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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Future of Practice’

When I Stopped Vomiting, I Learned to Hate Teraview

Technology, particularly legal technology is supposed to make the delivery of legal services more convenient. However, sometimes lawyers get in the way and muck things up. Teraview is a perfect example.

Back in the day, anyone could walk into the local registry office and register any document they wanted. Since the mid-1980s registration documents were not witnessed, nor were signatures checked. The system was one of openness and accessibility.

Then along came Teraview – which allowed registration from anywhere in Canada via the internet. A seemingly great idea that would make real estate transactions faster and smoother. However, everyone forgot . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

What Would Happen to the Profession of Law if It Became a Business?

We’re obviously talking about the high-minded ideals of the profession, and not the day-to-day reality of a sole practitioner trying to balance the books, but lawyers historically don’t like to think of themselves as being part of the rough and tumble of the business world.

The fear is that lawyers who are worried about the business end of the business will be distracted from their higher purpose – how do you preserve justice when at the same time you need to promote shareholders’ interests?

This sort of philosophical rhetoric is really the purview of big firms with separate accounting departments. . . . [more]

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

Red Bean Buns and Law

I was in my wife’s favourite Chinese bakery the other day searching for red bean buns. The décor is nothing special, but the baked goods are exceptionally well done and insanely fresh! It’s no wonder then that we’re willing to travel a little bit out of our way to go there. And judging by the line-ups, many others feel the same way.

There are other places we can go to in Chinatown for baked goods, but we choose this one because of the quality of their goods. And they can compete against other bakers on quality because none of the . . . [more]

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

Could It Be Time for Apprentices Again?

It wasn’t so long ago that would-be lawyers didn’t go to law school. Instead, they were apprenticed to experienced lawyers and learned their skills on the job.

It wasn’t until the 1950s and 60s in Canada that law degrees became de rigeur and apprenticeships were compressed into an articling year to be completed before writing the bar exam.

Flash forward to an age of soaring law school tuition rates and declining job openings, when students complain of heavy debts and a lack of practical training, and suddenly the age-old apprenticeship seems like a suitable tool for modern times.

“Adding apprenticeship . . . [more]

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

Guidelines to Sharia Law in Great Britain

On March 13, 2014, the Law Society of England and Wales announced that it had released guidelines to help solicitors in the United Kingdom apply Sharia law succession rules. Specifically, the guide deals with drafting wills, trust issues and disputes over estates, and explains in detail how to write wills that respect Islamic traditions while complying with UK law. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

The Internet of Things – and Tomorrow’s Law Firm

Press Release from London this morning

London, United Kingdom: 1 April 2014 – Janders Dean is pleased to announce the launch of the ShockLaw© wearable time management technology solution for law firms and lawyers – featuring the Bill-IT© bracelet with LawyerShock© vibration technology, the ShockLaw© Server, and associated mobile device monitoring apps.

In an age when the ‘Internet of everything’ is dominating technology development, Janders Dean is leading the market with the introduction of the ShockLaw© wearable platform – and showing true thought leadership with the product’s integration both across the lawyer’s workplace surroundings, and also across software applications being . . . [more]

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

Students Form “Law Students Society of Ontario”

All of the student societies at Ontario’s seven law schools have agreed to participate in a newly formed Law Students Society of Ontario. At the moment the LSSO website contains only the following press release:

MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ontario’s Law Students Found New Association to Advance Student Issues

Ontario’s law school student governments have formed a new organization to speak out on issues affecting the province’s 4,000 law students.

The goal of the Law Students’ Society of Ontario (LSSO) is to advance student concerns to governmental, regulatory, and educational stakeholders on issues such as

. . . [more]

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

From Perogies to Law Trucks – With Love

Maybe it’s something that happens to your brain at 5,000 feet above sea level. Maybe it’s the fresh mountain air. Or maybe it’s the frontier, no-one’s-gonna-help-me-so-I-just-gotta-do-it-myself, spirit of the West. Whatever it is, some of the most entrepreneurial Canadian lawyers I’ve met to date, are from Calgary.

Over and over again I’ve heard that if you have a great idea in Calgary, you can find partners to help make it happen.

We live in an age of cloud computing, greying of the bar, and underserved populations living on mobile devices, and many of us have also been commenting on the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Innovation Upside-Down With Mitch Kowalski

Why can’t we all be more like Australia, was Mitch Kowalski’s opening salvo as he hosted a CBA Futures Initiative Twitterchat on Tuesday.

“What’s in their water to allow them to be so innovative?”

Australia, Kowalski noted in a blog post ahead of the Twitterchat, pioneered outside intervention in law firms, which has been allowed since 2001, and is also the home of the first publicly-listed law firm, Slater and Gordon.

“Why do those who raise the unsubstantiated issue that outside investment will erode the core values of Canada lawyers, ignore the fact that nothing of the sort has happened . . . [more]

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

A Quieter Kind of Change: One Lawyer’s Story

Amidst appeals for “disruptive innovation” and dire predictions for the future of the profession, some lawyers are quietly changing the way they practice. They’re not doing this as part of a movement – they’re just doing what is best for themselves. There are more of them than you might think.

I recently chatted with a former client who exemplifies this situation perfectly. The interview illustrates how and why one litigator modified his practice – and realigned his definitions of personal and professional success in the process.

When lawyer Ronald J. Smith, QC quit practicing law to focus exclusively on mediation, . . . [more]

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

It’s Time to Amend the Bank Act So Clients Can Collect on Judgments

Ontario utilizes a “loser pays” legal system in which the losing party is usually ordered by the court to pay a portion of the successful party’s legal fees. As a result, regardless of who wins, someone ends up with a piece of paper requiring the other party to pay money.

Assuming that the losing party does not voluntarily cut a cheque, a bank garnishment ought to be the most straightforward and direct means to collect. I emphasize the word “ought”.

Put simply, once a bank is served with a Notice of Garnishment it is required to seize any funds the . . . [more]

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

CBA Futures Tweet Chat

Perhaps after 3 trips to Oz in the last 6 months I’ve become too attached to that “sun-burned country.”

Or perhaps, it’s the deliberate myopia of many lawyers and Benchers in Canada that raises my ire.

Anyone who has an informed interest in alternative business structures (ABS) – structures that permit outside investment in law firms – will know that Australia, not the UK, was the first country to allow outside investment into law firms.

A reasonably informed person will know that the state of New South Wales (population of about 7 million and whose capital is Sydney) permitted this . . . [more]

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