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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Website 101

Here on Slaw we pretty much take for granted some of the basics of IT, prime among which might be the value of a website to practicing lawyers. But, of course, it’s just not the case that all lawyers have—and make good use of—websites. So for those of you who fall into that category (or who have a friend who does) here’s a little something.

As it happens, I’m at the ABA Techschow in Chicago listening to Slaw’s Steve Matthews explain the basics with respect to the necessary infrastructure, Website 101: Build and Rebuild.

Domain names
Use short, memorable . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Law Lab

When you have a second to lift your head from the day-to-day, moment-to-moment legal work on your desk, you might take a look at what some people are envisioning with respect to your future legal work. The Law Lab — “A Petri Dish for Legal Innovation” — (a not entirely… savoury image, perhaps) — is a joint venture of Harvard’s Berkman Institute and the Kauffman Foundation of Entrepreneurship with the mission:

to investigate and harness the varied forces — evolutionary, social, psychological, neurological and economic — that shape the role of law and social norms as they enable cooperation, governance

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

Significant Increase in Bad Cheque Frauds Targeting North American Lawyers

LAWPRO has seen a significant increase in bad cheque frauds targeting lawyers all over North American over the last two months, and over the last week several new names are being used on the ongoing collaborative agreement frauds. We are also seeing more activity in the last few weeks on frauds involving a real estate purchase deposit and a settlement of an employment related personal injury claim. Over the last few months several hundred lawyers from across North American have reported to us that they received various versions of these messages attempting these frauds. See below for more details on . . . [more]

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

LegalIT 5.0: La Preuve Issue Des Média Sociaux – Capture, Préparation, Présentation

Un peu difficile de choisir la session quand il y a trois sujets thématiques parallèles..! C’est le cas d’ailleurs aujourd’hui toute la journée, sauf pour les plénières. La session en rubrique est populaire la salle est comble! C’est vraiment un sujet d’actualité qui intéresse beaucoup les participants.

Nicolas Vermeys, de l’Université de Montréal, a ouvert la session avec une mise en contexte. Nicolas mentionne que plus de 7,000,000 de Canadiens sont présents sur facebook, selon le Commissaire à la vie privé, rendant ainsi ce site le plus populaire au Canada. C’est pourquoi sa présentation est principalement axé sur facebook et . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Legal IT 5.0: Stemming Knowledge Loss With Social Intranet Software

Gordon Ross, Vice-President of ThoughtFarmer, opened his 13:30 session today by asking: “Is knowledge loss really an issue?” The annual average industry turnover rate is 35.7%. When staff leaves you lose both what they know (technical knowledge) and who they know (social knowledge). Intranets are not good for retaining knowledge and enabling users to find it, in one intranet survey asking “does your intranet search usually help you in finding what you are searching for”, 85% of professional respondents answered “No”.

Typical problems arising from knowledge management include:

  • Just because it is captured does not mean it will be
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Legal IT 5.0: Managing and Resolving Legal Disputes With Online, Game-Theoretic Systems

Moving on to the 10:45am session this morning in Montreal, at the LegalIT 5.0 Conference, James F. Ring from Fair Outcomes tackled the topic of managing and resolving legal disputes online.

James introduced the problem with some thought provoking facts:

  • only 5% of cases make it to trial
  • the vast majority of cases settle within 30 days of the first day of trial, and
  • 80% of cases that do settle do not settle until the day before the trialuntil they are in a “30 days before the first day of the trial” window.

One explanation for the long . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

LegalIT 5.0: Crowdsourcing and the Law

Blogging live from the Legal IT 5.0 Conference in Montreal, I am attending the session on crowdsourcing and the law which started at 9:30am, frankly, because I was intrigued by the title… Crowdsourcing the law?! Marcel Naud, from ROBIC, opened the session by defining crowdsourcing as:

The act of taking a job traditionally performed by a specific agent and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call

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

Legal IT 5.0: eLawyering for Competitive Advantage – How to Brand Your Law Firm in a Networked World

Blogging live from Montreal at the LegalIT 5.0 Conference, the Conference opened with a plenary session on the subject topic, by Richard S. Granat, Co-Chair, eLawyering Task Force, American Bar Association, launched in 2001. Richard founded one of the first virtual law firms in North America and is well chosen to speak on topic. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

AODA Era Part IV: Employment Standard

The employment standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is found under part III in the Proposed Integrated Accessibility Regulation (PIAR), which is slated to become law around July 2011 (not confirmed). This standard requires an organization that is an employer to engage in the proactive identification, removal and prevention of barriers hindering the full participation in employment of persons with disabilities. It also requires that organization to have policies and procedures for establishing individual accommodation plans where barriers cannot be removed proactively, shifting the onus from the individual who needs the accommodation to the person who . . . [more]

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

E-Books From LexisNexis Canada

Two weeks ago in my post on indexes in law-related e-books I made mention of the 3 new e-book offerings from LexisNexis Canada that are included for free for purchasers of the hard copy.

I have now tested those e-books on my iPad and thought I would pass on my comments.

The three titles are:

The Practitioner’s Criminal Code, 2011 Edition
Ontario Superior Court Practice, 2011 Edition
LegisPratique – Code de procédure civile annoté, édition 2010

The books are in EPUB format and were easy to download and transfer on to my PDA by . . . [more]

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

Client Screening Form Can Help Avoid Tactical Conflicts

On occasion, a party will intentionally contact or attempt to meet with one or more lawyers for the sole purpose of creating a conflict that will prevent the lawyer(s) from acting for another party on a pending matter.

Despite the bad intentions of the individual making these contacts, the lawyer(s) contacted may not be able to act for the other party, especially if confidential information was disclosed.

This behaviour occurs quite frequently in the family law area and in specialized areas of the law where there are a limited number of experts. In smaller communities this can be very frustrating . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

TVO Debate on Cameras in the Courtroom

TV Ontario’s flagship current affairs program The Agenda featured a discussion last night on TV cameras in the courtroom.

Interestingly, only the judge on the panel seemed to be in favour of the idea.

Panel members were:

  • Jamie Chaffe, president of the Canadian Association of Crown Counsel
  • Jean Cumming, editor-in-chief of Lexpert
  • Mayo Moran, dean of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law
  • William Trudell, chair of the Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers
  • Raymond Wyant, a provincial court judge in Manitoba
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice