Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

I have recently returned to work after a maternity leave. Now I am struggling with how to get back up to speed on all things legal research-related. Despite my best intentions, I was unable to stay on top of Slaw posts or Supreme Court decisions while at home. Now I am constantly second-guessing my research, worried that I have missed some new resource or decision. On the plus side, I am pleasantly surprised when I discover ‘new’ features on my favourite websites and online databases; of course, I have no idea how long they’ve been there, or what other ones . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Cross-Border Selection of Lawyers: Issues to Consider

This article by Jennifer Ip, Senior Claims Counsel at LAWPRO, follows up on Monday’s post on E&O coverage issues when dealing with foreign law, and appeared in the same December 2010 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

When you shop for a contractor for a home renovation, you are often reminded about the need to ensure your contractor has third party liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance – just in case.

Do you ask that same question when you shop for a lawyer outside of Ontario (or whatever is your home jurisdiction)? Do you remember to ask if the foreign lawyer carries . . . [more]

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

Email Charter

TED Curator Chris Anderson suggests that we help curb the proliferation of emails by subscribing to a Charter that he and fellow TEDer Jane Wulf have devised. He argues that in some sense we have all joined spammers in contributing to the modern “tragedy of the Commons” that our summed-up bad behaviours have produced. You’ll get a much better idea of what he means by reading the actual Charter, set out below. (It’s available as plain text and as a PDF, also, in case you want to pass it around the office — not by email.) . . . [more]

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

Are You Covered for Legal Work Involving Foreign Law or Lawyers?

Lawyers and their clients are more mobile than ever before. With the Internet, easy international travel and a global economy, relationships and business transactions – and legal matters and disputes – frequently cross international borders. Handling matters that involve foreign law can increase the risk that you will face a malpractice claim, and can have important malpractice insurance implications that you should keep in mind.

This article highlights activities and situations involving dealings with foreign lawyers and foreign law that can lead to situations that will likely not be covered under your E&O policy. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Back to the Future – Western’s Bold Leap

One of the saddest chapters of Bill Kaplan’s excellent biography Canadian Maverick – the Life and Times of Ivan C. Rand, is his account of Justice Rand’s post SCC appointment as the founding Dean of the University of Western Ontario’s Law School. Rand didn’t fit, was remote from students, and was ill at ease and isolated. {For further references see Omar’s post and Jamie Cameron’s review.]

A different challenge awaits the former chairman and chief executive officer of McCarthy Tétrault LLP., Iain Scott who will be moving to take over the deanship of Western in September. This . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Human Cost of the Adversarial System.

There is a chilling tale in the UK press this week about the trial of a man accused of abducting and murdering a child.

What is as gruesome as the fact of the murder, is the personal cost borne by the family members of the victim who gave evidence. It is a corollary of the adversarial system.

The path of the cross examinations was to show the victim’s mother was guilty of neglect, and that perhaps favouritism of the victim’s sister precipitated her death. The father’s use of pornography were put in evidence. Portions of the victim’s diary was read . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The New Lawyer Resources Page: A practicePRO Resource for New (Or Soon to Be) Lawyers

practicePRO has worked hard over the years to make lawyers aware of the wealth of practice management and claims prevention information available on the practicePRO site. Those efforts have resulted in becoming a regular destination for many lawyers, particularly solo and small firm lawyers who may not have access to all the resources of a larger firm.

Lately there is one segment of lawyers that LAWPRO and practicePRO have made an extra effort to reach out to: new lawyers and those about to be called to the bar. Its been our experience that when lawyers were students, they really . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

lawTechcamp a Success

Omar Ha-Redeye gave an excellent write-up of some of the ideas explored at last weekend’s lawTechcamp in (and after) the sessions, but I want to make note of the event itself.

About 100 people from the law and tech industries attended the free half-day event, held at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. The event was organized by Monica Goyal, owner and CEO of My Legal Briefcase, Sapna Mahboobani, principal of Sapna Law Professional Corporation, and lawyer/writer Mitch Kowalski.

lawTechcamp took an informal approach, taking cues for topics from ideas submitted by registrants. . . . [more]

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

Surviving Self-Represented Litigants

This article by Carole Cochrane originally appeared in the Winter 2006 issue of LAWPRO Magazine. The advice given is just as relevant today.

Why do we all shudder on learning that our client’s adversary is self-represented on a litigation file? So often we fail to appreciate opposing counsel – until we hear those dreaded words from our client: “You know, the other side won’t be getting a lawyer.” It is only then that we realize and appreciate the benefit of there being opposing counsel on a file.

On a litigation file, opposing counsel can serve a number of important . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

It’s the End of Judges, Not the Lawyers

At yesterday’s inaugeral Law Tech Camp in Toronto, Prof. Daniel Katz of Michigan State University College of Law spoke on “Computing and the Law.” The topic was covered in The Globe earlier this week,

The crucial question for anyone heading into a court battle – whether a mighty corporation or a mere slip-and-fall victim – is the same, every time: “What are my chances?”

Depending on the answer, a client will decide to settle, or to stand and fight. The answer generally comes from across the oak-panelled desk of a lawyer, who draws on wisdom gained from years of

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

Sacred Cows and Stumbling Blocks

On 31 May 2011 Justice David Brown of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice delivered a paper under this title. His central thesis is that until certain obstacles are removed, and assuming a fixed judicial complement, little significant improvement can result from the changes to the rules of civil procedure that came into effect in 2010, or any future changes to the rules.

Brown J. identifies two sacred cows and two stumbling blocks.

The sacred cows are:
1) that the administration of the courts must remain under the control of the executive of the government;
2) that unlimited judicial resources . . . [more]

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