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Legal 411 by Alona C. MercadoReady na

by Alona C. Mercado

In my last article, I asked the question, “Ready ka na ba?” in relation to making a decision regarding your future and possibly starting your own business. I can honestly say that I have also been giving a great deal of thought to my own future and after many long months of deliberations I can answer my own question by saying, “Ready na.

I am pleased to announce that I have opened my own law firm with a good friend of mine. Our new firm, Mercado Trinh Law LLP, opened its doors on Monday, November 30, 2015. Our new offices are located in the Power Building, Suite 600-428 Portage Avenue (at the corner of Vaughn Street by The Bay and across from Portage Place).

Opening a law firm, just like any business, is full of challenges: from finding the right location and space for the office; to negotiating the lease, to finding, ordering and financing the purchase of all the furniture, computers and supplies; to picking the right colours and materials to renovate the space. And all that had to be done in between meetings because I still had to practice law before the big move. There are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. It’s times like these that I envy Hermione’s time-turner.

One of the major components of moving a law practice is the Law Society rules regarding advising clients of the move. We lawyers are under an obligation to contact all of our current and on-going clients about the move and to advise them of their rights. When a lawyer moves firms, the client is given the choice to:

  1. Move their file to their lawyer’s new firm;
  2. Keep their file at the existing firm; or
  3. Take their file and find a new lawyer.

I spent many days sending out e-mails and letters to my current clients and those on-going clients, particularly those whose wills, powers of attorneys or health care directives were being held by me for safekeeping. If you are one of my clients and you did not receive an email or letter from me, please feel free to contact me at and we can discuss it. The simple answer may be that your file is already closed or I didn’t know how to reach you because you never gave me your new e-mail or address.

It has been a long journey to get to this point in my career. There have been many points along the way where I questioned whether I should go back to government and politics (especially in light of the recent elections) or try something new. But in the end I know I made the right decision because this new adventure I am embarking upon is fully my own. I am thankful for the trust that my clients and contacts bestow upon me. For me, a referral is a sign that I’m doing something right.

I would also like to thank my family and friends for their unwavering support and encouragement during this long process. Whether it was acting as a sounding board, helping me pick the right kind of pen, or helping me move all my boxes to my new office, I truly appreciate you all.

Taos puso akong nagpapasalamat sa parents ko, sa aking mga kapatid, sa mga ninang ko, at sa auntie ko para sa tiwala at sa lahat ng suportang binigay ninyo sa akin, mula noong bata pa ako hanggang ngayon. You have always been willing to take that leap of faith in me and in my abilities. I am thankful and humbled by your trust in me. Now, I’m finally ready to take that leap of faith in myself.

How about you? Ready ka na ba?

The content of this article are not intended as legal advice and is for information purposes only. Should you require legal advice on a specific issue relating to the contents of this article, please seek the services of a legal professional.

Atty. Alona C. Mercado is a Partner at Mercado Trinh Law LLP. She was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1999. Her preferred areas of practice include wills and estates, committees, real estate and immigration law. She can be reached at or (204) 594-3436.

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