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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Public Speaking: Some People Love It, Some People Hate It, Yet We All Have to Do It

“The most precious things in speech are the pauses.” – Sir Ralph Richardson

No matter the job, all lawyers need to speak well. Below are some helpful pointers for public speaking:

  1. breath deeply using your diaphragm and talk while breathing out;
  2. use lots of air while talking;
  3. do not hold your breath while talking;
  4. start your sentence in a lower tone;
  5. emphasize the end of the sentence (end your sentence in a low pitch);
  6. emphasize the key words in your sentence;
  7. pause for effect;
  8. emphasize points through alliteration;
  9. use inclusive language when drafting your presentation (e.g. we, us, you, I
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Of Conference Debriefs and #ABATECHSHOW 2016 Chicago Travel Tips

A good conference can leave little time to explore a city itself. Hence, I’ve pathetic little Chicago lore to pass on. No Field Museum meditations, no Magnificent Mile shopping tips. Chicago may not best be described as “the appurtenance to the Hilton along Michigan Ave” but honestly, after attending the 2016 ABA TECHSHOW, I am hardly in a position to describe it any better.

The only souvenirs I acquired bleeped in when I disengaged airplane mode on a layover in Minnesota… 95 Twitter notifications from lawyers and startups I engaged with at the conference. Fellow conference attendee, LSUC’s Phil Brown, . . . [more]

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

Alberta Ransomware Advisory

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta has developed guidelines to assist public bodies, health custodians and private organizations with preventing and responding to ransomware cyberattacks. The Advisory published in March 2016 in PDF can be downloaded here.

According to most information technology experts, antivirus vendors and security professionals, “Ransomware” is considered a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system and files until a sum of money is paid within a certain deadline, to an unknown party. The sum of money to be paid varies from as little as $25 to . . . [more]

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

TV Cameras in UK Courts

The UK Justice minister has just announced a pilot scheme for the introduction of cameras into criminal courts.

The project will run for 3 months in eight UK cities.

Cameras will film only the judge, and will be confined to sentencing remarks. The purpose is to “.. allow the public to see and hear the judge’s decision in their own words.”

The footage will not be broadcast live.

Leading British barrister Helena Kennedy Q.C. regards cameras in court as a threat to justice, evolving out of base commercial imperatives that are not concerned about justice or the potential impact on . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Limited Scope Representation Resources

The information and resources on practicePRO’s Limited Scope Representation page are intended to help you understand some of the risks inherent in providing limited scope legal services, and how you can reduce your exposure to a claim when working for a client on an unbundled basis.

LAWPRO’s concern that unbundling could lead to more claims stems from the fact that the biggest causes of claims against lawyers – communication issues and inadequate investigation or discovery of facts – are at least equally, if not more likely, to occur during the provision of unbundled legal services. See this LAWPRO magazine article . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Reading: Recommended

DIT A2J 3: How Small Groups, Acting on Their Own, Can Make Meaningful Change

A little while ago, I gave a presentation to the National Judicial Institute‘s annual family law conference on the more important innovations in family justice introduced in British Columbia over the past decade, and in preparing my paper I realized something that struck me as terribly important. Of the nine or so changes with the biggest impact on family justice — which included things like the introduction of mandatory judicial case conferencing in 2002, the release of the report A New Justice System for Children and Families in 2005 and the introduction of Canada’s most progressive family law legislation . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Protection Against Sexual Harassment Now Covered Under OHSA

On March 8, 2016, the Ontario government gave royal assent to the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Bill 132) to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and other forms of abuse. The Act aims to make workplaces, campuses and communities safer and more responsive to the needs of survivors and to complaints about sexual violence and harassment. . . . [more]

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

The Final Say

Tomorrow I am speaking with law students at Robson Hall as part of a Do Law Differently launch event hosted by the MLSA and Canadian Bar Association. I’ve been invited to talk about my own career path, about lessons I’ve learned and what I look for when hiring.

I’ve prepared my 20 minute talk and can tell you it is full of optimism and hope for a new kind of legal profession that holds to old-school values like integrity and honour and generosity while boldly facing a new economic order that mostly values faster, better, cheaper.

Frankly, I’m not feeling . . . [more]

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

Developing the Defining Narrative & Winning at Trial

It’s been said that whoevers owns the dominant narrative in the courtroom wins.

How do you make sure that your story becomes the dominant story?

In Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die: Made to Stick, Chip Heath and Dan Heath provide six simple elements for creating narratives that stick. These elements are:

  1. Simple
  2. Unexpected
  3. Concrete
  4. Credible
  5. Emotional
  6. Stories


To keep a story simple find the core of the theory. A great compact theory can be summed up in one statement and is profound. The most profound of theories are those that a person can spend an entire . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

An Office of One’s Own: 5 Essentials for Your Home Away From Home

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

New lawyers, welcome to the practice of law. You now have an office of your own. You’ll be spending many of your waking hours plying your trade in this new little corner of the world. Make it a comfortable and professional place to work. Be prepared for unexpected events. What should you keep in your office? How should you decorate it? Here are five items to help make your new office a home away from home:

Emergency set of work clothes. Presenting yourself professionally at all times, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy Position on Gender-Specific Dress Codes

Written for First Reference by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, and PHD student at the University of Western Ontario

Can you think of a store, restaurant, or bar that appears to require women to wear low-cut tops, short skirts, tight dresses, or high heels when they go to work? Well, it might be wise for those employers to take another look at their dress code policy in light of the Ontario Human Rights Commission position on gender-specific dress code announced on International Women’s Day 2016 and the passing into law of occupational health and safety provisions protecting against workplace sexual . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Technology as Positive Enabler

The British magazine Managing Partner has been providing information on law firm management since 1998. Their target group is the “senior management team” and they provide resources covering strategic management, case studies, analysis, and opinions from “industry experts and senior managers at leading law firms.” Their March issue reports on the ARK Group’s Legal IT conference held in London in January 2016.

In her introduction publisher Helen Donegan concludes her summary of the event this way:

“While clients were a major focus of the discussions, the question also predictably arose over the future role of the lawyer. With technological

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