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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Update on Ongoing Collaborative Family Law Agreement Frauds

The following is the text of the August 26 e-blast sent to Ontario lawyers reminding them of the ongoing collaborative family law cheque scam.

Almost every day LAWPRO® hears from lawyers who find themselves the targets of various kinds of frauds. While this message is not a full fraud alert, we felt we should advise lawyers to be on guard, as there has been a significant increase in the number of collaborative family law agreement frauds reported to LAWPRO over the last week. Almost 20 firms have been targeted in the last four business days. We also urge lawyers to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Quality, Process Versus Outcome, Commodification and the Business of Litigation Today

This is the second part to a post from a week ago in which I made a note to the CBA legal project management panel and issued a three-question survey.

To follow up, I’ll use the survey to identify issues relating the current pressures how we litigate on behalf of our clients. I have not yet developed strong views on this subject matter, so will simply present the survey results and some thoughts about each question.

As I did last week, I use the term “litigation” in the broad sense, to refer to any form of representation in an adjudicative . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Evolution of Conflicts Reform

We’ve posted before about the work that the Canadian Bar Association has been doing on conflicts of interest and the development of tools for the profession to manage conflicts of interest. Two Slawers were closely involved, here and here, with a fine italic hand evident.

Today’s Lawyers’ Weekly front page reports on the CBA’s response to a report of an Advisory Committee to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. The Advisory Committee had released a report in June which had departed radically from the analysis of the CBA Task Force on the key issue of current . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended

3 Geeks and an Elephant

The folks over at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog have come up with a novel idea for a regular blog feature, what they are calling the Elephant Series. The 3 Geeks are using these posts to explore the idea of culture in law firms. They are inviting people from different roles in firms to answer the question of the week, revealing their various perspectives on the question.

The name comes from the story of the blind men and the elephant, in which a number of blind men feel different parts of an elephant and come away with . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Papers From the 2010 CBA Niagara Conference

UPDATE: I’ve been informed that the papers are reserved for those who attended only. Please, then, treat this simply as a list of papers that were in fact given. Presumably, a request to the author or the the CBA might result in your obtaining a copy with permission.

The CBA’s 2010 Canadian Legal Conference in Niagara Program Papers are available via the conference website. Below the fold is a linked list of all the nearly 40 papers currently available (more may be added to the CBA site), arranged simply in the order in which they appear on the program. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law, Reading

OSCAR vs. FRANK Continues

Just about a month ago I reported here that CourtCanada, the private software development company that had a deal with Ontario to provide some court services, had sued the Ontario government for breaching an understanding. The statement of claim [PDF] was made available then. CourtCanada’s electronic booking system, OSCAR (Online System for Court Attendance Reservations) was implemented in the Estates Court as a pilot project and expanded to the Commercial Court, where it ran alongside FRANK, the government electronic booking system in place for a number of years. In essence, the dispute is about the government’s decision not to expand . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

A Short Survey on Litigator Selection and Value Generation

I sat on a legal project management panel at the CBA conference on Tuesday. It was moderated by Barbara Boake of McCarthy’s. Andrew Terrett of BLG (and Slaw) provided the PM expert’s perspective, Brian Armstrong of Bruce Power spoke from the internal counsel’s perspective and I provided the practitioner’s perspective.

We had a very enlightening discussion, and spent a good deal of it talking about the challenges of planning for and pricing litigation (meaning any form of representation in an adjudicative process). I’ll follow-up on the discussion later, but thought I’d first lay some groundwork with a short and very . . . [more]

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

Customer Service – Don’t Cross the Line Into Pester and Peeve Territory

Following my customer service post last week, I had an experience on the weekend where store clerks were so intrusive that it was annoying. So much so that it makes me wonder if I want to go back to that store again. It’s a reminder that while we need to be attentive to customer / client needs, it’s possible to cross the line from good service to annoying and creepy. And it’s possible to try too hard to sell our services.

I went into a new store, and was immediately asked by a greeter if they could direct me to . . . [more]

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

Customer Service – Often Touted – Less Often Delivered

Customer service is something that many different types of service providers talk about. But it often fails in execution. While many customer service concepts should be obvious, it is often not done well. Sometimes its not easy when you are the one providing the service to see things from the customer / client’s perspective. 

How many of us, for example, get frustrated at a repair service that says they will arrive at your house sometime on Tuesday.

Or when someone promises to show up at 2:00, and its now 2:30, and you have heard nothing.

Or going for a doctor’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Legal Project Management

Over the last few months I have noticed a marked uptake on the topic of legal project management in the legal literature and blogosphere. Although I think lawyers have always “done” legal project management (not always well), I also think the recent buzz on the topic is related to the economy and the recent emphasis within the legal profession on changing trends and the need to do legal project management better.

SLAW recently did a book review of Steven Levy’s book called Legal Project Management. In addition to Steven’s book, there is also Jim Hassett’s The Legal Project Management . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law: Practice Management

An Inside Look at the Student Hiring Decision

Next week, Toronto firms will interview and hire for 2010 – 2011 articling positions. Last fall I wrote a post called “Interview Tips for Summer Students.” This time I thought it would be helpful to give an inside look at the hiring process by describing the steps we at Hicks Morley (a management-side human resources and advocacy firm) go through in selecting the candidates to whom we extend an offer.

What follows is a description of the firm’s process with some commentary on how I’ve worked though it in the past five years or so as a member . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Cornell Case a Good Case Study in Written Advocacy

Cromwell J. and Fish J. put on a solid display of written advocacy in today’s Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Cornell.

A 4-3 majority held that the Calgary Police Service did not violate section 8 of the Charter by the manner in which it conducted a “dynamic” or “no-knock entry” search of an accused person’s home. The appeal was made as of right, and caused the justices to answer a question of mixed law and fact based on a very physical fact scenario. This set up a clash of language used by the majority (in a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law