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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

BC Privacy Commissioner Releases Guidelines for Social Media Background Checks

The OIPC BC released Guidelines for Social Media Background Checks yesterday. The Guidelines were developed “to help organizations and public bodies navigate social media background checks and privacy laws.”

The Guidelines outline the privacy risks associated with the use of social media to screen and monitor current and prospective employees, volunteers and candidates, including:

The collection of potentially inaccurate personal information;

The collection of too much or irrelevant personal information;

The inadvertent collection of third-party personal information; and

The overreliance on consent for the collection of personal information that may not be reasonable in the circumstances.

The Guidelines also provide . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Office Technology

Screening & Confidentiality v. Knowledge Sharing

This morning’s Intapp Law Firm Risk Management Blog features a piece I recently published in Managing Partner Magazine in London entitled: “Managing Screens,” which explores the tension between tightly controlling access to sensitive client (and firm) information and fostering internal sharing, which I characterize as: “the potential of exploiting collective professional knowledge.”

“What has changed is that, in the past decade, so-called ethical screens have proliferated within law firms. Ethical screens are what used to be called Chinese walls: institutional mechanisms combined with technological safeguards and personal undertakings which ensure that confidential information is tightly protected.”

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Office Technology

Do You Still Fax?

Paul Venezia of InfoWorld asks why the fax machine refuses to die. In what is a bit of a rant rather than a reasoned analysis, Venezia advises:

Consider what a fax machine actually is: a little device with a sheet feeder, a terrible scanning element, and an ancient modem. Most faxes run at 14,400bps. That’s just over 1KB per second — and people are still using faxes to send 52 poorly scanned pages of some contract to one another. Over analog phone lines. Sometimes while paying long-distance charges! The mind boggles.

A few reasons come to mind as to . . . [more]

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

2011 Innovaction Award Winners: University of Toronto Among the Winners

It has been a long while since we mentioned the Innovaction Awards. The 2011 winners were recently announced, and a Canadian group are among the winners:

Berwin Leighton Paisner, LLP (BLP) was selected for their Lawyers On Demand (LOD) initiative which began in 2007 after BLP observed two important issues affecting the UK legal market: (1) legal services clients want to stretch their budgets further and (2) many lawyers are looking for greater flexibility and autonomy in their work. BLP created LOD to address these issues. LOD challenged the traditional models of legal service delivery and brought talented freelance

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Work-Life Balance – a Québec Initiative

It goes without saying that balancing family while working for a “big-law” firm can be a challenge. I am reminded of that on a weekly basis. Other jobs are just as demanding (if not more). It has become de rigueur for employers (especially law firms) to tout their approach to promise a positive work-life balance. However, there are few ways to confirm that an employer’s advertising confirms with their employees’ reality.

In response to this issue, the Quebec government has launched a unique program: a corporate certification regarding work-family balance. The certification is for all businesses, regardless of their size. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Privacy Commissioner Releases PIPEDA Guide for Lawyers

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner announced the release of “PIPEDA and Your Practice — A Privacy Handbook for Lawyers” (also available in a PDF version) at the Canadian Bar Association Canadian Legal Conference and Expo 2011. As the handbook says:

In some cases, the requirements of PIPEDA mirror lawyers’ existing professional requirements. In other cases, navigating the requirements of PIPEDA in a legal practice can add further complexity. Lawyers must not only consider their own privacy obligations but also the different obligations that each of their clients may face. Privacy obligations applicable to clients can sometimes restrict what lawyers

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Solo Day 2011: Law Firm Marketing Management

These are notes are from a panel discussion session at the American Bar Association 2011 conference in Toronto last Friday, one of the Solo Day 2011 talks. Panelists included Charley Moore, founder of RocketLawyer, San Francisco, CA; Carolyn Elefant, solo practitioner and blogger (see MyShingle.com), Washington, DC , and Jay S. Fleischman, consumer bankruptcy lawyer at Shaev & Fleischman (see NewYorkBankruptcyHelp.com and BankruptcyLawNetwork.com) and online legal marketing consultant at www.LegalPracticePro.com . Note: these are my selected notes from this session; any inaccuracies or omissions are my own. I welcome your comments and follow-up thoughts! . . . [more]

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

The Once and Future Firm: The Changing Nature of Law Firms

These are notes are from a panel discussion session at the American Bar Association 2011 conference in Toronto last Friday. Panelists included Arthur G. Greene, Boyer Greene LLC, Bedford, NH; T. Andrew Brown, Brown & Hutchinson, Attorneys at Law, Rochester, NY; Thomas C. Grella, McGuire Wood & Bissette PA, Asheville, NC; Ken Young, Young Mayden LLC, Charlotte, NC; and Mark Robertson, Robertson & Williams, Oklahoma City, OK & co-author of Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour. Moderator was Prof. Gary A. Munneke of Pace University School of Law, White Plains, NY. Note: these are . . . [more]

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

Knowledge Management Know-How

Luigi Benetton has published a nice article called “Knowledge Management Know-How” in the current edition of The Lawyers Weekly.

The article quotes me and fellow SLAW contributor Dominic Jaar, but what I like about the article are the viewpoints from others in the industry and the wide range of tips and advice on best practices.

What I find with knowledge management is that there is usually never a single approach or method and varies a fair bit depending on the type of organization, its culture and staffing.

In fact, there has been lots of discussion in the . . . [more]

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

Responses to ABA, North Carolina Proposals RE: Cloud Computing

Back in May I wrote about two sets of proposals that may impact the adoption of cloud computing technology among lawyers.

The first set of proposals comes from the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, which has issued an initial set of draft proposals addressing lawyers’ confidentiality-related obligations when using technology. The second set of proposals comes from the North Carolina State Bar in the form of in Proposed 2011 Formal Ethics Opinion 6 – Subscribing to Software as a Service While Fulfilling the Duties of Confidentiality and Preservation of Client Property.

Last week the comment periods for both proposals . . . [more]

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

Five Activities Generally Not Covered by Your Malpractice Policy

On occasion, lawyers have engaged in activities that have made them front-page news, subject to embarrassment and possibly lawsuits or discipline complaints. Not only can this kind of attention be bad for a lawyer’s reputation, it can also damage or even destroy client relationships.

That’s reason enough to be aware of and avoid activities that could lead to these types of outcomes. But there is another – equally if not more compelling – reason to avoid them: In some instances, it may be the law firm, not LAWPRO (or your own malpractice carrier if you are outside Ontario), that foots . . . [more]

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