A crisis of sorts has surfaced in the past week with revelation that the former Ontario Attorney General, Michael Bryant, is facing a $300,000 debt from legal fees for the defense of his criminal charge and divorce. The dramatic rise of legal fees in recent years is no surprise to lawyers and their clients, but little discussion has taken place on how to resolve this growing problem.
Edward Prutschi spearheads this discussion with Jerry Agar, and answers a litany of important questions surrounding this matter: are legal fees too expensive? What is the role of the court system in these escalating legal fees? Should we expand legal aid? Are lawyers becoming greedy and are they to blame?
Right off the bat, Mr. Prutschi locates a potential reason why fees are increasing at an alarming rate: the law is becoming increasingly complex and dynamic. Many lawyers have to work overtime to familiarize themselves with these constant legal realignments and this time gets passed on to the client in the form of escalating costs. This constant reeducation with new legislation is done so that lawyers can put the best case forward for their clients. Unfortunately, this new reality is tightly linked to an older one: that lawyers charge based on the time they allocate to your case. Mr. Prutschi elaborates on this point with a discussion on block fees versus hourly rates and delves deeply into these pressing questions people have and more.
As a general point, fees are the number one reason people are scared away from getting a lawyer when they really need to. To read more about this, please read our “A Word about Fees” section. We are cognizant of your worries, and will assist you as much as we can. Do not be afraid to approach us about getting a top Toronto Criminal Lawyer call us and we can talk about it.