General Conditions of Gutsan Legal Services


Gutsan Legal Services is a sole-proprietorship operated by Maxim Gutsan, a sole-proprietor and licensed paralegal, whose business address is 801-1000 Finch Ave W, North York ON M3J 2V5. All paralegals in association with Max Gutsan are registered with the Law Society of Ontario, are licensed to offer legal advice and do carry errors and omissions insurance as required.

CONSULTATION & ASSESSMENTS – Our fees are inclusive of an initial consultation (maximum 20 minutes) during which time we will provide a preliminary assessment of a client’s case. Please note that assessing a case is an ongoing process and our assessment may change as more information becomes available.

UPDATES – Our clients are advised that ongoing consultations, meetings, inquiries or information requests about court processes are subject to our hourly fee of $125 per hour billable in ten-minute increments.

GUARANTEES – Our clients are advised that no guarantees have been, or can be, made with respect to the outcome of any matter.

HONESTY, DECENCY & RESPECT – In order to handle any matter, and as a condition of this contract, we require full, honest and timely disclosure from the client. In addition, a client must not publicly show disrespect to the court or its officials, engage in abusive, dishonorable or malicious behavior to an opposing party or their representative, make offensive remarks either publicly or privately (such as, but not limited to, blasphemy, racial epithets, derogatory comments based on gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity) or otherwise behave in an uncivilized, indecent or inappropriate manner. The client further agrees to respect the integrity of Gutsan Legal Services practice and shall not employ or recruit any Gutsan Legal Services employee, past or present, without the written advance consent of Maxim Gutsan.

PRICING – We charge an hourly rate of $125 per hour billable in ten-minute increments. Our fees are exclusive of court fees, disbursements, court-ordered costs and subject to HST. As a guide to our clients we have included typical costs for the most common steps in a lawsuit on our website 

The typical costs shown are not necessarily the costs that may be incurred on your matter. Prices may change with 30-days notice on our website. If the client causes unanticipated proceedings or expense by action or inaction, the resulting costs and/or labor may be billed to the client at $125 per hour.

SERVICE AREA – Our posted prices apply to the Greater Toronto Area only beyond which additional fees may apply.

DISCOUNTS – We may, from time-to-time, discount some of our work as a courtesy to our client. Discounts applied to future work that no longer needs to be completed by us for any reason whatsoever become void and cannot be retroactively applied to any other work.

RESEARCH DISBURSEMENTS – For the preparation of any claim or defence you authorize us to spend and bill you for same for up to $150 in disbursements as part of any research we may deem necessary including but not limited to business name searches, corporate profile reports, title abstracts, vehicle and license plate searches, commercial credit reports, etc.

SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS DISBURSEMENTS – As a cost savings measure to our clients we first try to serve Plaintiff’s Claims against individuals by registered mail and corporations by Xpresspost as part of our fee. However, if a Defendant does not respond then an additional fee will be required to serve the Plaintiff’s Claim either personally or by courier which you authorize us to bill you up to $150. All other documents shall be by regular mail, XpressPost or fax unless otherwise requested or required under the Rules. We do not, and cannot, guarantee service of documents.

ADJOURNMENTS, ETC. – The Client always has the right to make all critical decisions with respect to the final disposition of their matter, however, during the course of a proceeding we require and reserve the right to consent to opposing party requests for adjournments, extensions in time, scheduling, waiving procedural formalities, and amendments to pleadings. We also require and reserve the right to make similar requests of an opposing party.

OUTSIDE HELP – We may, at  our sole discretion, retain such other licensed paralegals or process servers as we deem necessary.

SETTLEMENTS & AGREEMENTS – The client shall authorize us to extend or accept settlement offers within specific parameters.

YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION – Unless we receive written instructions to the contrary we shall assume that the contact information you have provided us may be listed on court forms and be used to communicate with you including leaving detailed voicemail messages to any telephone number you provide us.

ISSUES OR DISPUTES – Should a client take issue with any of our services then the client shall provide us with notice of same delivered by fax or XpressPost and then allow a minimum of 30 days for Gutsan Legal Services to respond before the client takes any other action.

CORPORATE CLIENTS – We may require a personal guarantor for our services to smaller corporate clients unless specifically waived by our firm.

SUCCESSIVE TERMS TO PREVAIL – Until the disengagement of our services the most current version of these terms shall prevail.


GENERAL – The client may, without explanation, discontinue the use of our services in which case the client or their successor representative shall advise the respective court(s), opposing parties, and any other involved parties of the change in representation. We may discontinue our services for the reasons given in the following sections. In either event, the client may request in writing the return of their case file up to 90 days after our services are discontinued failing which the file will be archived. A file may not be returned to a client unless all of our fees and disbursements, including those described herein, are first paid.

COMPLETION OF WORK – Once any billed work is completed, and unless we are retained for additional steps in a matter, we reserve the right to take ourselves off record. If any billed work becomes unnecessary and/or is not completed due to resolution, settlement, discontinuance, adjournment, or abandonment by any of the parties to the action, or by waiver, adjournment or order of the court, or by default of the client (see below), or termination of our working relationship for any reason whatsoever, then any fees billed will be applied to the work performed to that point.

DEFAULT OF CLIENT – In cases of default by the client (including but not limited to non-payment or other non-compliance with this retainer agreement, non-attendance at meetings or hearings, non-disclosure, failure to respond in a timely fashion to inquiries or requests, missed deadlines, dishonesty or indecency, or failure to comply with court orders, settlements or agreements) we reserve the right to cease all work and also take ourselves off record. No refund shall be made. A $55 service charge applies to cheques that do not clear. Delinquent accounts are subject to interest of 18.0% per annum and, in the event that legal action is required for payment of our invoice then a $500 fee plus any and all such charges, costs and interest as permitted under the Rules of the Small Claims Court shall apply.

IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES – We may discontinue our services if there is a serious loss of confidence between the client and our firm, or the client persistently instructs us to do something inconsistent with our duty to any court, board or tribunal, or if it becomes clear that our continued employment will lead to a breach of the Paralegal Rules of Conduct. 

What is a legal retainer?
What is a legal retainer?


Useful Legal Information about Personal Service



As outlined in section sixteen (16) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, applicable to service of all legal documents.



Where a document has to be served personally to:

1.   Individual, unless they have a disability, by leaving a copy of the papers with them.

2.   Municipality, by leaving a copy with the: chair, warden, reeve, clerk, deputy clerk, or municipal lawyer.

3.  Corporation, by leaving a copy with the: officer, director or agent of corporation, a person at any place of business of the corporation who appears to be in control or management of the place of business.

4.  Board or commission: by leaving a  copy with a member or officer.

5.  Person outside of Ontario carrying on Business in Ontario: by leaving a copy with anyone who works for them in Ontario.

6.   Partnership: by leaving a copy with one of the partners or a managers of their business.

7. Sole proprietorship: by leaving a copy with the owner or with a manager of their business.

*** For all other service recipients refer to section 16 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.


If you are serving someone at their place of residence and you are unable to serve the person directly you can do the following instead:

1.   Leave a copy of the document in a sealed envelope, addressed to the person, at the place of residence with anyone who appears to be an adult member of the household

2.   AND on the same day or the day after mailing another copy of the document to the person at the same place of residence.


If you are unable to serve the corporation because they do not appear to be present at the address they are supposed to be at, you can mail a copy of the document to them. 


Service to the lawyer of record of a party can be made by:

1.   Mailing a copy to their office

2.   Leaving a copy with an employee at the office

3.   Leaving a copy at a document exchange the lawyer uses, make sure it’s date stamped by the person working at the document exchange

4.   Faxing a copy to the lawyers office, but if you fax between 4pm and midnight it counts as being served the following day

5.   Sending a copy by courier

6.   E-mailing a copy to the lawyer, this only works if they reply with acceptance and date of acceptance.  Like with the fax, any email sent between 4pm and midnight counts as being served the next day.


When faxing a document you must include a cover page with the following:

1.   Senders name, address, and phone number

2.   Name of lawyer to be served

3.   Date and time of transmission

4.   Total number of pages transmitted, including cover page

5.   Fax number of the sender

6.   The name and phone number of a person to contact in case of transmission problems

***Fax of documents 16 pages or more (including cover page and backsheet) may only be faxed between 4pm and 8am the following day, unless the party to be served gives prior consent.

The following documents may NOT be served by fax, unless the party to be served gives prior consent:

1.   Motion record

2.   Application record

3.   Trial record

4.   Appeal book

5.   Compendium

6.   Book of authorities


Every email that is used to serve documents shall include:

1.   Sender’s name, address, phone number, fax number, email address

2.   Date and time of transmission

3.   Name and phone number of a person to contact in the event of transmission problems


The service of a document served by mail is effective on the 5th day after it has been mailed.  Although proof of service (affidavit) can be filed before that date.


Even though a person has been served with a document in accordance with the rules, they may show on a motion to set aside the consequences of default, for an extension of time in support of a request for an adjournment, that the document:

1. did not come to the person’s notice, or

2. came to the persons notice only at some point later than when it was served or is    deemed to have been served


Where a document has been served in a manner other than one authorized by these rules or an order, the court may make an order validating the service where the court is satisfied at:

1.  the document came to the notice of the person being served, or,

2. the document was served in such a manner that it would have come to the notice of the person to be served, except for the person’s own attempts to evade the service.


Affidavit of Service

Service of a document may be provided by an affidavit of the person who served it.  

Sheriff’s Certificate

Personal service, or service at place of residence by a sheriff can be provided by a certificate of service.

Lawyer’s Admission or Acceptance

A lawyer’s written admission or acceptance of service is sufficient proof of service and need not be verified by affidavit.

Document Exchange

Service of a document with a document exchange may be proved by the date stamp on the document of copy of it.

Proof of Service of Document

1. The affidavit or certificate of service may be printed on the backsheet or on a stamp or sticker affixed to the backsheet of the document served.  

2.  Service of a document by email may be proved by a certificate of service by the person who sent the email, stating that she or he:

a. Served the document by e-mailing a copy in accordance to subrule (4) and received by    email an acceptance of service, with the date and time of the acceptance.

b.  Has sworn an affidavit of service containing the particulars set out in the certificate of 


c.  has kept an affidavit of service, and

d.  will, on the request of the court or a party, produce the affidavit of service


1.  Prior to attempting service contact the person to be served in an attempt to accommodate to their schedule.

2.  Contact the person and confirm the address.  If they ask you to serve at a different address IMMEDIATELY call the office for instructions.

3.  Always be respectful and courteous.

4.  Never engage in arguments or heated exchange.  At all times remain respectful and professional, regardless of how the other party is behaving.

5.  Never put yourself in harms way, if the situation becomes dangerous or unsafe, IMMEDIATELY leave and call the office.

6.  If the person refuses service and you have identified them, simply hand them the papers and walk away.

7.  If the person isn’t there, you can give the document to an adult of the household as long as you have obtained their name.  IMMEDIATELY contact the office and relay the other persons name and physical characteristics.

8.  When serving at night, always have another person with you for reasons of safety.

9.  Once you have successfully served the papers, IMMEDIATELY call the office and relay that the service was completed, who you served, and at what address.

10.  Once service is completed IMMEDIATELY got to the office and provide information about the service, then wait for an AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE to be completed for execution by you.

11.  In the event that the office is closed, attend the following day so that you may complete the Affidavit of Service.


F.A.Q for Landlords and TenaNts

What is the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, about?

The Residential Tenancies Act covers most residential rental units in Ontario including mobile homes, care homes and rooming and boarding houses. The Act sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants who rent residential properties. The Act does notcover commercial tenancies. The Residential Tenancies Act covers most of the landlord-tenant related matters:

  • Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
  • Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
  • Tenancy Agreement
  • Rules for Rent
  • Maintenance and Repairs
  • Care Homes and Mobile Homes
  • Entering the Rental Unit
  • Security of Tenure
  • Ending a Tenancy
  • Landlord and Tenant Board
  • Board Proceedings
  • Vital Services
  • Evicting a tenant
  • Enforcement of an Order and more

Which rental units are not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act?

There are some situations where a rental unit may not be covered by the Act or certain parts of the Act.  The Residential Tenancies Actdoes not apply to people living in:

  • Emergency shelters
  • Hospitals or nursing homes
  • Non-profit and public housing
  • Prison
  • University and college student residence or dormitories
  • Units that are used on a seasonal or temporary basis
  • Those sharing a kitchen or bathroom with the owner or certain family members of the owner

Can a landlord charge a person a deposit or a fee for allowing them to rent a unit?

Yes, a landlord can collect a rent deposit if it is requested on or before the day that the landlord and tenant enter into the tenancy agreement. The rent deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent or the rent for one rental period, whichever is less. For example, if rent payments are made weekly, the deposit cannot be more than one week’s rent; if rent payments are made monthly or bi-monthly, the deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent.

Can a tenant withhold rent because their landlord isn’t properly maintaining their building or unit?

No. If the tenant withholds rent, the landlord can give the tenant a notice of termination for non-payment of rent and then file an application to evict the tenant.

Can a tenant change the locks?

A tenant cannot change the locks unless the landlord agrees. Also, the tenant cannot add locks that might stop a landlord from entering the unit if there is an emergency or if the landlord has a valid reason for entering the rental unit and the landlord has given the tenant proper notice to enter. If the tenant does change the lock, a copy of the key should be given to the landlord immediately.

Landlord and Tenant Disputes
Landlord and Tenant Disputes

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