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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

practicePRO Top 40 Downloads Year-to-Date

Its halfway through 2010, and we’ve compiled the top 40 most downloaded practicePRO articles and resources. Many of the perenial favourites at still there, including many of our retainer precedents, budget spreadsheet, the ILA checklist, Peg Duncan’s ediscovery reading list and avoiding the dangers of metadata article).

There are some interesting new entries at the top though:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Law Society of BC Model Anton Piller Order

The Law Society of BC has issued a Notice to Profession asking for comments on a proposed model Anton Piller order. A copy of their draft proposed 19-page model order is here in PDF (and I hope to review it shortly).

As stated in their draft documentation:

This Model Order is prepared in response to comments of the Supreme Court of Canada in Canadian Bearings Ltd. et al. v. Celanese Canada Inc. et al, 2006 SCC 36, which endorsed the development of model civil search and seizure Orders (a.k.a “Anton Piller” Orders) in Canadian jurisdictions. This draft is intended

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law

Lee, Lifeson and Peart of Rush as Perfect Professionals

What does it mean to be a professional? There are no doubt many thoughtful articles written by those of us in the legal sector that address this question, but I’m going to refer you to a movie about a rock band for the answer.

Rush – Beyond the Lighted Stage premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and was released last week for home consumption. Directed by Sam Dunn and Scot McFayden, it tells a story about the 40-year and counting careers of bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart – together, Canadian rock . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Collaborative Family Law Agreement Fraud Evolving and Becoming Even More Convincing

The following is the text of a Fraud Alert sent by LAWPRO to Ontario lawyers on June 29, 2010. Due to the response we received from our previous alert on June 17 we felt it was important to make lawyers aware of new details we’ve learned about this scam.

Last week’s fraud warning e-blast on the collaborative family law agreement fraud prompted dozens of calls and emails to LAWPRO. At least 30 Ontario lawyers indicated they had been recently targeted or were in the middle of dealing with a matter involving this exact fraud. These calls and emails have helped . . . [more]

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

Ottawa Citizen Feature on Drug Treatment Courts

The Ottawa Citizen recently ran a series on the capital’s crack cocaine problem.

An article that ran on Saturday, June 19, 2010 as part of the series examined the city’s Drug Treatment Court that works to divert small-time drug offenders away from jail and into addiction treatment programs:

Offenders in Drug Treatment Court are always facing jail for the petty theft that feeds their habit. After a rigorous assessment, they are accepted into the program and begin treatment with Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services. First they are required to plead guilty to any charges they face.

Addicts in the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Is There Any Leisure in Law?

In an editorial in today’s Star, Roy Romanow and Tony Gagliano describe a new report (pdf) by the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) which suggests that Canadians have even less time than before, despite our efforts to create a society with more leisure time. Romanow is the Chair of the CIW Advisory Board and offers an introduction to the report.

They point to several key factors:

  • technology allowing us to carry our work home
  • client expectations for service at all hours
  • suburban sprawl leading to longer commutes
  • globalization and urbanization forces

These trends are likely to affect . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Hard Cases, Good Law, Juries and Sympathy

Sympathy is not evidence upon which a jury may find in favour of a litigant.

After a two-week trial in a medical malpractice claim, the jury found cause-in-fact [factual causation] was established on the balance of probability. However, the trial judge ruled that there was no evidence whatsoever to support the finding. The judge dismissed the action.

Salter v. Hirst, 2010 ONSC 3440 (Ontario Superior Court) is a reminder to lawyers and litigants of the expensive consequences of not having the necessary evidence and of not asking the necessary questions, even if one has a tragic injury, a sympathetic . . . [more]

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

LAWPRO Fraud Alert: Beware of Collaborative Family Law Agreement Scam

The following is the text of a Fraud Alert sent by LAWPRO to Ontario Lawyers today June 17, 2010. Lawyers in Saskatchewan were the targets of this same fraud in May, and I expect lawyers in other provinces are being targeted as well.

Several lawyers have contacted LAWPRO over the last few weeks to advise us they have been the targets of a spousal support collection scam involving a collaborative family law agreement. One Ontario lawyer was successfully duped by this fraud.

We decided to send a warning to the profession as this fraud appears to be targeting many lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Without Costs, Because … ?

There are some reasons that contain passages that judges should not have to write. For example

Grandmothers of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan and Nipissing First Nation v. Ontario (Natural Resources), 2010 ONCA 439 contains this:

[2] While the notice of appeal raises a wide range of issues,  some of which fall outside the ambit of the jurisdiction of any court, the arguments advanced in the factum and in oral argument are somewhat more focussed and may be summarized as follows …

[3] In our view, application judge did not err in refusing the writ of prohibition on these

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Why Every Law Firm Needs a Disaster Plan – Disaster on Duckworth Street

Sad news from St John’s, and some truly shocking footage here, of the destruction by fire of Roebothan McKay and Marshall the law firm that was the pre-political home of Premier Danny Williams. The building has now been demolished.

And the hopeful news that their servers were fully backed up on Friday and that the firm will be operating out of temporary premises and reopening soon.

Think that disaster planning is just for big firms? Think that fire – or flood – or earthquake couldn’t happen to you?

Here are resources to start your own plan, or to dust off, . . . [more]

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

Notarizing Electronic Documents

What is the best practice for making a notarial copy of an official document that is in electronic form only?

I am aware of a few US states that have provided for electronic notarization, and work is being done on a Uniform Act on notarial practice in such matters. (The current draft, if I recall correctly, leaves the technology to the state supervisor of the notarial profession.) I am also aware of preliminary developments of electronic apostilles (certificates of authenticity under the Hague Apostille/Legalization Convention), though they are not widespread yet, and the technology will not exist in every . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law