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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Elimination of Masters’ Registrars Positions

The Ontario provincial government’s decision to terminate all of the permanent Masters’ Registrar positions, and to have other people do their jobs (with per diem registrars in Court and other government employees performing the other job functions of the Registrars) has been noted and commented upon by Sam Marr, TLA President. He has written to Lynne Wagner, Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Lynn Norris, Director, Court Operations (Acting) after learning of these developments.

Below is an excerpt from Mr. Marr’s letter:

Masters play a vital role in the administration of justice in this city. They have unparalleled and unsurpassed expertise

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

Apple’s Siri on iPhone 4s and Legal Privilege

I thought that Slaw readers might be interested in this observation by BLG partner, Norman Letalik, as a result of his recent exchange with Apple Canada’s regional counsel. (The following quotation is from an email thread in a group to which I belong and is reproduced with Norm Letalik’s permission.)

Note that I have now had a telephone conversation with Ms. Famulak, who is regional counsel for Apple Canada. She confirms that the information that is dictated on the Apple iPhone 4s using the Siri dictation feature is sent to servers that reside in the US and that Apple, its

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

Sitting on a Non-Profit Board: A Risk Management Checklist

Serving as a director of a charitable or not-for-profit corporation can be a rewarding but potentially risky experience. A director can be held personally liable for his or her own actions or failures to act, as well as jointly and severally liable with the other members of the board of directors. Directors with specialized knowledge and expertise, such as lawyers, are held to a higher standard of care. Ontario lawyers should note that LAWPRO’s standard professional liability insurance policy provides coverage only for the “professional services” that a lawyer provides as a lawyer. It does not provide coverage for liability . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Gowns and Common Sense in UK Courts

Jean Cumming, the dynamic and innovative Editor-in-Chief of L’Expert – The Business Magazine for Lawyers, has just circulated this Press Notice issued by the UK Supreme Court regarding court dress to her Twitter followers. It would appear that common sense regarding wearing apparel is slowly making its way into the court system, at least in the U.K.

Press Notice

Revised guidance on court dress at the UK Supreme Court

The President of the Supreme Court has today announced that advocates appearing before the Court or the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council may, by agreement, dispense with any or . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

LSUC Guide to Implementing Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act

This 2005 legislation was enacted to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities. Customer Service Standards adopted under the Act are effective on January 1, 2012 for providers of goods and services, including law firms. The Law Society has created a guide which is meant to assist legal service providers in developing the resources to comply with the Standards. The guide and suggestions for compliance with the Standards can be downloaded from the Law Society website and found in Appendix 1. This is an obligation imposed by the Province that must be observed to respect those with disabilities and avoid unfortunate . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Use of YouTube for Notice in Class Actions

Siskinds LLP launched the first individual civil suit last Friday against Baer for its birth-control products Yasmin and Yaz. From the CBC:

Yasmin, which is made by Bayer Inc., is one of Canada’s top-selling birth control pills. It is a so-called “fourth generation” hormonal contraceptive and is considered “low dose.”

The announcement of the suit, launched Friday in London, Ont., comes ahead of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s public hearings on the oral contraceptive scheduled for Dec. 8 in Maryland.

The FDA’s reproductive health and drug safety committee will be looking at the safety of Yasmin and its

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

LSUC Releases a Guide to Developing a Customer Service Accessibility Policy

The Law Society of Upper Canada, pursuant to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 ("AODA") has released their Guide to Developing a Customer Service Accessibility Policy. This guide is to assist law firms in Ontario in developing the resources to comply with the Customer Service Standards [The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Regulation (the Customer Service Standards) was adopted in 2007 under the AODA, and are effective on January 1, 2012 for providers of goods and services.] The goal is to make Ontario accessible by 2025 for everyone, including persons with disabilities.
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

New Ethics Opinion on Cloud Computing From the Pennsylvania Bar

The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Committee On Legal Ethics And Professional Responsibility has just released Formal Opinion 2011-200, Ethical Obligations For Attorneys Using Cloud Computing/Software As A Service While Fulfilling The Duties Of Confidentiality And Preservation Of Client Property

As the PA Bar keeps its Ethics Opinions behind a member wall, I’ve attached a copy of it to this post. One of the Committee members has told me I am free to distribute it.

This Opinion indicates that lawyers may ethically allow client confidential material to be stored in “the cloud” provided the lawyer takes reasonable care to assure that (1) . . . [more]

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

Surviving a Disaster: A Lawyer’s Guide to Disaster Planning

We all like to avoid thinking about bad things like earthquakes, tornadoes and other natural disasters. We also tend to avoid thinking about other things that might impact on our personal and professional lives. However, major and minor disasters abound, are a fact of life, and will occur whether we like it or not, due to natural causes or by human error or malicious actions.

And while major natural disasters are typically the ones that get the most attention and headlines, even minor disasters – a burst pipe in the server room or the sudden and unexpected departure of a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

North Carolina Revisits Cloud Computing Ethics Opinion

The North Carolina State Bar has revisited its proposed Formal Ethics Opinion (FEO) on cloud computing and addressed many of the concerns the legal cloud computing community had previously expressed.

The main point of concern with the previous opinion was a list of minimum mandatory requirements that an attorney had to ensure was met by their cloud computing provider. In an open letter to the NC State Bar, the Legal Cloud Computing Association outlined its concerns with the proposed FEO; prominent bloggers such as Carolyn Elefant, Stephanie Kimbro, Erik Mazzone and Niki Black also outlined their concerns about . . . [more]

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

Third Party Litigation Funding

In Canada there are companies that provide “litigation financial services” for personal injury, class actions and many other types of claim. These “Plaintiff’s Loans” are generally up to 10% – 20% of the value of the claim. No payments of principal or interest are required until the settlement or judgment is paid. If the amount recovered is insufficient to repay the loan, some lenders hold the borrower liable for the balance. Other lenders make non-recourse loans in Canada.

The loans made by these Canadian companies are frequently to personal injury plaintiffs and in the region of $10,000 – $20,000.

In . . . [more]

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