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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

The 2/3 Rule Will Make You a Happy and Successful Lawyer

With a bit of effort, the simple and profound 2/3 Rule can transform you and your practice. I have mentioned this rule in dozens of presentations over the last several years and it always gets great feedback so thought it was worthy of a SLAW posting.

This simple rule says the goal of being a happy lawyer with a successful practice can be achieved provided all your clients/matters meet at least 2/3 of the following requirements:
1. You are working on interesting and challenging legal problems.
2. You are working with people you enjoy.
3. You are getting paid for . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Cost of Doing Business

Rachel Rodgers makes a great point in her post today at SPU — the idea that in business, everything has a cost. She illustrates:

“Using an old laptop that gives you trouble every now and then has a cost. The cost is lost time that could have been spent working and the ensuing frustration that prevents you from being creative.”

or,

“Not purchasing software that makes work flow and management efficient has a cost. Not having staff that can handle certain time consuming tasks has a cost.”

She also correctly notes that even for a new business, sweat equity . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

A Systematic Approach to Law Firm Management

This is an article by Malcolm Mercer, partner and general counsel at McCarthy Tetrault in Toronto. It originally appeared in the September 2010 edition of LawPRO Magazine.

Risk is an inevitable reality of law practice. The only way to eliminate risk is to stop practising law – an option most readers of this article are not yet contemplating. A more realistic option is to actively mitigate risk through structured, systematic risk management. This approach is particularly helpful at the law firm level, where risk management can sometimes be seen to be contrary to the perceived self-interest of individual lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Safeguarding Client Information

I attended a webinar today by the CBA entitled Safeguarding your Client’s Confidential Information – Tips and Traps. Presented by David Fraser and Dominic Jaar.

 Here are some of the highlights.

Quote from security expert Bruce Schneier:

“Hardware is easy to protect: lock it in a room, chain it to a desk, or buy a spare. Information poses more of a problem. It can exist in more than one place; be transported halfway across the planet in seconds; and be stolen without your knowledge.”

This is primarily a people issue – requires training and understanding. It’s not just about technology. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

The Jaime Laskis Discrimination Suit

The Toronto Star is running a front-page story today about Jaime Laskis, a former associate at the New York offices of Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt, alleging discrimination. The Statement of Claim, filed in the District Court of New York by Liddle & Robinson LLP, can be viewed here.

Laskis complained about the allegedly discriminatory behaviour, and the individual responsible was eventually removed from the position of Legal Professional Committee (LPC) representative, and internal review committee within the firm. However, Laskis claims that she continued to be underpaid and treated unfairly even after this removal.

She was eventually . . . [more]

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

Communication-Related Errors Are the Most Common Cause of Real Estate Claims

Real estate law accounts for the second highest number of legal malpractice claims in Ontario, after civil litigation. But real estate law is responsible for a higher percentage of claims costs than litigation – and the trends are up for both the count and cost of real estate claims.

For the years 1999-2009, real estate-related claims averaged 29 per cent of LAWPRO ’s claims count (612 claims per year), and 30 per cent of our claims costs ($19.7 million per year). On average, resolving a real estate claim cost LAWPRO $43,325 over that period.

And the big surprise to most . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Litigation Outside of the Bun

Taco Bell has been the target of class-action false advertising lawsuit over the beef content of their tacos, summarized here in this video from the Associated Press. The Statement of Claim by California law firms Blood, Hurst & O’Reardon LLP, and Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles is available here.

Ashby Jones of the Wall Street Journal points out that most corporate lawsuits result in this approach to crisis management:

1) Say as little as possible; but . . .

2) Deny the allegations; and . . .

3) If anyone presses further, say “it’s corporate policy

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Cloud Computing Standards…

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued two new draft documents on cloud computing for public comment, including the first set of guidelines for managing security and privacy issues in cloud computing. The agency also has set up a new NIST Cloud Computing Collaboration site on the Web to enable two-way communication among the cloud community and NIST cloud research working groups. Ethics regulators, lawyers and cloud providers may wish to become involved in the dialogue to ensure the development of the cloud to serve the public interest as well as the needs of lawyers, clients and cloud developers.
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

A Client Service Self-Assessment: How Do You Measure Up?

Managing a better professional services firm requires that you excel at providing superlative client service. Good technical skills and quality legal advice met the grade in the past but times have changed. The legal services marketplace is now more competitive then ever, and the competitors are not just other lawyers. Clients have become more demanding and questioning about the legal services they receive.

The following self-assessment will help you evaluate the level of professional service that you and your firm currently provide to clients.

Click here to rate your firm’s professional services

This assessment originally appeard in practicePRO’s Managing a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Good Risk Management: Use an “I Am Not Your Lawyer” Letter

On occasion you will meet with people who are connected with a matter but not otherwise your client. For example, where you have met with several people during the creation of a business and will end up acting for the business but not for one or more of the individuals. Or, where you meet with the children of an elderly couple in the course of doing estate planning work. In these cases an “I am not your lawyer” letter can serve to make it crystal clear for which individuals you are and are not acting.

Here is a model “I . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

practicePRO’s Most Popular Malpractice Claim Prevention Downloads for 2010

We’ve compiled the list of the forty most popular downloads for 2010. Many of them are consistently popular year to year, such as Peg Duncan’s e-Discovery reading list, limitation periods charts, retainer precedents and various technology articles (such as Essential Smartphone Apps and The best Blackberry tips). Some more popular recent articles include:

  • The Sample Budget Spreadsheet continues to grow in popularity, up 20% this year compared to last (in which it had doubled in downloads from 2008). Clearly lawyers are intersted in taking steps to improve their bottom lines.
  • There was also obviously a desire for
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management