Purchases, professional fees, contracts… the law is everywhere in our daily lives and in the news, whether we realize it or not. Take this short legal quiz to help you find answers to some of the questions you may have.
A merchant, such as a grooming salon, cannot limit or exclude its liability in a contract with a consumer. Such a clause would be unenforceable, and the court would simply not take it into account.
Another example: if your couch is damaged during a move, you could claim compensation. This is true even if you signed a clause limiting the company’s liability in the event of damage to your furniture.
You could face a criminal and a civil trial for the very same wrongdoing.
For example, if you injure someone by hitting them, you could be charged with assault and prosecuted in a criminal trial. But that’s not all! The person you hit could also sue you in a civil case to get compensation for the damage suffered.
In certain situations, you are not allowed to attend a trial because it is held “in camera”. In Latin, the word camera means “chamber” (room) so in camera means “in chambers” or “in private”, or behind closed doors. This means that in camera trials take place without the presence of the public. In principle, however, hearings are public and you can attend them.
In camera hearings are mandatory in youth protection cases. They are also generally held in family trials. The purpose of in camera hearings is to preserve the anonymity of the parties and their privacy.
Words carry as much weight as a signature. When two people agree to do something for each other, a contract is created. A simple verbal agreement or exchange of e-mails is sufficient to form a contract. Your signature on a document does not guarantee that the contract is valid.
However, it is sometimes preferable to put the contract in writing, even if the law doesn’t say you have to do so. This way, you’ll have more tangible proof to rely on in case you are sued or have other problems. In some situations, you’ll need to put your agreement in writing. This is the case for certain types of transactions. For example, when you sign a mortgage on your home, it must be done in writing and by a notary.
If you don’t agree with the fees set out in your lawyer’s invoice and if no agreement can be reached, you can ask for help from the Quebec Bar’s conciliation service. Conciliation is a way to settle the disagreement with your lawyer in a more informal way. The conciliation process is led by a neutral person whose role is to facilitate discussion and re-establish dialogue. They will help you reach an agreement that works for you.
Watch out! Some deadlines apply. For more information, visit the website of the Quebec Bar or contact the office of the syndic of the Quebec Bar. Part of the Quebec Bar’s mission is to protect the public and to ensure that lawyers conduct themselves properly.