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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Influencing Organizational Culture Through Office Design

“I must be on the wrong floor.” When I walked into the new Vancouver office of Miller Thomson LLP, I thought I’d pressed the wrong elevator button and ended up in a high tech firm. Two receptionists were perched on barstools at a circular, high-top station, rather than behind a long desk. I could see past them into an open-office area where lawyers and staff were working side by side. The whole floor was filled with sunlight. To my relief, I spied the wall of bound legal texts and realized that I had indeed arrived at my destination.

Office design . . . [more]

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

A Simple Habit to Avoid Missing Deadlines

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

Here at Claims Prevention & practicePRO we often talk about “baby steps”. The big idea is taking baby steps can help make you a more effective lawyer. There isn’t necessarily One Big Thing that will magically turn you into a great lawyer. This idea is explored in Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business. The book explains that a good habit is made up of four key elements: (1) a cue which triggers a response; (2) a routine . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Reflections on Technology Changes in Real Estate Practice

This article is by Maurizio Romanin, President & CEO, LawyerDoneDeal Corp. & Nora Rock, Corporate Writer & Policy Analyst, LawPRO.

Facilitating transfers of real estate has been the bread-and-butter of thousands of Ontario lawyers for generations. Despite occasional market wobbles, real estate business has helped firms to flourish in communities of all sizes, often supporting the delivery of family, estates, commercial and even criminal law services. Healthy real estate practices support both lawyers’ own families and access to justice for their neighbours. But there is danger in taking the bread-and- butter work of one’s practice for granted, and in forgetting . . . [more]

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

Fifth Bibliography on Access to Justice From National Self-Represented Litigants Project

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) has published Version 5 of its Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography.

From the description on the NSRLP website:

“Version 5 of the Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography includes over
100 summaries on access-to-justice material in the Canadian, American,
and International context. Our latest updated Version 5 contains a
specific section dedicated to unbundling and legal coaching, reflecting
the increasing attention being given to these areas (…)”

The NSRLP, which flows out of the work conducted by Dr. Julie Macfarlane, Faculty of Law of the University of Windsor, describes itself as a clearinghouse . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Lessons Learned in Criminal Law

I recently read Adam Dodek’s post for Slaw entitled “Letter to A Future Lawyer” where he provides some great words of advice to those being called to the bar. The piece reminded me of a document that I kept on my laptop during my articling that was titled ‘Lessons Learned.” As I fumbled through some of the various procedural mazes of the courthouse, my goal was to only make each mistake once. For the last seven years I have learned a lot more, and here are my best seven tips for those lawyers joining the ranks.

1. Be . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law

Bachelor in Paradise and the Issue Over Consent

Last week, news reports exploded about the television show Bachelor in Paradise, a reality show about contestants finding love. It was alleged that one of the contestants was too drunk to consent to a sexual encounter with another contestant. The whole thing was caught on tape, and soon after the tape was viewed production was halted. TMZ reports that the contestant’s boyfriend believed “she was way too drunk to give consent, and strongly believes producers and medical staffers should have intervened.”

The news story is highly controversial and has dominated headlines. The headlines have hit a nerve, and have sparked . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Alberta Employment and Labour Law Reforms Passed

On June 7, 2017, outside of House sitting, Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act received royal assent. This means effective January 1, 2018, most of the new rules updating employment and labour law in union and non-union Alberta workplaces will come into force. Other provisions will come into effect when the Act receives Royal Assent. However, the youth employment provisions which will only come into effect on proclamation and will probably be at a later date to allow consultations on the regulations defining hazardous and light work. The essential services changes come into force effective May 25, 2017. The . . . [more]

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

LexisNexis Seeks to Turn Lawyers Into Data Analysts

We often discuss here on Slaw the future of legal publishers, especially in a digital era. Although some of them have tinkered in-house with their own technological and big data solutions, none have independently brought anything revolutionary to the market to date.

Instead, what we might expect is that these legal powerhouses will either partner up with startups, such as with Thomson Reuters and Blue J Legal last year, or will simply purchase them outright.

In some ways, these patterns are not unique. Quicklaw was first created by the late Hugh Lawford at Queen’s University in 1973. Steven McMurray . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Ontario Labour Relations Act Reforms Underway

On June 1, 2017, Bill 148, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 was tabled in legislature. The measures amend the Labour Relations Act and include some of the following:

1. Union certification

  • Establish card-based union certification rather than voting, for the temporary-help agency industry, the building services sector and home-care and community services industry.
  • Make the following changes to the union certification process:
    • Eliminating certain conditions for remedial union certification-allowing unions to more easily get certified when an employer engages in misconduct that contravenes the LRA;
    • Making access to first contract arbitration easier, and also adding an intensive mediation component
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Upcoming Alberta Employment and Labour Law Changes

After a recent review of Alberta’s employment law, the Alberta government tabled Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act on May 24, 2017 to make a number of significant amendments to the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code. If enacted, the majority of changes will take effect January 1, 2018.

Both the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code have not been significantly updated in almost 30 years and according to the Alberta government, the nature of work and family life have changed a lot since then. . . . [more]

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

Ontario Employment Standards Act Reforms Underway

This article was updated June 1, 2017

On May 30, 2017, the Ontario government decided to move forward with some of the 173 recommendations from the Changing Workplace Review final report which includes broad ranging amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.

At the same time, the government also announced that they will be increasing the minimum wage effective January 1, 2018, which was not included in the report. . . . [more]

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

Build Good Practice Habits and Avoid Malpractice Claims: The New Lawyer

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

You are just beginning to build the habits that can help or hinder your practice in the long term. Consistency in how you deliver service – from the questions you ask at intake to the steps you take when the client leaves the office – is one of the foundations to protect yourself against malpractice claims. Simple procedures like asking the right questions by following an intake form and calendaring and tickling deadlines and court dates as soon as you know them are hallmarks of good practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management