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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

“Collaboration Is the Key to Innovation”: LawWithoutWalls

LawWithoutWalls (LWOW) is a collaboratory investigating the “intersection of law, business, technology, and innovation.” Launched in 2011 by Michele DeStefano, associate professor at the University of Miami School of Law, LWOW aims to “pull down barriers between business and law.”

In many ways, LWOW has been a response to comments that DeStefano and her colleagues have been hearing about legal education and the business and practice of law:

“‘When are legal educators going to start training our law school students to be the 21st century lawyers of tomorrow?,’ and then at the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Report on the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act Review

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure released the 79-page report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act review to the public on February 13, 2015. Overall, the report indicates that although the government and public and private sectors have shown strong support and commitment to accessibility, the slow implementation of the AODA has resulted in rather modest improvements for persons with disabilities in the areas of jobs and access to goods or services.
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Paying It Forward

When I was a new, fresh lawyer, I often lamented the lack of a network of legal professionals who could mentor and support me in my career development. I came from a rural, agricultural background and didn’t know a single lawyer before I went to law school. As I soon learned, that put me at something of a disadvantage in both job seeking and finding the right career path for me.

In the result, I learned early the value of forging and nurturing relationships within the legal profession and began to work hard at developing my own networks.

These days, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Disruptive Innovation Revisited

I’m still thinking about the “great disruption” that John O. McGinnis has been talking about and thought it might be useful to revisit the Disruptive Innovation in the Market for Legal Services conference held at the Harvard Law School in March of last year. Specifically the first panel of speakers where Clayton Christensen (author of the Innovator’s Dilemma and Harvard business administration professor) outlined what constitutes “disruptive innovation” in the market place.

Christensen defines disruptive innovation as something that transforms products or services “which are complicated and expensive into things that are so affordable and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Great Disruption and “Computational Jurisprudence”

Last May John O. McGinnis and Russell G. Pearce wrote about the “great disruption” in an article published in the Fordham Law Review. They began by stating that, “Law is an information technology–a code that regulates social life.” They concluded that “the disruptive effect of machine intelligence will trigger the end of lawyers’ monopoly and provide a benefit to society and clients as legal services become more transparent and affordable to consumers, and access to justice thereby becomes more widely available.” They also noted that,

The market for electronic legal services is at a

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

Implicit Authorization in Ontario of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is hardly a new topic for practitioners, but it continues to be one which many struggle with. Part of the reason they struggle is the lack of clear guidance from the law societies.

The greatest concern tends to be client confidentiality, Rule 3.3 of the Model Code. However, as I stated this past week at the Ontario Bar Association Institute, many of these concerns are largely overstated, and the resistance to cloud computing may in fact compromise other components of professional responsibility, including competence (Rule 3.1) and quality of service (Rule 3.2).

I even take the controversial . . . [more]

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

Building Bonds and Working Together

Recently, I read this post from the University of Manitoba’s news feed about how pharmacy technician students from the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) are being trained through the university. The two institutions, U of M and MITT are working together in a unique way delivering a multi-disciplinary, peer-led education experience. Here’s how it works:

“…students from Pharmacy, Social work, and Rehabilitation Sciences provided a presentation to Pharmacy Technician students, teaching the role of each practitioner within a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program.”

Advit Shah, (B.Sc. Pharm, U of M) Pharmacy Technician Program Coordinator at MITT and event organizer says . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Robots, Law, Regulation: “Unfortunately It’s Not a Conversation That’s Happening Anywhere …”

Thankfully I can begin by reporting that the statement above is not true. Sam Glover over at the Lawyerist (a blog he created in 2007 so he could “rant about bad legal software”) had a wonderful conversation with Ed Walters. Walters, in addition to being the CEO of Fastcase, is an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law where he’s recently been teaching a seminar called the Law of Robots. Glover chats with Walters about “Robot Lawyers and the Law of Robots” and “technology’s influence on the future of law.”* . . . [more]

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

The Best Things I Read in January 2015

Information overload! There are just too many posts, tweets and articles flying around in the Twitterverse and elsewhere on social media and the Web. None of us can even pretend keep up. And while there is a lot of spam, self-promotional crap and other junk out there, there are some real gems that get lost in the sheer volume of content thrown at us on a daily basis. The trick is finding the content that is really interesting or helpful to you in a practical way. Patience is required, hashtags and a bit of luck can help, and identifying good . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Reading, Reading: Recommended, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Plaintiff and Defendant Both Seek, and Are Denied, Leave to Appeal

Litigation produces winners and losers. Often, the loser feels that the judge got it wrong and appeals the decision accordingly.

In some cases even the winner thinks that it should have received a decision more favourable than it did and that an appeal is an appropriate route to take.

In a recent case, both the winner and the loser of a summary judgment motion thought that the motion judge got it wrong, and both sought leave to appeal.

More surprising than the fact that both sides think the judge got it wrong, is that the Divisional Court denied leave . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law

Look to Your Left, Look to Your Right…

…One of you won’t be here next year.

Variations of that famous phrase, according to legend, are routinely directed at first year law students, though now mostly in jest. Many people have been credited as being the first to warn law students that at least 1 in 3 wouldn’t be able to handle the rigours of law school and would soon be seeking other pursuits, with records suggesting the first utterances came as early as the 1930s, if not earlier. If it were ever true for law students (Hint: I doubt it. And certainly not in living memory), it is . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Incivility: Practical Consequences for You and Your Client

Debate about lawyers’ incivility – whether it’s on the increase, whether it’s worthy of concern, how it should be handled – is an ongoing one. The subject continues to be discussed, and we can expect to hear more about it in the coming months and years.

But high-profile cases aside, when does a lawyer’s conduct cross the line into unprofessional conduct, and what are the costs and other implications?

These questions are answered in a paper by Daniel Naymark of Lax O’Sullivan Scott Lisus LLP and LAWPRO’s litigation unit director and counsel Jennifer Ip. It was presented at the Advocates’ . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law