The COVID-19 crisis has affected the lives and businesses of all Calgarians, and criminal lawyers are no exception. If you are looking for legal assistance with your criminal or traffic matters, we want you to know that our lawyers are still here, and still ready to help. You can call or email us any time to schedule a free consultation or receive immediate legal advice if you are in custody or being contacted by the police for any reason.
In the interim, there are important changes to both legal and court services of which everyone looking for legal services should be aware.
Fortunately, the Alberta government has deemed legal services an “Essential Service”, under the heading of “Other Essential Services”: https://www.alberta.ca/essential-services.aspx#toc-2. This allows us to continue providing essential legal services to anyone in need of a criminal defence lawyer or even a traffic lawyer.
Since the pandemic, our office has made significant changes to the way we provide legal services to ensure our clients’ safety, as well as those of our lawyers and staff. In many ways, we have optimized our systems to provide better service to our clients. Below is a listing of the most notable changes.
Virtual Client Meetings
Our team has adopted the latest telephone and audio conference programs, including What’s App, Zoom, and Webex. This means we can meet you virtually anywhere (no pun intended), including from the comfort of your own home or office.
The video conference option also allows you to record our video meeting for future review and reference. When we meet clients in person, there is so much information to remember that our clients call back asking to be reminded of some of the details. By recording the video call, this critical information and advice is preserved.
Electronic Document Exchange
Instead of bringing all your documents in for your in-person consultation with our lawyers, we can process most of your and our documents electronically. We can also send you documents electronically. Even documents that require a legal signature can be signed electronically and sent back to us with a click of a button on your electronic device, or a swipe of a finger.
Virtual Disclosure Review
One of the best features of a virtual meeting is that we can share our computer screen with you so you can see what we see on our computer screen. This allows us to go over police documents, or even video evidence, together in real-time from the comfort of your own home
Video and Telephone Court Appearances
The Calgary Court Center, and most court centers around the province, are increasingly using electronic systems for court appearances and court filing. Our office is on the front line of the adaptations. We have successfully conducted numerous Video and Telephone court appearances, including even a homicide sentencing through Webex Video technology, from our legal offices.
As electronic court filing and court appearances become more frequent, we will continue implementing the latest technologies to ensure that we can effectively represent you and your interests in court.
We are even exploring options of conducting court appearances and trials from our legal offices, with you remaining either at home or attending our offices, rather than having to go to the court house. We expect this process will not only reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection for all court participants but also make our ability to defend you more efficiently and effectively.
Remote Legal Service Payment Options
As always, we have digital payment options so that you never have to risk COVID-19 infection by handling cash or attending our physical office to make a payment. The most effective ways of making a payment are via electronic fund transfer (e-transfer) or telephone credit card payment over the telephone. Other options include attending any ATB branch and make a direct deposit into our Trust Account, and some online bank accounts allow you to set up a wire transfer to another bank. We can provide you with the account information if you wish to make a payment using one of these methods. For those needing to make a cash payment, we can always make an exception, but we never want our clients to risk their safety by physically attending our office for payment purposes.
Latest Edmonton Court Services Changes and Announcements
As part of our ongoing services, we continue to stay informed about the many changes the court system is implementing in Edmonton and throughout Alberta. We are keeping our clients up to date with any changes that affect their case.
There are three levels of court in Alberta, and each has its own systems and processes, with its own set of COVID-19 announcements and directives. If you are not currently a client, but would like to learn more about the latest court changes, please visit the following official Alberta Court web pages for the latest information that may affect your case:
- Court of Appeal of Alberta COVID-19 announcements: https://www.albertacourts.ca/ca
- Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta COVID-19 announcements: https://www.albertacourts.ca/qb
- Provincial Court of Alberta (including traffic court) COVID-19 announcements: https://www.albertacourts.ca/pc
We want to again remind you that we are here to help. If you have a legal matter that you need help understanding the changing court process and what legal services are available for you, please contact us. We offer free consultations, flat rate fees, flexible payment plans, and a piece of mind to help you navigate this difficult process.