Are you owed money? Do you have a claim for damages or breach of contract? Do you need help collecting on an unpaid loan? In small claims court, you can sue for money or property valued at $25,000 or less. Though you can represent yourself in small claims court, your most successful avenue is to hire a paralegal to act on your behalf. Why hire a paralegal instead of a lawyer or choosing self-representation?
Accredited, Licensed, Regulated Legal Assistance
In the province of Ontario, paralegals are held to the same professional and ethical standards as lawyers. Paralegals are regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada and licensed by the Law Society. Paralegals can provide full legal services within a limited scope, which includes assisting clients with small claims court cases.
Is Legal Action Necessary and Beneficial?
Without the assistance of a qualified legal professional, it can be hard to know if a lawsuit is the best course of action. Are there other ways to collect the money? Will you be awarded enough in judgement to make the case worth your time, money, and effort? Does the debtor have the assets to pay the judgement? A paralegal can help you determine if legal action is the right solution for your case. Often, cases can be resolved prior to legal action. A paralegal can help you prepare demand letters, make verbal contact with the debtor, or represent your interests in a Settlement Conference. If a trial is necessary, a paralegal can provide full counsel.
Experience in Small Claims
Though lawyers provide extensive legal services, they do not typically represent clients in small claims cases. For one, lawyer fees often make it prohibitive for a plaintiff to pursue a small claims case, as the money they would recover may not offset the cost of hiring a lawyer. Many lawyers do not take on small claims cases as they can bill more for areas of practice. Paralegals are intimately familiar with the small claims process and committed to securing you a beneficial legal outcome.
Why Not Self-Representation?
You have the option to represent yourself in small claims court, but it requires extensive preparation and organization to present your case. A paralegal has far more professionals in this area, can assist with the preparation of documents, location of witnesses, negotiation or trial proceedings, recovery of debts, and more.
After the Judgement
Should you receive a judgement in your favour, this is only the first step. Can you recover debts from the defendant? Do they have the assets to make the payments? Collecting on a judgement is hard, stressful work. A paralegal can assist with collecting the money when you win, whether the debtor agrees to make the payments ordered or you need to collect debts by garnishment or seizure and sale of personal property or land.
If you are thinking about taking someone to court, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Shaw Legal service to help you build your case effectively and professionally. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.