Your first appointment
Except for notarial services (see opposite), we offer a free 30-minute consultation with a lawyer before we take you on as a client for the first time. During this appointment, we'll talk with you about the legal problem and get an idea of what the best results might be.
If you'd like to pursue the matter further, we can make a follow-up appointment for you to hire us. Meetings take place at our Ucluelet office, or as otherwise arranged. For details about what this meeting involves, see Hiring Raincoast Law, below.
It is very important for your privacy and to us that we meet with you in person before we start doing any actual work for you. Please do not send us instructions, requests, or your personal information before we have first had a face-to-face meeting. This will allow us to give you the best service, and avoid many misunderstandings.
For our address and contact information, see Contact us.
Hiring Raincoast Law
You become our client when you have signed an agreement that explains our bill. At this meeting, we will also set things up for you to pay us a retainer.
A retainer works like a deposit. If our bill ends up being less than the amount you paid into the retainer, we will refund you the balance. As your case goes forward, if our bill is expected to run over the amount you paid into the retainer, we will let you know before that happens and allow you to choose how to proceed.
Once your retainer has been paid, we can take legal instructions from you and start work on your case. Often, we will do both during that first face-to-face meeting.
Our fees are different for every case because they are based on what we do for you. For your specific situation, we might be able to offer you economical hourly rates, a flat fee that covers the process from start to finish, or a mix of both. We customize our fees to fit the work we do for you.
Fees are always based on:
• the extent of the problem
• how urgently your case needs to be dealt with
• the amount of work involved and how complicated it is
• the outcome you would like
• what you expect from us
Raincoast Law makes every effort to present you with a reasonable bill. Our fees are usually lower than those of other lawyers working in the same areas of law in Canada's major cities.
For more information
The Law Society of British Columbia provides comprehensive information for the public about working with lawyers, doing things on your own (called self-representation), and how the legal system works.
For details, see Working with Lawyers and How the Justice System Works
how to hire us
We offer notarial services by appointment only, and would be happy to set one up for you. For 3 or fewer documents, the process usually takes no more than about 10 minutes. If you have more than 3 documents requiring notarization, we charge a higher rate because this takes more of the lawyer's time.
If you prefer, we would be happy to refer you to a notary public, whose rates may be lower.
To have a document notarized, please bring two pieces of identification with you: One piece must be picture-ID, such as a driver's licence, Canadian firearms licence, First Nations status card, or passport. The second can, but need not, have your picture on it, for example, a birth certificate, SIN (Social Insurance Number) card, or CareCard. We cannot accept a driver's licence as two pieces of identification, and we do not accept a credit card as identification.
What is a notarization?
Notarizing a document means that we verify the identity of the person signing the document, and we witness his or her signature to the document. This means that any documents you bring for us to notarize must be completed but not signed.
When we certify a copy of a document, it means that we certify that a copy we have made of a document is a true copy of the original. Therefore, we cannot certify copies made by others.
When is something not a notarization?
We frequently have clients stopping by to have documents notarized that they have questions about. If you need information about the contents of the document you are signing, you will need to retain us as your legal counsel. Retaining us is a process, outlined on the left, part of which involves a series of checks on our part to ensure that we are not in a conflict of interest.
How we set our fees for notarial services
Notarial fees are based on the average time it takes for a lawyer to examine identification and sign the appropriate documents. Whenever notarizing documents takes longer than the average, we charge a higher rate, as this takes the lawyer away from other work.