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Archive for ‘Columns’

Legal Business Development: Is a Lack of Confidence Holding You Back?

Confidence. Do you have it? Sure, there are times that your confidence has been shaken… but deep down, are you confident in yourself and your ability? And how important is confidence to your success as a lawyer, a community leader or a parent? A new book by journalists Katty Kay (BBC News) and Claire Shipman (Good Morning America) sheds some light on the subject in… Confidence Code.

Shipman explains in a short TV segment for ABC News, that you can transform yourself from a worrier to a warrior… We can create more confidence by creating better habits. In . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Markers Along the Way

Looking at events with a long-term perspective has been a primary strength of library professionals from time immemorial. Preserve the intellectual heritage of the past, protect the information of the future: that has been one of the profession’s purposes. It is a perspective that is seldom fashionable. Change, constant change, is now part of our daily expectations. As former United States President Dwight D. Eishhower supposedly once said, things today are more like they are now than ever. (Someone else said if first, but the image of President Eisenhower pontificating is a pleasant one.) The pace of change in 2014 . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Missing or Wrong Inventors?

Occasionally, patent applications are filed or issued identifying the wrong inventors, or the allegedly wrong inventors. This can arise due to inadvertence at the time of filing or from disputes between inventors, claimed inventors and owners of the intellectual property.

All patent applications must identify the inventor or inventors of the invention being claimed. This is typically done in the petition for the patent or equivalent under the international Patent Cooperation Treaty rules at the time of filing.

The identity of the inventors is important because ownership of the patent flows from the inventors, usually through an employment arrangement or . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

International Court in Crisis

My last blog highlighted a crisis in international law relating to peace and security. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the newest instrument in the peace and security toolbox. Twelve years ago I opened its doors as head of the ICC Advance Team and it’s now 10 years ago since I left the Court. There can be no doubt that it is also part the crisis.

The idea itself is still vulnerable: that peace and security will be more likely and lasting with the knowledge that you will be punished if you commit or actively support atrocities crime (the preventative . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Do You Want to Know a Secret?

It was some time ago, while reading a few articles and columns offering opinions and insights into the legal and professional information publishing industry, that I perceived the extent to which the bonds between the employee and company appear, unfortunately, to have weakened.

Now just to put that into context, personally and subjectively, I believe that corporate loyalty can be much over-rated and more often than not is encouraged as a means by which to exploit workers. I’m much happier with the idea of a contractual relationship of obviously unequal parties in which each owes the other legal and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Don’t Let Your Strategic Plan Become a Very Expensive Bookend!

My firm was recently retained by a client to assist with their Strategic Planning process. During the “interview stage” of our relationship, the Managing Partner went to great lengths to have me explain my process and style. We had numerous meetings (more than I believe any lawyer would think was reasonable if the situation were reversed) but still I persevered. I knew that there was a reason underlying their reluctance to sign on the dotted line although I understood that it was not about my firm (they had already told me that we were the consultants with whom they wanted . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

A National Holiday, a Sports Team’s Name, and Researching Native American Law

In the United States we recently celebrated Columbus Day on October 13th. The day was established in 1934, as a national holiday to celebrate the Italian-American heritage of exploration; then was moved to the second Monday in October in 1968. Its celebration has become controversial, however, because Columbus did not in fact discover America and his arrival unleashed genocide against the indigenous people already living in the Americas.

This year both Seattle and Minneapolis celebrated the day as “Indigenous People’s Day”. Since 1990 the state of South Dakota has called this second Monday in October “Native . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Drowning in Alphabet Soup

“You need to return on a Wednesday at 9:00am or a Friday at 2:00pm.”

“Excuse me?”

“Oh wait, sorry. You’re client’s last name begins with ‘G’. That’s a Tuesday matter.”

“But I’m back here this Monday…”

“Oops. Hang on. It’s a domestic. Thursdays at 10:00am. Definitely Thursday.”

***

The above is a pretty faithful recounting of nearly every day in set-date courts across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and, perhaps to a lesser extent, across Ontario. I don’t have a sufficient personal sample size to gauge whether the alphabet soup insanity that has infected my home province has spread its . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Risk Management Revisited

In November of 2011, I wrote a column on the value of risk management for law firms and put forward the proposition that “[d]espite th[e] considerable grounding in working with risk and counseling clients on methods to minimize and avoid risk, seemingly very few law firms in Canada actually engage in any sort of structured or coordinated risk management activities for their own organizations.” I was recently contacted by a reporter for a legal industry publication to discuss risk management for law firms and thus had the opportunity to reflect on my original statement. When asked a question regarding the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Your Fall Website Tune-Up

As I write, the first winter storms have descended upon Calgary, while out here on the left coast both Mother Nature and the provincial government still refuse to acknowledge the stubborn truth that fall is here and it’s high time for skies to turn soggy and kids – especially my kids – to be back in school. But facts are facts, and the traditional busy season is now upon us. That means it’s also time for your marketing vehicle’s fall tune-up.

I know, I know; you’ve been dreaming of ditching your existing model for one of those new-fangled TESLAs that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

A Glimpse of Shifting Tectonic Plates in Nashville

The annual International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) conference was held in Nashville last month. (See Kate Simpson’s posting last year her take on last year’s conference in Las Vegas: http://www.tangledom.com/ilta-2013-in-fabulous-vegas/.) I find the ILTA conference to be very fulfilling. Not only are there a plethora of good, substantive sessions (50 or more every day, for four days), but the conference also provides an opportunity for me to have good, in-depth conversations with my counterparts in large US and Australian firms.

For those who are members of ILTA, audio recordings of five of the six knowledge management (KM) sessions have . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

The Cape Town Convention

In September the third conference on the Cape Town Convention took place at the Law Faculty in Oxford. This treaty deals with international interests in mobile equipment, and was adopted in late 2001. There are three protocols, dealing with aircraft and aircraft engines; rail and space. The details of dates and entry into force can be located on the Unidroit site. The CTC is one of the most successful commercial treaties, having been ratified by 60 countries already.

My interest in the Convention comes about from the project that is associated with it – the Cape Town Convention Academic . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information