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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

It’s Complicated

Last week’s comment by English Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption that it may take another 50 years to achieve a gender-balanced roster of judges in England brought the issue of gender equality to the front pages. Not content to raise a minor storm, Lord Sumption went on to urge patience:

We have got to be very careful not to do things at a speed which will make male candidates feel that the cards are stacked against them. If we do that we will find that male candidates don’t apply in the right numbers. 85 per cent of newly appointed judges

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

ABS in Ontario Killed by the Foul Stench of Protectionism

It would be really easy to read last week’s report from the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Working Group on Alternative Business Structures as thoughtful and considered.

Afterall, it has all the hallmarks of a judicial decision – using all the right words and heck, even using numbered paragraphs; no surprise given that Convocation is over-weighted with litigators, many of whom aspire to be judges themselves.

But if you scratch beneath the surface of the report, one quickly finds that all the judicial language in the world cannot hide what really happened in the LSUC Star Chamber amid the fine . . . [more]

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

Futures Past, Present and … Yes, Future

The CBA Futures Initiative made a splash last year with its report on the future of legal services, and we’ve been really pleased to be at the centre of the conversation about what today’s changes will mean for the future of the profession in Canada. Since the report was released we’ve been talking the talk AND walking the walk, creating tools and information resources for members.

Some facts and figures:

  • Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada, is required reading on a growing number of law school syllabuses;
  • The Futures team has reached nearly 3,000 people with its
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

‘La Bâtonnière’ No More After Settlement With Quebec Bar Association

The Quebec Bar Association and bencher-elect Lu Chan Khuong have released a joint statement, indicating that Khuong has decided to resign her position and duties. The joint press release, dated Tuesday, September 15, 2015, announces a settlement agreement of the legal action opposing the board of directors of the Bar Association and Khuong. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The 2015 Pacific Legal Technology Conference

On Friday Oct 2, 2015 in Vancouver, BC, the ninth Pacific Legal Technology Conference will take place. But it can also take place right in your office. This year 13 sessions will be real-time webcast (the keynote will be recorded and made available for viewing after the conference due to logistical issues) allowing both in person and webinar attendees to fully participate in the conference.

28 speakers from Toronto, New York City, Salt Lake City, Alaska and all across BC will speak on such sessions as “Blending Technology with Strong Advocacy Skills”, “Practice Management Tools: There has never been a . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Lawyers Working Well With Others?

At the recent Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference in Calgary, I had the opportunity to join a panel on the subject of lawyers working effectively with those from other professional backgrounds. The panel focused on the benefits of a cross-disciplinary team approach, arising from the recommendation of the CBA Legal Futures report to permit multi-disciplinary practice arrangements. I opened by pointing out why I think this matters (or ought to matter) to lawyers:

  1. So they’ll be better lawyers (which was the theme of the conference) through greater focus, enhanced skills and a broader knowledge base; and
  2. So that clients will
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

When Are Witnesses Allowed to Testify via Video-Conference?

A recent Superior Court decision canvassed the existing law pertaining to permitting witnesses to testify via telephone or video as opposed to in person, and appears to have set out a template of the procedure by which such requests should be made and, if granted, carried out.

A few days before the commencement of trial, the defendants requested that five of their witnesses be permitted to testify via video-conference at the trial. Four of these witnesses live in the U.K. and the other witness lives in the United States. The plaintiff opposed the request which led to argument. The court . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

Welcome the Flipped Lawyer

Time and tide wait for no man” (Geoffrey Chaucer). Or for no lawyer [male or female]. 

Change is afoot in the legal profession, and lawyers are trying to figure out how to react to it. But the legal industry isn’t the only profession facing change.

Jonathan Reese of Colorado State University-Pueblo recently wrote about changes in the education sector on The Kernel. He describes the introduction of MOOCs and flipped classrooms as a form of “professional suicide.” The premise behind both of these is the responsibility for learning shifts to the students, who watch video lectures on . . . [more]

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

Building a Culture of Wellness

I am always somewhat pessimistic about the response of any group of lawyers to a presentation on the subject of wellness. Though I’ve spoken more than a few times on what lawyers can do to increase their sense of personal wellbeing and maintain a greater sense of balance while doing the work they do, my expectation remains that there will be at least a little eye rolling and more likely, significant disengagement with a topic that both touches on the personal and sometimes tends towards good parental advice.

Last week I joined fellow Slaw-yer Dan Pinnington and lawyer therapist Doron . . . [more]

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

Directive for Change, Straight From the Chief

This past weekend Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin addressed CBA members at the legal conference in Calgary, Alberta. A complete copy of the speech is available here via National Magazine, and my live broadcast via Periscope is available here.

She addressed her continuing concerns about access to justice, but focused on the change already underway in the profession. She told a lawyer joke, which she admittedly refrains from doing,

“How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?”, it goes. The answer, “What’s change?”

I prefer the response to the question, “How many psychiatrists does it take

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

CBA Futures Twitterchat: Leveraging Mindfulness for Professional Gain

Being mindful means to pay attention – not just to stop and smell the roses but to be aware of the roses, their intricacies of their form and scent and the effect their presence has on their environment. How would you extend that analogy to the practice of law?

Last year around this time, the CBA Legal Futures Initiative issued its report (Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada) calling for a new legal order. The report suggests that we find new models for legal education, that we reflect on our practice in order to innovate, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services – a Year Later

Last year the CBA Legal Futures Initiative released its report, Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada, in St. John’s.

The Futures Initiative has been gratified by the largely positive and enthusiastic reaction to our report, which has had a much broader reach and impact than we could have hoped. We outlined a bold vision for the future of the legal profession, encouraging a crucial conversation that’s taking place not just within Canada, but around the world.

Here’s a taste of what we’ve done since the report was published:

We’ve been talking

In the past year CBA President . . . [more]

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