Thursday, September 14, 2017

Collecting Divorce Payouts


A LITIGATOR can collect For YOU if Your Ex is dodging Court Orders.

Khadr Dodges Service

Canadian lawyers acting Tabitha Speer, the widow of an American special forces soldier, have filed an application in Alberta seeking the enforcement of a massive U.S. damages award against Omar Khadr.
“We have thus far been unable to locate Mr. Khadr for personal service, although we are aware that he has been residing in Edmonton, Alta., for much of the past two years,” Gilborn wrote Aug. 14 in a letter to Khadr’s lawyers, a copy of which was obtained by The Canadian Press.

Americans Seek Khadr Payout

Image result for khadr judgmentAmerican Widow seeks enforcement of US Judgment against Khadr.  Very interesting!



Monday, September 4, 2017

Baliff Powers In Alberta

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Ever wonder what Bailiffs can and cannot do in Aberta?

Litigating & Enforcing A Judgment in Alberta

What We Do 

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Our Team of experienced Lawyers, Paralegals and Judgment Enforcement Co-Ordinators sue, enforce and collect on Judgments for you throughout Alberta and the Western Provinces.  We specialize in Litigating civil dispute matters involving money and we enforce and collect on the Judgments we win.  We also enforce the Judgment you have won against an opposing party or parties and enforce and collect on that Judgment. 

Unlike most Law Firms that leave you with a Judgment but do not assist with enforcing it, we are expert in the practical details, processes and procedures to make your monetary Judgment real and actually get you paid for the monies you are owed.   













Call today so that we can help you with all your Litigation and Judgement Enforcement needs. You can reach us at 403-594 4594 or email us at  albertalitigators@gmail.com / kledrew@virtuelegal.ca

What Are Post Judgment Collections?


Post judgment collections is the process a successful litigant employs to get paid once a judge rules in his/her favour. A plaintiff is the person who initiates the law suit against a person(s) or business(s) for damages. The damages are what you sue for and such lawsuits are typically for breach of contract, personal injury or harm and in some cases even theft.  ALitigator Judgment Enforcement can represent you throughout the entire Litigation and Judgment Enforcement process.  We are your 1-stop shop through initiating your law suit and collecting on your judgement.  We can assess your case and craft a strategy for you to recoup your loss(es).  We can send the first demand letter, conduct settlement negotiations, initiate litigation in Provincial Court (for claims up to $50,000) or Queen's Bench Court and enforce your Judgment from the Writ of Enforcement and the exercise of post judgment collections.

Alberta Judgments

A judgment is a court decision at the Provincial or Queens Bench Court levels in the form of an order or ruling that requires a person, persons or business(es), the Defendants, to pay you money or carry out a certain activity. In the typical course of events this may take time, however, in some cases the process can be very fast as in the case of a Default Judgment.  A Judge will hear and be presented with evidence from all parties to the lawsuit and issue a ruling.

Post Judgment Collections

The judgment you win at Court is only a ruling from the Court that the person against whom the judgment has been issued (the “judgment debtor”) owes a certain sum of money to the person in whose favour the judgment has been granted (the “judgment creditor”). Courts do not force the judgment debtor to make good on that debt.  Therefore, in the normal course of events it is you as the judgment creditor to collect the money that is owed to you. It is this process that is referred to as post judgment collections.  Given the fact there is no guarantee of being paid once you have a judgment, it is important to assess your likelihood of post judgment collections prior to starting any action.

Call today so that we can help you with all your Litigation and Judgement Enforcement needs. You can reach us at 403-594 4594 or email us at  albertalitigators@gmail.com / kledrew@virtuelegal.ca

Ways of Collecting Post Judgment Amounts Owed

There are a number of ways to proceed with post judgement collections. You can try them in any combination that makes sense to you. You may try one at a time or simultaneously attempt post judgment collections in a variety of way. They include:

1. Negotiations

This is a process of post judgment collections where the judgment debtor and judgment creditor negotiate terms of payment. A court may order all the money to be paid, however, the debtor may not have all those funds available at once. Negotiations may be an orderly payment of the debt or a lump sum payment (either in full or reduced to encourage immediate payment).   Post judgment negotiations are often needed. Once you have a judgment from any level of Alberta Court you need to collect the amount of the award. Many judgment debtors, specifically unsecured lending, do not have the funds to make payment on a court judgment.  Therefore it may take some time to effect payment.
There are 2 types of Debt Payment Negotiations: 

A.  Time to Pay Negotiations

Judgment debtors may be willing to pay the judgment as allotted by the court. Many times, they may not have the assets to pay the judgment right away. In that case, they may need time. We can negotiate with them to set up a payment plan. In our experience, a payment plan is preferable to other available collections such as garnishment or seizure as it is less expensive, and often more timely.

B. Negotiated Reduced Payment

We sometimes recommend negotiating a smaller payment versus the full amount to ensure prompt payment and to reduce the expense of collections. There are also limitations on seizure, garnishment and other enforcement mechanisms that protect some assets of the judgement debtor. Finally, there is the issue of bankruptcy. In many cases, a judgment debtor’s obligation to pay a judgment is wiped out through a bankruptcy. If a judgment debtor enters bankruptcy, it is likely that the actual amount collected will be greatly reduced.

Post judgment negotiations have specific time frame limitations. It is important to note that a judgment is only valid and effective for 10 years although this time frame may be extended upon Application to Court. If the judgment debtor has not paid the full amount, or the negotiated amount, of the judgment by that time, the judgment will have to be renewed prior to its expiry. Many judgment debtors will improve their financial position or have some form of income over the ten years, increasing the likely hood of collecting the full amount owed.
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Post Judgement Seizure

Where a person or company refuses to pay their debt, this process allows for the assets of the judgment debtor to be seized and sold for payment of the debt.  If the judgment debtor or the judgment creditor is not prepared to negotiate, then more formal enforcement steps are required. These are legal means of collecting what is owed to you. One of these mechanisms is seizure. Basically put, “seizure” is a process whereby the property of a judgment debtor is taken and sold in partial or complete satisfaction of the judgment debt. You are seizing their property to pay out the debt.

Call today so that we can help you with all your Litigation and Judgement Enforcement needs. You can reach us at 403-594 4594 or email us at  albertalitigators@gmail.com / kledrew@virtuelegal.ca

Steps to Legally Collect Debts With Seizure

Registration of Writ of Enforcement

The first step in seizing assets, like with garnishment, is wining at court where the court has awarded you a monetary amount from the defendant (the person you sued). In order to take advantage of this process, you will first have to register a Writ of Enforcement with the Personal Property Registry (the “PPR”). We will ensure that your Writ of Enforcement is registered. This can also be done at most registry offices in Alberta, once your judgment is registered with the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (however, registration with the Court of Queen’s Bench is only necessary if your judgment is from the Provincial Court of Alberta).

Civil Enforcement Agencies / Bailiffs / Sheriffs

Once you have your Writ of Enforcement registered at the PPR, you can retain a civil enforcement agency. These agents are also called “Bailiffs”), to seize personal property from the judgment debtor, subject to the claims of other parties. In order to do so, there are a number of forms that you will have to complete and provide to the civil enforcement agency.  Also, in order to make sure that it will be worth your while to hire a civil enforcement agency, you will want to order an additional search from the PPR to ensure that the item(s) you want to seize aren’t subject to a priority claim by somebody else (e.g., a car may have a lien on it for financing, which will take priority over a judgment debt). You will also want to take into account the fact that the Civil Enforcement Act imposes some limits in respect of what can be seized, and what is exempt from seizure. These limits may apply to food, clothing, vehicles, real property, work tools, and household furnishings, amongst other things.

Sale of Seized Goods

When the item(s) are seized, notice is given to the judgment debtors. If no objection is filed, the property will be sold and the net proceeds distributed amongst the judgment creditors. If an objection is filed, a court hearing will be required before anything can be done with the item(s).  When collecting judgment debts, it is important to follow the correct protocols to avoid problems. We take the necessary steps required to seize good properly. 

Post Judgment Garnishments

Post judgment garnishments are mechanisms for forcing payment of the judgment debt by companies or banks that owe the judgment debtor money. Two examples are garnishing the wages of a judgment debtor or garnishing any funds they have in their bank account. 

Other Post Judgment Collections Mechanisms

Your judgment allows you to obtain a writ. This post judgment collections mechanism lets you the register your writ on both real property (land or homes) and at the personal property registry. You can then allow other judgment holders take enforcement steps (such as seizure or garnishment) and receive your proportionate share of the proceeds of those steps, or just wait until the judgment debtor has to sell or refinance the specified property. If your registered interest is first in line, then your writ is paid out first. 

Types of Post Judgment Collections We Represent

Our Alberta lawyers are able to pursue post judgment collections of the following types of actions. This list is not exhaustive so call today for more details. Remember if you have an action secured by your self or another firm, we can still act with respect to post judgment collections.
  • credit card debts
  • breach of contract
  • personal injury matters (motor vehicle & slip and fall)
  • theft
  • fraud
  • mortgage default
  • other secured debts
  • other unsecured debts
Call today so that we can help you with all your Litigation and Judgement Enforcement needs. You can reach us at 403-594 4594 or email us at  albertalitigators@gmail.com / kledrew@virtuelegal.ca

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ALitigator's Fees - Flat Rates For Collecting Unpaid Debts

Collections Litigation services are offered on an hourly basis at $250 / hr for a Lawyer and $100-$150 / hr per Paralegal. we occasionally set flat fees per litigation matter. With flat collection fees we specifically set what we will bill for legal services provided.  In an effort to meet client needs we have set out a flat rate collections legal fees menu. Each of the below is individually offered. We are the retained on a limited basis for that item only.

Demand Letters

Demand letters are letters normally sent by a lawyer demanding payment. In many instances, this is all that is needed to collect. We will send you an intake email with the key information that we need. The below fee is the cost for drafting a demand letter, sending it to the debtor by email and registered letter or hand delivered (you decide), 1-3 phone calls with the debtor to negotiate a settlement amount that you have predetermined in the intake email, accepting payment and having payment at our office rendered to you in person or via bank draft, certified cheque or e-transfer.  Flat rate demand letter collection fees are:
  • For 1 demand letter $250 each
  • For 2-10 demand letters $200 each
  • For 11-20 demand letters $150 each
  • For 20+ demand letters $125 each
Volume discounts are based on number of demand letters we are retained for at one time. For ongoing, regular collections matters, please call or email for reduced fee volume options. 

Builders’ Liens

We will file builders’ liens as a part of collections. We offer collections legal fees for builders’ liens on a flat rate basis. Flat rate builder’s lien collections legal fees:
  • For 20+ demand letters $125 each
  • For 11-20 demand letters $150 each
  • For 2-10 demand letters $200 each
  • For 1 demand letter $250 each
Volume discounts are based on number of builders’ liens we are retained for at one time. For ongoing, regular collections matters, please call or email for reduced fee volume options.
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Civil Claims (Provincial Court & Queens Bench Court)

We will start your lawsuit by drafting a civil claim for Provincial or Court of Queens Bench to execute your debt collections strategy. We offer drafting civil claims legal fees for claims on sliding scale flat rate basis as follows;
  • For claims under $10,000 = $1,000 per Statement of Claim
  • For claims $10,000 - $25,000 = $2,500 per Statement of Claim
  • For claims $25,000 - $50,000 = $5,000 per Statement of Claim
  • For claims $50,000+ $5-$10,000 per Statement of Claim
We will send you an intake email with the key information that we need. Once a Judgment is rendered, our rate civil claim collections legal fees are as follows:
  • For 1 -5 demand letters $250 each
  • For 6-10 demand letters $225 each
  • For 11-20 demand letters $200 each
  • For 20 plus demand letters $175 each
Volume discounts are based on number of civil claims we are retained for at one time. For ongoing, regular collections matters, please call or email for volume pricing. 

Civil Enforcement Fees

Please contact us.


Call today so that we can help you with all your Litigation and Judgement Enforcement needs. You can reach us at 403-594 4594 or email us at  albertalitigators@gmail.com / kledrew@virtuelegal.ca

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Paralegal Debate

Paralegal debate: let’s settle for ‘better’ not ‘perfect’ access to justice | Julius Melnitzer

Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 08:32 AM | By Julius Melnitzer
Julius Melnitzer %>
Julius Melnitzer
The current debate about paralegal representation in Ontario’s family courts, and the degree of opposition to it in the bar and judiciary, exemplify just how far the profession is removed from reality.

The lawyers and judges opposing the change rest their case on the belief that “quality of service” will erode unless those delivering the service have the equivalent of law school training. Those in favour argue that paralegal representation will reduce the number of unrepresented litigants in family court.

The counterargument to those in favour is that self-representation has actually increased since Ontario started licensing paralegals in 2007. The response is that since paralegals have not been allowed to counsel on family matters to date, the increase in self-representation in the courts generally has little bearing on the specific issues facing family law stakeholders.

In an earlier column in this publication, Joseph Griffiths, a litigator with Equilibrium Law in Ottawa, argues that the focus should be on securing “better and more objective data about the causes of self-representation in Ontario.” He cites a 2009 study commissioned by the Law Society of Upper Canada, Legal Aid Ontario and Pro Bono Law Ontario that found that only a “third of those who retained a lawyer paid more than $1,000” to receive legal assistance.” The authors of the study also concluded that “People often can’t find the legal help because they don’t know where to look, or because they perceive they won’t be able to afford it.”

The upshot, according to Griffiths, is that it is “at least arguable" that expanding the market for providers of family law legal advice will not “dramatically” lower self-representation rates. The flaw in Griffith’s argument is that we don’t know what services were obtained by the two-thirds of respondents who ended up with a lawyer’s bill of less than $1,000. What if it was mostly drafting wills or buying or selling residential real estate? The inherently ongoing nature of family law matters and the complexities involve suggest that keeping costs under $1,000, given current hourly rates, would be a challenge indeed.

Those against paralegal representation are missing the point. They fail to recognize that “quality of service” and “access to justice” don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Even sophisticated clients are telling their law firms that they don’t want gold-plated standards.

As I pointed out in an earlier column, LexisNexis research has revealed that lawyers try to provide the best advice they can while clients only want to hear what is “good enough.” Rather than recognizing the gulf between provider and customer, law firms protest that “good enough” is not sufficient and complain that clients want “Rolls-Royce service at bargain-basement prices.”

In my view, these observations are as true for the family law bar as they are for the business law bar serving high-end clients. If lawyers are going to remain relevant, they’ll have to forget about “perfect” access to justice and settle for “better” access to justice, as their clients are apparently willing to do. It’s hard to imagine that a properly trained and regulated lower-cost paralegal sector wouldn’t go some distance in easing the self-representation conundrum in family law.

Remember, for those cases that go to court, we also have judges. The combination of regulation and judicial oversight ought to weed out the incompetent paralegals as well as it weeds out the incompetent lawyers. Denying this proposition suggests that the way we regulate lawyers or paralegals, or both, is inadequate — and that’s a different issue.

As usual, opposing expansion of the legal services market or putting roadblocks in the way seems to be the default for the profession, in Canada and elsewhere. Less than 30 years ago, lawyers concentrated on fighting each other. Indeed, if the Supreme Court of Canada hadn’t decided Black v. Law Society of Alberta by allowing McCarthy T├ętrault LLP to establish an office in Alberta over the fierce objections of the profession there, national firms might still not exist in this country.

The difference today is that lawyers have banded together to fight their common enemy: progress. So they oppose the expansion of paralegal services in Ontario, put the death knell to alternative business structures in Canada, prefer — according to a recent poll in the United Kingdom — to adhere to traditional models of doing business, and fight extended hours in British courts as a way of dealing with backlogs in the courts.

According to Jordan Furlong, a respected legal consultant and commentator, hope is in the offing. He points out that millennials are averse to “time-based” anything, something that will “accelerate the drive toward reliable pricing of their legal service.”

But we’re not there yet. The ninth annual Altman Weil Law Firms in Transition Survey says 65 per cent of managing partners have lost confidence in their partners’ willingness to change how they operate.

Is it any wonder so many people prefer to represent themselves.
   


The current debate about paralegal representation in Ontario’s family courts, and the degree of opposition to it in the bar and judiciary, exemplify just how far the profession is removed from reality.

The lawyers and judges opposing the change rest their case on the belief that “quality of service” will erode unless those delivering the service have the equivalent of law school training. Those in favour argue that paralegal representation will reduce the number of unrepresented litigants in family court.

The counterargument to those in favour is that self-representation has actually increased since Ontario started licensing paralegals in 2007. The response is that since paralegals have not been allowed to counsel on family matters to date, the increase in self-representation in the courts generally has little bearing on the specific issues facing family law stakeholders.

In an earlier column in this publication, Joseph Griffiths, a litigator with Equilibrium Law in Ottawa, argues that the focus should be on securing “better and more objective data about the causes of self-representation in Ontario.” He cites a 2009 study commissioned by the Law Society of Upper Canada, Legal Aid Ontario and Pro Bono Law Ontario that found that only a “third of those who retained a lawyer paid more than $1,000” to receive legal assistance.” The authors of the study also concluded that “People often can’t find the legal help because they don’t know where to look, or because they perceive they won’t be able to afford it.”

The upshot, according to Griffiths, is that it is “at least arguable" that expanding the market for providers of family law legal advice will not “dramatically” lower self-representation rates. The flaw in Griffith’s argument is that we don’t know what services were obtained by the two-thirds of respondents who ended up with a lawyer’s bill of less than $1,000. What if it was mostly drafting wills or buying or selling residential real estate? The inherently ongoing nature of family law matters and the complexities involve suggest that keeping costs under $1,000, given current hourly rates, would be a challenge indeed.

Those against paralegal representation are missing the point. They fail to recognize that “quality of service” and “access to justice” don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Even sophisticated clients are telling their law firms that they don’t want gold-plated standards.

As I pointed out in an earlier column, LexisNexis research has revealed that lawyers try to provide the best advice they can while clients only want to hear what is “good enough.” Rather than recognizing the gulf between provider and customer, law firms protest that “good enough” is not sufficient and complain that clients want “Rolls-Royce service at bargain-basement prices.”

In my view, these observations are as true for the family law bar as they are for the business law bar serving high-end clients. If lawyers are going to remain relevant, they’ll have to forget about “perfect” access to justice and settle for “better” access to justice, as their clients are apparently willing to do. It’s hard to imagine that a properly trained and regulated lower-cost paralegal sector wouldn’t go some distance in easing the self-representation conundrum in family law.

Remember, for those cases that go to court, we also have judges. The combination of regulation and judicial oversight ought to weed out the incompetent paralegals as well as it weeds out the incompetent lawyers. Denying this proposition suggests that the way we regulate lawyers or paralegals, or both, is inadequate — and that’s a different issue.

As usual, opposing expansion of the legal services market or putting roadblocks in the way seems to be the default for the profession, in Canada and elsewhere. Less than 30 years ago, lawyers concentrated on fighting each other. Indeed, if the Supreme Court of Canada hadn’t decided Black v. Law Society of Alberta by allowing McCarthy T├ętrault LLP to establish an office in Alberta over the fierce objections of the profession there, national firms might still not exist in this country.

The difference today is that lawyers have banded together to fight their common enemy: progress. So they oppose the expansion of paralegal services in Ontario, put the death knell to alternative business structures in Canada, prefer — according to a recent poll in the United Kingdom — to adhere to traditional models of doing business, and fight extended hours in British courts as a way of dealing with backlogs in the courts.

According to Jordan Furlong, a respected legal consultant and commentator, hope is in the offing. He points out that millennials are averse to “time-based” anything, something that will “accelerate the drive toward reliable pricing of their legal service.”

But we’re not there yet. The ninth annual Altman Weil Law Firms in Transition Survey says 65 per cent of managing partners have lost confidence in their partners’ willingness to change how they operate.

Is it any wonder so many people prefer to represent themselves?

Julius Melnitzer is a freelance legal affairs journalist based in Mississauga. He can be reached at melnitzer@sympatico.ca.