Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take?

Litigation is unpredictable. Some cases we can resolve in as little time as six months. Other cases last two or three years. In Nova Scotia, for better or for worse, Criminal trials have priority over civil cases. Also, for an injury, it takes up to two years before the medical providers are able to make a reasonable long term prediction. Time is the one the thing the insurance companies have that you and we do not, and unfortunately the delays in the litigation process tend to work to their advantage. We will do our best to move your case in a timely manner, but the process requires patience and we will do whatever we can to help you persevere.

The Civil Procedure Rules were amended in 2008 providing a faster route for claims for under $100,000. We will utilize this route when possible and when it makes strategic sense to do so. In rare cases, one can obtain an advance payment or summary judgment. For the most part though, the biggest drawback to a civil claim is the amount of time it takes.

How Much Does MacGillivray Law Office Charge For Legal Fees?

We charge 25% to 33% of the settlement amount depending on how far your case progresses, and on the type of case. Once we take your case on, we pay for all of the expert reports from medical providers, actuaries, engineers, and economic professionals. We recover these from the Defendant and they are paid at the conclusion of the case. If your case is lost, we charge nothing and write off the money that we put into your case for expert reporting and Court filing fees. This type of arrangement is called a contingency fee, where the fee is contingent on a successful outcome. In Long Term Disability cases we charge an hourly rate if your benefits are reinstated, or a percentage if you are paid a lump sum. We invest heavily in your case with our time, labor, and money, and we walk hand in hand with you, our interests overlap with that of our clients. These fees are competitive among firms that represent Plaintiffs and we are one of the few offices to cover the out of pocket expenses or disbursements.

What Percentage Of Cases End Up In Trial?

We take more cases to trial than other firms in Nova Scotia. However, the percentage of our cases that reach trial is still low, and most cases are settled. We use settlement conferences, mediations, and informal meetings with Defendants to attempt settlement without having to wait for trial. In order to win a fair peace, however, one must prepare for war, so to win a fair settlement, we prepare for Trial. We develop a strategy for each case individually to determine the method that is best for you. One has to be ready for Trial, but it is usually not necessary.

What Is A Discovery Hearing?

Many cases go through a Discovery. This is basically a meeting in a conference room that is taped and transcribed by a Court Reporter. We help you prepare for this meeting, which consists of the Defendant's lawyer asking you a number of questions. We also question the Defendant. Each case is different but a Discovery is less formal and more private than a trial. As the name implies, it is a chance for each side to "discover" the other's case. Our advice generally is to just be yourself and tell it the way it is.