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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Judging a Lawyer by Their Cover

Cynthia Vukets of The Star covered today a new study that predicts the success of lawyers based on their law school yearbook photo,

A University of Toronto professor has found that he can predict how much money a law firm will make just by looking at university yearbook photo of the managing partner.

“We found that power is what predicts their success,” said Nicholas Rule, a psychologist. “It’s the impression of power that one gets from someone’s face.”

He took yearbook photos of the managing partners of the 100 top US law firms and showed them to college students. Students

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Amazing Conversations Between a Fraudster and a Lawyer

Yesterday LAWPRO posted an update and warning to Ontario lawyers about the ongoing bad cheque frauds it is seeing. LAWPRO continues to get daily calls and emails from lawyers that are being targeted by fraudsters attempting bad cheque frauds. Lawyers must not let their guard down.

If you have any doubt about the extent to which fraudsters are willing to work to engage lawyers and dupe them, take a look at the back-and-forth email exchanges on the Melissa Andersen and Siam Rai fraud attempts. You will be totally amazed at the level of detail in the information exchanged and the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Internet

On the Art of Judging

And a bit of substantive law, too, for those with too much time on their hands this very cold (in Toronto) December day.

Different courts in different jurisdictions sometimes arrive at different answers to the same question. Sometimes, though, they arrive at the same answer by different routes. Those interested in the art of judging, even in the development of the area of jurisprudence involved, may sometimes find it useful to compare the cases. (I’ll mention them eventually.) . . . [more]

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

UK Twitter Law Firm

Good grief: it’s the (I should have expected it) reductio ad absurdum of legal advice. Until now, the briefest piece of wise legal counsel was “It depends.” Now a UK lawyer is offering free advice in 140 characters, which, though longer than that gold standard, doesn’t seem wiser.

A smiling man styled only as The Legal Oracle (@thelegaloracle) is offering on Twitter:

Tweet your legal claim or question and we will answer it free of charge. Taking the fear and mystery away and making law accessible.

Speaking of “fear and mystery”, who in his or her right mind . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Lawyer’s Duty to “Sanitize” Storage Media

The Florida Bar Association has recently published a professional ethics opinion on the duty of lawyers to ‘sanitize’, i.e. erase the memory of, storage media such as printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines.

The opinion explains why such devices even have memories; some of the older among us may not think of them as that smart! It also notes a duty to supervise staff whose job it may be to clear out the memories of these devices before the devices are returned to lessors, or sold, or even just scrapped.

I see that the Law Society of Upper Canada’s ‘technology’ . . . [more]

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

CBA Solicitor-Client Privilege and Confidentiality FAQs

As part of its series of guidelines to supplement the CBA Code of Professional Conduct, the Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee has published a document that has seventeen solicitor-client privilege and client confidentiality FAQs.

Lawyers have a duty, as is expressed in the various provincial rules of conduct, to hold client information in strict confidence, except as authorized by the client, required by law, or otherwise required by the rules. The duty of confidentiality is distinguished from the common law rule of solicitor-client privilege with respect to oral or written communications between client and lawyer. The duty of confidentiality is . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20’s Issue Paper on Cloud Computing: Final Call for Feedback

The comment period for the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20’s issues paper on “Client Confidentiality and Lawyers’ Use of Technology” closes on December 15th. The Commission is soliciting feedback from all corners, but would particularly like to gather feedback from practicing attorneys. The scope of the issues raised by the paper is broad:

  1. Form of the Commission’s conclusions. The commission is soliciting feedback on how to best release its findings: a white paper, legal technology resource site, or possibly a change to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
  2. Best Practices. What “best practices” exist for the
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Internet

Ontario Ombudsman Report on G20 Crackdown First to Use Social Media

Earlier this week, Ontario Ombudsman André Marin released his report into the use of a secret regulation that gave police what he called “extravagant” and “likely illegal” powers to crack down on peaceful people protesting last summer’s G20 summit in Toronto or to arrest uninvolved, simply curious citizens caught in the vicinity of the security fence around the summit location.

So, you say: yet another official report that repeats the old refrain “cops go overboard, violate civil liberties”. La-dee-dah, big whoop, what else is new? Either you’re a law and order fan – so these reports do not impress you. . . . [more]

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

Communiqué on the ODR and Consumers Colloquium

This communiqué distills the output of the experts’ deliberations at the Vancouver colloquium. While the depth of discussions obviously resulted in many subtleties which cannot be represented here, this document serves as the definitive record of the Vancouver gathering. It is organized chronologically, hewing closely to the agenda of the meeting
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Internet

So You Want to Be a Law Librarian?

A SLAW hat-tip to Brenda Wong and her co-blogger Karen Sawatzky at Library Technician Dialog for making me aware of the following online slideshow called If you Want to Work in Libraries, Here are 10 Things You Need to Know by Ned Potter.

I think the author nicely captures some of the opportunities for working in the information field (e.g., working with people and technology) along with some of the challenges (e.g., constant change and tough competition).

Many of these topics arose in my regular guest lecture to the FIS 2133 Legal Literature and Librarianship class earlier this week at . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Snowstorms and the Paperless Office

London is slowly getting back to normal today after effectively being shut down for 2 days due to a massive lake effect snowstorm. Depending on where you are we have had between 2 and 4 feet of snow since Sunday night. You know its bad when I made a trek yesterday from home to the local convenience store pulling a toboggan to get gas for the snowblower and milk. And when UWO, Fanshawe, schools, malls and banks close, Canada Post stops delivery, and the city stops bus service. Some of those remain closed today. While the main roads are clear . . . [more]

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