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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Cloud Computing Standards…

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued two new draft documents on cloud computing for public comment, including the first set of guidelines for managing security and privacy issues in cloud computing. The agency also has set up a new NIST Cloud Computing Collaboration site on the Web to enable two-way communication among the cloud community and NIST cloud research working groups. Ethics regulators, lawyers and cloud providers may wish to become involved in the dialogue to ensure the development of the cloud to serve the public interest as well as the needs of lawyers, clients and cloud developers.
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

iPad Versus BlackBerry

After close to 10 months with a 3G-WiFi iPad, I am finally “returning” my BlackBerry (through my employer) in favour of using my own iPad as my sole communication tool.

The advantages of the iPad:

  • screensize: larger screensize with the ability to “expand” text using the 2-finger swipe/stretch technique (this is a huge factor for older people like me with dwindling eyesite)
  • browsing: fully functional browsing on the Internet, including the ability to do meaningful Westlaw, Lexis and CanLII searching (among other legal research databases)
  • email: a great email client, allowing the ability to have both personal
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

Avoiding Confusion (And Claims) When Making Charitable Bequests

Many wills include one or more bequests to charitable or religious institutions. In spite of the testator’s good intentions, these bequests often lead to claims when there is confusion over which institution was to receive the bequest. These mistakes often come to light only when the estate is being distributed – and they can lead to costly and time-consuming litigation when charities fight over the bequest.

Many of the claims reported in this area could be avoided if lawyers took steps to confirm that the information given by the testator is correct when the will is being drafted.

Often testators . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Wikimedia Announces New General Counsel

For those of you keeping track, Wikimedia Foundation (who bring us Wikipedia, the MediaWiki platform it is housed on, and numerous other projects) has just announced new general counsel: Geoff Brigham, formerly of eBay, who will be moving from Paris to San Francisco for his new position starting March 7th.

From the February 4th announcement by Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director:

As a growing U.S.-based non-profit that operates one of the world’s most popular websites in partnership with a global network of volunteers, we need a GC who can handle a broad range of legal issues including the

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

Ware the Poor Lawyer

One of the joys (and irritations) of Twitter is the receipt of unexpected alien tweets courtesy of the people you follow. (I think you can turn this feature off in most Twitter clients, if the thought of entertaining friends of friends alarms you.) Thus, thanks to Rob Hyndman (@rhh) I learn via PEI of a post on Paul Mason’s blog, Idle Scrawl, on the BBC site.

The post is “Twenty reasons why it’s kicking off everywhere,” and it lays out twenty bullet points that would provide fodder for a discussion about recent social ferment, particularly in Europe and . . . [more]

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

A Client Service Self-Assessment: How Do You Measure Up?

Managing a better professional services firm requires that you excel at providing superlative client service. Good technical skills and quality legal advice met the grade in the past but times have changed. The legal services marketplace is now more competitive then ever, and the competitors are not just other lawyers. Clients have become more demanding and questioning about the legal services they receive.

The following self-assessment will help you evaluate the level of professional service that you and your firm currently provide to clients.

Click here to rate your firm’s professional services

This assessment originally appeard in practicePRO’s Managing a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

An Judge’s Outcry Over Toronto’s Superior Court System

On Tuesday, in a decision called Kaptyn v. Kaptyn, Justice D.M. Brown strongly criticized virtually all parties involved in an estate dispute, who collectively claimed $4.4 million in costs arising out of a four day hearing and 14 pre-hearing motions.

Concluding the two trustees were “unable to work together in any reasonable and effective way,” Justice D.M. Brown said the competing sides “cannot reasonably expect that unlimited judicial resources are available to devote to their internecine quarrels,” adding (with apparent frustration) (i) that the Commercial List in Toronto is “chronically short of judges,” (ii) that the “scheduling of criminal . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law


I’ve set out excerpts from just-released reasons. The words in square brackets are my comments.

Farrell v. The General of the Salvation Army, 2011 ONSC 317

  • [2] The Plaintiff’s Amended Statement of Claim (“the Claim”) comprises 226 pages and 2,589 paragraphs, some incorrectly numbered. The Claim names 62 Defendants but contains repetitions of some of them. The claims against eight of the Defendants have been dismissed.[1] There are currently claims against only 13 Defendants.
  • [3] The damage claim is $1,030,681,760. The Claim arises from alleged experiences the Plaintiff had during an 18 month stay at the Hope Shelter, an
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

LawPivot: Crowdsourcing Legal Advice

While Q&A sites have been around for as long as the web, the last year has seen a tremendous surge of innovation in this space. Quora is one of the hottest startups in the valley right now, and has experts in various fields answering questions on everything from “Why is Dropbox more popular than tools with similar functionality?” to “Why is honey dangerous for babies?”.

LawPivot brings the Quora concept to legal advice, allowing companies to confidentially ask legal questions of lawyers that have registered with the site. LawPivot employs a recommendation algorithm that will match . . . [more]

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