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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Tips for “Extreme Negotiations”

The Harvard Business Review has an interview with Jeff Weiss and Jonathan Hughes, “Implementing Strategies in Extreme Negotiations,” that contains advice that may help with any important and difficult negotiation. In essence, the advice is to:

  • “understand what’s motivating the other party;
  • “come up with a variety of possible solutions and invite critiques;
  • “use facts to persuade;
  • “demonstrate a commitment to a fair and reasonable outcome;
  • “build trust over time;
  • and focus on actively shaping the process of the negotiation.”

In preparing for a negotiation, Weiss and Hughes suggest using a “seven-elements checklist” developed by their colleagues at . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Judicial Mediation

To what extent should judges be involved in mediation?

The Chief Justice of Ontario addressed this thorny issue in The Advocate’s Journal, Winter 2010. He considers it from the perspective of the public, the bar and the bench, provides a brief history of judicial involvement in settlement discussions, adumbrates the arguments for and against judicial mediation, and asks whether it is a reality or a fantasy.

There are so many issues.

How would it be different from the pretrial rule which is designed “to provide an opportunity for any or all of the issues in a proceeding to be settled . . . [more]

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

ACCLO Tips and Tricks From the Trade

The Association for Chinese Canadian Lawyers in Ontario (ACCLO) hosted a CLE session on September 17, 2011, on “Tips and Tricks from the Trade,” featuring Sean Zhang of BlakesJeffrey Lem of Davies, Roslyn Tsao of Epstein Cole LLP, and Madam Justice W. Low of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Notes from the sessions follow. . . . [more]

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

Dialogue on Human Rights Relating to Religious Belief and Practices

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has invited citizens to submit short papers (six to eight pages) toward a dialogue on human rights, specifically relating to religious belief and practice as shaped by the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Legal Document Assembly Using Google Docs

Thanks to a post on 3 Geeks and a Law Blog we learn that Kingsley Martin has developed a simple means of producing, via a Google Docs form, non-disclosure agreement minimally adjusted to your clients’ circumstances.

Martin runs a business that analyses legal agreements and develops software tools to help lawyers facilitate the production of contracts. He also publishes a blog and, as a service, Contracts Standards, that:

openly share[s] contract standards–transaction analysis, checklists, and clause libraries–in an effort to establish global contract norms.

Based on his Non-Disclosure Agreement Checklist, the form asks for a few inputs . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Ontario Superior Court Practice Direction on Using Online Versions of Court Decisions

In what is very welcome news, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has released a practice direction, effective 1 October 2011, authorizing the use of reliable online versions of court decisions for filing in books of authorities and providing for special citation rules:

Practice Direction Regarding Filing of Judicial Decisions from Electronic Databases, and Regarding Citation of All Judicial Decisions

Practice Direction

Judicial Decisions from Electronic Databases

Effective October 1, 2011, copies of judicial decisions obtained from approved electronic databases are acceptable for filing provided the report of the judicial decision contains paragraph numeration consistent with the numbering of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Google Plus: One Network to Rule Them All


Quite a few of us in Canada have been on Google+, but we’ve found there are far more American lawyers trying it out. Let’s hope that changes fast.

Vic Gundotra of Google announced today a number of changes. Google claims it made 91 improvements to the platform during the 90 days of operation. Today they add 9 more improvements, largely related to the Hangouts feature (including mobile video chats), as well as a much-needed search function. But the 9th new “feature” is that they are opening it up to the public. It was previously in beta testing . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

Barratry, Champerty, Maintenance, Oh My!

Original photo: National Geographic

Texas, it seems, has a problem with barratry. What, you may ask, is barratry? It is — or once was — a crime, a tort, and an act of professional misconduct. And if you were unclear about all that, you’re in good company. The former Associate Chief Justice of Ontario confessed in McIntyre Estate v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2001 CanLII 7972 (ON CA) that, “I include myself among those who had never heard of the tort of barratry until I read the material on this motion.” He went on to explain:

    [23] Barratry is

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

Modern Advocacy

Two galloping horses. A single rider, with one foot on each. The three are approaching a fork in the road.

Call me melodramatic, but this is the image that bubbled up in my mind as I examined the material I received from the Advocates Society this week.

The Advocates Journal contained an article by Sheila Block entitled “Advocacy Lessons from the Past”. It is an engaging piece sprinkled with references to the succinct styles of Maloney, Dubin and Robinette. The author reminds us of advice from Orwell on writing, relishes ‘beautiful, simple language’, and questions whether today lawyers focus enough . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Family Law Profiled at Opening of the Ontario Courts

On Tuesday, September 13, 2011 the Opening of the Courts was held in Toronto, preceded by an interfaith service at Church of the Holy Trinity. The service consisted of a fascinating mix of a number of readings, including a South African anti-Apartheid song (and dance). I couldn’t help but think that this would have been impossible a couple decades ago.

But attendees were surprised by a protest outside of the church as soon as the services completed. A video of the protest is available here, with one of the speakers saying,

We’re going to be here every single year.

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

Routine Information Sharing

Looks like litbots and databases will soon be providing routine updates of structured information to human readers via newspapers and news websites in the form of machine written articles. Narrative Science is the company behind it.

Pretty soon, such litbots will be conversing with my own personal litbots, and negotiating the purchase of routine items I need and can afford, according to the budget I set and the priorities I identify. The prospect of the online grocery appears again: I need milk, eggs, and in-season fruit every Tuesday, for delivery Wed. afternoon. The grocery’s litbot can check my calendar . . . [more]

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

New Canadian Report on Wrongful Convictions

The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Heads of Prosecutions Committee today released its new report on wrongful convictions entitled The Path to Justice: Preventing Wrongful Convictions.

It was written by a committee of senior prosecutors and police officers and is follow-up to a 2005 report entitled “Prevention of Miscarriages of Justice”:

“The format of this update mirrors the original report: it provides a summary of developments in the law and reports on efforts to implement the 2005 recommendations. Those recommendations are re-examined in light of events over the past six years and, where appropriate, modifications are suggested. It also highlights international developments since

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