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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Twitter in the Court! Twitter in the Court!

♫ Our generation has changed
The way we communicate
A hundred and 40 characters to say what you’ll say…♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by @gabebondoc.



The Courts of Nova Scotia are the First in Canada to Enter The “Twitterverse”

The Courts of Nova Scotia have achieved a “First”. They are now “tweeting” news and information about the Courts, decisions of the Courts, and notices to the Bar as a way to better serve the public, the legal profession and the media.

The Nova Scotia courts, on their web page, state that Twitter “replaces a similar but . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

A Checklist for Avoiding Conflicts on Lateral Lawyer Transfers

The following article appears in the January 2012 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

Lateral hiring of partners or associates occurs at firms of every size, and is becoming far more common. In addition to reviewing the transferring lawyer’s credentials and suitability, the transferring lawyer and firm will need to identify and deal with potential conflicts of interest that may arise with respect to clients at the transferring lawyer’s previous firm, and in particular, clients for whom the transferring lawyer worked.

This critical task is not as easy as it might seem on first thought. The hiring firm must have sufficient information . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates

I don’t think this idea would go down well in Ontario.

Under the new QASA , UK judges in criminal matters will now rate the levels of advocates appearing before them.

Cases are assigned levels and advocates will only be permitted to appear in cases assigned to their levels and below.

Advocates are assessed judicially , and by an approved assessment organization. The advocate must ask judges for an assessment prior to the hearing, and must be assessed 5 times over a 5 year period. The advocate can choose the best three scores.

Over time advocates can move up the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Upcoming CBA Webconference: Trends in Law Practice Management – Calculating the Risks

Trends in Law Practice Management – Calculating the Risks

“Trends in Law Practice Management – Calculating the Risks” will be
presented on Feb. 28, 2012, by the CBA’s Legal Profession Assistance Conference, the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association and the National Law Practice Management and Technology Section live via webconference.

The advantages of cloud computing, virtual or online law practices and unbundling of legal services are getting a lot of press – convenience to clients, reduced overhead expenses, remote access, and enhanced access to justice are among the benefits touted. But there are also very real and practical risks, and ethical

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Love Contracts

The Globe and Mail (see here) is reporting today on a recent article from (see here) about so-called “love contracts” in the workplace. The name alone does not necessarily lead to the correct conclusion as to the actual purpose of these contracts: love contracts are meant to be signed between two romantically-involved coworkers stating that their relationship is consensual and that they understand the employer’s policy on harassment.

Indeed, office romances, while not uncommon, can make life difficult for employees and employers alike when they head south. Some time ago, my colleague, Gabriel Granatstein, wrote a column . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

First Ever Twitter Moot: #Twtmoot

♬ Every day create your history
Every path you take you’re leaving your legacy…♬

Music and lyrics by Michael Jackson, James Harris the 3rd and Terry Lewis; recorded by Michael Jackson.

Law students across Canada are about to make history. They are preparing to argue a Legal Appeal using twitter.

Marketwire has reported that Yana Banzen and Kowlasar Misir, two students at the University of Ottawa’s Law School, are gearing up to participate in the world’s first ever Twitter Moot, scheduled for 21st February at 1pm EST.

This Twitter Moot is a project of West Coast Environmental Law. Accordingly, it . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

LSUC Releases New Guides for Lawyers

It’s time for us to wise up take each other in open arms strength through diversity together we’ll never fall
I know our lives are different in many ways we’ve come to accept each other through diversity
So let’s drop our fronts, lose our insecurities it’s time for us to come together in unity…

Lyrics, music and recorded by Hoods.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has developed two new practice guides for law firms and legal organizations.

The first guide deals with preventing harassment, discrimination, and violence in the legal workplace. It includes sample harassment, discrimination, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

A Mediator’s Duty of Disclosure

I heard lately of a case where someone mediating a dispute between A and B sent an email about the dispute to A with a bcc: to B.

A managed to examine the header of the email sufficiently to see the bcc: to B, and complained to the mediator.

My first reaction was “wow, I didn’t know you could do that!” Do lawyers now have to scrub their email headers the way they are supposed to scrub metadata out of documents before sending to the other side?

My second response was “wait a minute! What was the mediator doing sending . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

The Quest for a New Law Firm Website

As Connie mentioned, our firm launched a new website last week. In this post, I’ll share a few thoughts about the process of creating a new law firm website.

Lawyers tend to be a conservative lot, tend to set a low priority on things that don’t bring short term gain, and tend to want to be in control. That combination doesn’t lend itself well to creating a new website that may be somewhat different. It can lead to analysis paralysis, or a conservative approach that leads to either no new site at all, or one that tries to satisfy . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

Assange’s Appeal to the UK Supreme Court

Julian Assange’s extradition appeal was heard at the UK’s highest court on 1 and 2 February. Assange is trying to avoid being sent to Sweden to face allegations relating to sexual encounters there in 2010. The key issue is whether a public prosecutor is a valid judicial authority.

Two things about this appeal illustrate the flexibility of what is wrongly thought to be a crusty, fossilized world. Both barristers in this extremely high profile case are women. And the proceedings were broadcast live from the court room. Here is an extract from the hearing.

And Simon Chester’s post today reports . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Is There a Fraudster in Your Office?

Not all fraudsters are strangers. Even partners, associates, law clerks or other employees may turn to fraud because of financial pressures from a divorce, failed business venture, or other personal crisis. Its usually the last person you’d expect, and often one of your most long-standing and trusted employees.

Here are the red flags:

  • Someone never takes vacation or sick leave, works overly long hours, or refuses to delegate work.
  • A firm member undergoes a sudden change in lifestyle or change in temperament.
  • The firm receives mail for a corporation for which no client file is opened or billed, or minute
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management