No nonsense results with reliable and affordable access to justice.

phone icon(O) 289-201-1724
fax icon289-201-1721

The HillCowan Approach


James_Seated_Cropped_2aDefence Never Rests

Local Advocacy
You Can Count On.

HillCowan believes that proper legal representation (advocacy) begins with clear communication – and the courage to make things happen!

HillCowan despises injustice and for this reason, if your rights have been violated, we take your fight to the wall.

HillCowan provides expert advice and clear explanations of the charges/issues, the process for moving forward with your matter, your options and recommendations. James Hill is passionate about his clients and because of this he works tirelessly to achieve the best results possible — results you would not normally get from self-representation.

The HillCowan Goal – To deliver optimum results and service excellence

The HillCowan background of success has been built on the following foundation:

Research – James is tenacious and this means developing a solid research plan – overturning every stone – gathering all the data / information possible about your matter.  What are the facts, issues and law that applies?

  • Cases are generally won on the facts, not on the law; and legal issues oftentimes are unable to be researched effectively without a clear understanding of the factual background.
  • Data or information collected involves evidence (anything which may be used to prove a fact or support an assertion) – the relevance and materiality, valid or usefulness of which may be admitted as evidence or deemed to be inadmissible (i.e., Hearsay).  Evidence that was in or not in ‘disclosure’ or ‘examination-in-chief’ (produced by witnesses), for example.
  • The stones of research to be turned over also includes seeking various sources of law: Statutes, Case Law, Regulations, secondary sources – and knowing how to use these sources to our advantage.

Analysis – James takes this information, which includes the other side’s disclosure (i.e., Crown Prosecution, Minister’s Counsel, Respondent, Plaintiff, Appellant, Defence…), and meticulously examines every angle as if it was on a war wall to see the big picture more clearly – to move the pictures or pieces of the puzzle around to explore patterns of advantage, positioning, risk and to arrive at an optimum solution.

It is at this point that James will ask several questions, some of which are:

  • Does this case make good sense to pursue from any or all perspectives?
  • Can it be found that the charge(s) is not valid in law, contrary to law, an error in fact?
  • In a Criminal Summary Conviction matter, can the prosecution or Crown prove its case against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt? Likewise, in a civil case (anything that is not criminal or quasi-criminal), can we see a good possibility, based upon research and disclosure, that the balance of probabilities favours the defendant or other side?
  • Looking further into the trial process – does my client have a right to appeal if we come to this possibility?
  • Is this matter a financially viable option?

Strategy and Tactics – Both have to work together.  The process we use to lay out or plan our positioning in advance of the pre-trial hearing, pre-trial conference, mediation, the trial process; the methods James employs for analyzing the information/facts while a good tactical plan is only as good as the strategy that led up to it – the means used to gain an objective – the ability to think inside as well as outside the box.

Implementation/Delivery – What is the use of all of the above if you don’t have the experience or ability to follow through with effective delivery?  James knows the importance of preparation and his role as your advocate as well as the skills and experience required to present your case or matter before  criminal court, civil court or an administrative tribunal.  James’ goal is to deliver you an optimum result and excellence in service.

As a licensed member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada, James is bound by a code of professional ethics to provide you with the highest quality of service and professionalism, integrity, competency, and confidentiality.

It all begins with three simple steps:

1. Interview – When you come to the HillCowan office, James strips down your matter(s) to the issues and facts for a clear and concise understanding of your case so that you can make a more informed decision of the direction you wish to take based upon potential strategies, strengths and risks.

    • James analyzes whether your claim has legal merit.
      • A sense of “personal grievance” does not necessarily translate into a cause of action (i.e., cause of action equals valid, legal grounds for commencing a court action).
    • Is it cost-effective to litigate at all?
    • Is it cost effective to litigate against a certain defendant?
      • Is the defendant “judgment-proof”? (judgment-proof = a defendant who has no income or assets against which the judgment may be enforced; “judgment debtor” = a person who owes money to another person pursuant to a court order.
      • Judgment can be a worthless piece of paper unless defendant has income or assets
    • Searches will be conducted to determine if the potential defendant should be sued.
    • Is there another way of settling the matter?

2. Retainer Agreement – Based on the issues, the facts addressed and assessed, it is agreed that you want to move forward with your matter.

    • The retainer agreement, a contractual business relationship between yourself (the client), and HillCowan Legal Services Professional Corporation, spells out the terms of the business arrangement. This involves:
      • The scope of the legal services to be provided.
      • The cost of those services. 
      • A money retainer, money paid by a client for future services, is required. This money retainer is placed in a ‘Trust’ account. It belongs to the client until services have been provided and billed.

3. Legal Action – You have decided that litigation is the way to go

    • HillCowan will draft the documents required to move your case to a swift resolution.
      • A ‘Demand Letter is served to attempt to settle the matter before it goes any further (e.g., if acting for the creditor, the Demand Letter is serviced to the debtor).
      • Acting for the Plaintiff (Plaintiff’s Claim – the court document that sets out the parties, the court location, the amount of the claim, interest and costs and the facts in support of the claim).
      • Calculating damages (liquidated or unliquidated claim). Calculating interest (pre-judgement and post-judgement)
      • Affidavit of Service (Form 8A)
      • Default Proceedings (steps to take when the Defendant fails to file a Defence – obtain a judgement)
      • Acting for the Defendant – Drafting and filing a defence (Form 9A)
      • Filing motions – procedural step taken while the action is still ongoing to obtain a judge’s order to resolve an issue in the action that cannot wait until trial.

HillCowan takes every opportunity to quickly and cost-effectively resolve your case with optimum results and minimal impact.  Even though there are only three key steps, the path of legal proceedings need to be carefully navigated.  The HillCowan advantage is experience – knowing how to sail these stormy waters and navigating the way.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you been charged with a traffic violation?
  • Are you being taken to court?
  • Do you need legal representation?
  • Does someone owe you money and you want to sue?
  • Are you being sued and need legal representation for a defence?
  • Do you believe you have been wrongfully dismissed from your job?
  • Has your property been damaged or trespassed?
  • Are you being evicted from your apartment?
  • Is a tenant making claims against you as a landlord or property owner?
  • Do you believe you are a victim of discrimination?

These are just a few examples of matters that you may encounter however, if you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, then you need to call HillCowan to explore what your options are.  Regardless, take command with strong legal representation – contact us to arrange for a free initial half-hour consultation and become more informed.


Do you want to protect your rights?

Then let’s resolve your legal matters now!

By Appointment Only.

Call 289-201-1724

HillCowan Legal Services Professional Corporation is a licensed member
in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada. The Law Society of Upper Canada logo is a trademark owned by The Law Society of Upper Canada.