Q&A By John T. Syrtash, Associate,
Garfin Zeidenberg LLP, a Toronto family law lawyer for the past 38 years
Question: Why go to the expense of hiring a senior and experienced family law lawyer?
Answer: Consider these underappreciated factors in choosing a top-rated divorce lawyers in
- The knowledge gained after many years of practice not only means fewer mistakes. It means that if such a lawyer truly
cares, then, even with the most complicated issues, a seasoned lawyer will know exactly what to do without wasting your time money. Perhaps more importantly, he or she will know what not to do.
- Half of his or her clients come from less experienced Counsel who either take too long or are not getting the right
result. You don’t always have to issue a court action. You may look for many alternative ways to solve a problem, like simply actually talking to the other side. I’ve taken my worst “enemy lawyers” for lunch and changed lives with a healthy exchange of views between a salad and the main course.
- A good senior lawyer has to have a sense of humour, not because a client’s suffering is a joke, but because he or
she has seen it all and can more easily put almost any problem in perspective. Over the years, he or she will also be more
likely to have gotten to know the better real estate agents, valuators, child parenting assessors, parenting coordinators, mediators, and Judges. Why go somewhere else and to someone who is not as well networked? I’ve solved more child-related issues by my professional relationships than pontificating about the law before a Judge. Recently, we saved a child from being taken away by Children’s Aid merely because we knew exactly what to say, which expert to hire and zero in on the right evidence. Persuasion is the key.
- Now, if such Counsel has to pontificate at a hearing then know this:
a seasoned family lawyer wins respect with his seniority when he speaks in Court. His familiarity with a Judge
and character proceed him. I’ve had many cases won just on the strength of our written materials and case law work the
Judge reads before we enter the Courtroom, rather than trying to act like Perry Mason. A senior “known” family law
lawyer is often greeted by the Court before he even opens his mouth and commands respect. You can’t pay enough
for a lawyer who has developed that type of attention.
- If you’re losing your kid or can’t
get support from a deadbeat or are fighting a complex property split issue, why try and save money by relying on a “cheaper” hourly rate? If your lawyer truly cares about your case, then you have already won have the battle.
Finally, don’t worry about accessing such a lawyer because he or she is too busy and having to go through his secretary every time. Senior Counsel, like myself, should be giving out heir cell phone numbers to their clients and can be reached directly
and easily, especially given emergencies that come up in this line of work.
John Syrtash is an associate and family law lawyer with the Toronto firm of GARFIN ZEIDENBERG LLP.
Neither GARFIN ZEIDENBERG LLP nor John Syrtash is liable for any consequences arising from anyone’s reliance on this material, presented as general information and not as a legal opinion.
John T. Syrtash,
GARFIN ZEIDENBERG LLP
5255 Yonge Street, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M2N 6P4
Cell: (416) 886-0359
Fax: (416) 512-9992
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