Welcome to Client Care

905-361-0172 EXT 0

Client Service is important.Answers to common questions can be found at our Client Support Center.

For personalized assistance with a specific issue, Open a Case.
or call 905-361-0172 EXT#0

Administrative Information

Business Hours

Our business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

communication

The firm responds to communication within 1-2 business days ( barring unusual circumstances)

E-Mail

The firm uses a e-mail as a primary way to communicate , including sending letters, and copies of the material we send and receive.

Voicemails

This firm has a voicemail system. You can leave a detailed confidential message. The person you intend to contact will listen directly to your message (the paralegals retrieve and deal with all their own messages). You will also be offered an option to connect to someone else.

There is a cost to you for every contact you have with the paralegal, so it is in your financial interest to make your contact with the paralegals valuable to both you and the firm.

telephone calls

This firm returns all telephone calls and wherever possible, on the same day. Except for emergencies, calls are usually returned in the order they are received. The paralegal deal with as many of the telephone calls as possible, it should be expected to receive a return call within 1-2 business days ( barring unusual circumstances)

Information Forms

To get historical or detailed information to prepare court documents the firm request information that may be used in several aspects of the case, and will result in greater efficiency for us and reduced legal fees . If provided in electronic format (by e-mail), it will save money.

Documents

Anytime you are giving the paralegal a collection of documents (court documents or financial documents, for example) it is in your financial interest to put those documents in chronological order first, and to prepare an index or list of the material you are giving us. If you do this, it will reduce the work
needed by us to organize the material. It is the first thing we will do when we receive the documents.

CONFIDENTIALITY

All information you provide to our office is completely private and confidential.

Fees

Representation Fees and Cost

Our fees are based on a variety of factors, primarily the time expenses of the members of the firm who render services on matters for you. Our fees may also take into account any special level of professional experience or expertise that a particular matter requires the nature and scope of the matter, the ultimate result attained, and other relevant circumstances.

Retainer Applied to Initial Bill

We require an initial retainer to begin the representation. Our time and costs are billed against the retainer .Thereafter,we will require that the retainer is replenished when requested.

Cost

In addition to fees for services, you will be responsible for costs that we may incur in connection with this representation. These costs include, for example, charges for telephone calls, telecopier costs, messengers, photocopy and document reproduction, computerized research, travel and filing fees. In certain situations, we may ask that you make direct payment to the supplier for disbursement billings.

Payments

The Firm accepts payments in the following methods:

a) cash

b) credit

c) cheque

d) e-transfer

e) money order

Invoices for fees and costs will be rendered on a monthly basis for time expended and costs incurred during the previous month. Our invoices are due and payable on receipt.

Invoices

The invoice itemizes the services rendered during the litigation period. Invoice inquires should reference the invoice #, line item and specific inquiry.

Retainer Return

Any unused portion of the retainer is returned within 30 days.

Questions

If you have any questions concerning our billing , estimates and payment policies, please do not hesitate to contact accounts@zoomassociates.com

Representation

Commencing & defending court actions

Our Firm commences and defends court actions. This includes reviewing evidence, claims, legal research and apply legal principles. When commencing an action our approach is to recover the principle amount, legal fees and cost. In defending an action, our approach is to limit liability, shift liability or dismiss the action.

Court Attendances

It is mandatory that client appear in court on schedule dates.

In the event the client could not attend, client shall notify firm promptly.

Legal letters & offer to settle letters

Legal letters & offers to settle letters are an effective tool used in the dispute resolution process and may result in the end of a legal dispute. The firm’s presence in dispute resolution promotes settlements. Our firms legal letters are equipped with the legalities and potential ramifications. Clients appreciate the firms dedication to dispute resolution.

Judgment Enforcement and Collections

Civil court provides various judgment enforcement procedures that promote collections. These procedures include garnished wages, writ of seizure, sale of personal property, property liens and/or sale of land and assets.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Our firm spends up to 3 month in attempt to settle matters in the alternative of commencing or defending an action in court. This includes correspondence and boardroom meeting with parties and their representative.

Basic Steps in the Small Claims process

Basic Steps in the Small Claims Process

Civil lawsuits arise out of disputes between people, businesses, or other entities, including government entities. Civil lawsuits generally proceed through distinct steps: pleadings,discovery, trial, and possibly an appeal.

However, parties can halt this process by voluntarily settling at any time. Most cases settle before reaching trial.

Pleadings

Pleadings
Each party in a lawsuit files initial papers, known as “pleadings.” The pleadings explain each party’s side of the dispute.

The Complaint: Litigation begins when the plaintiff files a complaint with the court and formally delivers a copy to the defendant. The complaint describes what the defendant did (or failed to do) that caused harm to the plaintiff and the legal basis for holding the defendant responsible for that harm.
The Answer: The defendant is given a specific amount of time to file an answer to the complaint. The answer provides the defendant’s side of the dispute. The defendant may also file counter-claims against the plaintiff, alleging that the plaintiff has harmed the defendant and should be held liable for that harm. Sometimes, the plaintiff responds to the defendant’s answer or counter-claims by filing a reply. In some instances, in lieu of an answer or reply, a party may request that the other party clarify or correct deficiencies in its factual allegations or legal theories, or may ask the court to dismiss part or the entire suit. This may lead to amended complaints or amended answers. Once the parties have completed the complaint, answer, and any reply, the issues for resolution by the court have been defined.

Settlement Conference

Settlement Conference
Parties and their representatives must attend the settlement conference.
The purpose of your settlement conference is to:
a) Resolve some or all of the issues in the action.
b) Encourage settlement of the action.
c) Help you get ready for trial.
d) Provide full disclosure among the parties of all the relevant facts and evidence.
There are many good reasons why parties should try to settle their dispute before going to trial:
a) It saves time;
b) It saves money;
c) It avoids the complexity of a trial; and
d) It gives you the power to resolve your dispute on your own, rather than have the judge resolve
it for you.
The role of the judicial officer at a settlement conference is to listen to the parties positions , to deal with any procedural problems, and to give you an opinion of how your case will likely be decided if it goes to trial.
There is no obligation to settle. A good settlement is one where both parties have engaged in a fair compromise.

Expert Witnesses:

Expert Witnesses: Often a claim or defense requires support from expert witnesses to explain technical information or validate an argument. One or more experts might be needed to testify about the connection between the defendant’s conduct and the loss suffered by the plaintiff, or the existence and amount of the plaintiff’s damages. Expert witnesses work closely with a party’s
representatives and attorneys to prepare the party’s case.

Motions

Motions: Before trial, the parties may use motions to ask the court to rule or act. Motions usually pertain to law or facts in the case, but sometimes they seek clarification or resolution of procedural disputes between the parties. Some motions, such as a motion for summary judgment, which asks the court to dismiss part or all of a plaintiff’s case or a defendant’s defense, dispose of issues without trial.

Other motions might ask the court to order a party to produce documents or to exclude evidence from trial.

Timing

Timing: The duration of a lawsuit depends on the issues of the case, court scheduling and availability. Trial dates are set by the court. Timing and scheduling differ between courts.

Trial

At trial, the parties present evidence in support of their claims or defenses to a jury and/or judge.

Trial: Immediately before trial, each party provides to the judge a document, called a “brief,” that outlines the arguments and evidence to be used at trial. Once the trial begins, each party presents its outline of the case in an opening statement. Then, the parties present evidence.

Each party may call witnesses or introduce documents and exhibits in support of its arguments. After each witness is called and questioned, the opposing party has an opportunity to cross-examine
the witness.

The plaintiff presents evidence first, then the defendant.

Sometimes, the plaintiff is allowed to present additional evidence, called rebuttal evidence, after the defendant has finished presenting its case. Once all the evidence has been presented, the parties give their closing
arguments.

After closing arguments, the court on the law to be applied to the evidence deliberates and reaches a decision or verdict.

Costs and Fees: The party who prevails at trial will usually file a motion requesting the court to order the losing party to pay the prevailing party’s costs to prosecute or defend the case.

Recoverable costs are defined by rule, statute, or private agreement and generally do not include paralegal fees.

Recoverable costs rarely cover all out-of-pocket costs a party incurs during the course of a lawsuit. Some statutes and contracts also allow the prevailing party to seek reimbursement of its attorneys’ fees from the losing party.

Appeal

Appeal
Following trial, a party dissatisfied with the result may at times appeal. Paralegals are restricted from the appeal process.

The appeal process requires a lawyer and cannot be conducted by our
firm

Alternatives to Litigation

Alternatives to litigation usually save time and expense, but they may not result in a final resolution of the dispute.

The desirability of these alternatives should be evaluated early to allow
their timely implementation.
Settlement: It is generally wise at the outset of any litigation proceeding to review the potential for an out-of-court settlement. Indeed, most matters settle before reaching the trial stage.

Settlement can be discussed by any party at any time during litigation and is often a cost effective alternative to trial. Usually the court does not require the parties to discuss or attempt settlement, but most courts have procedures by which a party can request the court’s assistance in
settlement abbreviated and less formal than a trial.

Arbitration often arises from private agreement, but
many courts also require the parties to smaller disputes to explore arbitration as an alternative to trial.

Parties who agree to settle their dispute using binding arbitration usually cannot appeal the arbitrator’s ruling to a court.

Basic Steps in the Landlord and Tenant Board process

Arrival at the LTB

When you arrive you will sign a sheet that well record your attendance at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Mediation

Mediation
If you want to mediate, you tell the security guard when you arrive. You will sign a sheet and a mediator will come speak to you.

Remember that for mediation to take place both sides must be willing to mediate.
If the member gets to your case while you are waiting to mediate or in mediation, they will move on to the next case.

If you settle the application through mediation, the mediator will tell the member you don’t need a hearing.

If you try mediation but don’t settle the application, a hearing will be held and a member will make a decision.

Who goes to the hearing

Applicant(s): The person who filed the application (i.e. the landlord or the tenant) or a person who is appearing in their place.

Respondent(s): The other person named in the application (i.e. the landlord or the tenant) or a person who is appearing in their place.
The applicant and the respondent are called the parties to the application.

Witnesses: Witnesses are people who can give evidence (information) that is relevant to the dispute. Witnesses will usually be asked to give information rather than offer their opinion. For example, a witness may describe something they saw or heard..

Representatives: A representative may be a lawyer or paralegal you hire to act on your behalf. You may also choose a person who is not a lawyer or paralegal to represent you.

If you don’t go the hearing and no one attends in your place, the member can dismiss the application or decide it without you.

Support Persons: A support person, such as a family member or friend, can attend a hearing or mediation with you. A support person is not considered a representative as long as they don’t speak for you in the hearing or mediation.

Litigation Guardians: Sometimes an application will involve a party without “legal capacity” either because the person does not have the mental capacity to make decisions about the issues in the case or, in certain cases, because the person is under 18. That person can participate in the hearing through a litigation guardian.

What happens during the hearing

The notice of hearing gives you the date and time of your hearing. A number of files will have the same start time in what is called a “hearing block”.
Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your start time to sign-in for your hearing with security. If you do not sign-in and you are not in the hearing room when your case is called, your hearing may go ahead without you.
Wait in the hearing room unless the member has said you can leave and come back at a certain time, or you are waiting to speak to tenant duty counsel or a mediator.
If some of the people in the same block as you are doing mediation or meeting with tenant duty counsel, your turn could come sooner than you expect.
You may have to wait for much of the day, so make arrangements for child care or to be absent from work or school. If it’s not possible to finish your hearing that day you’ll be given a new hearing date.
During the hearing, you and the other party will have a chance to question witnesses, introduce relevant documents as evidence and make arguments about the facts and the law.
The member controls the hearing. Because the member is neutral, he or she cannot provide legal advice or tell you how to present your case. It is up to you to present evidence that supports your position. The member may ask questions during the hearing.
Everyone at the hearing is expected to be courteous and respectful.
When the hearing is over, the member might tell you their decision right away or they might “reserve” the decision, which means they will take more time to consider your evidence and submissions. In either case, you will receive the decision in writing explaining the result. This decision is called an order.

Review of Order

LTB decisions are final and binding and may only be appealed on questions of law. See Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (“RTA”) ss. 209(1), 210(1).

The LTB has the discretion to review a final order where the order contains a serious error or a party was not reasonably able to participate in the proceeding. In making a decision to review, the LTB considers the public interest in preserving the finality of its decisions together with the opportunity to correct a serious error without the need to appeal or seek judicial review.

The LTB will only exercise its discretion to grant a review when it is satisfied the order contains a serious error, a serious error occurred in the proceeding or the requestor was not reasonably able to participate in the proceeding. Rule 29.2

A review is not an appeal or an opportunity to change the way a case was presented.

The purpose of the review process is not to provide parties with an opportunity of presenting a better or different case than they did at first instance. There is nothing in the record or in the request for review to support a determination that the Member applied improper principles in assessing the evidence introduced or that there was insufficient evidence before the Board to support its conclusions. I would not interfere with the assessment of the evidence by the Member of first instance, who had the opportunity of observing the witnesses and of hearing the evidence in its totality.

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