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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Court Agrees to Backdate Claim That Was Issued Outside Limitation Period

In a recent case, the Superior Court upheld the Master’s decision to backdate a Statement of Claim that was issued after the expiry of the limitation period.

The limitation period for the plaintiff’s claim was to expire on November 1, 2012.

On October 31st the plaintiff’s lawyer sent the Statement of Claim along with the necessary filing fees by overnight courier from Toronto to the Ottawa Court. Enclosed was a note for the Registrar which advised that the limitation period for filing the claim was November 1st and stating “I would really appreciate if you could call . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law

Wondering Whether Your Practice Structure Could Expose You to Liability for Other Lawyers’ Work?

Lawyers working “in association” need to consider how they may be perceived by clients and the public, since those who hold themselves out as a law firm risk being treated as such by the courts and can expect to be held to the same conflict requirements as a law firm partnership.
That’s according to a recent decision by Justice Stinson, in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice [2014 ONSC 3411 (CanLII)]

The facts
The defendant brought a motion to remove the plaintiff’s lawyer from the record on the basis that the lawyer worked in association with another lawyer with whom . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Tracking Currents and Following Flotsam

The Atlantic reported this week on the outcome of a 1997 cargo ship spill. The story was picked up yesterday by CBC’s As It Happens (listen here). Here’s what happened as described in The Atlantic article:

It started in 1997. On February 13 of that year, a rogue wave hit the New York-bound cargo ship Tokio Express while it was only 20 miles off Land’s End, on Britain’s southwest coast. The ship stayed afloat; some of its cargo, however—62 shipping containers—were thrown overboard as the vessel pitched. One of these containers contained Legos. Tons of Legos—many of them,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

When a Key Partner Leaves: What It Takes to Keep Clients

When a key partner in a large law firm moves to a competitor, do his or her institutional clients tend to leave too? The answer might depend on how much internal conflict there is at the firm left behind.

Michelle Rogan of INSEAD recently published ground-breaking research of the relationships between large, multi-unit advertising agencies and client firms. These relationships are very similar in structure to those between law firms and institutional clients, where services in several areas of professional expertise are provided through personal connections developed over time.

Most of us believe that the more ties between people at . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

#Cbafutureschat Recap: Lawyers Learning to Play With Others

No matter the sport – from soccer to debate club – a team will get nowhere if all its players are specialists in the same position.

But just as there’s no “I” in team, there’s no team in a law firm – not one that can, to stretch that sporting analogy just a little bit further, cover all the bases, so to speak. That is in part due to the regulatory framework under which lawyers work, of course.

Still, there is growing recognition that it might be helpful for lawyers to work in tandem with professionals such as accountants, real . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Edward Snowden Tells the Legal Profession That Protecting Client Confidentiality Now Requires Encryption

From Saturday’s Guardian – here is the complete transcript.

The NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has urged lawyers, journalists, doctors, accountants, priests and others with a duty to protect confidentiality to upgrade security in the wake of the spy surveillance revelations.

Snowden said professionals were failing in their obligations to their clients, sources, patients and parishioners in what he described as a new and challenging world.

No matter how careful you are from that point on, no matter how sophisticated your source, journalists have to be sure that they make no mistakes at all in the very beginning to the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Office Technology

Of Woodsheds and Clients’ Social Media Habits

Here’s another post under the “social media law” umbrella—this time about what intelligible advice, if any, lawyers can bank on when it comes to directing their own clients to “clean up” social media accounts. It’s not the first time this has been canvassed here on Slaw, as John Gregory’s post from earlier this year attests, but since I recently prepared materials for a webinar on social media as evidence, and in the course of that started a trial run of X1 Social Discovery (which is what the Department of Justice, RCMP, and at least two major Canadian law firms are . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Office Technology

Slaying the Internal Giants to Maximize Your Career

At the heart of ancient Palestine is the region known as the Shephelah, a series of ridges and valleys connecting the Judaean Mountains to the east with the wide, flat expanse of the Mediterranean plain. It is an area of breathtaking beauty, home to vineyards and wheat fields and forests of sycamore and terebinth. It is also of great strategic importance.

This is how Malcolm Gladwell begins his new book, released last fall, David and Goliath.

The Shephelah, Gladwell notes, was where John Hyrcanus of the Maccabees fought the Seleucid Empire (he calls “Syria”), before forcibly converting the inhabitants . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

I’m a Non-Engineer

It happened again yesterday in the CBA Futures Twitterchat – the term “non-lawyer” once again reared its ugly head. Granted, it was a Twitter chat with 140 character limits but even so, there must better ways to describe the vast majority of the population who are not licensed to practice law.

I’ve written here previously on my views of this term; since then, I’ve only become more deeply entrenched in my point of view, to the point where use of the term now grinds in my ears like fingernails on a chalkboard. (Incidentally, does anyone under 30 even know what . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Having Fun With Nostalgic Marketing

What is it about summer that makes us so nostalgic? I spend a lot of time between June and September wishing I was hanging out with friends or family in Saskatchewan, even though I have a perfectly nice life in Vancouver. I’ll respond positively to almost any marketing message reminding me of long, carefree days when my only concern was how to sneak another piece of Saskatoon berry pie without my mother noticing.

Nostalgia has a special place in marketing and public relations. It appeals to our need for safety and security. It helps us feel connected to each . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

CBA Futures Chat: Lawyers Learning to Play With Others

It’s National’s turn (finally!) to host a Twitter Chat with CBA Futures. The topic: What will it take for lawyers to learn to play with others?

It might strike some as an odd choice of topic. Lawyers are a versatile bunch, capable of representing clients in a variety of industries. They’re good at learning about different businesses and the challenges they face. Inevitably, in practicing their trade, they regularly come into contact with a wide array of professionals.

But that doesn’t mean that they listen to diverse points of view when it comes to running their own affairs.

Part . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Screen Door Slamming

It is finally summer on the prairies. I am savouring long, sunny days, lush, green lawns and thunderclouds on the horizon at dusk, but my paradise is not free from troubles.

There are pests in my world – ants, flies, wasps, giant hungry mosquitoes and more – and I find myself becoming irritated by their incessant buzzing and humming, until I hear the distinct whack of a screen door slamming. The sound immediately reminds me that my summertime serenity is secure.

This simple device allows the fresh morning breezes and cool night air to pass freely through my home, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management