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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Kline Strong – Death of a Legal Pioneer

Few lawyers in Canada – I except the wonderful Milt Zwicker – will remember the name of Kline D. Strong who died at the weekend. But he transformed the practice of law in North America.

Kline Duncan Strong 1927 ~ 2007 Kline was born January 23, 1927, in Driggs, Idaho He tried to impress upon his family that you’ve never really experienced work until you’ve hoed sugar beets. His professional education included a CPA/MBA from Northwestern University, a law degree from the University of Colorado and he was the first person to obtain a Ph.D in law office management. He . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Technology

Manitoba Provincial Courts to Start Broadcasting Soon?

The Winnipeg Free Press is reporting that Manitoba’s chief provincial court judge wants to allow live broadcasts of court decisions.

In an article entitled Live broadcasts urged for courtroom decisions, the daily writes that Ray Wyant, a former journalist and the current chief provincial court judge “is planning on meeting with every provincial court judge in the near future to discuss his proposal further and will likely table a policy that will give each judge the discretion to allow audio and possibly videotaping of court cases”.

Wyant originally wanted to start allowing live coverage next week of his sentencing . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

UK Considering TV Cameras in New Supreme Court

According to the Times Online, the United Kingdom’s new Supreme Court will allow cameras to broadcast hearings. The new high court is set to open in 2009. It is being created under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.

“The move could see some of Britain’s most high-profile appeals being shown on television. Such appeals have included the legality of detaining terror suspects without trial, whether the deaths of six Iraqis at the hands of British soldiers was covered by the Human Rights Act, and the extradition of General Pinochet”.

“But Mr Straw [Justice Secterary Jack Straw] has indicated to

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Susskind on the Future of Lawyers

The Times Online is running its own Law21 column, starring Richard Susskind (OBE) and titled “The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services,” which also happens to be the title of his forthcoming book from Oxford University Press.

Susskind says of the 6 columns — “draft excerpts” from his book:

This is neither a lawyer-bashing polemic nor a gratuitous assault on the legal profession. Instead, it is a collection of predictions and observations about a generally honourable profession that is, I argue, on the brink of fundamental transformation.

Much of what he says in his . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Supreme Court of Canada Courtroom Modernization Project Moves Ahead

The Supreme Court of Canada has just added a section to its website about its Courtroom Modernization Project.

Over the summer, Court staff installed new audio-visual equipment and wireless connections as well as imbedded laptops in the judges’ benches. Judges started using the new equipment last week to call up cases and other appeal documents directly on-screen during hearings.

Display screens for counsel and media will be added in the Spring of 2008.

Future modernization initiatives include a web-based portal for electronic filing of appeal documents and webcasting of hearings.

Cross-posted to Library Boy. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Legal OnRamp: FaceBook for Law Firms and in-House Counsel?

I was surprised to learn that a number of colleagues from other firms had not heard of Legal OnRamp and that it does not appear to have yet been mentioned on SLAW. The idea behind the site is that law firms and in-house counsel can register for free as a means of “online networking”. The condition for law firms to register is that they must contribute substantive content on one or more legal topics in their area of expertise and introduce a client to the service.

The idea is that in-house counsel would have an online source of expertise when . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

More on Plain Language

Thanks to my recent post on Mellinkoff and his book “The Language of the Law,” I’ve had a delighful exchange of emails with Mark Adler, a retired English solicitor and plain-legal-language consultant. He tells me that Mellinkoff’s book was the first law book he read from beginning to end and the first he ever enjoyed. The excerpt from it on “manifest” that was quoted in the Language Log entry reminded him of an incident when he was in practice:

Acting for the proposed tenant of a shop, I received a draft lease from the landlord’s solicitor. It provided (as

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Legal Outsourcing in Canada

Outsourcing slow to catch on in Canada” by Daryl-Lynn Carlson in yesterday’s National Post features Rob Hyndman and his view that when it comes to outsourcing and the associated savings, the big firms have “got their heads in the sand.” Rob, who is a noted blawger at robhyndman.com, says:

he regularly achieves savings of as much as 50% for his clients outsourcing legal services to India. He sends mostly commercial contract work to an Indian law firm, the name which he guards as a “trade secret.”

The article goes on to quote a number of practitioners at . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Nasty Nosh Niche

Odd where hyperlinks will take you. Thanks to a piece in Slate on what to do about e-coli in the food supply, I wound up finding the Seattle law firm of Marler Clark LLP, which specializes in food poisoning cases — indeed the title on their home page declares it and the first paragraph of text claims that

Marler Clark is the nation’s foremost law firm with a practice dedicated to representing victims of food poisoning.

If you’d asked me this morning, I’d have said that the idea was a bit far-fetched, but there is indeed a niche for . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Dealing With Conflicts of Interest

Presumably all Canadian Bar Association members received an email early this morning updating members on the work of the Task Force on Conflicts of Interest (Simon Chester is a consultant to the Task Force), which has just published a consultation paper “Practical Difficulties with Today’s Conflict of Interest Rules”. As the website notes, the paper “describes the current state of the conflicts requirements, reviews areas of particular concern, and asks a series of questions to find out what changes members of the legal profession feel may be necessary.”

Conflicts are an issue of growing importance. While large law firms . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Winds of Change Picking Up

Three interesting items in the inbox today, each of which reflects a different facet of the many forces hard at work on producing imminent changes to the profession.

First comes news from the ABA’s Law School Admissions Council that the number of applications to U.S. law schools dropped in 2006 by 7.6%, the second straight annual decrease on top of a sharp deceleration in 2004 in the longstanding trend of rising admissions. The linked article focuses on the drop in both applications and admissions among women, and properly so. But many of the reasons for the decrease cited in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

Law Firm Web Presence – Latest Links

My latest reading, listening and watching seems all to tie back to the law firm’s presence on the web. I’m sure others besides those in law firms will find this summary useful, too:

1. Law Firms Go a Bit Hollywood to Recruit the YouTube Generation , by Karen Donovan, New York Times, September 28, 2007. Interesting article highlighting some of the newer recruiting techniques. Link courtesy of Wendy R.!

2. Mentioned in the article above is Choate Hall & Steward LLP’s use of video for student and associate recruitment. Their videos playing off the “Apple vs. PC” commercials . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology