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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Civility as a Tactical Tool in Litigation

I had the pleasure of attending an internal presentation at my firm today by two of our partners, Eugene Meehan, QC, and Scott Maidment, on the topic of “Civility as a Strategy in Litigation: Using It as a Tactical Tool.”

The topic of civility in the legal profession has in fact been raised on SLAW in the past, including a great post by Connie Crosby called Civility in the Law, a post that prompted a lot of Comments.

However, it appears that no mention has been made on SLAW of Eugene’s writing on this topic, including an . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Creating Creative Online Defamation Settlements

Most online defamation actions I encounter primarily seek one form of relief – the removal of the offending material from the Internet. Damages and costs are often a secondary concern to clients, albeit important ones, especially in offsetting the impact on the individual’s reputation and the inconvenience of litigation.

A Malaysian case this week highlights another creative remedy that might be of interest to litigants structuring an out-of-court settlement. The Daily Mail describes the case,

Fahmi Fadzil, an opposition politician’s aide and respected commentator, claimed on the social networking site [Twitter] that his pregnant friend had been

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

New Beginnings…

This morning, I’ve awoken to a significant change at my firm. The signs have been changed. New business cards have been issued. Even the stickers in the elevator have been swapped. If you go to, you will be redirected to a new site.

Ogilvy Renault LLP is no more. It is now formally known as Norton Rose OR LLP and is of the Norton Rose Group. I have no doubt we will be informally known as Norton Rose. With more than 2,600 lawyers, the enlarged Norton Rose Group is a now top 10 international legal practice with 39 . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Updated Model E-Discovery and E-Trial Precedents

The Ontario E-Discovery Implementation Committee (EIC) released in February revised versions of all of its e-discovery and e-trial model documents and guidance materials. Links to all of these documents are provided below.

Annotations are included throughout the EIC’s model documents and the EIC’s other e-discovery guidance documents. Many of the annotations refer to The Sedona Canada Principles Addressing Electronic Discovery (the “Sedona Canada Principles”). The Sedona Canada Principles are a set of national guidelines for e-discovery in Canada, which reflect both existing legal principles and a set of identified best practices. The Sedona Canada Principles are intended to be . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Legal Project Management: A New Role for Law Librarians?

I had the pleasure last week of presenting at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries / /L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit on the topic “Legal Project Management: Is There a Role for Law Librarians?”

My co-speaker was Andrew Terrett, the National Director of Knowledge Management at BLG who provided a great, pragmatic overview of project management in law firms.

Although in my paper I also provided a brief overview of legal project management and what various law firms were doing about it, the focus of my talk was instead on the third part of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management

New Blog on Distance Family Mediation

Following up on Dave Bilinsky’s post earlier this month, the BC distance family mediation project at Mediate BC has launched a new blog.

Located at, Susanna Jani’s goal is to provide more insights surrounding the project, and (of interest to me) reflections on how different technologies can support the families and mediators when they aren’t in the same room. As the project moves forward, regardless of whether one’s interests are in the area of mediation or technology, the insights provided should prove interesting to Slaw readers. . . . [more]

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

MSBA Trust Accounting Guides for Mainstream Accounting Software Products

In an April 18, 2011 post on the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Practice Blawg, it was announced that the MSBA trust accounting guides are now available to non-MSBA members. In the past these guides were behind a members-only wall.

These guides help lawyers work with trust accounts in the several commercially available mainstream accounting programs. There are 5 guides including:

  • Keeping Client Trust Accounts with GnuCash 2.2.4
  • Keeping Records for Client Trust Accounts Using Microsoft Office Accounting 2006 or 2007
  • Using QuickBooks 6.0 for Lawyers’ Trust Accounting
  • Trust Accounting with QuickBooks 2005 Professional
  • Keeping Clients’ Trust Accounts with QuickBooks
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

UK Supreme Court Hearings on Live Video

SkyNews is broadcasting live the hearings at the UK Supreme Court. As the site says, “The Court normally sits between 10am and 4pm” UK time, which means that most of Canada will have to get up very early to enjoy this show. At the moment (10am ET), however, I’m watching something called Scottish Widows plc (Respondent) v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Appellant) (Scotland) – UKSC 2010/0178. (Perhaps it’s been recorded and is being re-played.) The court and the hapless barrister are fumbling for perhaps fifteen minutes as the lawyer tries to direct the court to the correct . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology: Internet

E-Disclosure Pilot Project

Recently I was invited to attend an information session on the e-disclosure pilot project that is about to get underway for a small number of police divisions in Toronto’s Metro North jurisdiction. While electronic documentation may seem like a 1990s innovation, its adoption by notoriously change-resistant lawyers (on both sides of the criminal bar) and technologically averse police officers, may genuinely herald a new era in the archaic field of criminal law.

Starting immediately, police from the pilot detachment (currently consisting of officers from Toronto’s 31 Division who are not tasked to special teams and rolling out to two more . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Increasing Clarity on the Ethics of Cloud Computing

There have been two important and encouraging developments on the ethics of cloud computing over the last month.

First, the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 has issued an initial set of draft proposals addressing lawyers’ confidentiality-related obligations when using technology. The Commission’s draft report proposes:

  • The development of a centralized, user-friendly website that contains continuously updated and detailed information about confidentiality-related ethics issues arising from lawyer’s use of technology, including the latest data security standards.
  • Amendments to several Model Rules of Professional Conduct and their Comments to offer specific guidance and expectations relating to technology.

The amendments to the Model . . . [more]

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

Is Cost-Effective Westlaw and Lexis Training Possible?

A message on the American Law Libraries – Private Law Libraries SIS Listserv has alerted me to: (i) A new blog by Law Librarian Jean O’Grady called Dewey B Strategic which has the subtitle of “Risk, value, strategy, libraries, knowledge and the legal profession,” and (ii) a recent intriguing post on this new blog called The Myth and the Madness of Cost Effective Lexis and Westlaw Research Training that raises the challenge (if not impossibility) of trying to teach “cost-effective searching” on Westlaw or Lexis to students or associates given the complexity of how these products are priced. Some examples . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology