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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Please Deposit My Bogus Cheque So I Can Give the Money to an Orphanage

I continue to get daily emails and phone calls from Ontario lawyers that are finding themselves the targets of attempted frauds. The fraud attempts I am seeing are definitely getting more polished and sophisticated. In this post I want to highlight some of the changes in tactics the fraudsters are using so lawyers can better recognize the red flags of a problem deal.

A good example comes from call I got early last week from an Ontario lawyer that was in the middle of dealing with a matter that was clearly an attempt to dupe him with a bad cheque. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Lord Justice Jackson’s Final Report on Civil Costs

♫ Strike with the strongest hand
Search from the sharpest eye
Pull from the greater
Side of your mind
Tear down the wall that’s stuck
In between soul and mind
Watch as the worlds collide…♫

Lyrics, music and recorded by Broken Iris.

The forward of Lord Justice Jackson’s final report on his Review of Civil Litigation Costs in the UK states as follows:

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.

So begins a comprehensive . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

How to Take Your Law Firm Paperless

Luigi Benetton gives some tips on how to properly go paperless at The Lawyers Weekly,

If a clean desk is a clean mind, what do the papers on your desk say about your mind?

Increasingly, lawyers answer that question by replacing piles of paper with that most prominent of paperless-office machines, the scanner.

While critics argue that you’ll find paperless offices when you find paperless restrooms, the misnomer hasn’t prevented people from reducing the amount of paper they use, nor from sharing their experiences and lessons learned along the way.

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

The Traveling Lawyer and Taking Your Firm Virtual: Presentations From ABA Techshow

I just came back from a very successful ABA Techshow and had the opportunity to present on virtual law firms and technology for the traveling lawyer. Cloud computing received a lot of coverage at the conference, with both supporters and detractors alike.

As a cloud computing supporter, I mentioned that even a couple of years ago, the idea of achieving full in-office productivity over the internet seemed difficult to imagine. The laptop, smartphone, cloud infrastructure, and internet access technologies simply weren’t capable or ubiquitous enough to match in-office facilities and resources. Now, the confluence of advances in these technology areas . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Commercial Documentation Automation Systems Available Soon in Canada

Legal Systematics is in the process of launching a series of practice systems, initially aimed at the Canadian market. The line of products, dubbed SpeedMatters, currently includes systems for accident benefits, small claims and real estate. Systems for estate planning and motor vehicle litigation are in the works, and products for other practice areas will follow. Heritage Law is assisting with the drafting of the estate planning documents.

Web-based versions of these products will be available and integration with Time Matters is also supported. These systems are designed to help lawyers be more efficient in their work, particularly when it . . . [more]

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

SCC’s New Guidance for Lawyers on Withdrawal From Representation

The Supreme Court of Canada this morning told the Canadian legal profession of its obligations to continue to provide services when the money runs out, when it handed down its decision in the Cunningham case.

Jennie Cunningham was a lawyer working for the Yukon Legal Aid Services Society. Her client had been charged with three sexual assault offences against a six-year-old girl. Legal Aid found out that the accused was working but had not reported his income. So they dropped him from coverage. The client couldn’t pay. So Cunningham asked the Territorial Court in charge of the criminal proceedings . . . [more]

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

Labour Mobility and the Legal Profession

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) defines labour mobility as the freedom of workers to practise their occupation wherever opportunities exist. According to HRSDC, every year, approximately 200,000 Canadians relocate to a different province or territory to look for work.

Several Canadian provinces and territories have enacted or are in the process of enacting legislation that will eliminate internal trade barriers and enhance labour mobility to ensure all Canadian workers have the freedom to be able to work in their fields anywhere in Canada. These endeavours stem from the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), signed in 1994 by the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Nova Scotia Crowns Demand Better Security in Courthouses

According to an article in today’s Canadian Occupational Safety, Crown attorneys in Nova Scotia want the provincial government to investigate security at the Halifax and Dartmouth courthouses.

They complain of incidents of violence against lawyers, witnesses and other people.

Court house security committees composed of lawyers, Crown attorneys, judges, Department of Justice officials and sheriffs made recommendations to the government in the spring of 2009 on how to improve courthouse safety.

Saying that the government has done nothing, the Crown Attorneys Association has decided to file an official complaint with the Department of Labour.

Cross-posted to Library Boy . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

What if the Cloud *Evaporates*?

♫Some sunny day-hey baby
When everything seems okay, baby
You’ll wake up and find out you’re alone
Cause I’ll be gone
Gone, gone, gone really gone…♫

Lyrics and Music by Don Everly and Phil Everly, recorded by The Everly Brothers.

The ABA Journal today published an article “Get Your Head in the Cloud” which states:

The early indications from ethics authorities are that storing client data in the cloud does not violate ethics rules, as long as the lawyer took appropriate steps to safeguard the information from inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure.

While I agree about taking . . . [more]

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

Law Firm of the 21st Century: The Clients’ Revolution – a Study by Eversheds LLP

Eversheds LLP published this past Monday a 16-page report called “Law Firm of the 21st Century: The Clients’ Revolution.”

Their news release is here and summarizes their findings in these terms:

– Recession accelerates change in legal sector by 10 years
– Inefficient sector now puts value and efficiency first
– Hourly rate billing gives way to value billing
– Clients hold power in legal supply relationships
– General Counsel rises in status
– Magic circle category increasingly redundant

A new report warns law firms that that they need to modernise or lose out as a major power shift is

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

Job Postings for Canadian Lawyers on LinkedIn

Amanda Ellis notes that some Big Law firms in the U.S. are using LinkedIn for recruiting lawyers,

I always glance at the jobs section but today was the first day I remember seeing three attorney positions posted by a firm – not to mention a large firm. Usually, the openings in this section include in-house positions and/or legal support positions.

Are more law firms posting attorney job openings on LinkedIn? Possibly. Should law students and lawyers review LinkedIn’s job postings? Absolutely.

Although earlier this month Wendy Reynolds recommended here on Slaw job searchers use LinkedIn, do we have any evidence . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Vancouver Conference on Online Dispute Resolution

♫ If you want it you can get it
If you choose it don’t regret it
If you feel it make it real
It’s what you wanted don’t forget it..♫

Music and lyrics by April Start.

During the first week of November, 2010, Vancouver, British Columbia will hold the first ever conference devoted to the topic of Consumer Protection Issues and Online Dispute Resolution (“ORD”). The conference proponents include the US Government, the EU, The Czech Court of Arbitration, eBay and PayPal, and the ICANN Office of the Ombudsman.

According to Dr. Frank Fowlie, the Ombudsman for ICANN . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice