acting for you.
To find out a court date, contact your lawyer’s office.
Change of Circumstances
You must contact your Area Office if there is a change in your income or family size or some other factor that would affect your eligibility for legal aid or your ability to pay for legal aid under the Agreement to Pay program. See Change of Circumstances for details.
You should not pay your lawyer anything for matters that are covered by legal aid. Let Legal Aid Manitoba know if your lawyer tries to bill you for something that is covered by a certificate.
It may take a long time for your case to be finished. If there are delays, there may be good reasons. Often your lawyer is working hard behind the scenes on your case. Ask your lawyer to explain the reasons to you.