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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Have You Notified Your Insurer?

Manitoba lawyers recently received a memo from the Law Society’s Insurance Department reminding them that it’s time to pay their 2014/15 liability insurance premium.

That memo also contains the annual reminder to practising, insured lawyers to “Speak now or forever hold your peace” with respect to known or potential claims. The Law Society reminds lawyers that:

Because our Professional Liability Insurance coverage is written on a claims-made basis, if you know of any circumstances which might possibly, at some point in the future, give rise to an insurance claim against you and you want coverage under your Insurance Policy, then

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Are You an “Invisible”?

Do you avoid self-promotion? Do you grimace when others go on and on (and on) about their accomplishments and activities? You might be an “Invisible”.

In his new book, Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion, writer David Zweig explains why some people shun the spotlight while others aggressively compete for centre stage.

Quoted in an interview with Maclean’s Ken MacQueen, Zweig says that “Invisibles” are driven by “a strong sense of responsibility, a meticulous attention to detail and an ambivalence about recognition.” He adds that “they find their reward through work itself” and . . . [more]

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

CBA Futures Chat: Law and Design

I’m excited to be hosting a Twitter Chat next Tuesday with the CBA, chatting about Law & Design.

This month I’m finishing up my year-long fellowship at Stanford d.school, where I’ve gotten the chance to experiment in what it means to take a user-centered, design-driven approach to how legal services are delivered. In the Twitter Chat, I’ll be talking about some of the experiments we ran & the projects I’m launching out of them.

I’m particularly interested in how we can use Design Methodologies — which put an emphasis on quick prototyping, frequent testing, and (above all) a focus on . . . [more]

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

SLA 2014 Awards: Bennett Jones Are Big Winners

This week I am at the SLA (Special Libraries Association) conference being held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This morning at the Bloomberg BNA SLA Legal Division Breakfast & Business Meeting, the following awards were given:

  •  The Bloomberg BNA Outstanding New Member Contribution award is presented to Christine DeLuca of Bennett Jones LLP in Toronto, ON, CA.
  • The Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Innovations in Law Librarianship award is presented to Zena Applebaum of Bennett Jones LLP in Toronto, ON, CA.
  • The Thomson Reuters Westlaw Award for Career Achievement award is presented to Tracy Maleeff of Duane Morris LLP in
. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Time to Say Goodbye to an Employee?

You’ve tried clarification, reminders, warnings, patience and tolerance, maybe even retraining. But it isn’t working, and you both know it. Firing employees is not likely a task you took into consideration when you thought about becoming a lawyer; but here you are, an employer, in the position of having to fire an employee.

It will never be pleasant; but there’s a right way and a wrong way. The wrong way can lead to lawsuits, reputational damage, maybe even stolen clients or breaches of confidentiality. The right way can lead to the same things, of course; but the odds are . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Law Firm Retreats: They Can Be Small. They Can Be Anywhere.

Though we covered it in our Tips Tuesday roundup post a few days ago, I’d like to call your attention to an exceptional piece by Garry Wise on his upcoming Law Office Backyard Retreat.

What struck me as I was reading was the engrained conceptions many of us have about what a retreat is, and where it must be located. Depending on your own personal experience, you might believe that a firm retreat:

  • must always be ‘a road trip’;
  • is only applicable for larger firms;
  • requires an expensive keynote speaker; or generally,
  • is far too expensive an undertaking for 
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

How to Start a Legal Project Management Initiative in Your Firm: 11 Ideas

Are firms becoming more attuned to the benefits of legal project management (LPM)? Are clients? Judging from a workshop I attended on this topic last month in Chicago, the answer is “yes”.

But many firms – including almost every firm I’ve encountered – still struggle with the question of how to encourage organizational and individual changes required to inculcate wide-spread adoption of LPM.

The panelists who spoke at the “LPM Showcase and Workshop” lead some of the firms that have been the most successful at LPM implementation – Baker & McKenzie, Loeb & Loeb, Foley Hoag . . . [more]

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

The Nature of Partnership

By some weird synchronicity, the Supreme Courts in both the United Kingdom and Canada in the last 24 hours have considered the nature of partnerships and the extent to which employment law protections also applied to partners.

Yesterday’s decision in Clyde & Co LLP and another (Respondents) v Bates van Winklehof (Appellant) [2014] UKSC 32 held that a junior partner (unhelpfully called an Equity Partner) in a London firm was protected by the whistle-blowing protections of the Employment Rights Act 1996. She had been involved in a rather dubious file in Tanzania and reported to the firm’s money laundering reporting . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Taking Leave – a Risk Management Perspective

Manitoba lawyer Donna Seale has a great blog focused on human rights issues in workplaces. In fact Human Rights in the Workplace is so good that in 2010, the blog won a CLawBie award. In her post, It’s time to take time, Donna recently announced she’s taking an indefinite leave from her practice and her blogging to focus on renewing her own health.

As a Manitoba lawyer with an interest in human rights issues, I’m disappointed that her voice won’t be heard on the topic for the next while. As a a former colleague of hers at the Manitoba . . . [more]

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

A New Generation Requires New Structures for Law Firms

The early articling hire-back numbers look dismal for a number of firms in Toronto, and this, coupled with the lengthening number of years that it takes associates to make partner – if they ever do – and the merry-go-round of serial lateral partners, should make all lawyers stop and think about how this environment is shaping the next generation of Canadian lawyers, and in turn, the structure of legal services providers.

My friend, consultant, John Chisholm was recently quoted in Australia’s, Lawyers Weekly. “I hear from senior associates who have had to wear the fact that their partnership prospects . . . [more]

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

Giving, Taking and Getting Ahead

Spring has sprung here in Vancouver with its bounty of networking events and opportunities to reconnect with colleagues.

In between fun appointments in my social calendar, I sat down to read “Give and Take” by Wharton business professor Adam Grant. If you’ve ever felt anxious about networking, skeptical about selling your services or burned out from fielding non-stop requests for help, this book is for you.

Most of us have been taught to view networking as a zero-sum game where people act in their own self-interest; I’ll do a favour for you with the expectation that you’ll . . . [more]

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

Limiting Missed Limitation Claims

I’m wearing my risk management hat this week, while attending the American Bar Association’s conference on legal malpractice. Though one might argue if I did my job well, there’d be no need for it, the unfortunate reality is that legal malpractice claims continue to be filed across Canada. In keeping with the theme of my week, following is a repost of a recent article I wrote for the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association Loss Prevention Bulletin on a consistent source of claims against lawyers – the missed limitation date.

Two years ago, just after Christmas, there was a small fire in . . . [more]

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