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General Questions

A free over the phone consultation provides you with the ability to speak to a lawyer about your matter, over the phone, for free. With that being said, the consultation does not include free legal advice, and will be information of a general nature.

Yes, any communication to a lawyer is confidential and covered by solicitor-client privilege. Solicitor-client privilege attaches itself to disclosure of confidential information to a lawyer, even if you do not retain that lawyer. With that being said, that does not mean that the lawyer speaking to you during the consultation is your lawyer. You will have to formally engage the lawyer before any lawyer-client relationship is created.

Yes, before speaking to any lawyer you will have to provide some personal information about yourself. This information is confidentially maintained by the lawyer.

Yes, lawyers usually charge in one of two ways: (1) by the hour, where the lawyer's hourly rate is multiplied by the number of hours they have worked on your matter; and (2) through block fees, which cap costs for a range of services detailed by the lawyer.

Pro bono refers to work done for a client with low income. Generally, we do not provide these services. Ontario has many aid clinics available to individuals with low income. It is a good idea to contact such clinics to find out more information.

Business Law Questions

It depends. Incorporation is the process of creating a corporation. Corporations are not always the best business structure to use when running a business. There are a number of different business structures to use that are unique to each business. Generally, incorporation is the route many startup companies choose for a variety of reasons.

One of the first steps a startup should take is to incorporate a corporation. Usually a corporation is the most suitable business structure for tech startups.

While there is no best answer to this, it should be noted that the federal incorporation process may take longer, especially if a name is desired. Federal corporations require annual fees to be paid. Incorporating at the provincial level (in Ontario) does not prevent you from doing business in other jurisdictions of Canada or worldwide. If you incorporate federally, you will still have to register that corporation in a province. To put things into perspective, other countries, including the United States, do not have a federal incorporation process; it is done at the state level.

Yes, but this changes things from a tax perspective, as well as adds complications if you choose to be a director as well. Please contact us to further discuss the options available to you.

It depends. A lawyer will need to review your minute book to determine what the options available are.

Yes, but it depends on how many votes you hold as a shareholder and the corporate structure. It is best to contact a lawyer to discuss your options.

Yes. A minute book is a record of the corporation's constating documents (Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws), share ownership, resolutions (votes) of shareholders, and various other documents, most of which are required by law to be maintained. If you do not have a minute book or your minute book is not up-to-date, it is best to contact a lawyer to discuss options available to you.

Startup Questions

Yes, incorporation is an important step to take when creating a technology startup. Any Intellectual Property (IP) should be legally assigned to the company, and each founder should be contractually obligated to assigning any IP they create to the startup.

There are options available to ensure that founders contribute to the startup. One option is to have a Founder Agreement in place that restricts the number of shares that vest from the onset of the corporation, and delays vesting of such shares to a later period.

No, in a private company shares can only be provided to certain individuals. Please speak to a lawyer to determine if the individuals you have in mind qualify. If shares are traded to individuals who do not qualify, then certain securities requirements must be met.

Yes, there are a number of considerations, especially when it comes to volunteers. It is very important that before entering into a volunteer arrangement you consult a lawyer. Your conduct is especially important when interacting with volunteers.

Intellectual Property (IP) Questions

Yes, but it may be more difficult to prove ownership of that mark, and enforcement of that mark may be limited to a small geographic location.

You have a couple options available. Please contact a lawyer to discuss your options.

This question has no straightforward answer. Before obtaining any registered IP rights, a good way to protect a conecpt before disclosing that concept to another entity is by having that entity enter into a Confidentiality Disclosure Agreement (CDA) / Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). However, there are certain considerations to take into account, which you should discuss with a lawyer.

A UDRP complaint provides two relief options: to have the alleged infringing domain suspended or transferred to you, provided that you are successful with the UDRP complaint. If you are successful with a UDRP complaint and have elected to have the domain transferred to you, then you should be able to obtain the domain in question. However, a UDRP does not provided you with a claim to all domains containing the second-level domain name.

There are a few options when it comes to enforcing your trademark rights over a domain squatter.

There are a few options when it comes to enforcing your trademark rights over a domain squatter. The two main effective options are to litigate in court or to submit a domain dispute compaint (i.e. a UDRP) to an domain arbitrator. The domain dispute process is usually the most cost-effective and efficient. Due to the internet spanning worldwide, if you were to receive a judgment over the dispute in a court in your home country, it may be extremely difficult to enforce such a judgment in another part of the world. Also, litigation over these items is extremely costly, as opposed to the UDRP complaint.

There are a few options when it comes to enforcing your trademark rights over a domain squatter. The two main effective options are to litigate in court or to submit a domain dispute compaint (i.e. a UDRP) to an domain arbitrator. The domain dispute process is usually the most cost-effective and efficient. Due to the internet spanning worldwide, if you were to receive a judgment over the dispute in a court in your home country, it may be extremely difficult to enforce such a judgment in another part of the world. Also, litigation over these items is extremely costly, as opposed to the UDRP complaint.

Yes, there are a couple effective options available. It is best to contact a lawyer to discuss your options.

Before taking any steps when receiving letters from enforcement companies in the United States, it is best to contact a lawyer.

Sometimes a lawyer is also a patent agent. A lawyer obtains a law degree and passes the bar exam to become a lawyer in Ontario. After the lawyer is called to the bar, the lawyer can provide legal advice. A patent agent usually has a scientific background, must work for 24 months in the area of Canadian patent law and practice, and pass the requisite patent agent exams. A patent agent can then represent applicants in the presentation and prosecution of applications for patents or in other business before the Patent Office.

Sometimes a lawyer is also a trademark agent. A lawyer obtains a law degree and passes the bar exam to become a lawyer in Ontario. After the lawyer is called to the bar, the lawyer can provide legal advice. A trademark agent must work for 24 months in the area of Canadian trademark law and practice, including preparing and prosecuting trademark applications, and pass the requisite trademark agent exam. A trademark agent can then represent applicants in the presentation and prosecution of applications for the registration of a trade-mark or in other business before the Trade-marks Office.

Litigation Questions

You should contact a lawyer immediately. There are various strategies used when it comes to litigation that a lawyer would be able to help you with.

Yes, but it is not always advised, especially if it is not in Small Claims Court.

Yes, currently the monetary limit is $25,000. Anything greater than $25,000 will require the commencement of proceedings in Superior Court.

It is highly recommended to obtain lawyer representation or advice when it comes to litigation. Court procedure can cause a lot of procedural issues in litigation. If the other side has a lawyer, it is best to also seek the advice of a lawyer.

Service can be a complex issue. It is best to contact a lawyer to assist you with your matter. Service can become a complex procedural issue, which requires careful interpretation of court rules.

For most civil matters in Ontario, the limitation period is two (2) years from the date that the claim was discovered. Please note that there is much more to this and it is best to contact a lawyer to evaluate whether you have a limitation issue.

No, court is usually and should be treated as the last resort in a dispute. There are alternate ways to resolve a rispute. We are trained in different types of alternate dispute resolution (ADR).

Criminal Questions

If you are stopped by the police, whether on foot or in a car, the first thing to remember is to be polite. Generally, you do not have to answer questions the police ask. However, in certain situations (i.e. a car accident, etc.) the police are entitled to ask you for your information. Remember, any time you speak with the police whatever you say can be used against you.

If you are charged with an offence, it is in your best interests to contact a criminal lawyer. Being charged with an offence can be a very difficult experience. A lawyer will work diligently to ensure that your charges are handled in the most expeditious manner.

Technology Questions

It is a good idea to ensure your website has associated terms and conditions.

Yes, various privacy laws in Canada require a privacy policy.

It is not recommended to use a general development agreement. Every arrangement is unique, and every agreement should be customized to match the arrangement.

Real Estate Questions

Sure, however, it is not always advisable from a cost standpoint to involve a lawyer with a simple landlord / tenant dispute. There are a lot of clinics that assist individuals with these matters.

It is not recommended to use a general lease you find online or at a store. Leases can be complex and it is recommended to contact a lawyer to discuss your needs.

Wills and Estates Questions

It is a good idea to have a will. Although there is no requirement in Ontario to have a will, it is highly recommended. It helps your loved ones not have to worry about various procedural issues when it comes to having someone pass away without a will (intestate). A will also ensures that you can choose what you pass on to your loved ones.

Somewhat. Although the government cannot pick and choose who specifically who gets your belongings, there is legislation that provides what happens in the case that a person passes away without a will (intestate). When someone passes away without a will, it can put a lot of stress on those close to you when they have to deal with procedures required in a situation of intestacy.

Yes, it is best to contact a lawyer to assist you with this.

It is not recommended to make your own will or power of attorney. There are various formality requirements when it comes to wills and powers of attorney. It is best to contact a lawyer to assist you with drafting a will / power of attorney.

It is a good idea to have a power of attorney. There are two types of powers of attorney in Ontario: (1) a continuing power of attorney for property and (2) a power of attorney for personal care. A power of attorney outlines who can do what for you if something happens where you cannot make those decisions anymore. It is not a simple process to have your family step in if you do not have a power of attorney. A continuing power of attorney for property allows you to appoint someone to make financial decisions for you if you cannot. A power of attorney for personal care allows you to appoint someone to make personal care and health decisions for you if you cannot.

Drafting your own trust agreement is not recommended. Trust Agreements can be very tricky with formalities involved.

Notary Questions

Notarizing is a term used loosely. Usually, the term "notarizing" means to have a notary public certify / verify that a copy of a document is a true copy of an original document.

Yes, in Ontario notaries have the same authority as commissioners for taking affidavits.

No, in Ontario not all lawyers are notaries.

Yes, in Ontario all lawyers in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada are commissioners for taking affidavits.

A lawyer can be a notary public and a commissioner for taking affidavits. A lawyer obtains a law degree and passes the bar exam to become a lawyer in Ontario. After the lawyer is called to the bar, the lawyer can provide legal advice. A notary public can notarize documents and a commissioner for taking affidavits can give an oath / solemn declaration and witness to a deponent (a person taking the oath).

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