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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

The Wickwire Debate – Conflict About Conflicts

Today’s posting comes (almost live) from the Schulich Law School at Dalhousie University where Richard Devlin and the organizing committee managed what many would have considered impossible – made legal ethics interesting and relevant to a student audience. Dalhousie staged a lively well fought and provocative debate about the hottest current issue in professional ethics in Canada, the issue of Conflicts of Interest.

We at Slaw have had postings on the CBA Task Force Report on Conflicts of Interest and the Federation of Law Societies response.

Today’s Wickwire Lecture – named after F.R. Wickwire, a leading member of the . . . [more]

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

QR Codes & Mobile Marketing

Have you come across a QR code yet? See this as an example:

All you need is a QR code reader built into your mobile phone – either natively within Android phones, or a free QR app for the iPhone. Then scan the code, and instantly your phone will execute one of a number of predetermined tasks:

  • hotlink the phone’s browser to a URL – scanning the above image, for example, takes you to the homepage our blog at Stem;
  • initiate a phone call;
  • display an image, business card, etc;
  • download a v-card;
  • or display a simple text message, to
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology, Technology: Internet

Ontario Law Society Seeks Input on “Unbundling”

A little late to the party by comparison with other provinces, the Law Society of Upper Canada is now seeking comments on how best to treat the practice of “unbundling” legal services in the rules of conduct. Specifically, a report (undated) prepared by the Policy Secretariat, “Unbundling” of Legal Services and Limited Legal Representation, [PDF] has made a number of proposals for change in the rules governing lawyers and paralegals, and the law society invites responses to these.

In this context, the society means by “unbundling”:

… the provision of limited legal services or limited legal representation. It is

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

Workplace Law as Information Law, Part I – Information Governance Versus Personal Use

I’ve been asked to speak early next year on how information and privacy issues are shaping the future of employment law. In preparation, I’d like to share three developing thoughts here that relate to: (1) the impending clash between information governance and personal use of corporate IT systems; (2) internet use and the “virtualization” of workplace harms; and (3) labour stability, departing employees and information-related harms. Part 1 is below. Parts 2 and 3 will follow. Please comment.

What does the “information governance” movement mean for employers?

In my view, the building pressure to govern corporate information is bound to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Update: iPad for Lawyers – Not Just a Toy

An earlier SLAW post by me commented on the fun aspects of the iPad.

Since then, in addition to my personal Gmail email, I have added my work email to the iPad email client, along with syncing my work Calendar and Contacts, and now regard the iPad as a true BlackBerry replacement (to the point on my recent work trip to the United States I left my laptop and BlackBerry at home, making do quite nicely with only the iPad, relying on WiFi at the hotel and conference centre and using the Skype app for when I needed a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Office Technology

Ethics Committees and the Bystander Effect

Ethics committees across North America are, as always, in the process of examining issues of great importance to lawyers in the US and Canada. As part of process of establish new ethics opinions and rules, ethics committees typically hold hearings or publish proposed opinions for comment, seeking input from practicing attorneys.

Unfortunately, these hearings and requests for comment are often met with silence from practicing attorneys. Vendors and other interested parties respond in force, but the group that will ultimately be most impacted by ethics committees decisions have, apparently, nothing to say.

For example, only one practicing lawyer signed up . . . [more]

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

Using Doodle for Motion Scheduling

The Practice Directions for the Toronto Region states,

Parties must consult with each other to select a return date convenient to all parties and which will permit all parties to file all necessary materials and conduct any examinations before the return date. At the time of booking, a realistic estimate of the time required by all parties for argument must be provided.
[emphasis added]

Most other regions have similar guidelines on consultation for scheduling.

Finding a single date when all counsel are available, and then also securing that date from the Trial Scheduling Office, can be challenging, especially when there . . . [more]

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

As earlier promised, a somewhat delayed post on legal project management (LPM).

The recent Ark Group master class on LPM, by Steven B. Levy of Lexician and Patrick Lamb of the Valorem Law Group, was a good overview of the topic, with Steven drawing on his experiences at Microsoft and from his book, with Patrick providing a law firm perspective based on the approach in his daily practice. The session certainly reinforced the points in Steven’s book and provided useful context and comfort for implementing LPM. In addition to both the various theoretical and practical ideas presented, . . . [more]

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