Filing a Lawsuit

An ongoing dispute may escalate to a lawsuit. A trained lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and the legitimacy of your claim.

He or she will also counsel you on how best to resolve it—in court, or perhaps out of court. Consulting with a lawyer may also speed along the resolution of the conflict and reduce unnecessary expenses and hassles.

Keep in Mind:

  • There are many resources and organizations across the country that address specific legal areas and serve as an excellent starting point for doing initial research. For example, if the dispute is between a tenant and a landlord, your first step should be to contact the provincial tenancy board.
  • It’s important to have your situation evaluated by a competent professional before you file an official claim.
  • It’s vital to determine whether or not your case requires a specialized lawyer, such as a litigation lawyer. Ask about the lawyer’s area of specialization. If the lawyer is a general practice lawyer, does he or she possess enough expertise to handle the case adequately? Some cases may be settled out of court, in which case a lawyer specialized in litigation may not be necessary.
  • Before hiring the lawyer, be upfront about details of your claim including information about all parties involved. Ask if any factors in your case could constitute a potential conflict of interest.

What Your Lawyer Can Do for You:

  • Determine whether you have a legitimate claim and whether it would be worthwhile to pursue the action in court.
  • Tell you how to prepare for the case, including what documents and information you would need to produce.
  • Provide a clear picture about your responsibilities, obligations, and about what kind of procedures the suit would involve.
  • Help you get a perspective on timelines, possible financial costs, and what you might expect in terms of a final outcome should you decide to go through with the claim.
  • Outline and arrange alternative modes of resolution (for example, possibilities for settling out of court and avoiding costly legal proceedings).