Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Lawyers Need Less Face, More Time

Are you tired of being tired at work, sitting at your desk simply because there are more senior lawyers still burning the midnight oil? Not only could you be costing your firm in lost productivity, but you could be costing yourself you health as well.

The Swedish city of Gothenberg is attempting an experiment with public sector employees by reducing their workday to six hours.

The city is also maintaining a control group at regular hours and the same pay. They hope the experimental employees will demonstrate indicators such as higher productivity and lower absenteeism, and preliminary results appear promising. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The News of ABS’s “Aliveness” Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

My previous Slaw post has generated, among other things, an unprofessional (and since deleted) comment and criticism that ABS is not dead as I suggested, because the Working Group has only determined that “majority control” by non-legally trained people is dead.

It’s true from a purely technical point of view that ABS can exist with minority ownership by non-legally trained people.

It’s also true that a comatose person whose body is functioning only with the support of a machine, is not dead.

I see remarkable similarities between the ABS debate and those surrounding MDPs at the turn of the century . . . [more]

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

Rethinking Risk Management

Most risk management advice is based on how to avoid bad things through taking proactive and preventative steps. For example, use checklists on every file to avoid missing crucial steps. Document the advice you’ve given, particularly if your client isn’t likely to follow it. Use retainer letters to set clear expectations for your clients.

Other advice is based on avoiding risk through knowing when to leave well enough alone. The best is example is the axiom that a lawyer should never sue for fees because that’s a frequent trigger for a legal malpractice claim or law society misconduct complaint.

But . . . [more]

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

Don’t Let Personal Issues Lead You to Bend the Rules

At least two of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s discipline decisions in the last few months referenced a lawyer’s “loss of moral compass.” Even honest and well-intentioned lawyers have, when under pressure or when suffering from illness, addiction or a personal crisis, succumbed to the belief that it’s perfectly fine to bend the rules “just this once.”

Unfortunately, bending rules and getting away with it has the effect of weakening a lawyer’s scruples over time – especially when the pressures that led to the first transgression persist. Preserving your integrity will help you steer clear of serious threats to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

‘La Bâtonnière’ No More After Settlement With Quebec Bar Association

The Quebec Bar Association and bencher-elect Lu Chan Khuong have released a joint statement, indicating that Khuong has decided to resign her position and duties. The joint press release, dated Tuesday, September 15, 2015, announces a settlement agreement of the legal action opposing the board of directors of the Bar Association and Khuong. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Update on the Case of the Quebec Bar Association Suspended Bencher

This is an update regarding the Quebec Bar Association’s controversial suspension of its recently elected bencher, Me Lu Chan Khuong (see our past blog posts here and here). To summarize, the bar association’s board of directors suspended Khuong after it went public that in 2014 she had been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting two pairs of jeans at a Simons store in Laval. Khuong sued the bar for $95,000 in damages and filed a safeguard order to be reinstated to her position as president of the bar.

Additional allegations surface

Now, the bar has countered with its own lawsuit . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The 2015 Pacific Legal Technology Conference

On Friday Oct 2, 2015 in Vancouver, BC, the ninth Pacific Legal Technology Conference will take place. But it can also take place right in your office. This year 13 sessions will be real-time webcast (the keynote will be recorded and made available for viewing after the conference due to logistical issues) allowing both in person and webinar attendees to fully participate in the conference.

28 speakers from Toronto, New York City, Salt Lake City, Alaska and all across BC will speak on such sessions as “Blending Technology with Strong Advocacy Skills”, “Practice Management Tools: There has never been a . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Lawyers Working Well With Others?

At the recent Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference in Calgary, I had the opportunity to join a panel on the subject of lawyers working effectively with those from other professional backgrounds. The panel focused on the benefits of a cross-disciplinary team approach, arising from the recommendation of the CBA Legal Futures report to permit multi-disciplinary practice arrangements. I opened by pointing out why I think this matters (or ought to matter) to lawyers:

  1. So they’ll be better lawyers (which was the theme of the conference) through greater focus, enhanced skills and a broader knowledge base; and
  2. So that clients will
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Five Ways to Make a Fast Decision

Time and money almost always need to be balanced with quality in legal projects. When you’re faced with increasing project constraints, the ability to make good decisions quickly becomes especially important.

Decisiveness requires the type of confidence that comes from taking action, rather than accumulating theoretical knowledge. You might not make the best choice. You might even offend. But you’ll move things forward.

  1. Seek disconfirmation of assumptions. Ask “Is this wrong?” instead of “Am I right? Talk to someone with relevant experience.
  2. If you’re working in a team, understand your role and the decisions you are expected to make.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Independent Legal Advice Checklist

When providing independent legal advice, a checklist provides you with a handy tool to ensure that you are covering all the bases when discussing the underlying transaction and your client’s relationship to that transaction. Using this checklist, created by Phil Epstein Q.C., will allow you to be in a better position to successfully defend a negligence claim in relation to the provision of independent legal advice. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Building a Culture of Wellness

I am always somewhat pessimistic about the response of any group of lawyers to a presentation on the subject of wellness. Though I’ve spoken more than a few times on what lawyers can do to increase their sense of personal wellbeing and maintain a greater sense of balance while doing the work they do, my expectation remains that there will be at least a little eye rolling and more likely, significant disengagement with a topic that both touches on the personal and sometimes tends towards good parental advice.

Last week I joined fellow Slaw-yer Dan Pinnington and lawyer therapist Doron . . . [more]

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

Drama at the Quebec Bar Escalates Into Legal Action

The suspended Bâtonnière of the Quebec Bar Association, Lu Chan Khuong, has filed a lawsuit against the association and its administrators to overturn the suspension and reinstate her until the court determines whether the association’s board of directors had the right to relieve her of her duty. (Find the background here on Slaw.) Khuong is also seeking $95,000 in damages. . . . [more]

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