19 Feb

3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Lawyer for Self-Represented Coaching

More than half the people who walk into family courts in Ontario do so without a lawyer. It’s not surprising, given that a two or three-day trial for a family matter in the Superior Court or Ontario Court of Justice can cost more than $50,000 in legal fees. Still, it’s a high price to pay when self-represented litigants risk losing priceless things such as child custody.

Now,  many savvy law firms are responding to this trend by offering limited scope services, including coaching, for self-represented litigants.

Alistair Vigier, CEO of Toronto family law firm ClearWay Law, recently wrote on this subject for Canadian Lawyer Magazine. He recommends that self-represented litigants ask the following questions before hiring a firm for coaching.

1. What is the Scope of Your Services?

A limited scope retainer means the firm will perform a specific task with a clear start and end for the client, rather than being hired on an ongoing basis. For example, a client hiring a child custody lawyer in Kitchener could negotiate a retainer agreement that includes only the services required, such as coaching or limited legal research. Limiting the scope of services ensures the costs remain within the client’s means.

2. What is Your Technology Policy?

Most law firms don’t spend nearly enough time managing their technology, writes Mr. Vigier. Law firms are notoriously old-school; some lawyers still keep their documents in a box in the corner of the room. It is important, then, that self-represented litigants ask about the firm’s technology policy. Not only is it important from the perspective of data protection (since the firm will have access to details about the client’s assets and income in addition to ID and credit card information), but it also impacts the value of services. A firm that still operates on paper filing systems and other outdated procedures will likely charge more for administrative tasks.

3. How Do You Charge?

At this day and age, most firms are willing to provide an estimate for their services up front. This should be mandatory for self-represented litigants seeking coaching on a limited scope retainer. The firm of Mr. Vigier, for example, charges $100 for a one-hour meeting with one of the firm’s family lawyers; this is done to ensure the clients are serious about the value those lawyers bring.

Coaching can help decrease the anxiety associated with going to court and speaking in front of a judge for the first time, giving litigants a better chance of success than they would have going solo. However, self-represented litigants looking to keep costs low should take time to ensure a lawyer is right for them before committing to a limited scope retainer.

As Mr. Vigier writes, “These are fair questions for the modern client seeking strong representation at a reasonable cost.”

19 Feb

5 Tips On How To Know If An Online Business Is Authentic

Online businesses today look totally ordinary. It doesn’t make a difference what sort of explicit items or services you’re searching for. There’s a decent shot that you’ll see them on the web. In any case, managing a site that you’ve never known about can be precarious, particularly in case you’re not careful.

At some point when you’re purchasing something from an online platform that you haven’t known about previously, you need to know more about the seller. Remember that there are numerous tricksters who sell fake online items or services to scam individuals.

  • Google it

Making an online search of the business is a standout amongst other approaches to shield yourself from getting scammed. Just Google the name of the business and include “scam” toward the finish of your inquiry question. If a bunch of different clients begin springing up, you should avoid this online organization. Take note of the business reviews. It will depend on the reviews if the business is legitimate or just a scam.

  • Get the contact data

Scan for proof that they really exist. Have a go at finding a physical area on their site. If you discover an area, you should check whether it’s a listed office. Something else that you can do is scan for a telephone number and call to see who answers.

  • Investigate the signs

The common warning signs that show an online business isn’t authentic is for instance, on the off chance that you see a change in the site’s URL when you’re explored to the payment page, there’s a decent shot that it’s a scam. Remember to not confide in any sites that doesn’t direct exchanges through a trusted payment gateway. Also, take note that fake sites have multiple spelling mistakes and low-quality images.

  • See if the business is BBB licensed

BBB represents Better Business Department, a philanthropic association whose mission is to enable shoppers to discover organizations and foundations that they can trust. On the off chance that an online organization has gotten a blessing from the Better Business Agency, you can rest guaranteed that it is a genuine business. You can check whether a business is BBB certified by utilizing the legitimate site, which records organizations, online stores, specialist co-ops, and business sites that have been endorsed by the Better Business Agency.

  • Check if the business has a SSL certificate

In case you’re purchasing from an online retailer, you have to ensure that they have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) authentication. This is the most generally sent security convention utilized today and guarantees that programmers can’t catch any touchy data you might send the retailer. You can without much of a stretch check whether they have this endorsement by searching for a key or latch symbol in your program’s location bar. In the event that this symbol is available in the location bar, it implies that your data is secure.

23 May

Workplace Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

A safe workplace is a healthy workplace. No matter whether you are working with hazardous chemicals, sitting in front of a computer, making donuts, or wrestling alligators, it is important for your workplace to present minimum health and safety standards. However, the particulars of those standards varied quite a bit in the past depending on who employed you. In fact, they may not have existed at all.

In order to ensure that everyone has access to protections that are understandable and can be implemented, a workplace hazard material information system was created: PSHSA – health and safety training certification. That acronym stands for the Public Services Health & Safety Association.

The idea behind this association and its recommendations is that workers should know all of the possible hazards they can face at their particular job while performing their duties. That is your right as a worker in this country.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour offers training courses that provide the necessary learning and information to help make work a safer place to be. Such knowledge is especially important when it comes to young people. Those entering the work force for the first time are among those most likely to be injured or killed in a work-related accident. Thus, both education before starting the job and working to ensure that conditions are safe must be considered.

Companies that have 20 or more employees must have a minimum of two people on staff that have completed JHSC Certification training. They can answer questions and act when a situation arises that could possibly create a safety concern. The latter can be discovered through regular workplace inspections. Should an accident actually occur, a thorough investigation will help determine the cause and produce information on how such an occurrence can be avoided in future.

2 Sep

Process For Constructing A Building

Construction a building takes time and effort from all parties involved.  Whether you’re building a residential site or a commercial building, there are many steps in order to complete the construction in a timely manner.  Read on to find out what these steps are.

First, before construction, it starts with planning.  Planning involved drawing up designs and making sure all the finances involved are set in stone.  Back and forth communication between contractor, designers and investors will be continuous up until the time the building is finished.  A successful construction of a building involves extreme planning.  One of the biggest reasons that buildings are not finished is due to poor execution and poor planning.  A great way to avoid poor planning is to use a software for construction – punch list, which will reduce communication time and human error.


After planning and designing of the infrastructure, then comes the site requirements, building materials, site safety, logistics and construction hire.  Typically, the building of a residential or commercial building takes much more time than a private or personal building.  Due to the general size and location of residential or commercial buildings, more plans and approvals must be made in advance according to government laws and regulations.

After all approvals are made, then comes the labor work.  First, the site needs to be cleared and inspections must be made for site safety.  Then the foundation will be laid with concrete.  After the foundation is laid, the building structure will be assembled and built.  Once the building structure is finished, plumbing and electrical units will be placed.  A building inspector will then come to visit the site and inspect everything that has been done so far.  Once inspections has been done, walls, ceilings and windows will be placed.

The best way to organize these tasks is to use the best punch list template, in order to avoid mistakes and reduce time.  This software will list out all the tasks that need to be done with specific information per task.  It is able to give you information contacts, location as well as floorplans and other features that the worker might need to know.  Construction with this software can reduce communication time, and workers can do their jobs much more efficiently.

Once all this is finished, all that needs to be done is the interior.  This includes painting walls and installing equipment or appliances.

After that, you’re left with the final finished product of the building.

29 Aug

Ultimate Guide For Finding Residential Rental Housing For Students

It’s that time of year again!  The time where the city floods with new students moving into residence and old students getting kicked out of their summer leases.  It’s one of the most stressful times of the year for students, especially if they’re going into an upper year.  Most upper year students are going to be kicked out of the student residences, which are reserved for first year students.  This means that it’s the beginning of the student rental housing hunt.

It’s not only tough for students to find a new place to live, but sometimes even after finding the perfect place, it’s hard for them to convince owners to rent to them because they’re students.  They’ve got to look at a ton of factors including location, distance, space and obviously, rent.  If they’re lucky enough to land the perfect place, there’s still the factor of competition between others and convincing the owner.


We’ve drafted up the ultimate guide, sort of a cheat sheet, with the best tips and advice for students looking for residential rental housing.

  1. Location.  We believe that location should be one of the most important factors in deciding where you want to live.  When you’re doing research on student housing, pick a couple of specific locations.  This will help you narrow your search, and you won’t be forced to drive a half hour from one viewing to another (unless you picked out those spots).  Choose whether you want to be closer to campus, or perhaps downtown somewhere.  If you’ve got a car, location might be a smaller factor than say, price.  However, for those of you who need to walk or take public transit, keep in mind where the bus routes are and where the closest grocery, laundry and convenience stores are.  Base your location on what is most convenient for you and the places you will visit the most.
  2. moveRent.  We really wanted to put this at the top of the list, but price is usually dependent on location.  Pick a price point that suits your needs and is realistic.  If you’re stuck on a particular location, research the price point and compare it to areas that might be a couple of minutes farther or closer to campus.  Typically, the closer to campus you look, the more expensive the rent.  It might also help to figure out your other costs in order to determine how much more you can spend on rent.  For example, if you plan on walking instead of taking public transit every day, you can add on the cost of bus fares to your rent, making your rent a little higher in price.  That way, it may be more convenient for you to live closer and walk every day.
  3. Living Standard.  A great way to determine what sort of student housing you want is to picture your ideal experience in school.  A huge factor of your student experience is based on your living conditions.  Are you a homebody and like to invite people over instead of going out?  Or are you busy social butterfly who rarely stays home?  These factors can help you determine the amount of time you’ll really be a home and how much time you’ll spend out of the house.  By picturing your ideal student experience, you can determine how much you want to pay on rent and the location of where you want to live.

It’s not an easy feat trying to land the perfect apartment or house as a student.  There’s lots of looking, researching and luck involved.  Hopefully these tips will help you find your perfect home for the next semester.  Good luck!