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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Lawyers Without Borders

A colleague was asking me recently about volunteer or work opportunities for lawyers abroad and I immediately thought of the work of the International Development Committee (IDC) of the Canadian Bar Association (I was fortunate to be on the committee for 6 years and participate in several missions to Africa). Most of their work is funded through the Canadian International Development Agency or other external funders (i.e., the cost of their overseas work does not come from CBA member dues) and is intended to support the rule of law in developing countries (among other things). Recent IDC projects have included . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Supporting Our Troops by Supporting Their Employers

Yesterday’s National Post contained an interesting story regarding government programs around the world targeted at employers of military reservists. In an effort to support troops overseas legislators in the U.K. and Australia have enhanced job protection laws while simultaneously creating compensation programs that pay employers of reservists a stipend to help offset the loss of an employee during his or her tour of duty.

Here in Canada, federal laws protect the jobs of deployed reservists while recent amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act explicitly permit unpaid leaves of absence for reservists deploying overseas. The C.D. Howe Institute is recommending Canada . . . [more]

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

How Virtual Law Firms Attract and Keep Great Legal Talent

The Demographic Landscape of Law

The recent Law Society of BC Report on the Retention of Women in Law Task Force notes as follows:
• Women have been entering the legal profession in BC in numbers equal to or greater than men for more than a decade, yet represent only about 34% of all practicing lawyers in the province and only about 29% of lawyers in full-time private practice; and
• the legal profession in BC is aging and there will be a net reduction in the number of practicing lawyers – a looming shortage – as older lawyers retire . . . [more]

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

Human Rights, Google and Internet Explorer…

♫ A moment of despair
That forces you to say that life’s unfair
It makes you scared of what tomorrow may bring
But don’t go giving into fear ..♫

Lyrics and music by: Stone, Greenberg, Daniel Pierre, recorded by Joss Stone.

You may wonder what human rights has to do with Internet Explorer. Prior to the earthquake in Haiti, the news was filled with the cyber-attacks on Google. The latest attacks on Google’s network appear to have originated in China, reported ComputerWorld in a post dated Jan 12, 2010 and were directed at the Google accounts of human . . . [more]

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

Practicing Law on the Road: The Role of the Cloud and the Emergence of the Virtual Law Firm

Even as recently as the early 2000’s, the idea of achieving full in-office productivity while traveling on the road seemed difficult to imagine. The laptop, smartphone, cloud infrastructure, and internet access technologies of the day simply weren’t capable or ubiquitous enough to match in-office facilities and resources. But fast forward to 2010, and these ingredients have evolved and shifted significantly.

Firms like Heritage Law are predicated on the reality that any lawyer or staff member can work effectively from practically any remote office on a full time basis with nothing more than a Voice Over IP (VoIP) telephone, a broadband . . . [more]

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

U.K. Report on Costs of Civil Litigation

Lord Justice Jackson has released his Final Report [PDF] on the Review of Civil Litigation Costs in England and Wales. With an economy that a Laconian might envy, he writes as the whole of his Foreword:

In some areas of civil litigation costs are disproportionate and impede access to justice. I therefore propose a coherent package of interlocking reforms, designed to control costs and promote access to justice.

The rest of the report is some 550 pages of thoroughness, however, exploring the funding of litigation, fixed costs, personal injuries litigation (and other types), and controlling and assessing costs. Jackson . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law

CBA President Writes Min of Immigration on Haiti

D. Kevin Carroll, the President of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), has formally requested that Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism,to expedite immigration applications for those affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

The CBA is gratified for our government’s commitment for urgent humanitarian assistance for Haiti. News reports state that the urban areas of Haiti have been hardest hit, and the death toll could reach 500,000. We are acutely aware of the significant devastation to the infrastructure of the country. Another significant way that Canada can extend assistance is by bringing those with ties to Canada

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

Embrace New Ideas

♫ I’ve got a wealth of new ideas
I’ve got so many new ideas
I’ve got so many new ideas
I’ve got so many new ideas
(Show me, show me, show me all your new ideas)…♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by The Dykeenies.

In Nicole Garton-Jones’ post on “A Different Way to Look at Law Firm Strategy” we delved into the issue of trying to promote innovation within a law firm.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive the Ohio State University Leadership Center’s latest Leadership Newsletter by Beth Flynn, M.S. on this very issue. I sought and . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Should Judges Join Facebook?

This is a follow-up to the Dec. 16, 2009 post Facebook and the Bench.

Earlier this week in the Montreal Gazette, there was an article about whether Canadian judges should be on the popular social networking site Facebook:

“Amid escalating debate in the U.S. about judicial antics online, the Canadian Judicial Council has turned its attention to whether there should be some ground rules for judges who want to join Facebook and other social networking sites (…)”

“While there are no known cases of Canadian judges on Facebook, participation in the U.S. has reached a level that

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

Arbitration in Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain has launched the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution. This initiative of the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs will deliver international ADR services in cooperation with the American Arbitration Association. TimesOnline’s Law Central has the story.

What makes this project interesting is that Bahrain has passed legislation ensuring that when parties agree to arbitration by the BCDR the result will be binding and beyond challenge in the Bahrain courts. Presumably, they’ll have better luck with their “privative” provisions than has been the case elsewhere.

At present the link to the BCDR opens only . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

A Different Way to Look at Law Firm Strategy

The professional services firm management guru David Maister, in the introduction to his latest book Strategy and the Fat Smoker, states as follows:

“In the last two-and-a-half decades, I have been trusted to see a large number of strategic plans from a wide variety of professional firms around the world, including direct competitors. What is immediately noteworthy is how similar (if not identical) they all are.”

Noting that the underlying ideas remain the same around the world, over time, and from competitor to competitor, Maister states that:

“Real strategy lies not in figuring out what to do, but . . . [more]

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