Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

The Importance of Real Time News and Information

I agree, this is not news. Our lives are getting faster and we expect to know what is happening right now in the world, not what happened five hours ago or yesterday. For those of us who work with information and live online, television and radio are often not fast enough. We expect to hear about things as they happen.

Lawyers need to stay on top of what is happening to clients so they can help respond in a timely manner. As librarians, the challenge is pulling information together so that those we serve are up to date. In the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

ODR, Susskind and “the Human Element”

♬ I had some problems
And no one could seem to solve them
But you found the answer
You told me to take a chance…♬

Lyrics and music by: El DeBarge and recorded by the family musical group DeBarge.

I had a curious moment today in juxtaposing three websites today.

One was an interview of Richard Susskind OBE, who has just assumed the Presidency of the Society for Computers & Law. In assuming this position, he stated that: ” a useful role for SCL is to act as a focal point for a debate about the ways in

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

2011 Innovaction Award Winners: University of Toronto Among the Winners

It has been a long while since we mentioned the Innovaction Awards. The 2011 winners were recently announced, and a Canadian group are among the winners:

Berwin Leighton Paisner, LLP (BLP) was selected for their Lawyers On Demand (LOD) initiative which began in 2007 after BLP observed two important issues affecting the UK legal market: (1) legal services clients want to stretch their budgets further and (2) many lawyers are looking for greater flexibility and autonomy in their work. BLP created LOD to address these issues. LOD challenged the traditional models of legal service delivery and brought talented freelance

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

Work-Life Balance – a Québec Initiative

It goes without saying that balancing family while working for a “big-law” firm can be a challenge. I am reminded of that on a weekly basis. Other jobs are just as demanding (if not more). It has become de rigueur for employers (especially law firms) to tout their approach to promise a positive work-life balance. However, there are few ways to confirm that an employer’s advertising confirms with their employees’ reality.

In response to this issue, the Quebec government has launched a unique program: a corporate certification regarding work-family balance. The certification is for all businesses, regardless of their size. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Google Bets on Disrupting the Legal Market

Google’s venture capital arm, Google Ventures, is intent on disrupting the legal market.

First, it invested in LawPivot, a Quora-style Q&A platform for providing legal advice to businesses. LawPivot has now opened its platform to the public, allowing lawyers to answer businesses questions in a venue visible to the public.

This new twist on LawPivot’s business model will build up a valuable and publicly-accessible knowledgebase of legal advice for businesses to leverage. LawPivot will also provide lawyers a high-visibility platform to demonstrate their expertise to prospective clients.

Google Ventures has also recently invested in Rocket Lawyer, . . . [more]

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

Guide to European Anti-Bribery Laws

Corruption in government and business can occur everywhere; no country is totally immune. (See, for example, Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.) But in some countries and in some industries the demands for bribes and kickbacks or the promise of favours for favourable decisions are a serious reality. Governments that wish to halt or hinder corruption have passed anti-bribery and corruption legislation, proscribing not only corrupt acts that take place within their jurisdiction but also acts that take place ex juris if committed by their nationals or businesses incorporated within their jurisdiction. Britain’s Bribery Act 2010, which came into . . . [more]

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

The Best in Digital Marketing

The Canadian Bar Association’s National magazine has just released an article in the July/August 2011 edition, The Best in Digital Marketing. Compiled and edited by Luigi Benetton, the article surveys opinions from Marni Macleod, Allison Wolf, Connie Crosby, Carol Fitzwilliam, Warren Bongard, Jordan Furlong, and myself.

Leadership and innovation was recognized for the following firms:

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

Google Docs Introduces Page-Level Permissions

According to the Google Docs Blog today, they’re introducing the ability to control access to documents at the page level:

Using page-level permissions, you can make some pages private for certain users while keeping other pages public for everyone to see. For instance, let’s say you have a Google Site that you’ve shared with your team and your manager. You can allow your team to see one set of pages, let your manager edit another set of pages, and keep yet another set of pages private for only you.

As is usually the case with innovations, they’re not available right . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Office Technology

Clearspire and a Future for the Practice of Law

Yes, lawyers are conservative. Yes, they’re slow to respond to social change. And yes, they’re by and large technophobic (ask any lawyer you meet about venerable RSS and watch their incomprehension).

But.

Some innovate. Clearspire, a firm in DC, if it can be said to have a location, is one of the innovators, and a firm worth taking a look at. It’s almost tedious to count the ways in which Clearspire differs from Rumble, Bump & Stiltskin, but the Economist does its usual good job of summarizing matters. These are three of the highspots:

  • No billable hour. Instead:

    Clearspire

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

PIPEDA and Cloud Computing

♬ An’ now I’m flyin’ through the air.
On a cloud, on a cloud.
On a cloud, lookin’ down…♬

Lyrics and Music by Cody Canada, recorded by Cross Canadian Ragweed.

Privacy Commission of Canada Web Logo

Further to Simon Fodden’s post on August 16, 2011 entitled: “Privacy Commissioner Releases PIPEDA Guide for Lawyers“, I thought that a relevant passage in that report dealing with safeguarding personal information and in particular, with reference to mobile devices and cloud computing, would deserve its own post. The section in question on Safeguarding Personal Information is as follows (relevant paragraphs bolded . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Privacy Commissioner Releases PIPEDA Guide for Lawyers

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner announced the release of “PIPEDA and Your Practice — A Privacy Handbook for Lawyers” (also available in a PDF version) at the Canadian Bar Association Canadian Legal Conference and Expo 2011. As the handbook says:

In some cases, the requirements of PIPEDA mirror lawyers’ existing professional requirements. In other cases, navigating the requirements of PIPEDA in a legal practice can add further complexity. Lawyers must not only consider their own privacy obligations but also the different obligations that each of their clients may face. Privacy obligations applicable to clients can sometimes restrict what lawyers

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Practice Management

McLuhan and the Practice of Law

Have a look at Jason Wilson’s latest rethinc.k post, “The Document Life: Why “lawyer” is moving from a profession to a metaphor.” In actual fact, the post, after a brief intro by (legal publisher and Slaw columnist) Wilson, is a reproduction of an article written in 2008 by Ross Reeves for the Virginia Bar Association News: “Marshall McLuhan in the Modern Law Office: Has Technology Changed the Way We Think?”

McLuhan, the hometown boy and media messenger, is back in the world’s good graces again, after a number of years in the wilderness. And, of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice