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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Ontario’s Law Society Tribunal Website Launches

The announcement comes in a communication from David A. Wright, Chair of the new Law Society Tribunal:

I am delighted to announce that with the formation of the Law Society Tribunal today by Bill 111, the Modernizing Regulation of the Legal Profession Act, 2013, we are launching our new website. The website is designed to provide lawyers, paralegals, the public and the media with easy and transparent access to information about the Tribunal. Many resources may be found here, including legislation, rules and forms, guides for self-represented licensees, notices to the profession and a “reach out” to stakeholders. I

. . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Practice of Law

Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer…

The world’s largest public relations firm, Edelman, released the results of its annual Trust Barometer study in February.

Each year, I look forward to the results for no other reason than to gauge the impact of changing public expectations on the business of law.

Edelman’s methodology included surveying 33,000 people in 27 markets around the world regarding their trust in information sources and the specific issues that influence trust in business and government.

Some of the statistics in this year’s study surprised me. There are implications for private law firms both big and small.

1. Trust in non-governmental organizations . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Law, Rebar, and Disruptive You-Know-What

I’ve tended to stay out of the disruptive innovation discussion as it pertains to law if for no other reason than that my experience with large law firm and “Bay Street” practice is essentially nil. I understand — as anyone might, experienced or not — that new approaches that shake things up could bring about beneficial change, and that change, beneficial or not, will occur willy-nilly because it’s just the way things are. And I understand that the proponents or prophets of disruptive innovation mean something rather more precise by the phrase — perhaps something lying in the gap between . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Celebrate Women by Diversifying Teams

I have long been an advocate for greater diversity in law, in all of its forms. One of the main barriers we faced in the legal industry in the 20th century was gender diversity, and it’s a barrier that is still with us today.

Yesterday we celebrated International Women’s Day. Two recent studies out of Ryerson University help illustrate contemporary obstacles.

The first looks at leadership roles in the business sector by examining female representation in senior positions at major corporations in Toronto. Although there has been some growth between 2009-2014, women still remain underrepresented. Gender disparities have even . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Fight for ABS Is Just Beginning

The recent Law Society Committee report on Alternative Business Structures has resulted in much excitement across the world among legal innovators.

I wish I could share that joy.

The report is thorough – and lengthy. One wonders how, with two jurisdictions having adopted ABS (Australia a decade ago and the UK over 2 years ago) there could be any debate on the rationale behind allowing such structures?

Why do we need a uniquely Canadian solution?

What is so unique about the Canadian legal environment that Australia and the UK do not already provide a well-researched, well-documented and well-experienced solution?

I’ve . . . [more]

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

Learn About the Future of Law From Disruptive Innovation in the Market for Legal Services Webcast – Live Now

There is a great live webcast from Harvard today (March 6) on disruption and the future of law. It is a must listen if you are interested in these topics.

Live stream is here:

Conference Hashtag: #PLP_Disrupt

Featured Speakers are:
Chris Kenny, Chief Executive, Legal Services Board, Harvard Business School
Clay Christensen, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
William Hubbard, Incoming President of the American Bar Association
Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson

Conference Schedule

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. The Nature of Disruptive Innovation in Professional Services

Keynote: Clayton M. Christensen, Kim B. Clark Professor of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Proposed AODA Customer Service Changes

When the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council/Standards Development Committee was formed in 2013, one of its first orders of business was to review the Customer Service Standard as required under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The AODA requires that each accessibility standard be reviewed five years after it becomes law to determine whether the standard is working as intended and to allow for adjustments to be made as required. The council has proposed several changes to the Customer Service Standard and is asking interested stakeholders for feedback. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Four Basic Marketing Concepts Every Lawyer Should Know

I’ve noticed that a lot of lawyers are suffering from information overload in all the advice about what to focus on when building a practice. Clarifying basic concepts is a good place to start. And truthfully, it’s also a relief to simplify some of the jargon.

Here’s a guide to the four concepts that most lawyers and firms need to consider.

Who you are: your identity and brand

The attributes that describe who you are and what you have to offer are grounded in the concepts of identity and brand. Lawyers often feel anxious about marketing because so much of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

A Civil Litigator’s iPad Toolbox

I love my iPad mini. I have been using it for just over one year. It has proved to be tremendously helpful in my civil litigation practice.

There are hundreds of similar pieces about “ipad apps for lawyers.” This is a simple setup that works for me. 

My basic tools are PDF Converter and PDF Expert.

I use the PDF Converter app to convert Word documents into PDFs so that I can annotate them using the PDF expert app.

Using the PDF expert app, I can mark up any PDF document. I can highlight it, put text annotations, arrows, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

May Lawyers Advise Clients to ‘Clean Up’ Social Media Pages?

The question relates to the discoverability of social media information and whether having something on a ‘private’ page makes any difference. Case law has dealt with this too. My own summary is that any document relevant to civil litigation has to be disclosed by a party, wherever it is and however private it is. However, the opposing party will not be given free access to fish among private documents on mere speculation that there is something relevant there.

Once lawyers know this (and presumably most litigation lawyers now do), can they advise their clients to move stuff to private sections . . . [more]

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

Baby Lawyers and First Steps

What sort of skills would you like to see besides “traditional lawyer skills” included in new lawyer training? That was the first question asked in the CBA Futures Initiative’s afternoon Twitterchat Wednesday, hosted by Sarah Glassmeyer, Director of Content for CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, in Chicago, in a wide-ranging discussion on how, what, and where to train new lawyers.

One of the first responses came from Karen Dyck, a freelance lawyer in Winnipeg and member of the Legal Futures Initiative’s Steering Committee. “Essential is communications, i.e., listening, restating, clear writing and speech, avoiding miscommunications.

“Interesting that you . . . [more]

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

A Matter of Trust

What distinguishes a licensed, practising lawyer from another unlicensed legal professional?

Many will say that the answer is trust. The lawyer has duties and obligations to their client pursuant to a professional code of ethics and the profession’s regulatory scheme. A regulated lawyer has professional liability insurance coverage (mandatory in Canada) and is also “covered” for theft by their local compensation fund.

Clients can rely on those structures to protect them from lawyer’s mistakes, misdeeds and misappropriations. They can place their trust in their lawyer, and failing that, the lawyer’s regulator, liability insurer and compensation fund.

I was reminded of . . . [more]

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