3. Talk to a French lawyer
Question & AnswerCan I have my family law trial in French?
If you have a lawyer, they must tell you that you have the right to bilingual proceedings. You must decide if you want your proceedings in English or French. Your legal representative can't decide for you.
If you choose French, your legal representative must have enough knowledge of French to:
- speak and write the language in a way you both understand
- do a good job of representing you at court hearings
If they can't do these things, they should tell you they can't work for you. They should ask for your permission to refer you to someone else who can provide services in French.
When you meet with a lawyer, ask questions like:
- Are you bilingual?
- How many French-speaking clients do you have?
- What experience do you have working with French-speaking people who live in Ontario?
You don't always have to hire a lawyer to help with your legal problem. But a legal representative can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities, and the options you have.
Lawyers can give legal advice. This means they can explain what the law says and how it applies to your situation. Make sure you talk to a lawyer with experience in the legal area you need help with. Some lawyers only deal with specific areas of law.