Research and Writing

 

Suggested Donation:
$60.00 first hour (min. 1 hour)

$45.00/h each additional hour per day 
(based on 7 hours/day)

Legal Research and Writing

SJW Professional Services will gladly assist with ...

· Depositions

· Civil Claims / Dispute Notes

· Appeal preparation

· Correspondence / writing

· General typing

· Document formatting (MS Word, Excel, Power Point)

· Graphs/charts, exhibits

· More…   please ask.

 

Price: Quantitative

Fees required to conduct research the responsibility of the client.

Legal Research and Writing can be a very daunting and tedious task. 

 

 

We do not offer legal advice, but rather offer assistance with the tools for anybody to handle a number of legal matters on their own, and without the full expenses of a lawyer’s billable hours.

 

Our intent is to provide as much quality research and writing material as possible, fee of charge, to the user. 


By contract or by donation.

 

Researching precedent and course of action can be both time consuming and confusing. 

 

Professional letter writing can often help to resolve issues quickly.

 

Tip… Don’t send the first draft

When writing important correspondence via email or on paper, avoid sending out the first draft, (especially if you think it’s already perfect).  Managing correspondence professionally, while effectively conveying an appropriate mood is very important; passions can run high, and is probably the most important reason why correspondence should be put aside for an appropriate period of time.

Correspondence with time constraints will have to be addressed taking into account the time for finalizing and postage (usually takes up to a week within Canada through Canada Post, longer to and from remote areas).  Most correspondence with time constrictions such as civil claims and appeals gives ample time to accommodate.

Depending on time constrictions, and as difficult as it may seem to not send a passionately worded letter right away, don’t click send or drop anything in the mail-box just yet; be prepared to put upwards of two weeks to a month between your first draft and a finalized draft.  After putting what you want to say on paper/computer, put it out of mind for a while; after a number of days, and from time to time, think about what you wrote and how you could improve it. 

When you return to your document, print it and read it as though you are the recipient, take out a red pen and correct for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and chronology. Reword, delete, add, rearrange... do what is necessary to control the tone, the flow, and the readability.  Do you have a specific point to make and have you effectively made that point without rambling off-topic?

Correct all errors and reword/rework according to your red-pen edits.  You will likely find that during the time you took away from the document, you will have thought of ideas to add, change, or delete in order to more effectively get your point across.  The tone of any document can make all the difference with regard to the desired outcome.  A “harshly-worded” letter can be very effective, but only if it is managed with the utmost professionalism and decorum.

Print your document again and get the red pen ready for more changes; errors can be far easier to spot on paper than on the computer screen.  Remember, too, that spell-check will not recognize the difference between correctly spelled words with different meanings (ie. past/passed, whether/weather, blue/blew, consistence/consistency, to/two/too).  Grammar-checking programs will also miss certain words, so when proof-reading, don’t skim; read each word carefully to make sure that what you are saying makes sense (not scents or cents).  If you are the slightest bit unsure as to the meaning of a word, check a thesaurus or dictionary; the incorrect use of a word can completely change your message, as well as make it sound like you simply don't know what you're talking about.

The simplest of errors can have an impact as to the perceived credibility of your document, as well as yourself.  Ensure that your correspondence is properly formatted, paying close attention to consistency with regard to font and size; for correspondence, Ariel or Times New Roman at a size of about 11 to 12pt is most appropriate.  AVOID USING ALL CAPS IN ATTEMPT TO ADD EMPHASIS, it can come off as being overly aggressive as well as distracting.  Italicizing can be an effective way to emphasize certain sentences.  The only parts that should be bold are the recipients’ name and company name (in the address area), the subject line, and anything specifically important to recipient, such as any sentence that creates a legal liability (ie. “Any further disruption will result in a service charge.”) which could instead be italicized and underlined**It is not essential that such a sentence be either bolded or italicized/underlined, it is just as legal without the added emphasis (except in certain contract situations whereas legislation demands certain information be displayed larger and in bold typeface.)

It never hurts to have a third, unbiased party review your correspondence to provide suggestions and correct errors that were easily (but unforgivingly) missed.   After reading and re-reading your document from beginning to end without feeling the need to make any changes or corrections, it's probably ready to be published and mailed.  Wherever possible, save your correspondence as a .pdf document for future reference.  If you are sending the document via email, send an unalterable copy to ensure that no unauthorized changes are made.  If your word processing program does not allow for saving in .pdf format, print the document, then sign it and re-scan it back into the computer, it will be saved as an unalterable image (ie. .pdf, .jpg, .gif, etc.), if that’s not possible, print two copies, one for your file and one to be mailed (or more if there are others receiving the document such as one for each of those listed in the cc section).

Finally, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that the primary purpose of most any correspondence is to provide written evidence of some kind, be it an objection to an official, a notice to a tenant, memos to employees, etc.. 

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