My Legal Assistant is Jenny Mirsky. Jenny has a B.A. Honours in Law & English. Upon completing her degree she joined the Human Resources world in the High Tech sector where she worked for approximately seven years. Jenny and her husband then started their family in 2001, and in 2009 Jenny joined me on a full time basis.
Jenny works on all my files. If I am unavailable to take your telephone call, please speak with her. Remember however that she is not in a position to give legal advice and you should always email me with your legal questions. Jenny works a condensed day so she is in the office from 8:30-3:30pm. Outside of the office she is a passionate equestrian! If she is not at her desk, she is likely on her horse!
Lawrence S. Pascoe
I practice in the areas of Family Law which includes Separation and Divorce, as well as Marriage Contracts, Wills and the Administration of Estates.
I do not handle Estate Litigation and no longer go to court for matrimonial matters. There is no reason that two clients and two lawyers should not be able to work out a separation agreement perhaps sometimes with a fifth party mediator/ facilitator. Court is expensive, too unpredictable and arbitrary as it often depends on the Judge hearing the matter.
An important element of a good lawyer client relationship is good communication. That is why I have developed my manual system which provides written information and a process to ensure clients receive copies of all correspondence and documentation stored in a convenient location. It is my policy that clients receive copies of all correspondence and documentation relating to their file as soon as our office receives them. I also like to do extensive reporting letters to summarize the status of my clients’ files.
I generally take calls between 8:30am and 5:00pm if I am not with clients, or have not put my phone on “Do Not Disturb” while I focus on getting some specific work done as I often do in the early mornings or after 5:00pm.
I try to return my calls the same day. If not, I will return the call the next day. If you call in the late afternoon I will try to return your call that day however as I might be in court in the afternoons, or have clients late in the day, I cannot always return the call the same day.
If it is a true emergency please call my assistant and she will assess whether there is a need for me to get back to you as soon as I am able.
Please note that my assistant is not able to provide any legal advice. You are welcome to speak with her for making appointments or for a status report on your file, or as stated if you cannot reach me and believe it is an emergency.
We have a client friendly voice mail system that allows you to leave short messages if I or my staff is unavailable or if it is after hours. My extension is 117, and Jenny’s is 101. If you wish to bypass our greetings you may press # # and leave your message.
It has been my practice to retain all my files rather than discard them after a certain number of years. However, after many years of practicing law, I now realize it is impractical to continue to store physical files, and therefore I am now scanning everything so I will be able to store your present file electronically for as long as I am practicing law. Therefore in the future I can provide you with material you may require but have lost. At your last consultation we will review your file to ensure you take back any original documentation I might still have.
I do not check my mail every time a message comes in. So an email sent at 9:00am is not like a telephone call at 9:00am. It may not be seen for a few hours.
Though you may email me 24 hours a day, please do not assume that I will look at it until business hours that day or the next day, and if it arrives on a weekend I may not look at until Monday, though often I do look at my emails Sunday morning.
Email is the best way to ask small questions, and give me facts rather than long voicemails. I do often answer my emails in the early morning before work.
Please do not reply to my assistant’s email addresses unless they are asking you specific questions. Our process is for my assistants to automatically forward onto you any correspondence received into our office from other lawyer’s relating to your file, as well as for my assistants to type letters I have dictated I do stress this point of not responding to their email addresses as there have been times when my client’s have replied to my assistant’s email, but my assistants had gone for the day, so I do not get emails that might have needed my attention. There is a bolded reminder right in our stationery to help remind you of this important detail!
I will from time to time review email in the evening or early morning so I may send a reply to you from my home email account. Please respond to my work account. Please try not to repeat the long threads of an email when it is unnecessary to do so. Just the last email that I wrote will be sufficient.
My email is checked by my staff when I am on vacation, but only handled in emergency situations. The same is true for voicemail.
- My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to email or phone me and ask me for a status report if you think that something should be happening on your file and it is not. You do not have to wait to hear from me. There is no charge for a simple status report. If you have not heard from me by the time you think you should have please feel free to contact my office.
You must remember that there are a number of factors which affect how long a file will take that are completely out of my control. The court system has built in delays; often I am waiting for the spouse to respond or waiting for the other lawyer to respond. So often it takes some time to complete a file (though not as long as it seems to see a doctor in this province).
What is often not appreciated or understood by clients is that at any one time I may have 100 open files, and 50 – 60 files that I could work on. Therefore I cannot work on every file immediately, or when I want. I have found that a third of my day is devoted to appointments, and a third of my day is to calls and emails that were unplanned, and only a third for planned work. So it takes time to get work done, and therefore it takes time to complete a file when the other built in delays in other parties are taken into account, including my own client’s delays in getting me information. I attempt to get things done as soon as possible. I have implemented policies being good precedents and doing dictations on the spot so to move a file along, but the reality is that some files simply take a lot of time to complete.