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Archive for ‘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

Bogus Support Collection Scams Targeting Family Law Lawyers Continue

Thanks to Kerri at the CBA for bring this May 2010 Law Society of Saskatchewan fraud alert to my attention.

It provides details (including copies of the correspondence and the collaborative family law agreement) about an attempted spousal support collection fraud that targeted a Saskatchewan lawyer in May. It really jumped out at me because the collaborative family law agreement provided by the fraudster was almost exactly identical to one used for a fraud attempt against an Ontario lawyer in April this year. The fraudster, who claimed to be Karen L Clarke in Saskatchewan, used a different name in Ontario . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Regulating Immigration Consultants and Cracking Down on Ghost Consultants

According to Fraud Watchers, the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) has just over 1,000 authorized members, but the watchdog group estimates an additional 5,000 unauthorized “ghost” consultants operate in Canada, and likely many thousands more in other countries...
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

E-Records Should Be Treated Same as Paper

The Law Society of Upper Canada is having a teleseminar at noon today entitled “The New Guide to File Retention and File Destruction.”

I’m one of the speakers – talking about issues relating to electronic records.

One of the fundamental principles of electronic records from a records retention and destruction perspective, is that electronic records should be retained and destroyed on the same schedule as paper records.

As I was thinking about the issues, it occurred to me that if I had to hazard a guess, I suspect many law firms, and many businesses for that matter, have . . . [more]

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

Succession Planning Tips for Lawyers

Sharon Davis at Hull & Hull has a new blog entry reminding lawyers that while they often remind clients of the importance of good estate succession planning, they should also give thought to succession planning for their own practices.

Will your clients be looked after in the event of your sudden death or incapacity? You’ll find some good practical tips here, including: making arrangements in advance with another lawyer, having your critical information stored in an easily accessible (to the assisting lawyer, at least) location, and having appropriate Powers of Attorney in place. You’ll also find links to guidelines and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Avoiding Confusion and Claims When Making Charitable Bequests

This post comes from the Practice Tip column in the most recent issue of LAWPRO Magazine (which will hit the desks of Ontario lawyers in a few weeks). A hat tip to LAWPRO claims counsel Pauline Sheps for suggesting this great tip – unfortunately it is a malpractice claim scenario she sees all too often.

Many wills include one or more bequests to charitable or religious institutions. In spite of the testator’s good intentions, these bequests often lead to claims when there is confusion over which institution was to receive the bequest. These mistakes often come to light only when . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Infomercials and Legal Writing

One of Oscar Wilde’s aphorisms is “There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is NOT being talked about.” This is sometimes paraphrased as “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” The “I don’t care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right” statement is apocryphally attributed to P.T. Barnum.

Writing for law and other professional magazines, and law tabloids such as The Lawyers Weekly or the Law Times, is a not-expensive (at least to the writer) way of getting publicity and, perhaps, of educating the readership. I have no . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing

Legal Problems in Ontario? You’re Not Alone

The Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project released a report today, Listening to Ontarians, funded by the Law Society of Upper Canada, Legal Aid Ontario and Pro Bono Law Ontario. The study focused on middle-to-low-income populations, defined as a household income of under $75,000.

Tracey Tyler provides a summary of the report at The Star.

The study shows that one-third of those interviewed had a legal problem in the preceding year, with low-income populations facing the greatest hurdles,

While the rate of incidence of legal problems within this group was consistent with Ontarians in the total survey

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