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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Law Firm Managers Need Training in Organizational Behaviour

We often hear that lawyers are trained in the law, not in how to operate a business. One of the most basic management skill lacking though can be found in the field of organizational behaviour (OB).

Dr. Larry Richard recently gave a talk at the CBA conference in Ottawa, where he presented “breakthrough ideas to boost your engagement.” The need for employee engagement is even more important during turbulent economic times, when law firms are facing considerably more instability than in the past. Much of what he had to offer corresponded with the OB skills deficit.

Dr. Richard noted that . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Keeping It Real: Implementing a Firm-Wide LPM Program, Part II

Last week, Carl Herstein, Chief Value Partner at Honigman LLP discussed his experience in developing and implementing a firm-wide legal project management (LPM) program at his firm. The conversation continues with a candid discussion of the pricing of legal services, how it relates to project management and what clients really think of firm initiatives in this regard.

Q. How would you describe the relationship between pricing, collections, AFAs and LPM at your firm?

When a client approaches us with a new matter, the first question that every one of our lawyers should ask is “what are your goals?”. . . . [more]

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

Keeping It Real: Implementing a Firm-Wide LPM Program, Part 1

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, a law firm with 300 attorneys in five offices throughout the U.S. mid-west launched a comprehensive legal project management (LPM) initiative in 2011. Rather than announce the program with the usual press releases and fanfare, the firm deliberately chose to stay quiet about it – until recently. 

Carl W. Herstein is Honigman’s Detroit-based Chief Value Partner. In this two-part interview, Carl discusses the decision to “keep it real”, what he’s learned along the way, and how LPM fits into firm culture. His experience exemplifies the commitment, forethought and resources required as other firms . . . [more]

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

Stress and Solutions: An Update From the Lawyers Assistance Program of B.C.

Derek Lacroix, QC has been at the helm of the Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia (LAPBC) since December, 1996. LAPBC provides confidential outreach, education, support and referrals to distressed members of the bar. Their clients and volunteers include judges, lawyers, articling students, paralegals, legal assistants, support staff and other members of the legal community.

How have the stresses, issues or crises that LAPBC assists with changed in recent years?

The nature of the issues has changed, as has the range. Take alcohol addiction for example. We saw a lot of severe crises associated with substance abuse and addiction in . . . [more]

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

Amendments to the Customer Service Standard Under the AODA Effective July 1

On June 6, 2016, the Ontario government announced that changes to the Customer Service Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) will come into force on July 1, 2016, and apply to all organizations providing goods, services or facilities in the province. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Highlights From the 2016 LMA P3 Conference

The Legal Marketing Association recently hosted its annual conference on project management, process improvement and pricing (P3) in Chicago. Billed as a forum where innovative practice management approaches are shared, the event continues to showcase progressive ideas and practical experiences from firms transforming the business of law.

It’s wise to take any presentation of best practices with a proverbial grain of salt. But you also have to give credit to those who proactively invest in new ideas and risk failure. That’s something we don’t see enough of in law.

Here are some of the ideas heard at this year’s P3 . . . [more]

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

E-Discovery Records Must Be in “useful” Format

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has recently held that a party who held relevant electronic records must produce them in native format, rather than in TIFF format, although producing them in native format (in this case, Excel) could take six months’ work and cost $50,000. Alberta and Canadian law were admitted to require that such production be proportional to the stakes in the dispute and not unduly burdensome, but ordering the production in this case was held to satisfy those tests.

Bard v Canadian Natural Resources, 2016 ABQB 267 (CanLII)

This despite a litigation plan that contemplated production . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, ulc_ecomm_list

Future Amendments to the Admission to a Professional Order and Governance Issues

In Quebec, to practise a profession or hold a professional title governed by the Professional Code, a person must have a permit and be a member in good standing of the professional order that governs the exercise of the profession. Quebec has 46 professional orders that supervise the practice of 54 regulated professions.

In response to recommendations in the Charbonneau Commission report on granting and management of public contracts in the construction industry, on May 11, 2016, the Quebec government tabled Bill 98, An Act to amend various legislation mainly with respect to admission to professions and the governance of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Building Good Practice Management Habits

It’s that time of year again – articling students in Manitoba are wrapping up their year and looking ahead to their Call to the Bar and beginning their careers as lawyers. Some will continue to practice in the firms where they received their articles, while others will move to new firms or set out on their own. Regardless the setting, all will need to develop good practice and time management habits.

I’ve spoken with articling students in the past about the relevance of learning time management techniques at a point in their career when they have so little control over . . . [more]

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

Barreau Du Quebec Position on Hourly Billing Report Long Overdue

On March 24, 2016, the Barreau du Quebec (Quebec Bar Association) released a report « La tarification horaire à l’heure de la réflexion » (in French only and translated to say Hourly Billing: A Time for Reflection) calling for an end to hourly billing by lawyers and law firms in the hope of improving access to justice for the public and a better work-life balance for lawyers. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Lawyers and Audits – the New Joint Policy Statement Effective December 1, 2016

Shareholders, investors, lenders and others have a vital interest in proper financial disclosure by entities in which they have an economic interest. Making sensible business decisions is often difficult. It is impossible without proper information. Audited financial statements play a central role in financial disclosure.

Disclosure is a good thing and a bad thing

Some assets and liabilities are simply reflected in financial statements. Some are not so simple. Contingent assets and liabilities can be tricky. The contingency may or may not arise. Assuming the contingency, the value of the contingent asset or liability is often uncertain. The uncertainties may . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Ontario Introducing New ORPP Legislation

On April 14, 2016, the Ontario government introduced new legislation to launch the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) legislation. Bill 186, Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016 will ensure that if the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is not enhanced, Ontario can proceed with the ORPP. However, the Ontario government says it remains committed to working with the federal government to enhance the CPP. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation