Chief Justice asks lawyers to curb cost of seeking justice

A survey released by Canadian Lawyer magazine showed that average costs of legal fees hover around $200 per hour in Canada, particularly in urban centers.

National Post
August 22, 2000

Chief Justice asks lawyers to curb cost of seeking justice
Janice Tibbetts

HALIFAX – Beverley McLachlin, the Chief Justice of Canada, yesterday called on the legal profession to “do its part” in curbing costs that are putting the justice system out of reach for Canadians.

Her appeal to lawyers followed the release of a Canadian Bar Association report in which the profession acknowledged it must change its billing practices to aid people who are increasingly representing themselves in court because then cannot afford legal fees.

In a speech to the Canadian Bar Association, she urged lawyers to deal with “future challenges before they become problems.”

“In this category, I would place access to justice in terms of cost and access in terms of timeliness.

“Canadian judges and courts, I assure you, are also working hard to reduce delays and costs of litigation. But the legal profession, and I know you are working hard at this, must do its part.”

A survey released by Canadian Lawyer magazine showed that average costs of legal fees hover around $200 per hour in Canada, particularly in urban centers.

The poll of 777 firms showed that total fees for a contested divorce, for example, average between $6,670 and $8,180, although costs can climb as high as $50,000. The survey also showed that lawyers charge an average of $10,000 to $15,000 for two days in court in a civil litigation trial.


Risks: Access to justice, Justice only for the rich, Self-represented litigants, Canada, 20000822 Chief Justice

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