Four weeks ago I was in Abu Dhabi, at the annual meeting of the Global Agenda Councils of the World Economic Forum. The Council on Rule of Law, which I chair, issued a report on the fast increase of governance outside purely state structures that is aimed at dealing with complex transnational issues such as human rights, labour standards, the environment, cybercrime, health, and corruption. Situations where the state is not enough. There’s a lot of that kind of governance around when you start looking for it and it will increase. Many examples of transnational, multi-stakeholder governance flounder. Why? At . . . [more]
Archive for the ‘Practice of Law’ Columns
In April I wrote a column in which I posed the question “Are lawyers paying enough attention to privacy?”. Based on some high profile privacy breaches and extensive discussions with practitioners that I have met and worked with in the past, my unfortunate conclusion to the question was, no. As I mentioned in the previous post, I believe that this state of affairs largely arises from the deep history of protection of confidentiality within the legal profession and the mistaken notion that protection of confidentiality equals protection of privacy and ensures compliance with the relevant legal requirements that surround the . . . [more]
It’s a Tuesday afternoon at a law firm somewhere in Toronto. John is reading the Huffington Post on-line. He feels stuck. Unmotivated. With no pounding deadlines this week he just can’t get around to doing the important but not urgent work on his desk.
Tina in Vancouver is also stuck. She’s so stressed out and anxious about the deadlines she has to meet that she is frozen. Her inner dialogue is about how hopeless she is, and useless, and the worst lawyer ever, and under this harsh litany of criticism she is immobilized.
Frank in Calgary has some urgent client . . . [more]
If you’ve never given much thought to your life insurance, there’s a chance you’re paying too much. Here are 7 tips that could help you save thousands on your life insurance costs.
1. Your excellent health could qualify you for discounted rates
Most insurers can offer discounted life insurance rates to applicants with a combination of much better than average medical test results, no family history of serious diseases, and healthy lifestyle choices. Commonly referred to as Preferred or Elite, these lower rates are subject to strict underwriting rules. As a result, most people can’t qualify; but if you do, . . . [more]
A recent article in Forbes magazine reported that a survey conducted by Careerbliss.com found that the unhappiest workers in America were associate attorneys. Legal assistants ranked seventh. Law partners weren’t mentioned.
This same survey stated that the happiest workers in the United States were real estate agents! Given the state of the American real estate market recently this doesn’t lend much credibility to the previous claim.
Regardless of the accuracy of the survey findings, anyone who has ever been an associate lawyer in private practice knows the stresses of learning the law, building a practice, grappling with more senior aggressive . . . [more]
No one loves progress (status) reports. They take time to write. The writers believe they’re unread. And as one wag put it, they mostly demonstrate the lack of progress.
The problem with these reports is twofold. One aspect, of course, is that the intended recipients are busy. The other is that the reports contain little to no information the recipient can act on, other than perhaps taking frustrations out on the project team.
Consider the sign pictured here, on one of the floating bridges across the lake into Seattle. It tells me what I’m about to be charged for . . . [more]
It is a beautiful day in Winnipeg this morning. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. The flowers are as beautiful as they can be before the frost finds them.
I was walking across the Osborne Street Bridge at about 7:30 a.m. and saw a woman standing on the wrong side of the railing, about half way across. At first I thought I must be seeing it wrong. A couple of people seemed to just walk past her. And then there was only me.
The woman’s back was to me. She was holding onto the railing with one hand,
Have you ever felt like there aren’t enough hours in the day? In professional life it just seems like a given.
Whether you are a working parent with kids at home, or have aging parents to care for, or even an energetic dog who requires long walks daily, or a combination of all three (lucky you!), or a whole different set of responsibilities, chances are you feel stretched a lot of the time.
The truth is that our prosperous professional lives are full to overflowing. This is a good problem to have. And it is also a kind of suffering. . . . [more]
In June of 2013, the CBA Legal Futures Initiative issued a report entitled “The Future of Legal Services in Canada: Trends and Issues” (the “Report”). For those who have not read the Report I highly recommend a reading. The report breaks down a wide variety of trends and issues that are important for all those within the profession to be aware of. While there are many important discussion points raised in the Report, the one issue that stands out to me however, is that of competition within the legal marketplace.
The issue stands out for me as one requiring further . . . [more]
Whenever there is an auto insurance claim, insurers must determine fault. If you are found to be at fault for a claim, the insurer will consider you an increased risk and use this information to increase your premiums. If you are not at fault, the claim will not directly result in an increase of your premiums. This probably makes sense to most people, but you may be surprised to learn that things are a bit different when it comes to home insurance claims.
Assume you make a claim to repair a roof damaged by a hail storm, or your expensive . . . [more]
What happens to highly successful women lawyers and corporate executives and managers who decide to stop working and stay at home with their children full-time? Do they miss their successful careers? Do they feel they made the right choice for them and their families? What happens if they want to return to work ten years later when the children are older or their husbands have lost their jobs?
These questions were explored in a recent lengthy New York Times magazine article that revisited twenty-two women who were profiled in 2003 and labeled as the “Opt-Out Generation”.
Each of these women . . . [more]
Is there something women know about health and fitness that us guys don’t? I’m referring to the fact that for every running and racing walking event I enter, there are always more women than men. Sometimes a lot more.
At last summer’s inaugural Lululemon-sponsored “Sea Wheeze Half Marathon” in Vancouver, over 80% of the 5,900 participants were women. You might say “No kidding, what guy wants to go in a race sponsored by Lululemon?”
But the Lululemon half marathon is just the tip of a North American, if not a world-wide, phenomenon that has seen an explosive increase in the . . . [more]