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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Evaluation Time for Unbundled Family Law Legal Services in BC

Back in January, BC lawyers received a host of new resources supporting unbundled legal service. Our organization helped launch the Family Law Unbundling Roster along with a toolkit for lawyers explaining why they should join. Unbundling is well described here.

Since then, conversations and buzz about unbundling has been doing the rounds here in BC and elsewhere:

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

Redesigning the Law Firm Before Redesigning the Culture

There are a number of ways to make the workplace safer in occupational health and safety theory, using the hierarchy of hazard controls.

The first approach is to introduce engineering controls and administrative changes. These systemic modifications are usually more cost-effective and have a bigger impact, because they will remove the harm in the workplace to begin with. The next approach is the use of personal protective equipment. With the right equipment, workers can minimize the impact of harms to them in the workplace. Finally, occupational health and safety will look to training, which can help foster better awareness . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

May Lawyers Accept Payment in Bitcoin?

A U.S. colleague with a technology practice was recently asked to take payment for her legal services in Bitcoin. She is not sure she has the right to do so.

What about in Canada? Would any law society here slow such payment? Do payments have to be more subject to regulation via known financial institutions? Certainly the rules about trust accounts demand traditional accounting. Why would a general payment with a digital currency be a problem, though? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Office Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Corporate Directors Found Liable for Employees’ Unpaid Wages

The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (Board) notes that the following case is a “cautionary tale” for corporate directors. That is, the corporate directors in this case, unfortunately, “failed to scrutinize rigorously” the information provided to them by management and effectively left the day-to-day workings of the business’ operations solely to the owner, much to their detriment. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Suing for Defamation – a Call for Restraint

The law of Defamation continues to be one of the most technical areas of law, with special limitation periods, notice pre-conditions to the commencement of proceedings, special rules of pleading and evidence, and reverse onuses of proof. It is an area of law that requires great expertise and more importantly experience. A lawyer who provides advice and proceeds with a claim based solely on a review of the relevant legislation may do a great disservice to his or her client.

Absent the existence of special damages, defamation actions should rarely be brought for monetary reasons alone. It is an unfortunate . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Humble Marketing: Oxymoron or Appealing Alternative?

I’ve spoken with a lot of lawyers lately who balk at the need to keep up with a constant stream of professional promotion. They are uncomfortable with hyperbole and they just want to communicate what matters.

In response, some are opting to take a more humble approach to their marketing activities. They don’t want to downplay their capabilities, but they’d like to feel more at ease with the style in which they communicate them.

If this platform sounds appealing, here are a few ways to get started.

  1. First, determine if it makes business sense for your particular firm. Does it
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

Update on the Alberta Limited Legal Services Project

The Alberta Limited Legal Services Project, a research effort looking at the effects of unbundling on access to justice, was formally launched on 18 April 2017. As described in my earlier post on this subject, the project offers Albertans a roster of lawyers prepared to provide work on a limited scope retainer and aims to gauge lawyers’ and clients’ satisfaction with limited scope work and ultimately determine whether some legal help is better than no legal help at all.

At present, the project boasts a roster of 49 lawyers with offices throughout Alberta, from Peace River to Medicine Hat, . . . [more]

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

Budget 2017 Bill to Implement Employment Insurance and Canada Labour Code Measures

On April 11, 2017, the federal government introduced Bill C-44, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, omnibus legislation that would enact various measures outlined in its 2017 Budget. This article deals with the Bill’s amendments to Employment Insurance benefits under the Employment Insurance Act and similar measures under the Canada Labour Code. . . . [more]

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

The IP Law Malpractice Claims Fact Sheet

With such a large amount of claims prevention information available in LAWPRO Magazine articles and practicePRO resources, we had the idea to create simple fact sheets that CPD providers and others could use in developing their program material for specific areas of law. The latest in our series of “malpractice claims fact sheets” covers IP law.

The fact sheets include quick claims facts, the main causes of claims against lawyers, hot topics in the particular areas of law, tips for avoiding claims and links to practicePRO resources. The sheets can also be used as program inserts in their . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, We Are the Greatest of Them All: The Ideal and Challenge of Humility in the Legal Profession

It is no secret that a career in law is generally viewed as prestigious, elite and attracting high status in Canadian society. Those in law are often typified as strong, intelligent individuals and leaders. Multiple factors may influence such perceptions: from the long schooling required to be a lawyer; the various examinations aspiring lawyers must pass; historical notions of law as a noble profession; to TV depictions of busy, wealthy lawyers; and media coverage of high profile cases.

Not surprisingly, many students-at-law and lawyers alike learn to feel proud of their role and the prestige that comes with it. In . . . [more]

Posted in: Law Student Week, Practice of Law

Something to Twitter About…

♫ Don’t hold me back I want to feel vulnerable.
Disregard everything that I’ve been told.
Don’t blend in stand out and be bold.
Today’s the day that we break the mold… ♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by Austin Jones.

The Provincial Court of BC will break the mold for the 2nd time and hold a second Twitter Town Hall on Thursday April 6, 2017 between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM Pacific Time. Chief Judge Crabtree will again answer questions tweeted to #AskChiefJudge.

You can expect a lively dialogue with legal discussion provided not only by the Chief . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Lawyer Licensing System in Ontario

A vital part of the Law Society’s legislated mandate is to ensure that all lawyers called to the Bar in Ontario have the demonstrated competency to practise law at an entry level.

There are many stakeholders across the legal profession in Ontario who believe that the current licensing process is unfair and unsustainable over the long term, and needs to continue to evolve. There is no consensus, however, on the shape or scope of that change.

The Law Society understands that any change in the fundamental components of lawyer licensing must be supported by the profession.

In this article, I . . . [more]

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