Why Should My First Meeting With My Lawyer Be In Person? Is A Zoom Meeting Okay?

One question I get asked a lot is “can we meet by zoom” for an initial free consultation.

The short answer is that this is technically possible but it is a practice I tend to discourage if it is feasible to meet in person.

I recognize that meeting in person is an inconvenience. My office is located downtown where downtown parking is not the easiest to negotiate and where rush hour traffic in the morning and evening can lead to delays. In the case of my clients who have been charged with certain driving offences (such as alcohol-related driving offences like impaired driving, DUI, and excess blood-alcohol concentration) this process is even further complicated by the fact that clients in this situation will typically have a 7-day or 90-day licence suspension.

Why Should My First Meeting With My Lawyer Be In Person

Having said that, it is important to understand that the decision to hire a lawyer to defend you in a criminal case is an extremely important choice. For many people, it will be one of the most important decisions that he or she will make all year – or even in his or her lifetime. Choosing a lawyer is not only about choosing one person, but it is ensuring that you are satisfied with the office behind that person. The communication styles, customer service, and understanding of the services all depends on a holistic understanding of how the lawyer does business and there is no better way to evaluate that then to attend the office in person.

Further, face-to-face communication is the best and most effective way to get to know a person. This lawyer, after all, will be the person who handles your most important personal matter moving forward. A properly handled case often means avoiding a criminal record; staying out of jail; not getting deported; not losing your house or your kids; and avoiding tens of thousands of dollars of expenses moving forward. In Canada, it is relatively difficult to win a case on appeal so it is crucial to get the representation right at first instance.

From my perspective as a lawyer (although secondary to my client’s needs) a client who is amenable to taking the time, energy and money to organize his or her life to get a ride from a friend or family member, or who takes an Uber is a client who is more likely to cooperate with my advice on how best to handle his or her case and is more likely to be serious and committed in getting a good outcome for the case. But most of my concern for this issue is focused on what is best for the client.

In some cases, it will not be possible or practical to have an in person meeting and in those exceptional cases, we can arrange a Zoom, FaceTime or MS Teams meeting.

To defend a charge or get assistance with any other criminal matter, book a free consultation with David Anber’s Law Office.

David Anber

David Anber

David Anber has been a trailblazing legal practitioner since 2006. His early entry into law practice during his studies marked the beginning of a distinguished career. As a member of both Ontario and Quebec’s bar associations, David excels in defending traffic and criminal cases across both provinces. David contributes to legal discourse through articles for the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa and the Criminal Lawyer’s Association of Ontario.