Paul's Paralegal

80 Palmer Rd.
Hamilton, Ontario L8T 3E9
Tel:(905) 581-3602
Fax: (226) 216-0126
E-mail: paul@paulsparalegal.ca

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

I have broken down the frequently asked questions into categories.
This is to make it easier for you to look for an answer to your specific question.
However, if you do not see a question that deals with your specific issue,
please e-mail me paul@paulsparalegal.ca and
I will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Remember I provide a free 30-minute consultation!


Hiring a Paralegal

Suing or Being Sued in Small Claims Court

Workers Compensation Matters

Employment Law Matters

Human Rights Law Matters

Auto Accident Benefits Law Matters







Employment Law Matters

Can I sue my employer, for unpaid wages in Small Claims Courts

Can I bring a human rights complaint Against

My employer won’t pay me overtime pay or statutory holiday pay because they claim I am an independent contractor. Can I sue my employer for what is owed?

My employer made me sign an employment contract and my employer stated that the employment contract states my employer does have to pay me overtime pay. Is this correct?



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Human Rights Law Matters

Is there a time period for bringing a complaint?

Is there a limit on what I can claim for damages before a Human Rights Tribunal?



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Auto Accident Benefits Law Matters

Can I sue my car insurance?

Is there a time period for bringing a complaint?



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Hiring a Paralegal

How do Paralegals charge their fees?

Paralegals charge hourly fees, accept contingency fees, and perform work based on pro bono.
Hourly fees are based on years of experience and area of specialty. A set rate is determined, and you would be billed for every hour or part hour of work the paralegal performs on your behalf.
Contingency fees are performance based. The paralegal if they win the case, takes a percentage of the amount awarded to you. This in most cases is approximately 50%. There are many concerns with this, but many uses this. The reasoning is that there is no, or little fees required up front. Know that most Paralegals do not work entirely on contingency and require some payment in advance.
Pro Bono Paralegals either work at a reduced or for free rate for low-income individuals. Due to the imbalance of the number of low-income individuals there are few Paralegals taking on cases. You can always check with Justice Net, which is a Nonprofit organization that matches Paralegals willing to provide reduce rate service to low-income individuals.
https://www.justicenet.ca/


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How much do Paralegals cost?

There is no specific set hourly rate, but paralegals generally charge from $40 per hour to as high as $300.
There is no specific set for Contingency, but Paralegals generally charge 50% of what is awarded in addition to additional upfront fees.
In many cases some Paralegals offer Pro bono work at reduced or completely free for a select few number of low-income individuals. You can always check with Justice Net, which is a Nonprofit organization that matches Paralegals willing to provide reduce rate service to low-income individuals.
https://www.justicenet.ca/


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What is a retainer and why do I have to pay it?

A retainer is where you pay an upfront amount of money to the paralegal. The money is placed into a trust account. This money is used to pay fees that you are billed on a regular basis. Once the work is completed any remainder of any monies in the trust account is returned to you.
In many cases, like lawyers, Paralegals are obligated to represent you even if you can no longer pay, unless sufficient notice is provided to you in advance of any hearing for you to obtain replacement representation. Knowing that a paralegal is obligated to represent someone, this leaves them open to be exploited by some, which is why the retainer system was setup.
Sometimes the paralegal can waive the retainer monies. However, they are taking a major risk as they would be still obligated to represent you.


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Why are Paralegals fees so high compared to other professions?

The reason is simple. That unlike many other professions, Paralegals must pay for many resources to stay current with the law and process. In many cases it is these resources that is what is driving the costs up. Additionally, Paralegals are required to take upgrading courses each year and many often take more to keep current.


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Who licenses Paralegals?

In Ontario, the Law Society of Ontario licenses Paralegals. Interestingly enough, presently Ontario is the only Province in Canada that has licensed Paralegals.


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Can I bring a complaint against a Paralegal?

If you have a concern regarding the conduct of a Paralegal you can file a formal complaint with the Law Society of Ontario. The Law Society has an online complaint process but requires more than if a person was dissatisfied with the quality of the service they were provided. For more information review the Law Society for Ontario’s website here. https://lso.ca/protecting-the-public/complaints


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Are there rules Paralegals must abide by?

Yes, The Law Society of Ontario, has specific Paralegal Rules of Conduct. https://lso.ca/about-lso/legislation-rules/paralegal-rules-of-conduct The Law Society of Ontario also has Paralegal Professional Conduct Guidelines. https://lso.ca/about-lso/legislation-rules/paralegal-professional-conduct-guidelines

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When suing someone, or some business in Small Claims Court, is there any limit?

You can bring a claim in Small Claims Court against another party within two years. This limitation period is not absolute.
The maximum you can sue another party for is $35,000. However, if you are owed more than $35,000 and wish to stay in Small Claims Court, then you can choose to waive any additional claim. So, for example you are owed $40,000. You can sue for $35,000 and give up the remainder of the $5,000.


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If I win my case in Small Claims Court, can I claim the costs I paid to win the case?

Yes. It is normal to ask the Court to award the winning party their court costs, which are the fees they paid to win their case.
Conversely know that if you lose you maybe required to pay the other side’s legal costs in addition to the damages awarded.
Also know that the court costs are over and above the $35,000 limit.


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If I win my case in Small Claims Court how do I collect the monies awarded to me?

There are numerous ways in collecting the monies awarded. Initially a demand letter would be sent. Then afterwards you can seize the other side’s assets bank accounts and garnishee their pay.


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Workers Compensation Matters

What is Ontario Workers Compensation System?

In 1914, the Ontario Legislature passed the first workers compensation act. This was after an extensive review and report by Sir Justice Meredith. Meredith recommend five principles with a new workers compensation system:
  • no-fault compensation,
  • collective liability,
  • security of payment,
  • exclusive jurisdiction, and
  • administration by independent agency

  • It was the first of its kind in Canada. It meant that workers when injured at work would be cared for. Over time, the workers compensation board was joined by the workers compensation appeals tribunal, the fair practices commission, the office of the workers advisor and the officer of the employer advisor. Not in the order. On January 1, 1998, the workers compensation board was changed to the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board – WSIB. The workers compensation appeals tribunal became the Workplace Safety & Insurance Appeals Tribunal.
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    Can I sue my employer and/or others for my work injuries?

    The only time a worker can sue their employer is when they are not covered by workers compensation. Any other attempts will be dismissed in court. As section 26 of the Workers Compensation Act prevents any such action.
    However, it should be noted that you can sue a third party for your work injuries. For example, faulty equipment. Also, if one is involved in a motor vehicle accident this is also an option as opposed to bring a claim for workers compensation. Additionally, an employee of a schedule 2 employer can sue a schedule 1 employer.

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    Is there a time period for filing an appeal with the WSIB Appeals Department and/or the WSIAT?

    As of January 1, 1998, the law-imposed time limits for individuals wishing to file an appeal with the WSIB appeals department and/or the WSIAT
    Appeals to the WSIB Appeals Branch must be done within 30 days of the decision for matters involving return to work or retraining programs. In the case of all other decisions the appeal must be filed within six months of date of decision. To file meet the time limit obligation all you have to do is file a written notice of intent to appeal.

    Appeals to the WSIAT
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    Can I bring a human rights complaint against the WSIB and/or WSIAT?

    The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has the authority to hear any human rights matter in Ontario. However, in cases of workers compensation they will not hear claims for the awarding of benefits. So, in order for your complaint to be heard by the Human Rights Tribunal, it MUST not be made for a claim for benefits.
    For example, the WSIB denies you entitlement to benefits on a fallacious ground, which violates your human rights. The decision is reversed on reconsideration or on appeal. You can then bring a claim for damages with the Human Rights Tribunal against the WSIB or the WSIAT depending on the specific case.
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    Can I sue the WSIB and/or the WSIAT?

    Again, you can only sue for anything other than a claim for benefits. For example, you were denied benefits on an alleged

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