Canada’s online legal magazine.
Rogers OutRank
Canadian Bar Association

Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Of Risk and Reputation

Law firm governance is rarely considered a topic worthy of a “60 Minutes” investigation. This might not be the case for long.

I’ve been tracking the fallout from the demise of Dewey & Leboeuf, a legendary (and bankrupt) global law firm that allegedly veered so far away from sound governance that several members of its executive team are now facing criminal charges and civil suits.

It’s a fascinating and sad story from so many angles. But the one that most intrigues me is how blind the firm’s leaders were to reputational risk.

Reputational risks threaten a firm’s ability to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

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

LexisNexis Think Like a Lawyer 2014

In the US, Lexis has a “Think Like a Lawyer” campaign aimed at law students with the social media element #BeUnprecedented. There are some interesting terms with student use of academic passwords that are not found in Canada.

For 1Ls and 2Ls, your law school Lexis Advance® ID continues to provide access to our legal research tools all summer long. Use it to look good inside a firm, or prep for the classes to come.

The LexisNexis Canada online products terms of use at section 2.5.5 limits academic use to “that directly related to academic coursework required by the academic . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law

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

CCCA National Conference – April 6-8, 2014 in Calgary

The next Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Conference will be taking place in Calgary from April 6 to 8th. The conference theme this year is “Energy matters” explained below (from the website):

ENERGY MATTERS
Energy as resource, as catalyst, as inspiration. The energy of in-house counsel, ignited.

The Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (CCCA) is the official voice and forum of Canada’s in-house counsel community; a community that is passionate, energetic, and always evolving.

Join us at The Westin Calgary in Calgary, April 6-8, 2014 for our National Conference, the largest gathering of in-house counsel in Canada. Featuring a program

. . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law

Victim Compensation Reexamined in Ontario

In the aftermath of the disappearance and death of a high profile Toronto lawyer, the legal community has expressed a greater interest in the victim compensation fund in place for clients of lawyers and paralegals practicing in Ontario.

At the February Convocation, new guidelines were put in place for the victim Compensation Fund, which has been in place since 1953. The fund serves to protect the public per s. 51(5) of the Law Society Act, and is administered by a Compensation Fund Committee established under By-Law 12. The Guidelines created by this Committee was recently upheld by the Divisional . . . [more]

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

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

Frenemy Mine: Building Trust Between Colleagues

I’ve been feeling somewhat guilty about my post last week regarding the Edelman Trust Barometer and perceptions about the legal profession. Several lawyers have since asked if I have any advice on how to build trusting relationships within their own firms, never mind on behalf of the profession. I’ve heard laments bemoaning the loss of collegiality, too.

The real expert in this regard is Robert F. Hurley, a professor at Fordham University in New York. Hurley leads the Consortium for Trustworthy Organizations housed at Fordham’s School of Business and is the author of a bestselling book, “The Decision to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended