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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Process Server Falsifies Affidavits of Service

In what has to be one of the more unusual cases I have come across, a Superior Court judge has set aside a default judgment after being satisfied that the process server hired by the plaintiff to serve its claim swore “untruthful” affidavits of service which were subsequently relied on by the plaintiff to obtain default judgment.

The plaintiff in a franchise dispute had its lawyer prepare a statement of claim. The plaintiff’s lawyer hired a process server to serve the corporate and personal defendant. The process server advised the plaintiff’s lawyer that the claim had been served on . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law

An Overview of the Frauds That Targeted Lawyers in 2015

2015 was the fifth year we’ve tracked the fraud-related emails forwarded to that allow us to post our warnings to lawyers on LAWPRO’s AvoidaClaim blog. This year we noticed a new trend: the number of emailed reports declined but not the number of actual posts we’ve done. This is likely because while the fraudsters are keeping up their efforts to dupe lawyers, more and more lawyers now recognize the scams and simply delete the emails rather than forwarding them to us. Sadly, not every lawyer sees the frauds for what they are. Last week we heard from a firm . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Drum Machines and the Legal Profession

An interesting post by lawyer and cognitive scientist Peter Macmillan, was captured in part by comments in the LinkedIn Legal Innovation and Technology group, caught my attention last week. In his post, “Robot Lawyers are Not the Future,” Macmillan begins by noting that “industry outsiders are pushing technologies that many believe will transform the legal profession from a technological backwater to a shining example of cognitive computing.”

And, although he knows that advances in technology will not stop happening, he contends that, “Robot Lawyers are not the future, at least not in the sense that they’ll rule . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Year of the Hybrid Cloud

Last year I indicated that there were changes in Ontario which suggested that cloud computing had been implicitly authorized for lawyers. There was no other practical way to implement the new services rules under the amended Rules of Civil Procedure.

Despite these changes, there is still resistance to adopting cloud computing in practice, and sometimes with good reason. Security breaches of online databases have illustrated the enormous risk and problems created in a digital world.

The Ashley Madison hacks had many scurrying in embarrassment, and others concerned because their names had been used by the website without their permission. . . . [more]

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

Cybersecurity – Role of the Board of Directors

Legislation recently introduced in the US Congress would compel publicly-traded companies to disclose in their filings with securities regulators whether any member of their board of directors was a ‘cybersecurity expert’.

Does this make sense to you? It does not to this commentator from the law firm Jones, Day. He says the role of the board is not to *be* the expert but to ensure that expertise is sought and its advice considered properly.

The comment notes that the SEC “has already made it clear that companies must disclose material cybersecurity risks and incidents to investors in their public filings.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

May 2016 Be the Year of Collaboration

“Being a giver is not good for a 100-yard dash, but it’s valuable in a marathon.” – Adam Grant, Give and Take 

In each jurisdiction, the same issues frequently arise, causing counsel to duplicate work. For example, let’s say you are litigating a case where informed consent plays a central role. As competent defence counsel, you research the law on informed consent and draft a corresponding memo on the case law. Down the street, defence counsel on a separate case has the same central issue. They also research the law on informed consent and draft a memo. Both are medical . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

No Legal or Services in TR Top 100 Global Innovators

Contrary to the segmenting visible in the Thompson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators report released today, innovation exists in legal services, professional services and in Canada! There is a simple explanation for the exclusion of services industries – the innovation celebrated is based on patent analysis.TR does a great job of explaining the methodology behind the awards – which includes volume of patented inventions, successful patent applications, globalization and influence of patented discoveries.

I love seeing this annual list of innovator awards; success should always be celebrated. I also always have a moment of resentment over the word ‘innovation’ being . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Case Against Disruptive Innovation in Large Practice

Change is needed in the legal industry. But change simply for the sake of changing isn’t always a good thing.

There’s plenty of buzz about McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s “radical” transformation, and rightly so. They’re ridding offices for communal work spaces, finally moving away from the billable hour, and slashing redundant support staff. The effort is to be applauded, but the transition is likely to be bumpy.

Although I’ve advocated for importing the Latte Method into legal services, I’m not sure all lawyers want or need to feel like they’re working in a Starbucks. For many small and independent lawyers, . . . [more]

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

Tilt Into 2016: Gaining a Competitive Advantage

Competition is fierce.

As cost pressures from clients intensify, as new service providers emerge, and as new technologies are deployed, it is unwise for any firm to avoid thinking about how it should work differently. (Richard Susskind, Tomorrow’s Lawyers)

In The Globe and Mail article “McCarthy Tetrault’s Tracie Cook leading firm’s radical transformation”, Jeff Gray discusses McCarthy Tetrault’s attempt to modernize. The firm has instituted:

  • new billing practices;
  • open-concept floor plans;
  • reduction in 200 support staff; and
  • has established a client service innovation team.

“The moves have come as the sector grapples with new competition from global players . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Are You Under Law’s Spell?

Law is like love. “It is the morning and the evening star” (Sinclair Lewis). It is all consuming.

From the moment law school begins, you are hooked. No problem viewed the same way as before. Heightened by the herd mentality, you are under its spell. Obsessed. Devoted. Enslaved. Sometimes to the detriment of your health and relationships, as explained excellently in Kate Managuan’s article: How to Recognize and Prevent Lawyer Burnout.

In order to prevent burnout and to serve the goal of justice, you must turn away from the law’s all-consuming spell and step towards extra-curricular activities.

Involve yourself

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

Protecting the Team – a Firm’s Most Valuable Asset – by Nudging Your People to Health and Wellness

While the primary responsibility for wellness rests with the individual, nothing is more important to a law practice than its lawyers and staff. The “firm” – Big Law or a solo practice – can do nothing without people; the better those people feel, the more productive they will be, and the more profitable the firm will be. It follows that a firm has an interest in helping its people be healthy and well. How can a firm help?

Wikipedia defines the Nudge theory as “a concept in behaviour science, political theory and economics which argues that positive reinforcement and indirect . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Lincoln on the Practice of Law

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser: in fees, and expenses, and waste of time. As peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”

Abraham Lincoln
Notes on the Practice of Law
The Library of America, Lincoln: Speeches and Writings, 1832-1858 . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law